The Case for a Truly Representative Democracy

Updated: Apr 8, 2020

This piece was originally published in Girls Globe.

Dalia Mogahed is one of my idols. She is a covered Muslim woman who works in public policy. When she came to speak at my university about representation, Muslims and US politics, I was elated to be able to sit down and talk to her. For any kid, it is critical that you can see yourself in the people you look up to. Examples of what the future could hold expands a child’s belief about who and what they can be. This is especially true for children of underrepresented groups, who are routinely bombarded with negative stereotypes that influence how they navigate the world. For me, Mogahed was an inspiration because she was incredibly successful in a field I aspired to succeed in. She co-authored Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think. She was also notably selected by President Obama to serve on the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. However, when I asked about her prestige in the Muslim-American community, her response was different than I expected. She told me that her role and influence on the trajectory of American politics has been exaggerated. From American-Muslims proud of her accomplishments, to I