The first veiled Muslim woman in the White House

“We can thrive even when we are a minority.”

Dalia Mogahed was propelled into the international spotlight when she became President Barack Obama’s advisor on Muslim affairs. Born in Egypt, she is the president and CEO of Mogahed Consulting, a consulting firm specializing in Muslim societies and the Middle East. She co-authored the book Who Speaks For Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think, based on six years of research and more than 50,000 interviews. Mogahed has been widely recognized as one of the most influential Arab women in the world.

 

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Why did President Barack Obama choose you to join the 26 consultants of the Interfaith Council on Muslim Affairs, which works to build bridges between the federal government and nonprofit organizations?

I believe I was chosen because of the research I was leading at Gallup Center on Muslim opinion around the world. I was not part of President Obama’s campaign, nor am I active in the Democratic Party. I was chosen on the basis of my scholarship, not my political affiliation.

Do you think that your reputation preceded your achievements inside the White House, since you were the first Muslim – and veiled – woman to hold such a high position in Obama’s administration?

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