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From Secularism to Jihad


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Table of Contents

Prologue Intellectual, Political and Socio-economic Transformation in Egypt, 1919-1952 Qutb's Childhood and the Emergence of a Poet and Critic, 1906-1938 Emergence of the Student of the Qur'an and Early Changes, 1939-1947 The Alienation of Sayyid Qutb, 1939-1947 In Search of Social Justice: The Emergence of An Independent Islamic Ideologue, 1947-1948 Qutb's Experiences and Impressions in America, 1948-1950 and His Return, 1950-1952 Emergence of Radical Islamists, 1952-1964 Martyrdom, Posthumous Impact and Global Jihad Epilogue Bibliography General Index

Promotional Information

This is the first book written since September 11, 2001 to look at the life and philosophy of controversial radical Islamist Sayyid Qutb of Egypt (1906-1966), the philosopher of Islamic terror and the man many have called the godfather ideologue of al-Qaeda.

About 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.


"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

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