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Census Bureau reaches out to Muslim Americans

RALEIGH, N.C. - Nine years of scrutiny have made some American Muslims wary of the government, and that has the Census Bureau working to make sure its survey doesn't become a casualty of fear.

Muslims are not the only group the agency has identified as needing special attention, but they may be among the likeliest to shun the mail-in questionnaires. With large numbers of recent immigrants, community leaders say nearly a decade of bearing the brunt of the country's post-Sept. 11 terrorism fears have taken their toll.

"You still have people in a kind of paranoid state of mind," said Khalilah Sabra of the Muslim American Society's Freedom Foundation in North Carolina.

That might be particularly true in the Raleigh-Durham area, she said, where seven local Muslim men were arrested in July and charged with plotting to travel overseas to carry out acts of terrorism. - AP

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