Associate Professor Sayed Khatab

Associate Professor Sayed Khatab


Graduated in Cairo, Sayed Khatab obtained his MA and PhD in Political Science from the University of Melbourne. He participated in research and teaching in various capacities including Islamic political thought, Islamic fundamentalism, political movements, Human Rights, and Arabic Language for special purposes in a number of institutions of higher learning including Melbourne, Monash, and RMIT universities.

He produced several publications and was awarded an Australian Academy of Humanities Fellowship and Australian Research Council Discovery Project grants.

Over the year 2004 and 2005, he participated in a major research project at RMIT and Borderlands Cooperative Inc., and is currently involved with Oxford in a major project on political theory and international relation of modernity. He writes regularly for Arabic Radios and is often invited by the media for comments on Middle East-related issues. He has delivered several public lectures on the Middle East, political Islam and its related issues of international relations on various occasions in Melbourne and overseas. He has reviewed a large number of books and articles for leading publishers and peer reviewed journals.

Associate Professor Khatab has also developed a new political, theological and intellectual interpretive framework that presented a comprehensive view on a number of substantive political issues. The relation between Islam and the West, the concept of Sovereignty, intercultural relations, Human Rights, Women’s Rights, counterterrorism, Islam’s capacity and orientation towards modernity, democracy and international relation of modernity in the Islamic Canon are some of the issues which are besetting modern Muslim society.

His publications in this broad field have generated comprehensive discussions worldwide and are referred to by scholars, media, government officials, intelligence, policy-makers and think-tank experts. His book Democracy in Islam (Routledge 2007), was described as a ‘challenge to Islamic extremism’. For others it is a ‘significant contribution to the UNESCO program of intercultural relations’. This book was selected and translated into Turkish-Language and published by Elips Kitab, the leading publishers in Turkey, in 2010.

Associate Professor Sayed Khatab convened an international conference to discuss “Radicalisation Crossing Borders: New Directions in Islamist and Jihadist Political, Intellectual and Theological Thought and Practice”. It was held at the Parliament House of Victoria (26-27 November 2008), and sponsored by Monash University’s School of Political and Social Inquiry, the Global Terrorism Research Centre, ARC Asia Pacific Futures Research Network; and the Department of Premier and Cabinet in Victoria.

Media Appearances

Associate Professor Khatab is a regular media commentator and contributor to the media outlet in Australia and overseas (i.e. The Australian newspaper; Cairo’s al-Ahram newspaper, the London Arabic daily; and the Australian ABC Radio’s Philosophers’ Zone Show; 3 ZZZ and 3CR Radios. He also contributed to the SBS Radio Australia (Arabic Program) by a number of brief but scholarly articles written in Arabic and aimed at cultural orientation of the Arabic speaking audiences in Australia’s multicultural society.


Associate Professor Sayed Khatab’s research interests include: Middle East, Islamic political thought, fundamentalism, theory of government, Islamic law and politics, Democracy in Islam, human rights, Women’s Rights and counter-terrorism related issues.

Current Projects

  • The Political Philosophy of Egypt’s Radical Islamic Groups.
  • Islam and Democracy.
  • The Ideological War Within al-Qa’ida: The Jihadis’ Religio-Political and Intellectual Revisions and Ideas on Counterterrorism, Extremism and Radicalisation. ARC discovery grant.
  • The Theological and Ideological Bases of al-Qa’ida’s Political Tactics’, ARC grant.
  • The Political Theory Beyond The Canon’, with Oxford.



  • Understanding Islamic Fundamentalism: The Theological and Ideological Bases of al-Qa’ida’s Political Tactics. The American University in Cairo Press ISBN13: 9789774164996, ISBN10: 9774164997. Publication date (Dec 2011).
  • ?slam ve Demokrasi: (with G. Bouma). In Turkish Language. Turkey: Istanbul: Sitare Yayinlari Publishers (2010).
  • Proceedings of the 2008 GTReC International Conference. Edited by: S Khatab, M Bakashmar and E Ogru, Monash University Press. ISBN: 978-0-9750193-3-7 (2009).
  • Democracy in Islam (with G. D. Bouma). London & New York: Routledge (2007).
  • The Political Thought of Sayyid Qutb: The Theory of Jahiliyyah. London & New York: Routledge (2006).
  • The Power of Sovereignty: The Political and Ideological Philosophy of Sayyid Qutb. London & New York, Routledge (2006).
  • The Ideological and Political Philosophy of Egypt’s Islamic Groups. (Australia: The Australian Academy of the Humanities (2005).

