Skip to comments.Greeley's al-Qaeda connections make headlines around the world
Posted on 08/19/2006 5:49:01 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
Many people believe you couldn't have found a more conservative, religious and docile town in America than Greeley in 1949. There were many churches, and no bars or liquor stores allowed in town.
But a six-month stay here in Greeley by an Egyptian student in 1949 made him so angry that he wrote books to express his anti-American diatribe. His name was Sayyid Qutb (SIGH-yid KUH tahb) and he became one of the founders of Islamic terrorism.
Television specials, literary magazines, stories in major newspapers, thousands of blogs and now a new book have noted Greeley's influence on the man considered by many to be the godfather of al-Qaeda.
Qutb was a Muslim extremist who was executed in 1966 in Egypt. But his writings survived, including his reports about Greeley and the Colorado State College of Education, now the University of Northern Colorado. His execution made him a martyr to his cause.
After a story in the Tribune in 2002, Greeley's attachment to terrorism was picked up nation-wide. Interest increased even more after Qutb's writings became known and as more was learned about his influence on modern al-Qaeda followers.
A new study -- Qutbism -- was even coined by some followers. If you "Google" his name -- Qutb -- you'll find more than 600,000 locations citing his name.
In the past four years, the UNC Archives in the basement of Michener Library has been deluged by requests for information and photos of Qutb, along with any information about Greeley in 1949.
Stories have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Smithsonian Magazine, national and international wire services, and on television specials on the History Channel, CNN, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., National Public Radio and almost every daily newspaper in Colorado.
In The Guardian newspaper, the headline on the story was, "Is This the Man Who Inspired Bin Laden?" A United Press International story began, "Communism had Karl Marx. Al-Qaidaism had Sayyid Qutb."
A new book out this summer brings more light to Qutb's stay in Greeley. "The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11" was written by Lawrence Wright, a staff writer for The New Yorker Magazine and a recognized expert on the Middle East.
In researching his book he visited Greeley and UNC, giving credit in his book, "Sayyid Qutb may have been miserable in Greeley ... but he did not have the advantage of meeting Peggy A. Ford (Greeley Museums) and Janet Waters, head of archival services at the James A. Michener Library..." He also thanked Ken McConnellogue, a former UNC vice president, and Michael Welsh, a professor of history.
In the book, Wright traces Qutb's life, but also quotes from his notes on Greeley.
Football: "The foot does not play any role in the game. Instead, each player attempts to take the ball in his hands, run with it or throw it to the goal, while the players on the other team hinder him by any means, including kicking in he stomach or violently breaking his arms or legs ... Meanwhile, the fans cry out, 'Break his neck! Crack his head!'"
Music: He wrote of attending a teen dance at a church, "They danced to the tunes of the gramophone, and the dance floor was replete with tapping feet, enticing legs, arms wrapped around waists, lips pressed to lips, and chests pressed to chests. The atmosphere was full of desire..."
He also noted one specific song, "Baby, It's Cold Outside." Qutb wrote, "The song revolves around a conversation between a teenage boy and girl on their way home from a date. The boy holds the girl up at his house; she begs him to let her continue on home, because the night is late and her mother is waiting.
"But whenever she comes up with an excuse to leave, he responds with the refrain, 'But, baby, it's cold outside.' "
Religion: "When it comes to building churches, no one can surpass the Americans: For instance, in a town with a population less than 10,000, I counted more than 20 (churches).
"Despite all of this, no one is more distant than the Americans from spirituality and piety. Their thoughts, feelings and behavior could not be further from religion."
Qutb also made some mistakes in his writing. It's not known if they were intentional or not. He said that in 1949, the bloody wars against American Indians continued. He also wrote that the American colonists pushed Latinos south toward Central America -- even though the American colonists themselves had not yet pushed west of the Mississippi. The Revolutionary War was "a destructive war led by George Washington.'"
It's likely the connection between terrorism and Qutb's writings of Greeley will continue. Despite Greeley's role in the terrorists' hatred for America, Middle Eastern and terrorism experts don't believe the connection has made Greeley a target.
Princeton Professor Michael Doran, who translated many of Qutb's writings, explained that Greeley is well-known in the Middle East, but said, "A terrorist would select targets that are more obvious symbols of Americanism."
saw the author of The Looming Tower last night on C-Span, interesting tale, should be a bestseller,.
