Walid Phares

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Walid Phares and Raphael Shore discuss Iranium on Fox News

Walid Phares is a Lebanese-American "terrorism expert"[1][2] closely allied with various neoconservative institutions. Between 1975 and 1990, he was associated with the right-wing Christian militia implicated in the Sabra and Chatilla massacres.[3] When it was still in operation, Phares was represented by Benador Associates, a public relations firm that also represented many of the neoconservatives who pushed for the 2003 US invasion of Iraq.[2]

Phares, who espouses the theory that Islam is an ideological movement which wants to take over the world, has acted as a 'Middle East adviser' to US president Donald Trump. He has links to two high profile US counterjihad groups, the Clarion Project and ACT! For America. He was also a senior fellow at Washington-based Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and a visiting scholar at the European Foundation for Democracy.

Disparaging the Arab Spring

In various media appearances, Phares has cautioned against enthusiasm for the Arab Spring, drawing parallels with the Iranian revolution. He has promoted the view that the Arab Spring will lead to the strengthening of Islamists.[4]

Views on Islam

In 2008 Phares was featured on Christian televangelist Pat Robertson's the Christian Broadcasting Network (where he has been interviewed and quoted several times) as an expert on terrorism and Islam. During the interview, Phares reiterated claims he makes in his book The Confrontation which the CBN advertised throughout the interview.

On the notion of Jihad as War

Phares argues that Jihad in Islam should not be interpreted as anything other than a call to violence and war even though leading scholars have refuted this idea repeatedly.[5] Phares also states that the West has not done enough in supporting the "weak" and "moderate" Muslims who defy his interpretation of Jihad:

Unfortunately in the Muslim world the forces that contend that basically oppose this are weak and unfortunately we haven't been successful in supporting those moderates.[6]

Advising US Governments on how to deal with Radical Islam

Phares tells Pat Robertson that one of the main points of his book is to "educate" the US public and advise the US government about how radical Islam is simply an ideological movement that wants to take over the world. Phares argues against scholars and experts that state that much of radical Islam is comprised of reactionary groups that have come about through political disenfranchisement and major discontent with aggressive and exploitative US foreign policy in the Middle East.

Pat it is very important especially 7 years after 9/11...that this is not just a collection of military confrontation on the ground in Iraq or Afghanistan, this is a global Jihad, this is a global confrontation and the first thing that this government and the United States, this White House and the next White House...it's very important for them to educate the American public exactly as we are doing right now in this segment because most Americans do not understand that this not just an issue of foreign policy reaction...or economic disenfranchisement. This is an issue of an ideological movement which wants to bring down 21 Arab countries, 52 Muslim states, recreate the Caliphate with all the resources you can imagine and then continue, continue with that struggle against the West.[6]

On the "Academic Elite" in the US

Phares restates a common neoconservative idea[7] that the institutions and individuals that dispute their claims about Islam and the Middle East do so because they are funded by Saudi Wahabists:

This is not the problem of governments only, our academic elite in this country which was funded for many, many years by Wahabi funds has been the one that did us a bad advice in the 80s and 90s by telling us that Jihad is just Yoga, so don't worry about it.[6]

Support for 'Moderate Muslims'

In the introduction to a 2006 NPR interview[8] with Mark Dubowitz, Phares (who is described as a "Lebanese-American terrorism expert") is being advised by Dubowitz on how to use dissidents from Muslim countries to combat groups and individuals that the US has labelled as terror threats:

Let's put out backgrounders, productize this, identify the names of these dissidents whether they be in Europe, North America or the Middle East, give them the key talking points...

Foreign policy adviser to 2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump

In March 2016, Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump announced that Phares was advising his campaign.[9] Trump had previously provoked outrage by calling for a temporary complete ban on Muslim immigration to the USA.[10]


Website: http://www.walidphares.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/walidphares
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/walidphares


Film appearances

Walid Phares has appeared in at least two films produced by Rabbi Raphael Shore of Aish HaTorah, a rightwing Israeli settler group, through its US offshoot, the Clarion Fund.


  • The Coming Revolution: Struggle for Freedom in the Middle East (Simon & Schuster, 2010)
  • The Confrontation: Winning the War Against Future Jihad (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008)
  • The War of Ideas: Jihadism against Democracy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007)
  • Future Jihad: Terrorist Strategies Against America (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005)


  1. Jim Lobe, "Hariri Killing Sure to Bolster US Hawks", Antiwar.com, 16 February 2005, accessed on 13 November 2010
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Benador Associates, "Walid Phares Bio", Benador Associates (web archive), accessed on 11 November 2010
  3. As'ad Abukhalil, [Romney’s scary Middle East advisor], Salon, 7 October 2011
  4. Walid Phares, Muslim Brotherhood Riding the Crest of Arab Spring, Family Security Matters, 4 June 2011
  5. Tariq Ramadan, "The call to jihad", Tariq Ramadan website, 28 September 2004
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Walid Phares, "CBN-700-Club-April-24-2008-Walid-Phares", Google Video, 24 April 2008, accessed on 11 November 2010
  7. Frank Gaffney, "Saudi Friends and Foes", Townhall, 3 November 2010, accessed on 11 November 2010
  8. Libby Lewis, "Hear More of Dubowitz's Story", NPR, 8 September 2006, accessed on 20 October 2010
  9. Tim Murphy, Does Donald Trump Think His Top Foreign Policy Adviser Is Muslim?, Mother Jones, 22 March 2016
  10. Patrick Healey and Michael Barbaro, Donald Trump Calls for Barring Muslims From Entering U.S., New York Times, 7 December 2015
  11. American Congress for Truth, "Links and Resources, American Congress for Truth website, accessed on 11 November 2010
  12. ACPR, "Authors and Associates, Ariel Center for Policy Research website, accessed on 11 November 2010
  13. Campus Watch, "Terrorism 101: Professor Walid Phares educates FAU and the world", Campus Watch website, 18 March 2004, accessed on 11 November 2010
  14. CLHRF, "Phares", Canadian Lebanese Human Rights Federation website, accessed on 11 November 2010
  15. Advisory board, Clarion Fund, accessed 10 October 2011
  16. Walid Phares, First Jihadi Cell of 2009 Busted In the United States — What Does It Mean?, Counterterrorismblog, accessed 1 June 2009
  17. The David Project, "The David Project Speakers Bureau", The David Project website (web archive), 4 March 2005, accessed on 12 November 2010
  18. Foundation for Defense of Democracies, "Walid Phares", FDD website, accessed on 12 November 2010
  19. Walid Phares, "Short Bio", Walid Phares website, accessed on 12 November 2010
  20. FrontPage Mag, "Walid Phares, FrontPage Magazine, accessed on 12 November 2010
  21. North American Jewish Student Alliance, "Speakers", NAJSA website, accessed on 12 November 2010
  22. Middle East Forum, "Walid Phares", MEF website, accessed on 12 November 2010
  23. National Review, "Walid Phares", National Review website, accessed on 12 November 2010
  24. Walid Phares, Campaign Contribution Search, Newsmeat, accessed 1 June 2009
  25. The Third Jihad, "Phares", The Third Jihad website, accessed on 13 November 2010
  26. About the Iranium interviewees