Muslim leaders here say the Democratic National Committee is welcoming their rising profile in the party, even as Democrats' presidential nominee, Sen. Barack Obama, battles false rumors that he is Muslim.
As the Democratic National Convention draws to a close tonight with Obama's official acceptance of the nomination, faith has assumed a new prominence in the party's proceedings.
Just as Democrats have shone a spotlight on evangelical and Catholic progressives, they've also highlighted the small-but-growing number of Muslim Democrats.
Party bosses have attended American Muslim Democratic Caucus meetings, Muslim leaders participated in a pre-convention interfaith gathering, and Muslim congressmen have mingled with rank-and-file community activists.
"The Muslim community in America is a surging political force," Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., said in an interview here, "people from all various walks of life who are running for office, who are getting engaged, precinct captains, delegates, local public officials." (MORE)