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JERUSALEM – Dalia Mogahed, appointed to President Obama’s faith advisory council, was a partner in an Islamic project whose stated goal was to “define, interpret and implement the concept of the Islamic State in modern times,” WND has learned.
The project was founded and directed by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the controversial Muslim cleric behind the proposed 13-story, $100 million Islamic cultural center and mosque two blocks from Ground Zero in New York City.
Besides her role on the White House Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Mogahed is also on the advisory council of the Department of Homeland Security. She testified before the Senate on engagement with the Muslim community.
Together with Rauf, Mogahed was a leading voice in the Leadership Group on U.S.-Muslim Engagement, which issued a 153-page recommendation paper, obtained and reviewed by WND, that calls for dialogue with Hamas.
The consensus focused on improving America’s relationship with Muslims globally, with many of the recommendations later reportedly being adopted by the Obama administration. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Dennis Ross, Obama’s Mideast envoy, also served on the Leadership Group that released the recommendation paper.
The paper specifically called on the U.S. to engage opposition parties in Egypt, including the Muslim Brotherhood. It set the boundaries for dialogue with Hamas if the Islamist terror group renounced violence. Also, the paper called on the U.S. to immediately engage Hamas using intermediaries in hopes of moderating the group.
Mogahed, meanwhile, is a senior analyst and executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, where she led what has been described an unprecedented survey of Muslims worldwide, including in the U.S. and Europe.
The survey was the basis for a 2008 book she co-authored, “Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think.”
Mogahed’s Gallup survey concluded only 7 percent of the world’s Muslims are political radicals and that the majority support democracy.
Other Gallup findings under Mogahed concluded that Muslims and Americans are equally likely to reject attacks on civilians as morally unjustifiable. Large majorities of Muslims would guarantee free speech if it were up to them to write a new constitution, the survey claimed.
‘Sister’ Mogahed and Shariah Islamic state
WND has learned that Mogahed and the Gallup survey provided key data for Rauf’s “Shariah Index Project ,” which sought, according to its own mission, to “define, interpret and implement the concept of the Islamic State in modern times.”
The project at one time was featured on the website of Rauf’s Cordoba Initiative, which is the group behind the so-called Ground Zero mosque. However, after the mosque issue was highlighted in the news media, the Shariah Index Project, a sister project of Cordoba, was scrubbed from Rauf’s website.
The website BigPeace.com previously uncovered the scrubbed section of the Cordoba website that detailed the Shari’ah Index Project.
“Imagine: a Perfectly Islamic State,” said the deleted section of Cordoba’s website.
The website described how Mogahed’s Gallup division helped to refine the principals of the Shariah Index, which was to serve as the basis for the “perfect Islamic state.” The website stated representatives from Gallup also joined in a phone conversation to help craft the principles.
Further, Jasser Auda, a Qatari professor who is one of the personalities behind the Shariah Index Project with Rauf, described Mogahed’s involvement in providing key data that helped formulate the Shariah Index plan to map out an Islamic state, even referring to Obama’s faith adviser as “sister Mogahed.”
In an interview about the Shariah Index Project with OnIslam.com, an Islamic news portal associated with Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi, Auda stated, “Our sister Dalia Mugahed – at that time she was the head of the Muslim societies branch, now she is in Abu Dhabi leading the same project on Muslim societies in a different project.”
Continued Auda, “At that time in Washington she was leading the Muslim societies index, and she gave us according to an agreement between Gallup, Cordoba and the Prime Minister of Malaysia office, gave us (Shariah Index Project) the data for three years, through which we came up with some conclusions based on asking people.”
In her role on Obama’s faith council, Mogahed reportedly offers recommendations to the U.S. president on how faith-based organizations can best work with government to solve society’s toughest challenges.