chapter  10
30 Pages

Revolutionary Islam

ByMichael Watts

In the screaming turbines, the acrid plume across the Manhattan skyline, and the vertiginous collapse of the Trade Towers, the Qutbian signposts shouted out their message. A new vanguard had arrived, draped in the cloak of revolutionary excess,

touting the return of the Caliphate sporting modern garb. A new International-revolutionary Islam-was at hand, carried forth by the stormtroopers of global jihad. And in the wake of New York and Washington, DC came Bali, Casablanca, Barcelona, Madrid, Istanbul, and London. Life through death, religion as war, the ethical bankruptcy of the commodity world-all concerns of the London bombers and alQaida’s “theorist” Ayman al Zawahiri2 carry the echo of Sayyid Qutb, the philosopher par excellence of insurgent, military Islam. Forty years aer he had been hung by Nasser, even Qutb himself might have been surprised by the ferocious political energies unleashed by the likes of Sidique Khan, a voice at once eloquently modern and located within the heartland of European multicultural modernity itself.