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 Departmentfunded 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.”


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,  robertrabil.com.
  • 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

In his National Security Strategy Speech, President Donald Trump identified his doctrine “America First” as associated with a “Strong America.” But some foreign leaders have interpreted “Strong America” as an America beating a retreat from world affairs, especially following the President’s statements affirming the withdrawal of American troops from Syria and Afghanistan. In reality, however, Trump’s doctrine has been more or less guided by America’s interests, constraints and divisions among his advisors and in Congress, as well as by his views and personality.

This lecture series addresses some major challenges to U.S. national security, questioning whether or not Trump’s “America First” policy is grounded in a “Strong America.”
Eight Lectures
  1. Morocco-U.S. Relations: Defeating Salafi-Jihadism? -
  2. Bosnia: The New Hub of Salafism? -
  3. United Arab Emirates-U.S. Relations -
  4. Islam, Islamism and China: Implications for the U.S. -
  5. Poland, Hungary and U.S.: Defending Western Civilization? -
  6. Iraq-U.S. Relations: Should the U.S. Withdraw from Iraq? -
  7. France: Islamizing France or Europeanizing Islam? -
  8. U.S. War on Terror: A Reassessment -

Course # F8M1 — Full 8 Weeks
Place:Auditorium, Lifelong Learning Complex, Jupiter Campus
Dates:Mondays, October 14, 21, 28; November 4, 18, 25; December 2, 9 2019
Time:9:30 - 11 AM
Fee:$100 / member; $130 / non-member

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U.S. National Security (Last Four Weeks Only)

In his National Security Strategy Speech, President Donald Trump identified his doctrine “America First” as associated with a “Strong America.” But some foreign leaders have interpreted “Strong America” as an America beating a retreat from world affairs, especially following the President’s statements affirming the withdrawal of American troops from Syria and Afghanistan. In reality, however, Trump’s doctrine has been more or less guided by America’s interests, constraints and divisions among his advisors and in Congress, as well as by his views and personality.

This lecture series addresses some major challenges to U.S. national security, questioning whether or not Trump’s “America First” policy is grounded in a “Strong America.”
Four Lectures
  1. Poland, Hungary and U.S.: Defending Western Civilization? -
  2. Iraq-U.S. Relations: Should the U.S. Withdraw from Iraq? -
  3. France: Islamizing France or Europeanizing Islam? -
  4. U.S. War on Terror: A Reassessment -

Course # F4M2 — Last 4 Weeks
Place:Auditorium, Lifelong Learning Complex, Jupiter Campus
Dates:Mondays, November 18, 25; December 2, 9 2019
Time:9:30 - 11 AM
Fee:$50 / member; $65 / non-member

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Islam in the United States

September 11 terror attacks and the ongoing U.S. campaign against extremism and terrorism led to a great interest in Islam and American Muslims, who have become the focus of internal debates within and beyond the Muslim communities in the United States. Those debates, ranging from Muslim demography to gender, to political and civic participation, to anti- Semitism, to Islamic schools, to Islamism, to intercommunity relations, and to perceptions on the war on terror have had mixed reactions. Though Americans are fairly tolerant, they remain concerned about anti-American Islamism and transnational jihadism around the world, which made some wary of Islam in the United States.

This lecture attempts to examine Muslim society in the United States within the context of the afore-mentioned issues to gain a better understanding of Islam and American Muslims.
Register Early! There is a $5 charge for registering on the day of a one-time lecture or event.

Course # F1S1 — One Time Event
Place:Auditorium, Lifelong Learning Complex, Jupiter Campus
Dates:Saturday, November 2 2019
Time:1 - 2:30 PM
Fee:$30 / member; $35 / non-member

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The Israel-China Dangerous Dalliance?

China has thus far been careful not to affect American national interest in the Middle East. However, China’s recent build-up of military and intelligence capabilities in the region, together with its massive investment, is inadvertently or intentionally deepening Chinese influence in the Middle East. No doubt, China’s use of its soft and hard power stands to affect American eminence in the region. More specifically, China’s investment in Israel’s high-tech sector and impending access to Israel’s strategic bases have raised American concerns about China’s growing sway in Israel. In fact, U.S. national security adviser John Bolton’s trip to Israel in January 2019 was reportedly more about addressing these concerns than President Trump’s decision to withdraw American troops from Syria. This lecture emphasizes, against the background of Chinese policy in the Middle East, the strategic vulnerabilities Chinese investments in Israel have created.
Register Early! There is a $5 charge for registering on the day of a one-time lecture or event.

Course # F1R8 — One Time Event
Place:Auditorium, Lifelong Learning Complex, Jupiter Campus
Dates:Thursday, December 12 2019
Time:9:30 - 11 AM
Fee:$30 / member; $35 / non-member

Register Now
 Last Modified 2/12/15