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Raymond Ibrahim (born in 1973) is an American research librarian, translator, author and columnist. His focus is Arabic history and language, and current events. He is the author of two books, Crucified Again: Exposing Islam's New War on Christians (Regnery, 2013) and The Al Qaeda Reader (Doubleday, 2007).
Ibrahim was born in the United States to Egyptian Coptic immigrants. He is fluent in Arabic and English. Ibrahim studied at California State University, Fresno, where he wrote a Master's thesis under Victor Davis Hanson on an early military encounter between Islam and Byzantium based on medieval Arabic and Greek texts. Ibrahim also took graduate courses at Georgetown University's Center of Contemporary Arab Studies and is studying toward a PhD in medieval Islamic history at Catholic University.
Ibrahim was previously an Arab language specialist for the Near East section of the Library of Congress, and the associate director of the Middle East Forum. He is currently a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
The 9/11 attacks played a pivotal role in framing Ibrahim's outlook. As he explained in the Chronicle of Higher Education, the attacks occurred while he was researching for his M.A. thesis, which centred on the role of jihad in early Islamic conquests; consequently, Ibrahim's study expanded from history and theology to politics, current events, al-Qaeda, Islamist organizations, and watching Al Jazeera. He claims an evident continuity between the words, deeds, and goals of the 7th century mujahidin ("jihadists") whom he studied and that of 21st century Islamic radicals. He maintains that to truly understand contemporary Islam and Islamism, one must first understand early Islamic history and doctrine.
Ibrahim is the editor and translator of The Al-Qaeda Reader, which he published after discovering a hitherto unknown Arabic al-Qaeda treatises; Ibrahim holds that document "proves once and for all that, despite the propaganda of al-Qaeda and its sympathizers, radical Islam's war with the West is not finite and limited to political grievances— real or imagined- but is existential, transcending time and space and deeply rooted in faith".
An article Ibrahim wrote on taqiyya that was commissioned and published by Jane's Islamic Affairs Analyst on September 26, 2008, was later characterized by another author in Jane's Islamic Affairs Analyst as being "well-researched, factual in places but ... ultimately misleading". Ibrahim responded to this charge in his rebuttal, "Taqiyya Revisited: A Response to the Critics."