DiscoverThe TED InterviewDalia Mogahed on Islam in the world today
Dalia Mogahed on Islam in the world today

Dalia Mogahed on Islam in the world today

Update: 2018-11-0625
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Just after 9/11, Dalia Mogahed asked: what do 1.8 billion Muslims really think? In a grand research project with Gallup, she interviewed more than 50,000 Muslims about their lives, their dreams, and the state of their religion. Today, she continues her research on Muslims as the director of research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding. In this intimate conversation with Chris, she opens up about her own faith and shares what she believes are the most common misconceptions of the world’s second-biggest religion. To find out more about TED, please visit TED.com.

Comments (6)

Sid Leake

I just found TED on podcast. Listened to Sam Harris and this one. The one question I would have liked asked, "How do you reconcile your belief in God when there is so much physical, philosophic and scientific evidence that he doesn't?" This is a required question (it seems)with a Christian interviewee.

Jun 5th
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Colin M

This is the definition of a softball interview. To listen to her responses and accept them at face value can only be done by a person with almost zero understanding of both the religious texts and the geopolitical environment of today. She obfuscates at every opportunity and flat out lies many times. I understand wanting to defend your religion and being forced to bend the truth at times to do so, but she gives ZERO responsibility of the failings of Islam to the religion itself. This was very frustrating to listen to, I continuously found myself hoping the interviewer would call her out on the most egregious of her lies but alas, he just accepted them with a timid "that's interesting"

Nov 10th
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Colin M

Muhammad Zubair Sure thing! But I will only address the first 20 mins because I don't have unlimited time or patience. My first concern is not so much a lie or sidestep but a disturbing truth she speaks. After telling us how her growing up in a deeply progressive and liberal town in America showed her the beauty and truth of Islam (one must ask oneself if she would have the same view had she grown up in Peshawar or Mosul.) She tells us that she came to believe one day that no authority is greater than god, that she is not "going to submit to anything less than god." This sounds very similar to a mindset of a person who could justify any action, no matter how heinous, as an act of worship.... Seems like a dangerous idea on its face, especially when your holy book has such instructions as "fight the unbelievers wherever you find them" etc. One of the first slight of hands she pulls is when she discusses the rate of domestic violence and oppression of women in Islam as compared to other religions. She sites a survey they conducted asking AMERICAN Muslim women if they FEEL oppression from their religion or domestic partners because of their religion. This is a terrible way of determining the actual rate of violence as a person can clearly be emotionally abused and not feel that they have been. It's a very common phenomenon. Also she speaks about it as if the American rates are the norm worldwide, while at the same time saying that the disparite rate of child marriage between Yemen and Algeria is because of education and economic issues. Why would that logic not apply to abuse as well? Also, in the contrast between Yemen and Algeria she says "it's not Islam, that's the same" indicating that it's a constant factor between the countries when I'm sure she knows that Yemen is much more divided along Sunni/shia lines (nearly 50/50) whereas Algeria is 97% Sunni. In the Sunni beliefs, forced marriages are strictly forbidden whereas in Shia they are common. I would say this constitutes as a large difference and that her saying "Islam is the same" in both countries is at best obfuscation and at worse a flat out lie. That covers part of the issues I had with the first 20mins but not all. Hope this helps, and I hope you can understand that I'm not simply a person who had already determined what "I wanted to hear" I came to this with an open mind and was thoroughly disappointed.

Dec 17th
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Muhammad Zubair

Colin M Can you please elaborate on her obfuscating at every point and what did she flat out lied about? Would this interview be more palatable to you if she did what is so often expected of most muslims, which is to denounce terrorism, apologize for it as if they have some personal obligation to do so and also at the same time acknowledge and admit that Islam is the root cause of extremism and as such denounce the whole religious ideology based on the actions of a handful of its followers? I really don't understand what your complaint is here, and it seems that even when someone educated, qualified and able to articulate themselves takes the time to speak on the religion and provide clarity on it, people aren't really satisfied until they hear what they want to hear, and anything less than that is a softball interview full of lies and obfuscation. I don't really think you came here to listen to what she had to say...

Nov 22nd
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Rosalyn Blaylock

She reminds me of this beautiful Islamic woman I met recently from Kuwait while on a cruise. Dalal!!! Such a beautiful and wonderful soul. This was truly an inspiring talk! Thank you.

Nov 6th
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Dalia Mogahed on Islam in the world today

Dalia Mogahed on Islam in the world today

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