Being a Voice for Muslims
Dalia Mogahed is a Senior Analyst and Executive Director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, a nonpartisan research center dedicated to providing data-driven analysis on the views of Muslim populations around the world. With John L. Esposito, Ph.D., she is coauthor of the book Who Speaks for Islam?: What a Billion Muslims Really Think. Her analysis has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy magazine, the Harvard International Review, the Middle East Policy journal, and many other academic and popular journals. She travels the globe engaging diverse groups on what Muslims around the world really think.
Mogahed leads the analysis of Gallup's unprecedented survey representing the opinions of more than 1 billion Muslims worldwide, including Muslims in the West. She also directs the Muslim-West Facts Initiative, through which Gallup, in collaboration with the Coexist Foundation, is disseminating the findings of the Gallup World Poll to key opinion leaders in the Muslim World and the West. She is a member of Women in International Security, serves on the leadership group of the Project on U.S. Engagement with the Global Muslim Community, and is a member of the Crisis in the Middle East Task Force of the Brookings Institution.
Dalia Mogahed: What I do for a living is to try to understand, from an empirical viewpoint, the views, opinions, perceptions and aspirations of Muslim populations around the world.
What I try to do is, through survey research, give this population a voice through their own words. Not by projecting my ideas on to them, but by, essentially through my analysis, being a mouthpiece for their voice.
Because I feel that without that – in the absence of a scholarly tool that really represents the views of entire populations – that people in general are silenced by a vocal fringe.
I would define myself as a scientist, and as a translator between two cultures that today are in conflict, but that I believe can live and even thrive by cooperating.
Recorded on: July 3, 2007.
Mogahed is a translator between two cultures in conflict.
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