Excerpt:

Ten U.S. Islamic organizations have formed a new umbrella group to serve as a "representative voice" for American Muslims, and one of their first tasks will be to carry out a census of the community.

Other focus areas for the new U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), according to speakers at the body's launch in Washington on Wednesday, include enhancing Muslim political engagement and participation in forthcoming elections, civil rights issues, combating "Islamophobia" and having an impact on U.S. foreign and domestic policy.

Participating organizations include high-profile groups that have been dogged by controversy, such as the Muslim American Society (MAS), founded by Muslim Brotherhood members, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which was named by the Justice Department in 2007 as "unindicted co-conspirators" in its case against the Holy Land Foundation in Texas, subsequently found guilty of raising money for Hamas.


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