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“Islamic Revivalist” (A "Follow-up" To NYT Article "The Philosopher of Islamic Terror")
n/a | unpublished (written in Spring 2002) | Pyro7480

Posted on 03/26/2003 7:52:51 AM PST by Pyro7480

“Islamic Revivalist”
Sayyid Qutb and His Influence on Modern Islamic Fundamentalism

Introduction

In the mid-20th century, Islamic fundamentalism emerged as a major movement in the Middle East. It had its ideological roots in the works of nineteenth century Islamic modernist thinkers such as Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, Muhammed Abduh, and Rashid Rida, who laid the philosophical framework for modern Islamic fundamentalist movements. These thinkers agreed that Islam was in decline, and called for change to reinvigorate their religion, and cope with the influence of the European powers that had begun to colonize traditionally Muslim lands during the first half of the century. These men attempted to strengthen the Muslim world by either reinterpreting Islam as a worldview or presenting it as a force for resistance against the West. They challenged the traditional belief that Islam is a belief system that must simply be accepted. As a result, they gave birth to two different ideological camps, one fundamentalist, and the other more secular.

The first major fundamentalist movement in the Middle East was the Muslim Brotherhood (al-Ikhwan al-Muslimin), which was first established in Egypt. A man named Hasan al-Banna founded it in 1928, and the Brotherhood aimed to apply the Islamic faith directly to politics and culture of Egypt (Abdo 2000: 6). After leading the Brotherhood for 20 years, al-Banna was assassinated. After this event, the Brotherhood was left in a state of disorder for several years. But one man soon became the chief leader and theoretician for the Brotherhood. This man was Sayyid Qutb.

Sayyid Qutb is known as “the Trotsky of the modern Islamic [fundamentalist] movement.” Qutb was an advocate for the radical transformation of Muslim society. The primary means of achieving this goal was through “missionary activity” and militant jihad, or holy struggle (Abdo 2000: 12). He is also known for being “the most important and influential of the Islamic critics of the West” (D’Souza 2002: 21). He promoted the purging of Western influence in Islamic society, because he thought that the West “[had] been reduced to… jahiliyya – the condition of social chaos, moral diversity, sexual promiscuity, polytheism, unbelief, and idolatry” (D’Souza 2002: 21-2).

This essay will detail Sayyid Qutb’s life and examine his influence in 3 key areas. The first section of the essay will be devoted to a short biography of Qutb. The following 3 sections will be devoted to his influence in religious thought, political thought, and in Islamic Fundamentalism and its many movements.

Short Biography of Sayyid Qutb

Early Life

Sayyid Qutb was born in 1906 in Musha, a village in the district of Asyut in Egypt. From a very early age, Qutb’s childhood was characterized by his curiosity about knowledge and love of reading (Moussalli 1992: 21). He went to the local school in his village where the Qur’an was taught, and at the age of ten, he had the Qur’an memorized (Haddad 1983:68). He did this because his mother, who was a devout Muslim, wanted to send him to al-Azhar University in Cairo, which was well known as important center for Islamic learning. In 1919, when Qutb was thirteen, his family moved to a town called Halwan, a suburb of Cairo, where he entered a school called Tajhiziyyat Dar al-Ulum. Ten years later, he joined Dar al-Ulum’s Teachers’ College. There, he earned a B.A. in Arts of Education. After graduating, he became an instructor at Dar al-Ulum (Moussalli 1992: 21).

Qutb’s Early Career

Qutb first became well known with the publication of many articles on literary, social, and political subjects. His main literary works were published during the 1930s and 1940s. These writings consisted of poems, love stories, literary criticisms and commentaries, and other works of a nonreligious nature. At this time in his life, Qutb was a student of a famous Egyptian thinker named Abbas Mahmud al-Aqqad, who became a strong influence on Qutb. Al-Aqqad and his followers were staunch advocates of Westernization (Moussalli 1992:21-23). Under the influence of al-Aqqad, Qutb wrote about the dispute between the traditionalist camp and the modernists in modern Arab language and literature. His conclusion was that the traditionalists had failed to adapt to the modern age, because of their rigid view of language and literary expression. (Abu-Rabi 1996: 96).

Qutb spoke “more like an Egyptian than he does an Arab or a Muslim” (Abu-Rabi 1996: 96). He argued that the Arabic language should not only adapt to the changes of the modern age, but also to the uniqueness and social needs of the Egyptian nation. Although he doesn’t address the issue of Westernization of Egyptian culture in this stage of his life, he advocated a modernist attitude in the “language, mental outlook, and in the cultural orientation” of Egypt. (Abu-Rabi 1996: 96-97). He viewed language as a function that must continually evolve. He criticized the backwardness of traditionalist writers, and looked to the possibilities of the present and the future in Arabic literature (Abu-Rabi 1996: 97).

