White House launches Muslim outreach office

From The Washington Examiner

By Joel Gehrke

President Obama is establishing a new position to coordinate outreach to the Muslim-American community, picking a former president of the Muslim Youth of North America to run it.

"A big part of this role is making sure the national conversation about these communities is not framed through a single lens, but covers the full range of issues that Muslims and other Americans face," Zaki Barzinji, who will work out of the White House Office of Public Engagement, told the Huffington Post.

Barzinji's new job deprives Gov. Terry McAuliffe, D-Va., of his director of intergovernmental affairs. Barzinji previously worked on McAuliffe's gubernatorial campaign.

"This appointment is a further extension of this Administration's commitment to America's tradition of religious pluralism," Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to the White House office of public engagement, told the Huffington Post.

Barzinji's hiring comes as Obama has offered repeated rebukes of GOP nominee Donald Trump. "We need to reject any politics that targets people because of race or religion," Obama said during the State of the Union address in January. "This isn't a matter of political correctness. It's a matter of understanding what makes us strong."

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