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White House Faith Adviser Defends Sharia Remarks
by Dalia Mogahed
Dalia Mogahed, one of two Muslim members of President Obama's faith advisory council, has come under fire from conservatives for her early October appearance on a British television show connected with an extremist Muslim group. In a story headlined "Barack Obama adviser says Sharia Law is misunderstood," the Daily Telegraph reported earlier this month that Mogahed told the show: "I think the reason so many women support s haria is because they have a very different understanding of s haria than the common perception in Western media . . . . The majority of women around the world associate gender justice, or justice for women, with sharia compliance."
The television program, called Muslimah Dilemma , is hosted by a member of the Hizb ut Tahrir, a radical Muslim party in Britain. Mogahed, who is also the executive director for Gallup's Center for Muslim Studies, called in from the United States while another guest—a Hizb ut Tahrir representative—appeared in the studio. You can watch the episode above.
Since the Telegraph article two weeks ago, conservative American columnists and bloggers have attacked Mogahed's remarks on s haria , or Islamic law. "Such an individual is inappropriate as an adviser to the president," opined the Weekly St a ndard, "and can do great harm by providing an American seal of approval to extreme sharia ideology."
Now, in her first media interview about the episode, Mogahed says she regrets going on Muslimah Dilemma but stands by her remarks:
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