In the 1940s, Qutb began his long career as a political activist. He criticized the Egyptian government, who was his employer, in numerous publications. This put him at odds with the government. He tried to resign from the Ministry of Education, in which he held the position of Inspector, but was sent instead to the Egyptian countryside to conduct research on the teaching of Arabic in public schools (Moussalli 1992: 23). In 1947, Qutb became the editor-in-chief of two journals: The Arab World (Al-Alam al-Arabi) and New Thought (Al-Fikr al-Jadid). These two positions were temporary however, for “he did not last long in the former, and King Faruq closed down the latter”(Moussalli 1992: 24).

In 1948, Qutb left Egypt to go to the United States. His assignment was “to study modern systems of education and training” (Moussalli 1992: 24). He studied at 3 different schools in the United States, including Stanford University. He received a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Northern Colorado. While in the United States, a book by Qutb titled Social Justice in Islam (Al-Adalah al-Ijtimaiyyah fi al-Islam) was published. Qutb showed fundamentalist leanings in the political views that were expressed in this book, including opinions on social justice and government (Moussalli 1992: 25). This work would end up influencing many Arab and Muslim intellectuals in the period after World War II (Abu-Rabi 1996:111).

During his visit to the United States, Qutb visited a number of cities, including New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. He observed the dynamics of American culture, and was shocked by the materialism, racism, and sexual permissiveness of that period. His experience in the United States would have a profound influence on his life, and would lead him to his ultimate rejection of Western culture (Moussalli 1992: 25). He also became bitter of “the wide and unquestioning support of the American press for Israel” and with what he felt to be the denigration of Arabs (Haddad 1983: 69). He wrote of his experience in America in his book America That I Saw (Amrika allati Ra’aytu), in which he laid out his criticism of America.

Qutb Joins the Muslim Brotherhood

Qutb returned to Egypt in 1950 after brief stops in England, Switzerland, and Italy. His stay in America had made him more sympathetic to a twenty-year-old fundamentalist movement in Egypt called the Muslim Brotherhood (al-Ikhwan al-Muslimin). Two “incidents,” the “happy and joyous American reception” of the assassination of Brotherhood founder Hasan al-Banna in 1949, and a meeting with a “British agent,” who identified the Brotherhood as the only major movement that stood in the path of Western civilization in the Middle East, increased Qutb’s interest in the Brotherhood (Moussalli 1992: 30).

Qutb began writing for the Brotherhood’s journal, The Call (Al-Da’wa) in 1951. He also resigned from his new post as Advisor to the Egyptian Ministry of Education in this year. Two years later in 1953, Qutb officially joined the Muslim Brotherhood. He soon became an advisor to the Revolutionary Council of the Brotherhood, and was also a member of the Working Committee and the Guidance Council. He became head of the propaganda section of the Brotherhood, and edited the weekly journal The Muslim Brotherhood (Al-Ikhwan al-Muslimin) the Egyptian government banned it in 1954 (Moussalli 1999: 132-3).

In this year, the Egyptian government under Nasir arrested Qutb twice, first in January 1954 on the charges of conspiracy against the government. He was arrested again in October 1954 after a member of the Brotherhood tried to assassinate the leader at a public rally in Alexandria. The government executed the attempted assassin and five other Brothers, and arrested 4,000 Brotherhood activists, including Qutb (Hiro 1989: 66-7). In July 1955, Qutb was sentenced to fifteen years in prison. During his imprisonment, Qutb and other members of the Muslim Brotherhood were tortured mercilessly. The poor health in which he suffered from an early age was made worse during his time in prison, and his mental health also declined during this time (Moussalli 1992:34-5).

During his time in prison, Qutb was allowed to write, and devoted much of his time to his interpretation of the Qur’an and to other writings, including This Religion (Hadha al-Din) and The Future Belongs to This Religion (Al-Mustaqbal li-Hadha al-Din) (Haddad 1983: 77-8). He also read and was influenced by the writings of Muhammad Assad and Abu al-Ala Mawdudi during his incarceration (Haddad 1983: 70). After serving ten years of his sentence, Qutb was released in 1964. His newfound freedom would not last long however, since “the physical and mental torture meted out by prison authorities to members of the Muslim Brotherhood left scars on him” (Haddad 1983: 78). After his release, Qutb wrote his most controversial book, Signposts on the Road (Maalim fi al-Tariq)(also known as Milestones), and eight months later, he found himself in jail, along with his brother and sister, and over twenty thousand other people. He was charged with destructive and terrorist activities, and encouraging sedition, and was sentenced to death. He was executed on August 29, 1966 (Moussalli 1992: 37-8).

