PHILADELPHIA – January 11, 2016 – Middle East Forum staff and fellows contributed to public debate on a range of important issues in 2015, including the threat of ISIS, the Iran nuclear deal, the European migrant crisis, Russia's intervention in Syria, and the growth of militant Islamism in the West.
The Middle East Forum website logged over 2.3 million unique visits in 2015, originating mainly from the United States (46 per cent), the UK (7.3 per cent), Canada (6.6 per cent), Australia (4.1 per cent), India (3.5 per cent), Israel (2.4 per cent), Turkey (2.2 per cent), Germany (2.2 per cent), France (1.5 per cent), and the Netherlands (1.4 per cent).
With 120,000 Facebook fans and over 15,000 Twitter followers, MEF social media posts reached over 10 million people in 2015.
Below are the 10 most widely read articles in ascending order. (MEF President Daniel Pipes' top articles of 2015 will be reviewed in a separate, forthcoming list.)
10. Why Can't Muslims Laugh at Mohammed? (May 5)
Wax Family Fellow David P. Goldman explains why "Jews as well as Christians–but not Muslims–laugh at jokes about the founders of their faiths."
9. What France Can Learn from Israel in Confronting Islamist Terror (November 15)
Middle East Forum Director Gregg Roman discusses the five main things France can learn from Israel's success in fighting terrorism: "sacrifice some freedoms of convenience," "go ahead and profile," "recognize that deterrence isn't fair," "target the brains behind terrorist infrastructure," and "fight the incitement."
8. Sex Slavery and the Islamic State (July 3)
Shillman-Ginsburg Fellow Mark Durie discusses the theological underpinnings of Islamic State sex slavery, noting that "many Muslim scholars have upheld the practice of enslaving captives of war."
7. UK Islamists Hold Rally to 'Struggle' for Islamic State (November 14)
Shillman-Ginsburg Fellow Raheem Kassam reports on a gathering of Britain's "most high profile and notorious Islamist extremists" on the same day as the November 13 Paris terror attacks.
6. Obama Throws Christian Refugees to the Lions (September 24)
Judith Friedman Rosen Fellow Raymond Ibrahim writes about the U.S. federal government's months-long detention of Iraqi Christian asylum-seekers in Otay Mesa, CA.
Judith Friedman Rosen Fellow Raymond Ibrahim discusses the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announcement that immigrants who object to declaring that they will "bear arms on behalf of the United States" and "perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States" when required by law as part of the Oath of Allegiance "may be eligible to exclude these two clauses based on religious training and belief or a conscientious objection."
4. Who is to Blame for the Drowning of Alan Kurdi? (September 3)
Robert J. and Abby B. Levine Fellow Tarek Fatah writes that the death of Alan Kurdi, 3, in a failed attempt to sail from Turkey to Greece – and the European migrant crisis more generally – should be blamed on Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
3. Europe's Muslim Migrants Bring Sex Pathologies in Tow (October 14)
Wax Family Fellow David P. Goldman reports on the "social pathologies" that have been brought by Muslim migrants to Europe, including "the world's worst sex crime epidemic" in Scandinavia.
Judith Friedman Rosen Fellow Raymond Ibrahim reports on Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's New Year's Day speech hours earlier, in which the latter warns that the "corpus of [Islamic] texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the years" are "antagonizing the entire world."
1. Iran Nuclear Deal Makes War More Likely (July 15)
With 52,000 pageviews, Shillman-Ginsburg Fellow Efraim Inbar's analysis tops the year's popularity listing. He argues that, as a result of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed by the P5+1 world powers and Iran, "an Israeli military strike on Iran has become more likely," in part because it boosts Iran's "capacity for subversion and for exporting terror" and fuels regional perceptions that "America has capitulated to Iran."