A veiled Muslim woman at the US White House

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A veiled Muslim woman at the White House? As impossible as that may sound, Dalia Mogahed, a young Muslim of Egyptian origin, has been appointed as a member of the Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships in President Barack Obama’s administration.

The new tenant of the Oval Office, himself the greatest surprise of the year 2008, on 5 February signed an executive decree establishing a Faith Based and Neighbourhood Partnerships office at the White House.

Religiously veiled, Dalia Mogahed is indeed the first American Muslim of Arab descent to enter the White House every morning with an Islamic headscarf to advise a United States President. Without a doubt, this is an affront to puritanical America, where all things touching Islam or Muslims is considered a taboo. It is also a beautiful lesson of tolerance and of recognition just handed by Obama to France about merit, in particular where the wearing of the veil was forbidden, including in schools.

Expressing her joy, Dalia Mogahed said she is “proud to be the first Muslim to enter the White House”. She is now a full member of the advisory panel of religions, known as the Faith Based and Neighbourhood Partnerships. The committee is composed of 25 other people from different faiths.

She is senior analyst and executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies. The young woman commands respect by virtue of her talent, which she generously exposes in the pages of the Gallup Institute’s publication.

Her book: Who speaks for Islam, re-edited and published by the prestigious Harvard University’s Harvard International Review, appears to have caught President Obama’s eye.

According to the open minded and talented Dalia Mogahed, “My job is to assist the President of the United States to better understand Muslims beyond the distorting prism of violence”.

Needless to say, her essential appointment has also reignited theories from analysts who have been tireless in trying to find possible links between Obama and bin Laden …

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