Religious Thought in Sayyid Qutb’s Writings

“The Universal Islamic Concept” (al-mafhum al-kawni al-Islami)

Sayyid Qutb contributed much to the development of Islamic fundamentalism in the 20th century. As a religious and political thinker, Qutb was one of the first modern Islamic fundamentalists to compile a comprehensive fundamentalist ideology. One of the central principles of Qutb’s religious thought was the idea of the “universal Islamic concept” (al-mafhum al-kawni al-Islami). According to Qutb, Islam is a comprehensive way of living that encompasses all aspects of life, including the afterlife (Moussalli 1999: 133). It provides a meaning of life for Muslims. Seven characteristics make up this “universal concept,” according to Qutb. These characteristics are the oneness of God (tawhid), divinity (uluhiyya), fixity (thabat), comprehensiveness (shumuliyya), equilibrium (tawazun), positiveness (ijabiyya), and realism (waqiyya) (Moussalli 1999: 133-9).

Tawhid is the “oneness” of God, is a central tenet of the Islamic faith, and the main characteristic of the “universal Islamic concept” (Moussalli 1999: 133). It is a basic teaching of the three monotheistic faiths – Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Islam means submission to this “oneness” of God. This requires following Allah’s method (manhaj) in every aspect of life. One does this by submitting to the laws and order of God (Moussalli 1992: 70-1). For Qutb, the only truly Islamic way of life is organized around the concept of tawhid. His conception of tawhid is based only in the Qur’an and in the other holy texts of Islamic revelation. This point of view narrows Qutb’s perception of human attitudes towards living into only two groups: the Islamic attitude and the chaotic (jahili) non-Islamic attitude (Moussalli 1999: 134).

The second characteristic is divinity (uluhiyyah). Uluhiyyah indicates that the “universal Islamic concept” is unchangeable and that it is impossible for it to develop. It also indicates that the very source of the Islamic concept is Allah (Haddad 1983: 74). While the concept is divine, “its understanding is not and is subject to the conditions of the [human] interpreter and the tools of interpretation” (Moussalli 1999: 136). This understanding may evolve as human beings change. But the imperfect nature of humanity causes distortion, addition to, and false interpretations of the concept. The revelation of the Islamic tradition restores “the original” concept free of these problems (Moussalli 1992: 79-83). The alternative “universal concepts” originate from the imperfect nature of humanity, which through arrogance, emotions, and other factors, create polytheistic thought and imperfect/corrupted religions (Haddad 1983: 74).

Fixity (Thabat) or constancy is the third characteristic of the “universal Islamic concept.” Thabat is the characteristic that describes that the concept’s basis, the Holy Qur’an, and its everlasting truths, is constant (Moussalli 1999: 137). Thabat and the remaining characteristics originate from uluhiyyah. The “universal Islamic concept,” because of its constancy, neither changes nor develops. Since the concept is constant, it is protected from the imperfections of humanity, which lead to an unchecked movement away from the truth (Haddad 1983: 74-5). Qutb used Thabat to combat the growth of certain Western ideas, particularly that of the theory of evolution. Qutb also warned that if Muslims continue to proliferate these Western ideas, they would cause damage to themselves and to all people, since they would be denying the true source of constancy, Allah (Haddad 1983: 75).

The fourth characteristic of “universal Islamic concept” is its comprehensiveness, or shumuliyyah. Shumuliyyah also originates from uluhiyyah. Due to the divinity of Allah, the “universal Islamic concept” is comprehensive. Humanity’s own concepts and thoughts are limited, compared to “universal Islamic concept” (Moussalli 1992: 107). This characteristic assures that “Islam is a unity that is indivisible.” This unity finds its source from the “oneness” (tawhid) of Allah (Haddad 1983: 76).

The fifth characteristic is equilibrium (tawazun) or balance. Tawazun is the balance between what can be perceived by human reason and that, which can only be perceived due to faith. This characteristic has “preserved the unique nature of Islam” (Haddad 1983: 76-7). When Muslims submit to God’s will, and faithfully accepts what is beyond their comprehension, the human mind is free to contemplate the things that are within its comprehension. The balance in the “universal Islamic concept” exists because it is part of reality (Moussalli 1999: 138-9).

Positiveness (ijabiyya) is the sixth characteristic of the concept. This positiveness exists in the reality of the relationship between Allah and creation. Qutb argues that Allah’s “oneness,” or tawhid is “the embodiment of positiveness” (Moussalli 1992: 117). Also, Qutb argues that Islam demands an active faith, since Allah’s “oneness” represents a positive concern about the world (Moussalli 1999: 139). The final characteristic of the “universal Islamic concept” is realism (waqiyya). The concept is “not idealistic, but rather is grounded in the reality of life” (Haddad 1983: 77). According to Qutb, Muslims must deal with this reality, and the Islamic faith helps Muslims advance a feasible order for improvement (Moussalli 1999: 139).

