Robert G. Rabil, Ph.D.
LLS Jupiter Distinguished Faculty Award 2010
LLS Distinguished Professor of Current Affairs 2012-2013
Robert G. Rabil, Ph.D., has a master’s degree in government from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in Near Eastern and Judaic studies from Brandeis University. He served as Chief of Emergency of the Red Cross in Lebanon and was project manager of the U.S. State Department-funded Iraq Research and Documentation Project. He has written extensively on Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, U.S.-Arab Relations, reform in the Arab world, radical Islam and terrorism. He is a frequent speaker at major universities, including Harvard University. He delivers lectures and participates in seminars and forums sponsored by the U.S. government, including the U.S. Army and the National Intelligence Council. He is Professor of Political Science at FAU. Dr. Rabil was recently conferred with an honorary Ph.D. in humanities from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.News and Notes From Dr. Rabil
Salafism, Jews and Christians: Jihad in the Path of Allah?
Drawing on field research trips, personal interviews and Arabic primary sources, the talk examines the development of Salafism in relation to the dynamic between the movement's ideology and praxis. The lecture explores three schools of Salafism, quietest, activist, and Salafi-Jihadi, which are, more or less, in line with the transnational networks of Salafism whose roots go back to the theological and ideological development of Salafism in Saudi Arabia. The lecture sheds the misconception and confusion shrouding Salafism as a rising religious movement affecting the socio-political landscape in the Muslim world. More specifically, the talk scrutinizes Salafism's ideological and practical approach towards politics and in relation to Jews (and Israel), Christians, and atheists.
The talk is based on a groundbreaking study Salafism in Lebanon: From Apoliticism to Transnational Jihadism published by Georgetown University Press.
Book signing and a light reception to follow the lecture.
Zionism, American Jewry and American Foreign Policy: Crisis, Division, or Cooperation?
Since its inception as a vehicle of Jewish nationalism Zionism has wedded humanitarian, moral, cultural and religious attributes to its ideology and core mission. American supporters and adherents of Zionism, regardless of their political orientation, have supported Israel as the embodiment of the Zionist ideal, taming their bias or opposition to some of Zionism attributes. This support, however, has come recently under stress on account of a combination of factors ranging from concerns over United States and Israel's policies, to ideological and to generational change in the polity of American Jewry. Nothing reflects this condition more than the Obama administration's policy towards Iran's nuclear program and the responses it elicited from American Jewry. The lecture aims at understanding the different impulses underlying the polarization within the Jewish community in support of or opposition to the Obama Administration’s foreign policy in the Middle East.
U.S. National Security, Islamism and Globalized Conflicts
The Obama administration’s approach to foreign diplomacy involves promoting concerted regional and international efforts. Though, in principle, the administration has signaled a shift in its national interest towards Asia, Arab revolutions, counterrevolutions, Iran's nuclear program and rise of Islamism have paradoxically deepened U.S. national security concerns in the greater Middle East. This course investigates and discusses several United States national security issues affected no less by regional than international geostrategic considerations and transnational Islamist ambitions. Known for their complex and nuanced dynamics, these issues confound analysts and policymakers. he course will attempt to analyze these security in the context of their local and international dimensions, seeking to shed light on important matters often misconceived in foreign diplomacy.