Seeking to make a bigger impact in American politics and to better protect their civil rights, 10 Muslim groups have banded together under a new umbrella group: the U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations.

Many of the leaders of the new organization called the campaign for increased unity among Muslims an unprecedented step for the community, and one that could help weave Muslims more tightly into the fabric of American life.

"This is the dream of every American Muslim, to unify the approach, agenda and vision of the Muslim community," said Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, at a Wednesday (March 12) announcement at the National Press Club.

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