Ideological Roots of Radical Islamism

The New York Times has published a thoughtful examination of the ideological roots of Islamist attacks on liberal institutions and societies. Terrorist attacks by Islamic radicals are not motivated by poverty (Haiti doesn’t produce a lot of terrorists and most of the Al Qaeda leadership and hit men come from upper class and privileged backgrounds), but by ideology. Sayyid Qutb propounded an ideology based on rejection of the ideas of toleration and an explicit call for the violent suppression of women, of other religions, and of independent thinking. Anyone who doubts that ideas do have consequences should read this essay.