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Portrait of a revolutionary

Indian Express, 21 July 2010.

Locked up in an Egyptian prison in the early 1960s, Sayyid Qutb wrote a book that has inspired succeeding generations of radical Islamists.In this early phase Qutb, a Muslim who had come under the spell of Sufism, subscribed to the essentially secular nationalism of the day, the focus of which was opposition to British rule in Egypt and to Zionist colonisation in Palestine. But by the late 1940s, disillusioned with the failings of the nationalist parties, he had become an Islamist and — as exemplified in his first important book, "Social Justice in Islam" — an Islamist of originality and power.

 

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