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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Obama Appoints Radical Muslim Apologist To Faith-Based Committee

President Obama has announced the addition of Dalia Mogahed to the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Ms Mogahed has a history as an apologist for radical Islamists and the Muslim Brotherhood.  Much of her work has been in conjunction with her mentor, John Esposito.

Last year Gallup Press has published a book Who Speaks for Islam? By John L. Esposito, one of the Muslim Brotherhoods biggest supporters in the US (Prince Alwaleed bin Talal's Georgetown stooge), and  Esposito protegee, the head of Gallup's Muslim division, Dalia Mogahed. The book claimed that that their research proved that most Muslims are peace-loving moderates just like us. The amazing part of their research was THEY DIDN'T EVEN BOTHER TO FIND THE RIGHT NUMBERS! They just lied about what the numbers mean.
...7 percent. That is the percentage of Muslims who told pollsters that the attacks of September 11, 2001, were "completely" justified and who said they view the United States unfavorably--the double-barreled litmus test devised by Esposito and Mogahed to determine who is radical and who isn't.

The authors don't actually call even these people "radicals," however; the term they use is "politically radicalized," which implies that someone else is responsible for turning these otherwise ordinary Muslims into bin Laden sympathizers. By contrast, Muslims who said the 9/11 attacks were "not justified" they term "moderates."

More than half the book is an effort to distinguish the 7 percent of extremist Muslims from the "9 out of 10," as they say, who are moderates and then to focus our collective efforts on reaching out to the fringe element. With remarkable exactitude, they argue: "If the 7 percent (91 million) of the politically radicalized continue to feel politically dominated, occupied and disrespected, the West will have little, if any, chance of changing their minds." There is no need to worry about the 93 percent because, as Esposito and Mogahed have already argued, they are just like us.

There is much here to criticize. The not-so-hidden purpose of this book is to blur any difference between average Muslims around the world and average Americans, and the authors rise to the occasion at every turn. Take the very definition of "Islam." From Karen Armstrong to Bernard Lewis--and that's a pretty broad range--virtually every scholar of note (and many who aren't) has translated the term "Islam" as "submission to God." But "submission" evidently sounds off-putting to the American ear, so Esposito and Mogahed offer a different, more melodious translation--"a strong commitment to God"--that has a ring to it of everything but accuracy.

Or take the authors' cavalier attitude to the word "many." How many is many? Thirty percent of the vote won't get Hillary Clinton nominated for president, but it would be a lot if the subject were how many Americans cheat on their taxes or beat their wives. At the very least, one might expect a book based on polling data to be filled with numbers. This one isn't. Instead, page after page of Who Speaks for Islam? contains such useless and unsourced references as "many respondents cite" this or "many Muslims see" that.

Or take the authors' apparent indifference to facts. Twice, for example, they cite as convincing evidence for their argument poll data from "the ten most populous majority Muslim countries," which they then list as including Jordan and Lebanon, tiny states that don't even rank in the top 25 of Muslim majority countries. Twice they say their 10 specially polled countries collectively comprise 80 percent of the world Muslim population; in fact, the figure is barely 60 percent.

These problems would not matter much if the book gave readers the opportunity to review the poll data on which Esposito and Mogahed base their judgments. Alas, that is not the case. Neither the text nor the appendix includes the full data to a single question from any survey taken by Gallup over the entire six-year period of its World Poll initiative. We, the readers, either have to pay more than $20,000 to Gallup to gain access to its proprietary research or have to rely on the good faith of the authors.

Or, more accurately, we have to rely on Gallup's good name--the "integrity, trust and independence" cited above. Public comments by Mogahed at a luncheon I hosted at the Washington Institute on April 17 show exactly what that is worth.

Here's the context: As the event was about to close, Mogahed was pressed to explain the book's central claim that radicals constitute 7 percent of the world's Muslim population. A questioner focused on the critical distinction between the 7 percent of respondents who said the 9/11 attacks were "completely justified" and the other 93 percent. How many of those 93 percent, Mogahed was asked, actually answered that the attacks were "partly," "somewhat," or even "largely" justified? Were those people truly moderates?

In her answer, transcribed below, Mogahed refers in pollster code to numbers ascribed to the five possible answers to the poll question about justifying 9/11. Although she and Esposito never discuss the details of this question in their book, they did expound on them in a 2006 article in Foreign Policy magazine, which described a five-point scale in which "Ones" are respondents who said 9/11 was "totally unjustified" and "Fives" those who said the attacks were "completely justified."

In that article, she and Esposito wrote: "Respondents who said 9/11 was justified (4 or 5 on the same scale) are classified as radical." In the book they wrote two years later, they redefined "radical" to comprise a much smaller group--only the Fives. But in her luncheon remarks, Mogahed admitted that many of the "moderates" she and Esposito celebrated really aren't so moderate after all. (Source)
Once again the President of the United States is selecting his staff from the "realm" of those who would destroy us.  The report below is from the Global Muslim Brotherhood Report:

Esposito Protoge Appointed To Obama Advisory Council

The White House has announced that one of two Muslim members appointed to the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships is Dalia Mogahed, a protege of John Espositio, perhaps the best known academic supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and with strong ties to Saudi Arabia. The Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships was formerly known as the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives and is part of the Executive Office of the President of the United States. Ms. Mogahed, who was born in Egypt and lived in the U.S. since the age of 5, is the executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies and the co-author of a book with Dr. Esposito suggesting that majority of the world’s Muslims support some form of democracy. Dr. Esposito is also a member of the Gallup Center along with Ahmed Younis, previously a National Director for the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. In 2003, Ms. Mogahed was identified in 2003 as the Outreach Coordinator for the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh (ICP) whose co-founder recently lost a DOE security clearance and whose Imam will probably be deported on immigration violations. Ms. Mogahed is the daughter of Elsayed Mogahed, an Egyptian immigrant who is a former engineering scientist at the University of Wisconsin and director of the Islamic Center of Madison (ICM). The website of the ICM links mainly to U.S. Muslim Brotherhood organizations and Souheil Ghannouchi, the President of the Muslim American Society (MAS), was ICM Imam and President for several years. The MAS is part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and closest to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.

The appointment of Ms. Mogahed is further evidence of the increasing role of Dr. Esposito within the Obama administration. Previous posts have discussed President Obama’s meeting with the Alliance of Civilizations, an organization represented by the U.S. by Dr. Esposito and the scheduled appearance of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the upcoming annual conference of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID), founded by Dr. Esposito and who will also be speaking at the conference. Dr. Esposito has espoused views consistent with Brotherhood doctrine and during the 1990’s was known for his claims that Islamic fundamentalism was, in fact, democratic and posed no threat to the U.S. Dr. Esposito has at least a dozen past or present affiliations with global Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas organizations including having served on the advisory boards of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought in the U.K. and the United Association for Studies and Research in the U.S. and has served with global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi on the Steering Committee of the Circle of Tradition and Progress. In 2005, Saudi prince Alaweed bin Talal, a financial supporter of the global Muslim Brotherhood donated $20 million to the Center for Muslim Christian Understanding at Georgetown, headed by Dr. Esposito. Despite these many ties to the global Brotherhood, Dr. Esposito claimed significant gaps in his knowledge about the Brotherhood while  testifying in the retrial of the Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing case.

The Council on American Islamic Relations, another part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, congratulated Mr. Mogahed on her appointment.

1 comment:

Shayne said...

As if this is a surprise. By the way, nice comment on the Daily Allison. She speaks very highly of you.