Few American Islamists receive the kind of glowing media coverage given to Dalia Mogahed, executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, who is sometimes described as the "most influential person" shaping the Obama Administration's Middle East message.
Mogahed, who claims to have played an important role in the drafting of President Obama's historic Cairo speech to the Muslim world, was appointed to serve on the President's Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. The council released its final recommendations last month.
When European Islamist Tariq Ramadan kicked off his U.S. tour last week at Cooper Union in New York City, Mogahed and two journalists joined him for a panel discussion. Her remarks emphasized polling data showing that Muslim Americans are more affluent and socially content than their European counterparts.
Muslim Americans are no more likely to support political violence than the rest of the nation, Mogahed said. The minority of Muslim Americans who do support attacks on civilians base this position on politics, not religion.