Qutb’s Other Religious Thought

While Sayyid Qutb spent a lot of time expounding on the “universal Islamic concept,” he also wrote on a variety of other religious subjects. In these writings, the line between religious thought and political thought was often blurred. After his release from prison in 1964, Qutb began his last phase of writing, which was also his shortest, since it preceded his execution. The most significant work of this phase was his most controversial book, Signposts on the Road (Maalim fi al-Tariq). While this book outlined a radical plan for the transformation of Islamic society along political lines, it also outlined how this transformation was to take place along more religious lines.

The goal was the destruction of the jahili system, so Allah’s system could flourish (Haddad 1983: 78). In this system, Islam would assume an exclusive role, since it is Allah’s vision for humanity. Judaism and Christianity corrupted the vision of God because their leaders allowed interpretation. Because of this, Qutb called on Muslims to reject the traditions of the West because it was modeled after those of the People of the Book (Haddad 1983:79-80). Within this context, Qutb was particularly critical of the Jews, due to the influence of the Zionist movement and the creation of the state of Israel. In his essay “Our Struggle With the Jews” (Ma’rakatuna Ma’a al-Yahud), Qutb stated that the Jews’ intention was “Islam’s destruction” and that natural disposition of the Jews was “evil” (Nettler 1987: 32-62).

Political Thought in Sayyid Qutb’s Writings

Introduction

Sayyid Qutb was not only a leading religious ideologue, but was an influential political philosopher. Just as there was a thread of political thought within Qutb’s religious writings, there is a significant thread of religious thought within Qutb’s political writings. According to Ahmad S. Moussalli, “the theme that underlines Qutb’s political thought is that Islam accepts only a virtuous and good society and demands absolute obedience to God’s teachings” (Moussalli 1992: 147).

Jahiliyya on Earth: The System of the Modern World

Qutb’s political ideology can be summarized into four simple statements. The first is that “the dominant sociopolitical system of the contemporary Islamic and non-Islamic world is that of al-jahiliyya [h] – a condition of sinfulness, injustice, suffering, and ignorance of Islam’s divine guidance” (Dekmejian 1995: 85). Jahiliyya was traditional interpreted to “characterize the Arab tribes before the advent of Islam” (D’Souza 2002: 22). But Qutb “popularized” the conception, and it is now used in a negative fashion to refer to the state of the modern world. All societies that do not follow the “universal Islamic concept” are in a state of jahiliyya (Moussalli 1999: 143). A state of constant struggle exists between the “universal Islamic concept” and the state of jahiliyya: “a struggle between faith and disbelief, faith in the one God and polytheism” (Haddad 1983: 86). The only way jahiliyya can be effectively replaced is through Islam (Haddad 1983: 86-7).

Dawah and Jihad: The Methods to Defeat Jahiliyya and Establish an Islamic State

The second summary statement says that it is “the duty of the faithful Muslim to revive Islam in order to transform the jahili society through proselytization (dawah) and militant jihad” (Dekmejian 1995: 85). This statement is Qutb’s basic goal of political action, which is revolution (al-thawrah) against the state of jahiliyya in its political manifestations. “Missionary activity,” or dawah, is the first step in the revolution. The aim of dawah is “to teach Muslims and others the ‘true essence’ of Islam.” Dawah is not exclusively for non-Muslim societies, but it is also an activity that is required for Muslim ones, because the “absence of activism… leads society to stagnate.” (Moussalli 1992: 211).

But dawah isn’t the only step in the revolution. While Qutb affirmed the peaceful character of the Islamic faith in one of his books, he doesn’t rule out the use of militant jihad, or holy struggle, in the battle against jahiliyya (Haddad 1983: 83-4). While jihad’s goal is victory over any organization that opposes Islam or stifles its free practice, it is “neither suicide nor a campaign of atrocities” (Moussalli 1999: 151).

Qutb’s conception of jihad is complex. Jihad has four characteristics to Qutb. Serious realism is the first characteristic. In this, he rejects the “traditional” notion of a defensive jihad, since he believes that “Islam is not defensive but is a defense of humans against aggression.” Qutb also thinks that a major goal of Islam is “to establish the Islamic order wherever possible and to abolish the jahili society” (Moussalli 1999: 151). The second characteristic is active realism, and this means that jihad “cannot be fought with words only but requires much more preparation.” A continuous movement is the third characteristic of jihad, and this doesn’t have a set form or procedure. The last characteristic is the regulation of the relations between the Islamic and non-Islamic societies. This has two stipulations: one is that Islam is the foundation of international affairs; and the second is the free proselytization of Islam without regulation (Moussalli 1999: 151-2).

The Islamic Vanguard

The third summary statement is “the transformation of the jahili society into a genuinely Islamic polity is the task of a dedicated ‘vanguard’ (taliah) of Muslims” (Dekmejian 1995: 85). This vanguard, or taliah, is a significant part of activism to Qutb. Its purpose is to lead the revival of Islam (Moussalli 1992: 210). The members of the taliah would be knowledgeable of both their religion, as well as modernity (Moussalli 1992: 214). Qutb’s book Signposts on the Road detailed the mission of the taliah, which was to “carry out in an exclusive and uncompromising attitude with respect to all other ideologies, societies, and ways of life” (Moussalli 1999: 100).