Book Chapters

  • International Relations of Modernity in Qutb’s Thought on Sovereignty: In Robbie Shilliam (ed.) International Relations and Non-Western Thought: Imperialism, Colonialism and Investigations of Global Modernity. London and New York: Routledge (2010), pp. 87-107

Refereed Articles

  • ‘Egyptian Revolution and its Impact on Egypt-Israel Relations’. Euro-Atlantic Quarterly (EAQ), ISSN 1336-8761, vol.6, issue no 3 (Dec. 2011), pp. 21-22.
  • ‘The Voice of Democratism in Qutb’s Response to Violence and Terrorism’. Islam and Christian Muslim Relation, vol. 20: 3, pp. 315-332, (July 2009).
  • ‘Adnan A. Musallam, From Secularism to Jihad: Sayyid Qutb and the Foundations of Radical Islamism’.International Journal: Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions (TMPR), vol. 8, 3/4 (2007), p. 712-714.
  • ‘Arabism and Islamism in Sayyid Qutb’s Thought on Nationalism. The Muslim World, vol. 94: 2 (April 2004), pp. 217-244
  • ‘Citizenship Rights of Non-Muslims in the Islamic State of Hakimiyyah Espoused by Sayyid Qutb’. Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, vol. 13: 2 (April 2002), pp. 151-161.
  • ‘Hakimiyyah and Jahiliyyah in the Thought of Sayyid Qutb’. Middle Eastern Studies, vol. 38: 3 (July 2002), pp. 145-170
  • ‘Al-Hudaybi’s Influence on the Development of Islamists in Egypt.’ The Muslim World, vol. 91: 3&4 (fall 2001), pp. 451-479
  • ‘The Relationships between Arabic Language and the Hieroglyphic of Ancient Egypt.’ Al-Azhar Journal, vol. 69: 7 (July 2000), pp. 104-112 (written in Arabic).
  • ‘Arab Approaches to the Cultural Challenge’, Int. J. Middle East Studies, (submitted).
  • ‘Counter-Terrorism through Democracy: Hasan al-Banna’s Contribution’. Global Change: Peace and Security(Submitted).
  • A number of brief articles for the Australian Special Broadcasting Service (SBS Radio). These articles were written in Arabic for the Arabic Program, and aimed at social and cultural orientation of the Arab audiences in Australia’s Multicultural society.

Conference Papers

  • “The Egyptian Revolution and its Impact on the Stability in the Middle East”. The 24th Annual Conference of the International Association for Conflict Management (IACM). July 3-6, 2011, available at SSRN:
  • “Deradicalisation as a Counterterrorism Strategy”. The 8th International Conference: Politics and International Affairs(2010). Department of Politics: Institute for Education and Research (ATINER), Athens (21-24 June 2010).
  • “The Role of Imams in the Process of Deradicalisation”. International Workshop: Strengthening Communities: An Information Workshop for Imams. Counter-Terrorism Coordination Unit, Victoria Police, Global Terrorism Research Centre, Monash University, and the Islamic Council of Victoria, Melbourne (Rydges Bell City, 25 and 26 May 2010).
  • “Towards a General Counter Terrorism Strategy”. Monash University’s international conference on “Radicalisation Crossing Borders: New Directions in Islamist and Jihadist Political, Intellectual and Theological Thought and Practice”. The Parliament House of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (26 and 27 November, 2008).
  • “The Notion of Democratic Participation in the Islamic Canon”. The University of Oxford’s international conference on “The Political Theory Beyond the Canon: Non-Western Thought on the International Relations of Modernity”. London: Oxford (21 and 22 August 2007).
  • “The Means and Application of Islamic Culture in Democratic Nation Building”. Monash University’s international conference “Islamic Culture(s), Nation-Building and the Media: Contemporary Issues”. Melbourne (22 and 23 September 2007).
  • “Influences and Responses: Religion, Terror, Media and Public Policy”. Monash University’s international conference: “The Transatlantic Dialogue on Terrorism”. Melbourne (19 and 20 October 2006).