January 6, 2021 Special Dispatch No. 9124

Palestinian Journalist And Former Official: The Muslim Brotherhood Endorses The Philosophy Of Sayyid Qutb, Just Like The Salafi-Jihadis

January 6, 2021
Palestinians | Special Dispatch No. 9124

Following the November 2, 2020 terror attack in Vienna, 'Adli Sadeq, a former official in the Palestinian foreign ministry and former member of Fatah's Revolutionary Council,[1] published an article titled "What Satanic Mind Spawned This Terror?" in the London-based daily Al-Arab. In this article he bemoaned the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) continues to be active in the political arena in the Arab and Muslim world and even in non-Muslim countries, many of which refuse to designate it as a terror organization and even regard it as a moderate Islamic movement. The MB, he said, is not moderate at all, because it relies on the radical philosophy of Sayyid Qutb (1906-1966), which is also endorsed by the Salafi-jihadi movements, and which advocates takfir, namely accusing other Muslims of heresy and calling to kill them. The key to fighting terror, he added, is for all of Qutb's followers, chiefly the MB, to renounce his ideology and adopt a more moderate one. He warned them that if they fail to do this, they will pay the price.  

'Adli Sadeq (source:

The following are translated excerpts from his article:[2]

"The Monday night terror attack in Vienna has no [rational] explanation… In the past, we used to accuse [various] elements of causing the terrorists' [actions] by specifically targeting Islam, undermining the Muslims' causes, thwarting their aspiration for stability that enables the development [of their countries], and inciting the other peoples and societies against them… But as the phenomenon [of terror] persisted, things became stranger and more complicated, and we are [now] unable to answer simple questions, [such as]: What do [the terrorists] want from innocent passersby? What do they have against the Jewish synagogue in Vienna or against the mosque in Bir Al-'Abd in Sinai?[3]  What Satanic mind spawned these crimes? After all, the Jewish synagogue is not in conflict with the Muslims and the Jews of Vienna do not attack the mosques there…What is the point of killing passersby and how can these crimes advance any [political] cause?

"In all honesty and realism, we must recognize the fact that our ills, especially the [disease] of terror, stem from the depraved [approach to] jurisprudence that drives the Islamist groups. It also stems from the stupidity of the [Arab] regimes, from [their] tyranny and from the absence of dialogue and democracy.

"In the field of Islamic jurisprudence, it is known that the so-called [movements of] political Islam laid the foundations for this disease [of terrorism], especially Sayyid Qutb and all those who adopted [his ideas] and based their statements on his writings. The result was [the emergence of] purported jurisprudents, lunatics who hate themselves and their societies, aspire to an imagined purity and delude themselves that they are worthy of being the patrons of [the Islamic] faith, when [in fact] they are ignorant demagogues and fools.

"It's possible that the Jews were not the only targets of the Vienna attack, for, as far as these [terrorists] are concerned, anything is a valid target: a church in Egypt, a crowd on a London street, a metro station in Europe or even a pub or a night club… The disciples of Sayyid Qutb often use the term 'ummah' [referring to the Muslim nation], as though they love it, although  they do not explain [precisely] what nation they are referring to.  Their statements indicate that, although they take pride in the ummah, they express hatred towards 999 out of every 1000 of its members!

"We must admit that the attempt of the Arab and Islamic governments to address this perversion has failed… Sadly, many countries continue to treat the MB leadership, which follows in the footsteps of Sayyid Qutb, as a moderate political phenomenon. Moreover, [even] the majority of Western countries have not heeded the call to designate [the MB] as terrorist, even though the issue can be settled by asking a simple question: Is there a single terrorist, free or in prison, who has a source of authority other than Sayyid Qutb?...

"We must also ask [ourselves]: Were the learned jurisprudents throughout the history of Islam, who wrote tens of thousands of pages even before the invention of the printing press, ignorant about religion? Were there no texts and exegesis before the appearance of Sayyid Qutb in the mid-1950s? Did Sayyid Qutb know more about the religion and its relation to this world than [all] the devout jurisprudents [who preceded him] and who, unlike him, tolerated the Jews and Christians and allowed atheist poets to compose their poetry?...

"The problem is that the MB, which acts in the political arena and takes part in the dialogue between the [different political] factions and even initiates them, has not dared to discuss the writings of a man [Qutb] who did not manage to become an author, poet or even a [literary] critic, but thought he could invent the deviant idea of takfir that has caused bloodshed among Muslims and non-Muslims.

"Addressing the phenomenon of terror must begin with the disciples of this religious authority [Qutb]. The claim that the MB is moderate and takes a middle-of-the-road approach is meaningless, for as long as they rely on what Sayyid Qutb wrote, there is no difference between them and the Salafi-jihadis. If the MB does not [renounce Qutb's ideas], it will be the first to pay the price…" 


[1] Sadeq was expelled from Fatah in 2016 for supporting the faction of Muhammad Dahlan and taking part in a campaign against Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud 'Abbas., August 6, 2016;, August 10, 2016.

[2] Al-Arab (London), November 4, 2020.

[3] The reference is to the November 24, 2017 attack on a mosque in the village of Al-Rawda near Bir Al-'Abd.

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