Dalia Mogahed, author, pollster and scholar on the topics of cross-cultural understanding and American Muslims, will lecture on “Islamophobia: A Threat to All,” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13, in the Strand Union Ballrooms at Montana State University.
Mogahed, whose TED Talk about fighting negative perceptions of her faith in the media has been viewed more than 2 million times, will also conduct a master class for MSU students prior to her lecture.
"The American public is the target of an unfortunate effort to inspire fear and hatred of their Muslim neighbors,” Mogahed said about the topic of her lecture. “Islamophobia, or anti-Muslim bigotry, is not only a threat to Muslims but a threat to every American who cares about freedom and democracy in the United States. This lecture will use extensive research, personal stories and even humor to explain the roots of Islamophobia, the ways it impacts every American and how to work to protect our freedoms."
Ilse-Mari Lee, dean of the MSU Honors College, one of the sponsors of the lecture, said Mogahed’s message of choosing empathy over prejudice is particularly relevant to MSU’s conversation about the importance of diversity and inclusion.
“We are so pleased that Ms. Mogahed accepted our invitation to speak at our university,” Lee said. “As educators, it is our responsibility to provide our students with the opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of the complexities of our world, to protect freedom and democracy worldwide.”
An American scholar of Egyptian origin, Mogahed is the director of research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding in Washington, D.C., where she heads the organization’s research and thought leadership programs about American Muslims. Mogahed is former executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, where she led the analysis of surveys of Muslim communities worldwide. With John L. Esposito, she co-authored the book “Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think.”
President Barack Obama appointed Mogahed to the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships in 2009. She was invited to testify before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations about U.S. engagement with Muslim communities. Her 2016 TED talk was named one of the top talks that year. She is a frequent expert commentator in global media outlets and international forums. She is also the CEO of Mogahed Consulting.
Mogahed’s visit is sponsored by the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost, the Office of International Programs, the College of Engineering, the College of Health, Human Development and Education, the Honors College, the College of Letters and Science, the College of Nursing, the Women’s Center, the Diversity Awareness Office, the Department of History and Philosophy and the Department of Political Science.
Ilse Mari-Lee, Ilselee@montana.edu, 406-994-4110