“Heaven on Earth”: The Institution of Shari’a Law and Social Justice

The fourth summary statement maintains that “the ultimate aim of committed Muslims should be the establishment of al-Hakimiyyah – the reign of Allah’s sovereignty on earth to end all sin, suffering, and repression” (Dekmejian 1995: 85). The two principles of al-Hakimiyyah are the shari’a law and the principle of social justice. The first principle, shari’a law, “sets both social and political systems on broader moral order and on universal divine laws, as outline in the Qur’an” (Moussalli 1999: 140). Shari’a law is at odds with human-made law. Since Islamic law is “an eternal manifestation of the divine will,” shari’a law is to be preferred over human law, according to Qutb. Shari’a law defines the moral, social, and political order in Islam (Moussalli 1999: 140-1).

The second principle is social justice. A large part of this principle is linked to economics. In Qutb’s time, communism and capitalism challenged Islam as an economic ideology. Qutb rejects capitalism because of the exploitation and injustice in the system. While socialism and Islam are in agreement on many points, Marxism/communism and Islam are in disagreement, due to Marxism’s rejection of God (Moussalli 1999: 144). With both of the opposing ideologies, the issue between Islam and the other ideology is the conflict between spirituality and materialism. Qutb criticizes both capitalism and Marxism for being materialist ideologies. The alternative ideology for Qutb is Islam, in which social justice is essential. It has also “stipulated equal opportunity but has made piety and morality rather than material possession the basic values of society” (Moussalli 1999: 144).

Qutb’s Legacy: Qutb as a Model to Islamic Fundamentalist Movements

When Sayyid Qutb was executed in 1966, his followers kept his memory alive. One of these followers is Qutb’s brother, Muhammad Qutb. After his brother’s death, Muhammad became “the keeper of his brother’s flame and the chief interpreter of his written works” (Bergen 2001: 48). Muhammad Qutb would end up becoming an important teacher of Islamic studies for the Muslim Brotherhood. One of his pupils was Osama Bin Laden, the founder of Al-Qaeda. Many of Qutb’s books are still in print and have been translated into other languages, including English. They are still popular among university students, and are used as symbols of opposition (Abdo 2000: 13).

Qutb’s writings have influenced many Islamic fundamentalist movements. In the late 1970s, the future leaders of al-Gama’a al-Islamiyaa, a militant group in Egypt, adopted the teachings of Qutb. One of the current groups that emulate Qutb’s teachings is Egyptian/Palestinian group Islamic Jihad. His books are primary sources for the movement in the education and indoctrination programs. The organization sees itself as part of the “Islamic vanguard” Qutb wrote about in his political tracts. It also sees Qutb as a model leader, and as “a true symbol of revolutionary Islam” (Abu-Amr 1994: 97).

Conclusion

Sayyid Qutb was a significant ideologue during the development of modern Islamic fundamentalism during the 20th century. His life experiences shaped his ideology, and he would become a prolific author, writing on religious and political topics. He would become an important and influential Muslim critic of Western civilization. Even though his life was cut short by a tyrannical regime, his writings are still influential, even until this day. Sayyid Qutb has earned his place in history as one of the founders of modern Islamic fundamentalism. Both the Muslim world and the West are going to have to handle the continuing influence of his writings, as disillusionment with globalization and multiple other factors increases the popularity of fundamentalist movements.

Works Cited

Abdo, Geneive (2000) No God but God: Egypt and the Triumph of Islam. New York: Oxford

Abu-Amr, Ziad (1994) Islamic Fundamentalism in the West Bank and Gaza: Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic Jihad. Bloomington, IL: Indiana University

Abu-Rabi, Ibrahim M. (1996) Intellectual Origins of Islamic Resurgence in the Modern Arab World. Albany, NY: State University of New York

Bergen, Peter (2001) Holy War, Inc. Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden. New York: The Free Press

D’Souza, Dinesh (2002) What’s So Great About America. Washington: Regnery

Dekmejian, R. Hrair (1995) Islam in Revolution: Fundamentalism in the Arab World. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University

Haddad, Yvonne Y. (1983) “Sayyid Qutb: Ideologue of Islamic Revival.” Voices of Resurgent Islam. Ed. John L. Esposito. New York: Oxford

Hiro, Dilip (1989) Holy Wars: The Rise of Islamic Fundamentalism. New York: Routledge

Moussalli, Ahmad S. (1992) Radical Islamic Fundamentalism: The Ideological and Political Discourse of Sayyid Qutb. Beirut: American University of Beirut

Moussalli, Ahmad S. (1999) Moderate and Radical Islamic Fundamentalism: The Quest For Modernity, Legitimacy, and the Islamic State. Gainesville, FL. University Press of Florida

