How Islamist Intellectuals, Activists, and Militants Have Responded Differently to the West

Islamist activists in the Middle East have been fundamentally shaped by the political, intellectual, and religious challenges that Western influence has posed to their societies over the past century. Starting with Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna’s mobilization against Western missionaries and colonialism, the more radical Sayyid Qutb’s framing of secular, Western-backed governments as apostates, and tracing the influence of the U.S. role in Saudi Arabia and Iraq on the emergence of Al-Qaeda, and later Islamic State, Assistant Professor of Politics Sumita Pahwa will explore how Western policy has been viewed through the lens of local religious politics to mobilize Islamist militancy over three generations.

Pahwa teaches Middle East politics and religious politics at Scripps, and her research focuses on the evolution of Islamist movements in Egypt and Morocco.

This program is presented in partnership with the Scripps Humanities Institute and the Office of Public Events and Community Programs.