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Islam as the Third Way: Sayyid Quṭb’s Socio-Economic Thought and Nasserism

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This article aims to critically engage the representation of Sayyid Quṭb as the pioneer of modern Jihadism. It will do so by casting light on his social and economic theories as elaborated in the first half of the 50s, focusing on a pamphlet published in 1951 with the title “The Battle between Islam and Capitalism.” The purpose of this article is to present the content of the pamphlet in the context of the historical and intellectual landscape of its time, as well as showing how it is part of Quṭb’s body of thought as a whole. The intention is to show how, in a post-colonial world dominated by the Cold War, Quṭb presents Islam as the “Third Way” that combines the qualities and the advantages of communism and capitalism without sharing their faults. A system that, as this article is meant to demonstrate, shares many similarities with Nasserism, the socialist, anti-imperialist ideology elaborated by Quṭb’s archenemy, Ǧamāl ʿAbd al-Nāṣer.

Affiliations: 1: Università di Firenze


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