Nettler, Ronald L (1987) Past Trials and Present Tribulations: A Muslim Fundamentalist’s View of the Jews. New York: Pergamon


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: fundamentalism; history; ideology; islam; jihad; muslim; qutb; radicalism; religion; sayyidqutb; terrorism
At the request of FReeper knews_hound, this is the full text of my term paper from a history class I took at the University of Delaware in the spring of 2002 titled "Islamic Radicalism in the Middle East." This class was offered in the aftermath of September 11th, to give undergraduate students an understanding of the history of Islamic fundamentalism, which obviously motivated the terrorist attacks. I found the class to be fairly-balanced, with little bias. The professor, a native of the Netherlands, is fluent in Arabic and Farsi, and is an expert in Middle Eastern history, particularly in Iranian history. He was a great teacher, in my opinion. After I saw the NYT article, I e-mailed him with the link to the article. He had already seen it, but thanked me for sending it to him.

Even though this paper was initially finished almost a year ago, I still consider it "a work in progress." I wrote it in a bit of a hurry, because of the workload I had that semester, and because a power outage at my dormitory while I was in the middle of writing it shortened the time I had to write it. I am considering using it for my graduate school entrance applications, so I am planning on rewriting it, using footnotes instead of in-text citations, and to make sure that there is no question of improperly paraphrasing the source material (even though the professor graded it and saw no problem - I want to cover my bases).

I hope this article proves educational to those seeking knowledge of the roots of Islamic radicalism. As knews_hound said, it is less verbose than the NYT article, and is not really analytical. It wasn't the point of the assignment to be analytical, but to chronicle the history of a major figure or movement in the history of Islamic radicalism. Sayyid Qutb is probably one of the most important figures in the history of modern Islamic fundamentalist movements. His work is something that shouldn't be ignored by those who are concerned with the defense of Western civilization.

1 posted on 03/26/2003 7:52:52 AM PST by Pyro7480
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To: aculeus; SkyPilot; BunnySlippers; js1138; dennisw; Securo; Dajjal; TomSmedley; Maeve; beckett; ...
PINGing the members who commented on the original NYT article threads!
2 posted on 03/26/2003 7:53:58 AM PST by Pyro7480 (+ Vive Jesus! (Live Jesus!) +)
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To: Pyro7480
ping
3 posted on 03/26/2003 7:56:55 AM PST by TomSmedley
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To: Pyro7480
BUMP!
4 posted on 03/26/2003 8:24:55 AM PST by Pyro7480 (+ Vive Jesus! (Live Jesus!) +)
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To: Pyro7480
BTTT

Thank you for posting this.

IMHO, the West will never come to terms with radical Islam until it understands the motivations behind it.

Qutb is the founder of this movement and as its principal author, his words resonate with the current crop of Radicals that threaten us now.

What amazed me the most Pyro, was his assertion that viewing 1940s America revealed its decadence. He would have fallen over in shock if he were to see the Western World of today.

I have grave suspicions however about many of the assertions he makes. For instance, a Western Woman tried to seduce him on the ship? Yeah right, I'm sure they were falling all over thenselves for his studly bod. Additionally, the idea that British intellegence would under any circumstance reveal their long term plans to an admitted Radical and likely foe seems ludicrous.

I do thank you for posting this, knowledge is power. And like any good soldier, I like to know my enemy.

Cheers,

knews hound

5 posted on 03/26/2003 8:25:48 AM PST by knews_hound (Anyone else play Day of Defeat?)
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To: Pyro7480
Thanks, and a BUMP!
6 posted on 03/26/2003 8:27:05 AM PST by BunnySlippers
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To: Pyro7480
Islam will always be dangerous, because revival is an ever present phenomenon of religions. In revival, followers attempt to emulate their religions' founders.

In Jewish revival, Jews emulate Moses, living by the law, and trying to get to the Promised Land.

In Christian revival, Christians emulate Christ, healing the sick, feeding the hungry, and evangellizing the masses.

In Islamic revival, Muslims emulate Mohammed, and seek to conquer and drive out the infidel, butcher indiscriminately, plunder their neghbors, take their woman as they please, and enslave whom they will.

Peaceful Islam is the aberration.



7 posted on 03/26/2003 8:30:01 AM PST by Sabertooth
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To: Pyro7480; rdb3; MadIvan
You might find this intresting.

Cheers,

knews hound

8 posted on 03/26/2003 8:37:15 AM PST by knews_hound (Anyone else play Day of Defeat?)
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To: Pyro7480
The root of any and all forms of islam is in satan

Mohammed wrote the koran under the influence of a demon by his own admission..he was tricked by one of his wives and his own pride into changing his mind...

