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Right Word | Banna, Qutb, Maududi: Three keys to understanding Islamist violence from Jahangirpuri to Stockholm

The ideological basis for the fanatic and violent identification politics of Islamists was laid down by Hassan al Banna, Sayyid Qutb and Maulana Abul Ala Maududi within the 20th century

What has triggered the violence in Hindu processions of Ram Navami and Hanuman Janmaotsav at a number of locations throughout Bharat not too long ago? As individuals of India had been feeling aghast at these incidents, 1000’s of miles away Muslim mobs had been pelting stones and burning autos in a number of cities of Sweden additionally.

Are such incidents merely impulsive reactions? Are they triggered by some native components? It seems that the quick impression of such violence could also be very localised however their origin isn’t. They are the result of what the globe has been witnessing for many years: Negation of nationalism by Islamists. India, sadly, appears to be part of this international phenomenon now. Those who are inclined to blame assaults on Hindus and Hindu symbols by Islamists on the ‘Hindutva’ or the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s politics and insurance policies appear to be intentionally ignoring this phenomenon.

To perceive this phenomenon, one has to return to the final century and recall a number of the most influential theorists of ‘Islamism’ in 20th century. Their imaginative and prescient of ‘Islamism’, which many political scientists additionally name ‘political Islam’ has been unfolding internationally for the final 5 many years and India isn’t any exception.

Before we transfer on to speak about these Islamic theorists, you will need to know that the revivalism of Islamism or political Islam picked up the tempo within the 1970s. The rising monetary clout of Saudi Arabia which exported Wahhabism to the world and the American coverage of selling Islamism to counter communism throughout the Cold War had been two key components that helped political Islam to get properly entrenched globally which finally posed a problem to nationalism initially in Islamic international locations. Once it had destroyed nationalism in these Islamic international locations, this motion moved to the non-Islamic international locations.

However, the ideological basis for this fanatic and violent identification politics of Islamists was laid down by Hassan al Banna (1906-49), Sayyid Qutb (1906-66) and Maulana Abul Ala Maududi (1903-79) within the 20th century. They had been the three key ideologues who performed an instrumental function in establishing the framework that nationalism ought to be negated for Islamism. This framework is the foundation reason for Islamic radicalisation internationally that will get manifested in incidents that we have now witnessed in a number of Indian states the place Hindu processions and symbols had been attacked by Islamists.

Hasan al Banna

Banna was an Egyptian political and spiritual chief. He based the Society of Brothers, generally often called ‘Muslim Brotherhood’ within the 1920s. This organisation has a world attain now. “The Muslim Brothers formed their society in Egypt in order to reclaim Islam’s political dimension, which had formerly resided in the person of the now-fallen Caliph. Confronted by the Egyptian nationalists of the time who demanded independence, the departure of the British and a democratic Constitution, the Brothers responded with a slogan that is still current in the Islamist movement: “The Koran is Our Constitution… The doctrine was shared by the entire Islamist movement, whatever their other views,” noticed Gilles Kepel in Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam (Bloomsbury Academic; 2021, pp25).


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Muslim Brotherhood quickly grew inside Egypt and by the late 1930s. it had arrange branches in Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon. It had even arrange a department in Hyderabad in India in addition to in Paris.

John Roy Carlson defined the philosophy of Muslim Brotherhood in his seminal work ‘Cairo to Damascus’ as put ahead by its official newspaper, Ikhwan El Muslimin. “No justice will be dealt and no peace maintained on earth until the rule of the Koran and the bloc of Islam are established. Moslem unity must be established. Indonesia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Trans-Jordan, Palestine, Saudi-Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, Sudan, Tripoli, Tunis, Algeria and Morocco all form one bloc, the Moslem bloc, which God has promised to grant victory saying: ‘We shall grant victory unto the faithful.’ But this is impossible to reach other than through the way of Islam.” Banna was assassinated in 1949 however Syyid Qutb, the highest theorist of Muslim Brotherhood, carried the motion ahead.

