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Robert R. Reilly

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Robert R. Reilly

Robert R. Reilly
Born (1946-10-31)October 31, 1946
Language English
Nationality United States
Education National Chengchi University (1973), Claremont Graduate School (1978)
Period 1983 to present
Subject US foreign policy; Islamic extremism and Jihadism
Notable works The Closing of the Muslim Mind

Robert R. Reilly (born 31 October 1946) is a writer and senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council (since 2008).[1] He has published on topics of US foreign policy and "war of ideas".

During 1968 to 1970, he served as tank platoon leader (1st Lieutenant) in the 1/18th Armored Cavalry at Fort Lewis, Washington.[2] He worked in the private sector 1977 to 1981, and for The Heritage Foundation (1981, 1989) the U.S. Information Agency (1981–1983) and as Special Assistant to Ronald Reagan during the latter's first term (1983–1985). He was Senior Advisor for Public Diplomacy at the US Embassy in Berne, Switzerland (1985–1988). He produced and hosted a weekly talk-show on foreign policy, On the Line, for Voice of America & Worldnet TV (1990–2001) and was director of Voice of America (2001–2002).

He acted as Senior Advisor for Information Strategy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense during 2002 to 2006 and as Senior Advisor to the Iraqi Information Ministry during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.[3] In 2007 he was Assistant Professor of Strategic Communications, School for National Security Executive Education, National Defense University.

Reilly in 2010 published The Closing of the Muslim Mind,[4] published by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. In this book, he draws a connection between the decline of the "rational" theological school of Mu'tazila in favour of the rise of Ash'arism, which would become the mainstream Sunni theology, in the 10th century. In this the author sees an act of "intellectual suicide", the nucleus of the end of the Islamic Golden Age and the decline of Islamic civilization into a "dysfunctional culture based on a deformed theology" locked in determinism, occasionalism and ultimately fatalism.

Griffel (2011) in his review describes the book as "war literature", and "a Catholic refutation of Ash'arite Muslim theology", complaining that Reilly constructs an undue equation between Ash'arism and contemporary Jihadism, while most Jihadists in fact follow Salafism and are hostile towards Ash'arism.[5]


  • Justice and War In the Nuclear Age, "The Nature of Today's Conflict," University Press of America, 1983.
  • Peace In a Nuclear Age, "In Proportion to What? The Problem With the Pastoral," Catholic University Press, 1986.
  • Der Politische Krieg: Die Reale Gefahr, ("The Political War: The Real Danger"), Soviet Global Strategy, Ost-Institut, Switzerland, 1986.
  • The New Federalist Papers, "E Pluribus Unum," University Press of America, 1989.
  • The Fall of the Wall, editor, Publisher C.L.E.B Gallery, 1990.
  • We Hold These Truths, "The Truths They Held," Franciscan University Press, 1991.
  • The Catholic Imagination, “The Music of the Spheres,” St. Augustine Press 2003.
  • Surprised by Beauty: A Listener’s Guide to the Recovery of Modern Music, Morley Books 2002.
  • The Roots of Islamist Ideology, CRCE Briefing Paper, London, 2006.
  • Strategic Influence, IWP Press, 2007.
  • The Closing of the Muslim Mind, ISI Books, 2010
  • Fighting the Ideological War: Strategies for Defeating Al Qaeda (Public Diplomacy in an Age of Global Terrorism: Lessons from the Past), Westminster Institute conference, 25 May 2011
  • Information Operations: Successes and Failures, Westminster Institute, 2013
  • Making Gay Okay: How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior Is Changing Everything, Ignatius Press, 2014.


  1. ^
  3. ^ Robert Reilly, member of the Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB – Advisory Board
  4. ^
  5. ^ Frank Griffe, Review of Reilly's Closing of the Muslim Mind in American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences 28:4 (2011), Association of Muslim Social Scientists of North America and International Institute of Islamic Thought.

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