While there is no single theorist to whom one can point as a source or fountainhead of radical Islamism, there is one especially influential thinker in this movement, Sayyid Qutb (1906–1966), an Egyptian theorist and author of numerous books, including Islam and Social Justice (1949), The Battle Between Islam and Capitalism (1950), In the Shade of the Qur‘an (eight volumes, 1952–1982), and most notably, Signposts Along the Road (1964). In the following excerpt from Signposts, Qutb (pronounced “cootub”) contends that Western liberalism and secularism must be resisted by Muslims who are resolute in their faith and prepared to engage in jihad (struggle). Qutb is highly critical of Muslims who seek to “modernize” and “reform” Arabic societies—and indeed, Islam itself—by introducing Western and secular ideas of religious toleration, freedom, and justice. That many Muslims find these changes attractive only indicates the pervasive influence of the West, which is mired in jahiliyya (“darkness” or “ignorance”) and threatens to drag Muslim societies into that darkness. Muslim “modernizers” and “reformers” in the Middle East are attempting nothing less than the importation of the “new jahiliyya” into Muslim societies, thereby subverting and corrupting Islam itself. Islam can only be saved by a small band of exceptionally devout Muslims (jama’a) who will wage holy war or jihad against everything that the West stands for—modernity, capitalism, religious toleration, sexual equality, and the like—and be prepared to give their lives in this sacred cause. Muslims must go on the offensive against the “aggressors” who import these ideas into Muslim society. This is the ideological basis of radical Islamism.