Syyid Qutb

Qutb, an Egyptian non secular chief, had an intense dislike for the West. He had developed this repulsion in the direction of the Western tradition when he was within the United States from 1948 to 1950. Robert Spencer, one of many foremost authorities on Islamism and Jihad noticed, “Qutb’s influential ebook Milestones positioned Islam because the true supply of societal and private order, versus each capitalism and communism.” (The History of Jihad; Bombarider Books; Pp299)

Spencer additional provides, “Qutb concluded: ‘It is essential for mankind to have a new leadership!’. The new leadership would come from Islam. To Qutb, what the Muslim Umma needed was a restoration of Islam in its fullness and purity, including all the rules of the Sharia for regulating society… Qutb taught that jihad was necessary in order to establish Sharia.”

Qutb was executed by the Egyptian authorities led by socialist ruler Gamel Abdel Naseer in 1966. But Muslim Brotherhood continued its journey and made a serious ideological comeback within the 1980s. This motion was legitimised by many so-called ‘Progressives’ as a instrument to empower the disenfranchised teams who had allegedly not been given their due by the European elites.

According to a 2018 report of US’ Sub Committee on National Security(, “Jihadist ideology continues to fuel the Muslim Brotherhood today. The Brotherhood mourned the death of Osama bin Laden and its leaders developed teachings justifying revolutionary violence under sharia law. The Brotherhood has preached hatred towards Jews, denied the Holocaust, and called for Israel’s destruction. The Brotherhood has incited violence against Coptic Christians in Egypt amidst a wave of church bombings and other attacks by terrorist groups, including ISIS.”

Maulana Abul Ala Maududi

Maulana Maududi was an Islamic revivalist who had arrange Jamaat-e-Islami (JEI) in 1941 at Lahore which was part of undivided India. After Partition, he moved to Pakistan the place Jamaat-e-Islami has change into a serious political energy centre.

In 2015 Nadeem F Pracha, a senior columnist for Pakistani newspaper Dawn, wrote an attention-grabbing article titled “Abul Ala Maududi: An existentialist historical past” ( the place he noticed candidly, “Maududi had fashioned his get together in 1941 like a Leninist outfit by which a vanguard and choose group of discovered and ‘pious Muslims’ would work to carry an ‘Islamic revolution’ and dispose of the forces of what Maududi known as modern-day jahiliya (socialism, communism, liberal democracy, secularism and a religion ‘distorted by innovators’). To that finish, he started to put down the foundations of what got here to be often called ‘Islamism’ — a concept that advocated the formation of an Islamic state by first ‘Islamising’ numerous sections of the financial system and politics so {that a} absolutely Islamised polity may very well be constructed to launch the ultimate Islamic revolution. Maududi’s theories on this context attracted sure segments of Pakistan’s city middle-classes and was additionally adopted by Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, which tried to jettison the method by means of a ‘jihad’ inside Egypt.”

Kepel says, “Towards the end of the 1960s, the bisecting influences of Qutb and Maududi prepared the ground within Sunni Muslim world for the emergence of Islamist movement over the next ten years. According to Maududi, an Islamic state was the only possible safeguard for endangered Muslims.”

The Jamaat-e-Islami motion has unfold its attain not solely throughout South Asia, together with India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, however it has a considerable presence in Britain and a big following amongst European Muslims, particularly these of South Asian origin. Jamaat-e-Islami Kashmir had been banned by the Indian authorities in 2019 for its anti-national actions. Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh’s function within the pre-1971 genocide of Bengali Hindus and concentrating on of Hindus after the formation of Bangladesh can also be properly documented.

Jamaat-e-Islami Hind mentions particularly the unique Jamaat-e-Islami of Maududi within the ‘Our Legacy’ part on its official web site ( It says, “Jamaat-e-Islami was founded on 26 August 1941 at Lahore under the leadership of Maulana Syed Abul Ala Maududi in undivided India. After the independence of India, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) was officially established on 16th April 1948 at a meeting in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, having its own body of fundamental principles and a separate leadership and structure.”

Maududi, who was a prolific author, printed one in all his most generally learn ebook Jihad in Islam in 1927. The ebook was initially written in Urdu. Incidentally, Banna had established Muslim Brotherhood across the identical time in 1928.

According to a report by Pew Research Centre (, “The Muslim Brotherhood and Jama’at-i Islami are separate movements that tend to draw the bulk of their members from different ethnic groups (Arabs and South Asians, respectively). Nevertheless, both groups are rooted in a political ideology, frequently described as ‘Islamist’, that calls for the establishment of a distinctly Islamic system of government.”

The author, an writer and columnist has written a number of books. Views expressed are private.

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