Hillel Fradkin

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Hillel Fradkin is Director, Center for Islam, Democracy and the Future of the Muslim World and Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute.[1] He has worked with a number of organizations considered neoconservatism or hard-line pro-Israeli, including the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), the Jerusalem Summit, and the Ethics and Public Policy Center.[2]

He founded the Hudson Institute journal Current Trends in Islamist Ideology, the subject of which he calls contemporary Islam, but also radical Islamism, which he co-edits with Husain Haqqani and Eric Brown.

As a speaker, he is listed by the publicity firm of Benador Associates, which reduced its activities in 2007.

Dr. Fradkin was a member of the Strategic Environment expert panel of the Iraq Study Group.

"Why they hate us"

The meme "why they hate us" came from a George W. Bush comment about terrorists, and Fradkin was among the first to use this in analysis the 9-11 Attack, for the American Enterprise Institute. In the body of the article, he distinguishes between radical Islamism and "the Muslim world [that] has diminished politically, militarily, and economically when compared with the progress of European civilization. It is therefore no wonder that Muslim radicals want to destroy the West." His evaluation of the Muslim nations, as opposed to the non-national terrorists, are that they are "Muslim nations are weak and, by and large, failed states. Whatever importance they possess derives almost entirely from where they are located—atop the largest proven reserves of oil in the world."[3]

In 2003, he repeated the meme, but in the context of Europe vs. the U.S., especially France.[4]

Dual containment and beyond

Previous experience

Between 1987 and 1998, he was W.H. Brady Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

He has had various positions dealing with funding. At the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, he was Vice President between 1988-1998 and Senior Program Officer in 1986-1988. In 1998-1994, he was on the National Council of the National Endowment on the Humanities, and a Program Officer with the John M. Olin Foundation, 1983-1986.

His academic experience includes:

  • Barnard College, Columbia University: Department of Religion, Assistant Professor, 1979-1986
  • Yale University: Visiting Instructor, Department of Political Science, 1977-1979
  • University of Maryland: Assistant Director, Project on Islamic Thought, 1977-1979


  • PhD, Islamic Studies, University of Chicago (1978) for work done under the direction of the late Pakistani theologian Fazlur Rahman and was also a student of Dr. Muhsin Mahdi of Harvard Univ. His graduate studies included work on the history of Jewish thought.
  • BA in Government from Cornell Univ.
  • Languages: Hebrew, French, Arabic