Sayyid Qutb

Founder of Radical Islamic Political Ideology

Authored by: Moussalli Ahmad S.

Routledge Handbook of Political Islam

Print publication date:  December  2011
Online publication date:  March  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415484732
eBook ISBN: 9780203154144
Adobe ISBN: 9781136577239


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More than anyone else, Sayyid Qutb’s ideology constitutes the core fundamentals of radical Islamism. The in-depth study of Qutb’s thought would show us the causes of and justifications for many Islamic groups’ indulgence in radicalism, revolution, takfiri jihadism and terrorism. Qutb, the founder of Islamic radicalism in the Arab world, would himself become its first victim; he was transformed under ‘Abd al-Nasser’s regime in Egypt from a moderate Islamist writer to the most radical Islamist thinker in the Arab world. His imprisonment and ferocious torture were reified into a radical political theology of takfir (excommunication) and jihadism. This might have been his psychological compensation for the regime’s radicalism, repression and brutality.

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