Who Speaks for Islam?: What a Billion Muslims Really Think


Who Speaks for Islam?: What a Billion Muslims Really Think
by Haj Seyd Mammad

In the wake of the terrorist attacks on 9/11, U.S. public officials seemed to have no idea whether or not many Muslims supported the bombings. This troubled Gallup Chairman and CEO Jim Clifton, who felt that "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." Clifton commissioned his company to undertake the enormous job.

The result is Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think, based on six years of research and more than 50,000 interviews representing 1.3 billion Muslims who reside in more than 35 nations that are predominantly Muslim or have sizable Muslim populations. Representing more than 90% of the world's Muslim community, it makes this poll the largest, most comprehensive study of its kind.

What the data reveal and the authors illuminate may be somewhat surprising to some:

- Muslims and Americans are equally likely to reject attacks on civilians as morally unjustifiable.
- Large majorities of Muslims would guarantee free speech if it were up to them to write a new constitution AND they say religious leaders should have no direct role in drafting that constitution.
- Muslims around the world say that what they LEAST admire about the West is its perceived moral decay and breakdown of traditional values -- the same answers that Americans themselves give when asked this question.
- When asked about their dreams for the future, Muslims say they want better jobs and security, not conflict and violence.
- Muslims say the most important thing Westerners can do to improve relations with their societies is to change their negative views toward Muslims and respect Islam.

The research suggests that conflict between Muslims and the West is NOT inevitable and, in fact, is more about policy than principles. "However," caution Esposito and Mogahed, "until and unless decision makers listen directly to the people and gain an accurate understanding of this conflict, extremists on all sides will continue to gain ground."

Charlie Rose interviews the authors of this book, John Esposito and Dalia Mogahed.

John L. Esposito, Ph.D., is a leading expert on the Muslim world. He is University Professor and a professor of religion and international affairs and of Islamic studies at Georgetown University and the founding director of Georgetown's Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding in the Walsh School of Foreign Service.

Dalia Mogahed is a senior analyst and executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies. She leads the analysis of Gallup's unprecedented study of more than 1 billion Muslims worldwide.

Hope you find this interview interesting:



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Mehdi Mazloom

Democratize Islam?

by Mehdi Mazloom on

On her first sentence Dalia Mogahed say the following.

"we want to give a voice to Islam - Democratize Islam"

If that is so, then she is giving the interview to the wrong person (Charlie Rose), and in the wrong place. Simple, she is barking at the wrong tree.

These fire brand words should have been said to the Muslims themselves, in Mecca and Kaba'a, where their book should be sold for 3 pesos.


Gold fish

by Majid on

ضمن موافقت با حرف شما یاد آوری کنم که این کلام خود قران هست.........

"المسلم من سلم المسلمون من یده و لسانه"

مسلمان کسیست که مسلمانان "افراد" دیگر از دست و زبانش آسوده باشند.




They Are ALL Bad For Humanity

by Anonymous Observer (not verified) on

Judaism, Christianity and Islam are all essentially the same doctrine, the same cake with different flavored frostings. They all arose out of the intolerant, xenophobic, tribal, inbred cultures of Judeo-Arabia. By inbred I mean culturally inbred. I am not referring to the physical use of the term.

The only difference between Islam and the other two is that Christianity and Judaism were "improved" somewhat after they intermixed with European empirical thinking. The age of enlightenment did not hurt either. Although I must note that many atrocities were committed in the name of Christianity as well, i.e., South America, the Inquisition, etc.

As far as Islam is concerned, in my humble opinion, the only true version of Islam, in its current form, was the Taliban regime. And unless more is done to essentially rewrite some of the foundations of Islamic thought, the Taliban regime remains the only example of original Islam.


Islam is in need of 'Reformation'

by Religious Scholar (not verified) on

All religions, when they first come about, are full of hope and inspiratuion. However, as time goes by, they become more and more institutionalized, and they get further and further away from the message of hope that the Prophets brought them for.

Let's not forget that Christianity had its own 'Dark Ages', and had to go through 'Reformation' to become what it is today. People such as 'Martin Luther' helped in reforming Christianity, and once reformed, 'Renaissance' followed.

Islam came about 620 years or so after Christianity. So I would say that it's about time for it to go through Reformation. It needs to shed off much of its superstition, etc., like Christianity did, and go back to the very roots that created it.

I am not saying by any means that Christainity is 'Perfect'. Not at all. However, what I am saying is that it is best for Islam to leave behind its 'Dark Ages'.

As many have said, Islam is a great faith. However, it can not attain its 'True Greatness' unless it goes through a 'Reformation' and a 'Renaissance'.



The Book

by Mahnaz.-#2 (not verified) on

is available pretty much everywhere:


Overall, nice and interesting read


"Actions Speak Louder Than Words"

by gold fish (not verified) on

مسلمانان عزیز از گفتار نیک، پندار نیک و رفتار نیک متاسفانه خیلی‌ دور هستند و تا وقتی‌ که این صفات را در خودشان درست نکنند از کسی‌ انتظار نداشته باشند با شون اظهار همدردی کنه. از دست و زبانشون ما که راحتی‌ در همین ایران خودمون ندیدیم و این یک واقعیت و حقیقته هر چند تلخه .


Sarzamine man, what do Christians Have Done for Humanity?

by Ali Sefati (not verified) on

or Jews for that matter?


Islam is truly a GREAT Religion

by Hans Graebel (CA) (not verified) on

Other than Christianity and Judaism, Islam is the other Great Religion of the Abrahamic Tradition.

It's a wonderful thing that Mr. Gallup, a highly respected Pollster, took on this Comprehensive and Exhaustive work. I hope that JJ keeps this blog up long enough so that more people become aware of its findings.

Thank you :)


جناب امير كبير

ميرزا ممد خان مستوفي - از بهشت (not verified)

در مورد ربط نفت و اسلام، درست كه گره اي مِباشد كه باز كردنش مشكل ميباشد٠ ولي، خسومتي كه به اسلام نشان داده ميشود فقط مربوط به نفت نيست٠ رِيشِه ان به جنگ هاي صليبي و قبل ميرسد٠



امیر کبیر در فین در بند نوکران انگلیس (not verified)

مسئله اسلام نیست، شما دیگر چرا گول خوردید؟ مسئله نفت است و بس.

اگر نفت نبود الان ماهم مثل هندیها محبوب بودیم و شرکتهای آمریکائی کارهای حمالیشون رو میفرستادن به ایران.


I am really glad ...

by Michael_Manley (not verified) on

that the Muslims' views and expectations of life are very similar to the rest of the world, especially to the West.

Like any religion, Muslims have their extremists. Unfortuntely, there are some who try to paint all the Muslims with the same broad brush of negativity for their own personal gains. People such as the right wing 'Neo-Cons' in U.S.

BTW, Gallup is a very reputable organization. Thanks for the video and the book. I found them very informative -



by Sarzamine man (not verified) on

What Muslims think DOES not really matter, what Muslims have done and are doing for human is matters.