Robert Rabil, Ph.D.

LLS Jupiter Distinguished Faculty Award, 2010
LLS Distinguished Professor of Current Affairs, 2012-2013

Lifelong Learning Professorship of Current Affairs, 2018-2019

Political Science

Robert G. Rabil, Ph.D., is an internationally renowned and acclaimed scholar. His books have been highly commended and reviewed by major academic journals globally. His recent book on Salafism broke new ground in the fields of Islamism, terrorism and Middle East politics. He is considered one of the leading experts on Salafism, radical Islam, U.S.-Arab and Arab-Israeli relations, and terrorism. He served as Chief of Emergency for the Red Cross in Lebanon and was Project Manager of the U.S. State Department-funded Iraq Research and Documentation Project. He lectures nationally and internationally and participates in forums and seminars sponsored by the U.S. government. He holds a Master’s in Government from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University. In May 2012, he received an honorary Ph.D. in Humanities from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. He is a Professor of Political Science at Florida Atlantic University.

In September 2016, Professor Rabil was presented a Certificate of Appreciation from the United States Army Central.

Student Testimonials

  • “One of the most enthusiastic and engaging FAU lecturers.”
  • “Excellent current knowledge base on topic and updates as events happen.”

UAE Israel Peace 2020 with Robert Rabil, Ph.D.

The Hard Line — Robert Rabil, Ph.D., discusses the Syrian refugee crisis

The Hard Line: Robert Rabil, Ph.D., the Professor of Middle East studies at Florida Atlantic University's Department of Political Science and author of “Salafism in Lebanon: From Apoliticism to Transnational Jihadism,” discusses the Syrian refugee crisis and the role the Obama administration has played in what has happened in Syria.

Dr. Rabil discusses Salafism in Lebanon in a Policy Forum at The Washington Institute

Dr. Rabil discusses Salafism in Lebanon - Washington Institute The Washington Institute: Facing a leadership crisis, Lebanon's Sunnis must contend with a vigorous Salafi movement in which the activist and jihadist elements are increasingly hard to distinguish from each other. On February 13, 2015, Robert Rabil addressed a Policy Forum concerning the issue of Salafism in Lebanon at The Washington Institute.

Dr. Rabil discusses Salafism on WPBT2's Viewpoint

Viewpoint: Salafism is perhaps best known for the ideologies of Salafi jihadism such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda. It is actually comprised of many fundamentalist Islamic movements whose followers consider themselves the only "saved" sect of Islam. Professor and author Robert Rabil discusses Salafism and his book, “Salafism in Lebanon: From Apoliticism to Transnational Jihadism.”

Dr. Rabil on U.S.-Iran Mounting Tensions and the Threat and Consequences of a Potential Military Confrontation

News and Notes From Dr. Rabil

  • Click here to visit his web site,
  • Click here to order his latest book — "Salafism in Lebanon".
  • Click here to read a review of his book, "Salafism in Lebanon," by the British Cambridge Journal of International Affairs.
  • Click here to view the PowerPoint slides on the Divisions and Schools of Islam.

Articles written by Dr. Rabil

Books by Dr. Rabil

U.S. National Security and The War on Extremism

The U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq marked the height of the unipolar power of the U.S. But complex challenges and threats emanating from various, contested strategic areas of conflict have cast a shadow over U.S. national security. Scholars and analysts refer to the process of transition from a unipolar to multipolar world to contextualize and understand the nature of these challenges and threats to U.S. national security. Significantly, Arab revolutions and counter-Arab revolutions, the global growth of Salafi-jihadism spearheaded by ISIS, Russian intervention in Syria, and Iran's reentry in the international economic and political arena have posed complex challenges to the U.S. international standing and its war on extremism and terrorism. This eight-part lecture series will attempt to analyze a number of conflicting security issues within the context of their local and international dimensions, seeking to shed light on important matters often misconceived in foreign diplomacy.
Eight Lectures
  1. Malaysia: Moderation or Allegiance to ISIS? -
  2. Morocco and Tunisia: Enlightened Rule, Pluralism and/or Salafism? -
  3. Central Asia: The Rise or Decline of Salafi-Jihadism? -
  4. U.A.E. and Qatar: Purveyors of Wealth or Extremism? -
  5. The U.S., Russia, ISIS and the Syrian Crisis: Prospects and Challenges -
  6. Islam, Salafism and Refugees in France and Germany: Redefining Europe’s Identity? -
  7. The U.S., Afghanistan and Pakistan: The Doomed War on Radicalism? -
  8. The U.S. War on Extremism/Terrorism: An Assessment of the Obama Administration’s Policy -

