Dalia Mogahed, a Muslim, is one of 25 people President Obama tapped to advise him on faith issues. She may have met the president exactly once, but to Muslims, she’s a celebrity — thanks to the headscarf, or hijab, she wears every day.
Muslims everywhere see her voluntary appointment as a backstage pass to the White House. She hears everything from “My father is in jail, and I want you to ask Obama to pardon him” to “I need a visa,” she says.
What Mogahed actually does for the president is work on his faith-based council. They’re supposed to come up with ideas on how the American government can partner with communities and social groups. What she brings to the table is research from her polling of Muslims at her day job with Gallup.
Mogahed says she’s not there to represent Islam.
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