SOAS University of London

London Middle East Institute

Islamist Occidentalism: Sayyid Quṭb and the Western Other

IMG - Nadia Devall book cover
Nadia Duvall (author)

Date: 24 February 2020Time: 6:00 PM

Finishes: 24 February 2020Time: 7:30 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: RG01

Type of Event: Book Launch

Book a place


This book, Islamist Occidentalism: Sayyid Quṭb and the Western Other (Gerlach Press, 2019), focuses on illuminating modern-day Islamist Occidentalism and puts in question the underlying assumptions of some of the post-9-11 scholarship which fails to understand the non-West on its own terms, by basically depicting Occidentalism as a mere ‘programme of revenge’ by the Orientals, as Varisco puts it, in response to Edward Said’s Orientalism.

In providing an analysis of the otherness formulations targeting the West by the chief ideologue of radical Islamism, Sayyid Quṭb (d. 1966), it becomes apparent that, except for the American, the Occidentals are not always the primary ‘others’ of this thinker. Furthermore, Quṭb’s  views of the Christian European as an  other in the later radical Islamist stage of his life are much more nuanced than the revulsion he appears to have reserved for the American, starting the late 1940s, and the Jew in the 1960s as he identifies the latter as the main other competing pseudo-species.


Nadia Duvall was awarded a PhD degree in 2016. Her thesis relates to contemporary Islamist Occidentalism (representation of the West). It was submitted on May 26, 2015, to the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Studies of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) of the University of London under the title The Evolution of the Otherness Process Targeting the West in Sayyid Quṭb’s Discourse (1939-1966). She is presently working on a first draft of a book on the life and Works of Nasr H. Abu Zayd (d. 2010) which is based on her MA thesis.


This event is open to the public and free to attend, however registration is required. Online Registration

Chair: Gilbert Achcar (SOAS)

Organiser: SOAS Middle East Institute and the SOAS Alumni Network

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