John Calvert


On his book Sayyid Qutb and the Origins of Radical Islamism

Cover Interview of September 26, 2010

Editor’s note

Originally, this interview ran on the Rorotoko cover page under the headline

“A biography of the influential Egyptian ideologue of Islamic revolution.”

We highlighted two quotes.

On the first page:

“Qutb would have condemned the violent actions perpetrated by the Egyptian jihadis of the 1970s and 1980s and by al-Qaeda and its regional affiliates today. He would not have understood al-Qaeda’s desire to attack a Western power, such as the United States. In Qutb’s mind, the jihad targeting “iniquitous” Muslim regimes was always paramount.”

On the second:

“Qutb underscored the purported illegitimacy of the Egyptian Republic, and by extension all other non-Islamic regimes and societies, by equating its moral universe with the condition of jahiliyya, “ignorance” of the divine mandate. As in the pre-Islamic era, “ignorance” of God enveloped the contemporary world.”