The fruits of Mohammed and his belief in Allah being the same God as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are fairly evident in history..death

By their fruits you will know them...and their dogma

Moderate islam is the trojan horse of the pure form

Jesus refered to himself as "living water..the water that eliminates all thirst" He and He alone is the wellspring of all life...

Mohammed and Islam denies this..all Islam denies this...even the moderate form

Moderate muslims are often kind hearted, decent, hard working tax payers..in a secular society and even a Christian one this is all that is required..and should be

Jesus said that he who is not against us is for us..

As long as islam is not against Christ in an open ovet manner ..it is ok...this doesnt alter the fact that its a false religon that will ultimately deliver its followers into eternal damnation...but to allow them to live among us is ok as long as they are not against us...

And perhaps this way many will be allowed by Jesus to see the truth and come to saving faith in Christ...

If they plot in secret in their mosques or teach death to US citizens Jews and Christians in their Islamic training centers than it would be in the interest of national security to stop them

To give the wahhabi lobby -CAIR access to the pockets of our politicans is also cultural suicide imo..
9 posted on 03/26/2003 8:51:36 AM PST by joesnuffy
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To: Sabertooth; All
In Islamic revival, Muslims emulate Mohammed, and seek to conquer and drive out the infidel, butcher indiscriminately, plunder their neghbors, take their woman as they please, and enslave whom they will.

You've got that right!!!

Slavery was almost extinct in Northwest Europe. Slave capture and 'processing' that existed were almost exclusively to trade with the Moslems of Turkey and the 'Barbary Coast'.

You see, under Sharia law, a man may only sleep with his wife(s) and Slaves. Hence, Slavery WILL be revived.

Interestingly, when the British 'got religion' and outlawed and began surpressing the Slave Trade, Moslems considered that action as being "anti-Moslem".

We really don't want a world where Slavery returns!!

10 posted on 03/26/2003 9:13:52 AM PST by Lael (Well, I Guess he DIDN'T go wobbly in the legs!! Now, "W", lets do the REST of the AXIS of EVIL!!)
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To: Pyro7480
Thanks for pinging me to your paper. I trust you received a top grade, since the scholarship is excellent. I learned a lot.
11 posted on 03/26/2003 9:51:16 AM PST by beckett
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To: Sabertooth; a_Turk
There are 25 countries around today's globe where there is some level of internal armed conflict caused by the muslim push to create a Global Caliphate. Putin warned about it last year. The PM of Singapore showed documents taken when al-queda cells in his country were arrested that talked of the plans to create a SE Asian Caliphate.

In spite of this eveidence there are muslims who post here trying to convince us that the idea of a Global Caliphate is just a joke...nothing to concern us...sound just like the US communists of the last century who did their best to fool us about Stalin. It didn't work then and I don't see it working now.

12 posted on 03/26/2003 10:04:17 AM PST by wtc911
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To: beckett
Thanks for the compliment. :-) As I said in my comments below the article, I am planning on rewriting it, using footnotes instead of in-text citations, and to make sure that there is no question of improperly paraphrasing the source material (even though the professor graded it and saw no problem - I want to cover my bases). Out of a total of 80 points possible for the paper, I received a 78. I got 2 points taken off for some minor errors I made in the original draft, but I fixed them in this post. The professor wrote "excellent paper, well-organized and deftly argued." Even with that, there's always room for improvement. ;-)
13 posted on 03/26/2003 10:30:41 AM PST by Pyro7480 (+ Vive Jesus! (Live Jesus!) +)
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To: Pyro7480
Bookmarked. Great material. Have you read Malise Ruthven's A Fury for God that has a decent summary of this guy?
14 posted on 03/26/2003 10:30:45 AM PST by swarthyguy
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To: swarthyguy
Thanks for the compliment. :-) Unfortunately, I haven't read Ruthven's "A Fury for God," but I have his "Islam: A Very Short Introduction," which was a textbook for my history class. Ruthven briefly mention Qutb in the book.

What largely pushed me in the direction of writing my term paper about him was reading Dinesh D'Souza's book "What's So Great About America." The first chapter was printed in .pdf format on the Young America's Foundation website shortly before the book was released, and I saw the part where he mentioned Qutb. We obviously talked about him in my class, so I decided to do my paper about him.

When I made my trip to the university library, the few outright sources about Qutb had been taken out, so it took me a little bit more time to find sources, but what I did find was great. By the time I got around to sitting down and writing the paper, the one source that I wanted to use was back in the library, so I got to use it. I'll have to check out Ruthven's book now. Thanks for telling me about it. :-)

15 posted on 03/26/2003 10:41:05 AM PST by Pyro7480 (+ Vive Jesus! (Live Jesus!) +)
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To: Pyro7480
Thank you for pinging me to this thread.

A good paper, and I am glad that I read it.

