Connect-The-Dots: From Kinsey to Al-Qaeda
Tip o' the rock to WarriorPoet, a talented writer and friend who does his homework and does it well, for the tip that led to this iceberg.
1903: Sayyid Abu'l-A'la Mawdudi is born in India.
1928: Mawdudi becomes the leader of Hyderabad, a Muslim enclave in India, where he makes a decision concerning the weakening of Islam in the world. From the article linked above:
"Casting about for explanations for the decline of Muslim power to the Hindu community in Hyderabad, Mawdudi concluded that diversity was the culprit: the centuries old practice of interfaith mixing had weakened and watered down Muslim thought and practice in that region of India. The solution was to purge Islam of all alien elements."
1941: Influenced by the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hasan al-Banna, Mawdudi and others found the Jama'at al-Islami ("The Islamic Party") in Pakistan. His teachings impress an Islamist thinker and writer, Sayyid Qutb.
1949: On a trip overseas to the United States, Qutb finds, among other things, the Kinsey Reports, the documentation of a series of sexual research projects by Dr. Alfred Kinsey. Shocked at the sexual depravity the reports and other experiences seem to portray (including a high-school sock-hop in Greeley, Colorado), he returns to the Arab world with renewed Islamism on his mind.
1952: Sayyid Qutb joins the Muslim Brotherhood and writes Milestones, in which he cements his opinions on what is wrong in the world:
...Even the Western world realizes that Western civilization is unable to present any healthy values for the guidance of mankind. It knows that it does not possess anything which will satisfy its own conscience and justify its existence...
It is essential for mankind to have a new leadership...
It is necessary for the new leadership to preserve and develop the material fruits of the creative genius of Europe, and also to provide mankind with such high ideals and values as have so far remained undiscovered by mankind, and which will also acquaint humanity with a way of life which is harmonious with human nature, which positive and constructive, and which is practicable.
Islam is the only system which possesses these values and this way of life.
1954: After an attempted assassination of Egyptian President Gamel Abdul-Nasser fails, the Muslim Brotherhood is banned and its members rounded up posthaste (including Sayyid Qutb, who spends the next decade in and out of jail until his execution in 1966), with six executed and thousands fleeing to other countries.
Among those who flee are Sayyid's brother, Muhammad Qutb, and a radical preacher, Abdullah al-Azzam. A little later on, at King Abdul-Aziz University in Jeddah, these men and their students---including a wealthy Saudi contractor's son named Osama bin Laden, and an Egyptian doctor named Ayman al-Zawahiri---form the foundations of a radical Islamist group that would, in the coming years, become known as Al-Qaeda (which, incidentally, is Arabic for "base or foundation").
This timeline is rather truncated, of course, but should give you plenty of holes to dig around in, if you are so inclined.
Go ahead....see what else you can put together on your own.