From Secularism to Jihad: Sayyid Qutb and the Foundations of Radical Islamism

From Secularism to Jihad: Sayyid Qutb and the Foundations of Radical Islamism

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by Adnan Musallam
     
 

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The modern political idea of "jihad"--a violent struggle against corrupt or anti-Islamic regimes--is essentially the brainchild of one man who turned traditional Islamic precepts inside out and created the modern radical political Islamist movement. Using the evolution of Sayyid Qutb's life and writings, Musallam traces and analyzes Qutb's alienation and subsequent

Overview

The modern political idea of "jihad"--a violent struggle against corrupt or anti-Islamic regimes--is essentially the brainchild of one man who turned traditional Islamic precepts inside out and created the modern radical political Islamist movement. Using the evolution of Sayyid Qutb's life and writings, Musallam traces and analyzes Qutb's alienation and subsequent emergence as an independent Islamist within the context of his society and the problems that it faced. Radicalized following his stay in the United States in the late 1940s and during his imprisonment from 1954 to 1964, Qutb would pen controversial writings that would have a significant impact on young Islamists in Egypt for decades following his death and on global jihadist Islamists for the past quarter century. Since September 11, 2001, the West has dubbed Qutb "the philosopher of Islamic terror and godfather ideologue of al-Qaeda." This is the first book to examine his life and thought in the wake of the events that ignited the War on Terrorism.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This significant, welcome study of a key Islamist who was the architect of radical Islam ideology and paid the ultimate price for it under the reign of Egypt's secularist nationalist 'Abd al-Nasir focuses on the sequence of events in Qutb's intellectual career, stressing the transformations in his views of life as he evolved from a literary critic to an Islamic propagator. Musallam's analysis describes and interprets Qutb's published works, which deal with politics, literature, religion, and society from 1919 to 1952, when the Nasserist revolution took place. Qutb's early childhood and his career as poet and critic precede an account of his emergence as a student of the Qur'an, and his alienation when the Muslim Brotherhood, whose philosophical architect he had served, drove him to seek social justice. His experiences and impressions in America 1948-1950 served to harden his views. He emerged as a radical Islamist from 1952 until his 1964 execution. Qutb's martyrdom and posthumous impact contributed to the global jihad led by Islamist disciples such as Egyptians Muhammad Atta, who led the assault on the Twin Towers, and Ayman al-Zawahiri, the deputy of Bin Laden. This well-organized, easy to follow work describes how a secular intellectual was transformed into a fundamentalist Islamist. Recommended. Most levels/libraries." - Choice

"Adnan Musallam's careful account … is compelling." - Journal of Islamic Studies

"Adnan Musallam has written a masterful and lucid biography in From Secularism to Jihad: Sayyid Qutb and the Foundations of Radical Islamism, the only biography of Qutb in English….Musallam shows a side of Qutb, prior to becoming an Islamist, that is rarely seen….The importance of this biography is that Musallam shows that even a fairly secular writer like Qutb can become a jihadist….Musallam also details Qutb's influence on contemporary militants." - Terrorism and Political Violence

"Musallam has produced a standard historical biography that clearly traces the evolution of Qutb's ideas over the course of his life." - Middle East Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780313049408
Publisher:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date:
10/30/2005
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
359 KB

Meet the Author

Adnan A. Musallam is an Associate Professor in History, Politics, and Cultural Studies at Bethlehem University. Active in interfaith dialogue, he has published books and articles in both Arabic and English.

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From Secularism to Jihad: Sayyid Qutb and the Foundations of Radical Islamism 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Adnan Musallam puts in a hardback capsule, the understanding the life and trials of one Muslim Man¿s growth and struggle¿s with God in relationship to fellow man¿s social structure. Profoundly articulate, scientific and even artful in its presentation of the man- Sayyid Qutb and his life's work as a, poet, writer, critic, author, bureaucrat , educator, philosopher and radical Islamic Ideologue all combine to make this book a must read for anyone interested in today¿s political world. Dr. Musallam takes you on a systemic journey of understanding how this one man's thoughts and ideas developed from early childhood as a secularist to his execution as a devout Islamist- and beyond! After reading this book you will not only better understand the man- Qutb but also more importantly just how his thoughts and ideas have been woven so tightly since his execution by (so many others many are linked in this book) so as to now form the very fabric of the flags being waved throughout today's volatile Muslim World