ARI has taken many controversial positions with respect to the Muslim world . They hold that the motivation for Islamic terrorism comes from their religiosity, not poverty or a reaction to Western policies.  They have urged that the . use overwhelming, retaliatory force to "end states who sponsor terrorism", using whatever means are necessary to end the threat.  In his article "End States Who Sponsor Terrorism", which was published as a full page ad in The New York Times , Peikoff wrote, "The choice today is mass death in the United States or mass death in the terrorist nations. Our Commander-In-Chief must decide whether it is his duty to save Americans or the governments who conspire to kill them." Although some at ARI initially supported the invasion of Iraq, it has criticized how the Iraq War was handled.  Since October 2, 2001, the institute has held that Iran should be the primary target in the war against "Islamic totalitarianism".  In response to the Muhammad cartoons controversy , ARI started a Free Speech Campaign in 2006. 
Mr. Brook complained that Rand's critics are quick to point to her followers' failures, but rarely mention their successes. He cited the example of John A. Allison IV, the much-admired former head of BB&T Corporation, a regional bank in the Southeast that he built into one of the nation's largest before he stepped down in 2008. Mr. Allison handed out copies of "Atlas Shrugged" to senior executives and is a major donor to the Ayn Rand Institute. He incorporated many of Rand's teachings into his 2014 book, "The Leadership Crisis and the Free Market Cure."