Qutb: In His Own Words

CEP Research Analyst


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Sayyid Qutb, (1906-1966) was a prominent Egyptian author and the intellectual father of modern jihadism. Following are representative examples of the frequently violent, divisive and extremist rhetoric characteristic of the man who became an icon of the Muslim Brotherhood:

Racist: “Jazz is the American music, created by Negroes to satisfy their primitive instincts—their love of noise and their appetite for sexual arousal.” (from The Looming Tower)

Anti-Semitic: “The Jews are behind materialism, animal sexuality, the destruction of the family and the dissolution of society.” (from In Their Own Words: Voices of Jihad)

Anti-Gay: “In all modern jahili societies, the meaning of ‘morality’ is limited to such an extent that all those aspects which distinguish man from animal are considered beyond its sphere. In these societies, illegitimate sexual relationships, even homosexuality, are not considered immoral.” (from Qutb’s Milestones)

Anti-Christian, Anti-Jewish: “The true goal of the People of the Book, whether Jews or Christians… is to lead Muslims astray from their religion to the religion of the People of the Book.” (from In Their Own Words: Voices of Jihad)

Anti-Non-Salafist Muslims (Takfirism): “Indeed, people are not Muslims, as they proclaim to be, as long as they live the life of Jahiliyyah… This is not Islam, and they are not Muslims.” (from Qutb’s Milestones)

Anti-West: “I hate those Westerners and despise them! All of them, without any exception: the English, the French, the Dutch, and finally the Americans, who have been trusted by many.” (from The Looming Tower)

Anti-Secular, Non-Salafist Muslims: “There are two parties in all the world: the Party of Allah and the Party of Satan – the party of Allah which stands under the banner of Allah and bears his insignia, and the Party of Satan, which includes every community, group, race, and individual that does not stand under the banner of Allah.” (from In Their Own Words: Voices of Jihad)

Teaching Hatred and Violence: “Let us… plant the seeds of hatred, disgust, and revenge in the souls of these children. Let us teach these children from the time their nails are soft that the white man is the enemy of humanity, and that they should destroy him at the first opportunity.” (from The Looming Tower)

Anti-Democracy: “Islam is a declaration of the freedom of man from servitude to other men. Thus it strives from the beginning to abolish all those systems and governments which are based on the rule of man over men.” (from Qutb’s Milestones)

Pro-Pan-Islamism: “It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations, and to extend its power to the entire planet.” (from The Looming Tower)

Pro-Violence:“[Resistance to shariah] must be removed by physical force, which is ultimately the only way.” (from In Their Own Words: Voices of Jihad)