The life of Sayyid Qutb
The life of Sayyid Qutb: 1906-1966
1906 -- Born in the village of Musha in Assyout Province, Egypt.
1918 -- Finished primary education, then dropped out of school because of a revolution of 1919.
1920 -- Moved to Cairo, Egypt, to live with his uncle and complete his high school education.
1929 -- Enrolled in the Darul Oloom teacher's college, receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree.
1939 -- Joined the Egyptian Ministry of Education.
1945 -- Resigned the Ministry of Education to become a free-lance writer. He wrote many articles on the artistic expression in the Quran, and several books
1948 -- His book, "Social Justice in Islam," is published.
1948 -- Traveled to the United States to study and visit colleges.
1949 -- Took classes at Colorado State College of Education in Greeley, taking summer-quarter classes and then auditing classes in the fall quarter, which means he attended classes but didn't receive credit. He dropped out of CSCE in December. Some accounts indicate he received his Master of Arts degree from CSCE, but college records do not support that.
1950 -- Returned to Egypt to take the job of teacher and inspector for the Ministry of Education.
1952 -- Because of philosophical disagreements, resigned his teaching position.
1954 -- He became editor of a newspaper in Ikhwan, Egypt. He was arrested that year and accused of trying to overthrow the Egyptian government.
1964 -- First sentenced to 15 years in prison, Qutb served 10 years and was released at the request of the Iraqi president.
1965 -- Published his most famous book, "Mallem Fittareek" ("Milestones"), in which he condemned Western morals, partially because of what he witnessed in Greeley. It led to his arrest on the orders of Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser.
1966 -- Despite demonstrations by followers and protests from various Muslim countries, Qutb was hanged on Aug. 29, 1996. Followers said he was smiling when he was executed, knowing he had a "beautiful life ahead in paradise."
In 1949, Greeley was one giant cattle feed lot. He just added to the stench.
Sounds like Qutb had the services of an advanced liberal education at UNC -- even in 1949.
If he's anything like the Arabs I new in college he spent the whole time hitting on one American woman who was entirely uninterested in him.
Library of Congress
Don't forget the sugar beet plant...
I think you hit the nail on the head. Proud, self-confident American women refused his Arab charms, and thus spurned, he turned his shame into rabid anti-Americanism and radical Islam. Makes sense to me!
I've always wondered why these western hating, U.S. (Britain) hating Muslim wonders chose to live in our societies rather than, say, Afghanistan or Iraq, their third-world paradises.
He also had a thing about the sexuality of blacks, and that "jungle" music. An obsession that goes back to the Arabian Nights, though maybe not the music part.
Qutb is just another in a long line of Islamic nutters.
I can't remember the name of the documentary, but it said that two things
about Greeley and America drove him nuts:
1. The attire of American women
2. Grassy lawns. Yep, grassy lawns.
He was just as fruity as some Al-Quida that operated in Italy pre 9-11.
In the surveillance tapes released by Italian police, after talking
show the guys starte b-tchin' about how gawd-awful Italian foods was.
These guys should just go back to their sandboxes and be happy there.
They just don't travel well.
As we saw on 9-11.
This is a quote from him by Wikipedia - sounds like he could have written a sexy novel:
the American girl is well acquainted with her body's seductive capacity. She knows it lies in the face, and in expressive eyes, and thirsty lips. She knows seductiveness lies in the round breasts, the full buttocks, and in the shapely thighs, sleek legs -- and she shows all this and does not hide it. 
... and their taste in music
Jazz is his preferred music, and it is created by Negroes to satisfy their love of noise and to whet their sexual desires ... [
"Social Justice in Islam"
Just following in the footsteps of the Grand Mufti. A progressive icon in the making, no doubt.
Do you know the address of that multi-cultural "Import-a-Terrorist" program at U of Montana
I'm not sure if your list would change their minds--or if it was their inspiration for that program.
Anyone want to forward this article to them, with a couple of pointed questions?
By today's standards, the clothes and behavior of teens and/or college students, in 1949, would appear to be non lascivious, sedate, and quite rather benign.
so now the MSM wants us to obey CAIR and attend Islam indoctrination centers?
convert, or submit or die. That is all islam wants.