What’s it like to work at the Middle East Forum? There are many positive aspects – a fascinating topic, the opportunity to influence public opinion, and develop key policies – but let’s focus momentarily on the negative.
- Name-calling by the Left, especially professors
- Smearing by George Soros and his minions
- Attacks by the largest American community foundation for exposing its funding of extremism.
- Criminal investigations by the Syrian regime.
- Physical threats from ISIS and other Islamists
You might ask, why then work at MEF?
Two reasons: To help protect the United States from dangers coming out of the Middle East and from Islamists living in this country.
Unfortunately, America is drawing away from the region that continues most to grow in dangers, from nuclear weapons to unvetted migrants, from radical ideologies to jihadi violence. Our opponents sitting in Moscow and Beijing treat the Middle East as the epicenter of a multidimensional chessboard; we at MEF are doing what we can to encourage the Trump administration to play the game effectively.
Within the country, Islamists are learning that violence is counterproductive, that instead they should gain influence through the educational, political, judicial, media, and other institutions. Because this process is incremental and non-violent, it tends not to be noticed. That’s where we come in, alerting all those who will listen – and some who don’t want to – about the danger.
Many other excellent organizations also take on these two tasks; what makes the Forum unique is our combination of the intellectual, the operational, and the philanthropic.
Intellectual: Ideas are MEF’s lifeblood. We believe Radical Islam is the problem; moderate Islam is the solution. Islamism has been in decline since 2012. Yet Islamists abound throughout the Middle East, so we have to pick “our” Islamists. We must exclude Islamists, not Muslims, from the United States. Iran’s regime lives on borrowed time; its successor will be friendly. Turkey is the Middle East’s great future threat. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is attempting a Westernizing revolution like Atatürk’s. Qatar is the greatest “soft power” threat to the United States. And so on.
Operational: This past year we have been working across the globe getting the truth out about Middle Eastern threats, advising the American and foreign governments. We also are active in over 40 countries via visits, residence, and translations. Our projects include efforts to promote Israel Victory, interdict Qatar’s influence campaigns, foil Turkish influence in the United States, and call out malign Middle East studies programs.
Philanthropic: MEF funds more than 100 organizations and individuals, then works with them by providing various services, such as marketing support, quarterly round tables, fundraising seminars, lobbying advice, and media engagement. For example, we convened a meeting of leading counter-Islamist organizations this year.
Please join us in this mission by supporting MEF before the end of 2018. If you have already contributed this year, we thank you.
Our mailing address is:
Middle East Forum
1650 Market. St, Suite 3600
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Thank you for your support.
Daniel Pipes and Gregg Roman
President and Director
Middle East Forum
Originally published on Middle East Forum: https://www.meforum.org/7707/the-challenge-of-working-at-mef