The White House has hired its first staffer assigned specifically to reach out to American Muslims.

Suhail Khan, a Muslim American who worked for former Rep. Tom Campbell, R-Calif., will work in the Office of Public Liaison, reported Religion and Ethics NewsWeekly, a PBS television program. Khan will work with other staffers whose duties involve relating to Christians and Jews.

Muslim leaders are pleased with the development but point out that there are still no Muslims in decision-making positions in the U.S. government, the program reported. The appointment comes at a time when Muslims are working to increase their political influence.

The White House has made significant overtures to the Muslim community in recent months. President Bush has visited the Washington Islamic Center and reiterated that the military action in Afghanistan is not an assault on Islam.

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