In a further sign of Islam's growth in the United States, Georgetown University, the nation's oldest Roman Catholic university, has appointed its first Muslim chaplain.
School officials said they believe Yahya Hendi, who will be one of more than 30 chaplains at the college, is also the first Muslim chaplain at any major university in the nation.
Georgetown, located in Washington, D.C., has a growing "self-identified" Muslim student population. About 60% of the school's 6,000 undergraduates report their religion as Catholic, but roughly 3% say they are Muslims.
Hendi, who has a bachelor's degree in Islamic law and theology from the University of Jordan in Amman and a master's in comparative religions from Hartford Seminary, began work at Georgetown earlier this month.
"I hope that my presence will enhance the flow of ideas between the university's Muslim community and the broader campus culture," Hendi said in a statement.
"My position, which is, we believe, the first of its kind at a major American university, is a milestone in the history of U.S. institutions of higher education in terms of a growing responsiveness to Muslim communities on campus."