The White House has announced that one of two Muslim members appointed to the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships is Dalia Mogahed, a protege of John Espositio, perhaps the best known academic supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and with strong ties to Saudi Arabia. The Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships was formerly known as the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives and is part of the Executive Office of the President of the United States. Ms. Mogahed, who was born in Egypt and lived in the U.S. since the age of 5, is the executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies and the co-author of a book with Dr. Esposito suggesting that majority of the world’s Muslims support some form of democracy. Dr. Esposito is also a member of the Gallup Center along with Ahmed Younis, previously a National Director for the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. In 2003, Ms. Mogahed was identified in 2003 as the Outreach Coordinator for the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh (ICP) whose co-founder recently lost a DOE security clearance and whose Imam will probably be deported on immigration violations. Ms. Mogahed is the daughter of Elsayed Mogahed, an Egyptian immigrant who is a former engineering scientist at the University of Wisconsin and director of the Islamic Center of Madison (ICM). The website of the ICM links mainly to U.S. Muslim Brotherhood organizations and Souheil Ghannouchi, the President of the Muslim American Society (MAS), was ICM Imam and President for several years. The MAS is part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and closest to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.
The appointment of Ms. Mogahed is further evidence of the increasing role of Dr. Esposito within the Obama administration. Previous posts have discussed President Obama’s meeting with the Alliance of Civilizations, an organization represented in the U.S. by Dr. Esposito and the scheduled appearance of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the upcoming annual conference of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID), founded by Dr. Esposito and who will also be speaking at the conference. Dr. Esposito has espoused views consistent with Brotherhood doctrine and during the 1990’s was known for his claims that Islamic fundamentalism was, in fact, democratic and posed no threat to the U.S. Dr. Esposito has at least a dozen past or present affiliations with global Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas organizations including having served on the advisory board of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought in the U.K. headed by Azzam Tamimi, a leader in the U.K. Muslim Brotherhood and often described as a Hamas spokesman. Dr. Esposito has also served with global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi on the Steering Committee of the Circle of Tradition and Progress and enjoyed a close relationship with the United Association For Studies and Research (USAR), part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee and part of the Hamas support infrastructure. . In 2005, Saudi prince Alaweed bin Talal, a financial supporter of the global Muslim Brotherhood donated $20 million to the Center for Muslim Christian Understanding at Georgetown, headed by Dr. Esposito.
Despite these many ties to the global Brotherhood, Dr. Esposito claimed significant gaps in his knowledge about the Brotherhood while testifying in the retrial of the Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing case.