Analyzing the Gallup World Poll with John Esposito
By WAJAHAT ALI
While speaking authoritatively about Islam and the "psychology" of the Muslim mind, the talking heads on television screens, the experts sitting in prestigious think tanks, the policy analysts strategizing in D.C., and the often loud and bombastic voices heard on the airwaves are rarely, if ever, Muslims.
To many concerned and prescient minds, this reality is often baffling and troubling. One such individual, Jim Clifton, Gallup's Chairman and CEO, remarked, "no one in Washington had any idea what 1.3 billion Muslims were thinking, and yet we were working on intricate strategies that were going to change the world for all time."
In order to discover what Muslims truly think, Gallup spent 6 years interviewing nearly 50,000 Muslims from 35 countries representing the most comprehensive analysis of the wishes, desires, grievances, complaints, and opinions of nearly 1.3 billion Muslims. The results are illuminating to say the least.
The results were collected and analyzed by John L. Esposito, a leading American expert on Islam and University Professor at Georgetown, and Dalia Mogahed, a senior analyst and executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, in their new, groundbreaking work: "Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think."