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Who's in the Video
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[…]

Religion is often blamed for human action that usually has very little to do with religion.

Dalia Mogahed: I would reframe the question, and I would actually talk about the forces within each of us as human beings.

I really believe very strongly in the idea of human agency. I believe in free will and I believe in choices. I don’t think that historical forces cause things to happen. I think human beings create historical forces. And so where we are today is a product of individual choices.

If we agree that where we are today isn’t a very good place, I would blame that – if you can use the word “blame” – on us as a human race falling prey to selfishness, and to going more with the call of quick benefit, rather than long term selfless compassion.

So if there is an answer to that very difficult question, I would place it squarely in the lap of human agency and decisions that people make that might not be true to even their own espoused values.

Recorded on: July 3, 2007.