A US convert to Islam is being held in connection with the Madrid bombings’you knew the second you heard about Brandon Mayfield that he wasn’t a Presbyterian.  

The TV news report I heard last night entirely omitted Mayfield’s religion, while the Washington Post story this morning notes, between commas, that Mr. Mayfield is ‘a convert to Islam’ well onto the second page of the front page article.

This is a touchy matter’we don’t want to risk inflaming public sentiment against the Muslims who are good citizens. But an Islamic hatred of the US is a key factor in what’s happening in the world today. We don’t, of course, know what motivated Mr. Mayfield at this point.

But why skim over a key issue about Mr. Mayfield? In the days before everybody was talking about the woman factor at Abu Ghraib, Inkwell called the participation of the women the elephant in the room. In the matter of his possible connections to the Madrid bombers, Mr. Mayfield’s conversion to Islam is the elephant in the room. Shouldn’t we be able to talk about it frankly without speaking ill of the Muslims who live in the US and mean us no harm?