"History offers some insight. Hassan al-Banna, the theologian who gave birth to the Brotherhood, worried that Egypt’s new secular universities would prompt it to follow in Turkey’s footsteps and eject Islam from its political life. His party initially backed President Nasser, the socialist leader who overthrew Egypt’s monarchy in 1952. In 1954, though, Nasser proscribed the organisation after an assassination attempt.
The prison writings of one of the Brotherhood leaders Nasser executed in his crackdown on the Islamists, a United States-educated author and poet called Syed Qutb, remain foundational documents for the jihadist movement. In his seminal 1964 book Ma’alim fi’l Tariq, or Milestones, Qutb argued that the world was made up of two political forces locked in an irreducible confrontation: Islam and jahili, the state of ignorance which preceded its revelation."Egypt: The zealots waiting in the wings - Telegraph