Course # F8M1 — Full 8 Weeks
Place:Auditorium, Lifelong Learning Complex, Jupiter Campus
Dates:Mondays, October 10, 17, 24, 31; November 7, 14, 21, 28 2016
Time:9:45 - 11:15 AM
Fee:$68 / member; $98 / non-member

Course # F4M2 — Last 4 Weeks
Place:Auditorium, Lifelong Learning Complex, Jupiter Campus
Dates:Mondays, November 7, 14, 21, 28 2016
Time:9:45 - 11:15 AM
Fee:$34 / member; $54 / non-member

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The Future of Iranian-Russian Relations: Implications for the U.S. and Israel’s National Security

Broadly speaking, Iran and Russia (and U.S.S.R.) had a fluctuating relationship until the 1990s. Tsarist Russia exerted influence over the Qajar dynasty and the Soviet Union invaded Iran on the eve of WWII. During the 1970s and 1980s, Iran, under the Shah and Khomeini, supported the West and opposed both imperialism and Communism respectively. However, with the fall of the Soviet Union and the independence of central Asian countries, Iran and Russia have pursued a relationship mostly marked by geopolitical interests. These interests have become paramount to the national security of both countries following the Arab revolts, Western sanctions on Russia and Russian military intervention in Syria. In fact, the intensity of Moscow’s current tactical and strategic contact with Tehran is unprecedented in Russia’s post-Soviet history. This has posed serious challenges to Washington and Jerusalem’s national securities, given that Iran has been projecting its power in the region and supporting anti-Western and anti-Israel militant organizations throughout the Middle East. Enough evidence shows that Iran and Russia have been deepening their economic, political and military relationship.

What are the ramifications and implications of an Iranian- Russian strategic alliance for the U.S. and Israel’s national securities? This talk attempts to answer this momentous question by examining the dynamics moving Iran and Russia closer and analyzing the challenges an Iranian-Russian alliance poses to both the United States and Israel. It also ponders Washington and Jerusalem’s potential responses to this major development.
Register Early! There is a $5 charge for registering on the day of a one-time lecture or event.

Course # F1S2 — One Time Event
Place:Auditorium, Lifelong Learning Complex, Jupiter Campus
Dates:Saturday, November 19 2016
Time:1 - 2:30 PM
Fee:$25 / member; $35 / non-member

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Israel and the Arab Gulf States: A Superficial or Strategic Alliance in The Making?

Though their rhetoric had been historically anti-Israel, Arab Gulf States did not essentially participate in Arab-Israeli wars. This conflicted relationship experienced a thaw in the wake of the Madrid Peace Conference. True, the relationship has regressed as a result of the collapse of the peace process; yet there has remained indirect and multi-faceted secret links concerning economic and security issues. Recently, the threat from Iran has intensified and enhanced those links, leading to reports of overt and tacit cooperation and planning regardless of whether or not Israeli-Palestinian peace talks have progressed. Moreover, Russian intervention in Syria on the side of the Asad regime and Iran has underscored common strategic interests for Israel and the Gulf States. Will the growing cooperation between Israel and the Gulf States lead to a superficial or strategic alliance? This talk traces the history of the Arab Gulf-Israel relations and attempts to shed light on the unfolding, yet undefined new phase in the Arab Gulf-Israel relationship.
Register Early! There is a $5 charge for registering on the day of a one-time lecture or event.

Course # F1R7 — One Time Event
Place:Auditorium, Lifelong Learning Complex, Jupiter Campus
Dates:Thursday, December 8 2016
Time:9:45 - 11:15 AM
Fee:$25 / member; $35 / non-member

Register Now
 Last Modified 2/12/15