• Dodeye U. Williams University of Calabar


The refutation and disregard of the influence of religion in politics has implications for national integration. The last few decades have witnessed the emergence of contemporary Islamic movements and trends in the Muslim world. One of the most effective and influential political thinkers of Islamism is Sayyid Qutb, a leading member of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in the 1950’s and 1960’s and theorist of violent Jihad. As the father of modern Islamic fundamentalism, his ideas provide a framework and ideological foundation for many Islamic groups, like al-Qaeda, Boko Haram and the ISIS, around the world. While there are cases where political elites manipulate religion to mobilize support and further narrow political interests, it is erroneous and dangerous for policy to continue to perceive religion as incapable on its own to generate divisions in a society. This paper examines the features of Political Islam in three main areas: cultural-ideological, political and socio-economic, from the perspective of Sayyid Qutb political thought, and reflects on how these beliefs could impact on the dimensions of national integration in Nigeria. The paper argues that Political Islam is incompatible with national integration and as such the future of national integration is threatened in Nigeria.

Keywords: national integration, religion, Nigeria, politics, Political islam


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