Dalia Mogahed is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Mogahed Consulting, a Washington, DC-based firm specializing in research on Muslim societies and the Middle East and leadership development. Mogahed is the former Executive Director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, a non-partisan research centre that provides data and analysis to reflect the views of Muslims around the world. She was selected by US President Barack Obama as an adviser to the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Mogahed is a board member and a leader in several organizations, including a Member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on the Arab World. She is also a non-resident senior public policy scholar at the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut. Mogahed received a BSc in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Arabic from the University of Wisconsin, and an MBA from the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh.
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Abducting Girls in the Name of God
The brutal abduction of several hundred Nigerian schoolgirls has stunned and outraged the world. A violent organization called Boko Haram, and its leader Abubakar Shekau, took credit for the kidnapping more than 300 female students from their classrooms at gunpoint, from a government-run school in Chibok, on April 14. In his subsequent video, the smiling terrorist leader told the world they would sell the teenage girls “into the marketplace” or forced marriages; in his latest, he claims the girls have converted to Islam. Shekau has claimed that God told him to do all of this. That is a lie. It is an abomination. It is a blasphemy against God, and people of faith from all traditions should denounce his words.
Invoking the name of God to justify human barbarity is a painfully tragic and an ongoing occurrence. If hearing these lies about God breaks our hearts, we can only imagine they must also break the heart of God. As the Qur’an warns, “Who is more unjust than he who lies against God?” This kind of blasphemy often derives from extreme religious fanaticism that can be found in all of our faith traditions — those who pervert, abuse, and use the language of religion for fear, hate, and power. These self-proclaimed religious leaders must be utterly denounced as false and human abominations of religion and must be publically condemned and held accountable by faith communities around the world.