Thanks again.
16 posted on 03/26/2003 11:02:23 AM PST by tictoc
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To: tictoc
You're quite welcome, and thanks for your compliment. :-)
17 posted on 03/26/2003 11:05:16 AM PST by Pyro7480 (+ Vive Jesus! (Live Jesus!) +)
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To: Pyro7480
Thanks for the ping. Please add me to your ping list.
18 posted on 03/26/2003 2:52:36 PM PST by GOPJ
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To: GOPJ
ATTENTION DC AREA FREEPERS - The full and collected works of Sayyed Qutb can be found at a quiet little meatshop-and-bookstore in Northern Virginia. There's also a remarkable collection of the most vile anti-Semitic literature imaginable, starting (but NOT ending!) with three different translations of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It's like a frumpy old Catholic bookstore, except 'taint anything Catholic about it. Caveat emptor.
19 posted on 03/26/2003 8:43:00 PM PST by homeagain balkansvet
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To: Pyro7480
What ideas can be used to fight these people. What ideas will allow them to exist in peace -- with anyone. Most wars in the world involve Muslims. What part of the ideas they hold are the most dangerous to our way of life -- to their way of life? Is compromise possible? Do you feel Iran is different and if so, why?

With the Russians we would sit down and push pawn to King four - they would respond with pawn to King four... While seeming different, both sides were chess players. With Iraq, we push pawn to king four, and they piss in the corner, then hit the chess board with an ax. Please share your insight.

20 posted on 03/26/2003 9:13:30 PM PST by GOPJ
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To: Pyro7480; All
What ideas can be used to fight these people. What ideas will allow them to exist in peace -- with anyone. Most wars in the world involve Muslims. What part of the ideas they hold are the most dangerous to our way of life -- to their way of life? Is compromise possible? Do you feel Iran is different and if so, why?

With the Russians we would sit down and push pawn to King four - they would respond with pawn to King four... While seeming different, both sides were chess players. With Iraq, we push pawn to king four, and they piss in the corner, then hit the chess board with an ax. Please share your insight.

21 posted on 03/26/2003 9:13:52 PM PST by GOPJ
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To: joesnuffy
To give the wahhabi lobby -CAIR access to the pockets of our politicans is also cultural suicide imo..


bump
22 posted on 03/26/2003 9:18:57 PM PST by TLBSHOW (looks like the old days around this here thread and I see you have it under control... (:>))
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To: Pyro7480
Bump for later.

Thanks for the ping.

23 posted on 03/26/2003 9:58:24 PM PST by Victoria Delsoul
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To: Pyro7480
Excellent paper! Thanks for posting it!
24 posted on 03/27/2003 2:32:58 AM PST by Dajjal
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To: GOPJ
With the Russians we would sit down and push pawn to King four - they would respond with pawn to King four... While seeming different, both sides were chess players. With Iraq, we push pawn to king four, and they piss in the corner, then hit the chess board with an ax. Please share your insight.>>

FundaMental Muslims have one attribute the Russians did not. And they have a glaring weakness.

What deterred the Soviets was that they were ATHEISTS. Start a major war, and die, and go to the Big Inky. No 72 virgins for THEM; they die, they're dead, end of story. While the Russians et al could fight like tigers and even suicidally, they fought that way in defense of RODINA-MAT ('the Motherland,' Russia) and not of Soviet Socialism. Not so, alas, islamonazis. BUT....

Their weakness, one we must exploit, is their belief that EVERYTHING IS FIXED AND YOU CAN'T CHANGE IT (to quote a line from Jesus Christ Superstar, a show that would give your friendly neighborhood Islamonut a case of the hives). They--by whom I mean fundamentalists, NOT, say, Sufi muslims--are trapped in the amber of "Inshall'ah": Everything that happens, down to the smallest dropping of a pencil off of the edge of a table, is God's Will.

We are not so bound by Fate. We, being Western and both Christian and Scientific, believe in free will, that what occurrs is the result of decisions made by us, even down to the smallest (like putting a pencil too close to the edge of a table). Furthermore, as Christians, we believe, not in Fate, but in Providence, in a loving and personal God who gives a little nudge for those whom He favors (although that 'nudge' can sometimes feel like a kick in the ass!).

Accordingly, we have greater imagination and are freer to do the unexpected because we are not locked into a Fate that will determine everything.

This also means that, when Muslims get their asses kicked, in Combat or elsewhere, they are trapped in the amber of inshall'ah. We can use that very intelligently in our favor when the time comes to govern these folks. They are very, very, very submissive to overwhelming firepower. As we will discover.

"The German is either at your throat or at your feet," said Churchill. So the Arabs.

One thing about the amber of inshall'ah, however. It makes them submissive, but gives them great strength and endurance in the face of deprivation and suffering. Considering that the vast majority of their history has been spent in desert and abject poverty, this should be no surprise.
25 posted on 03/27/2003 4:19:57 AM PST by homeagain balkansvet (Sayyed Qutb imagined a world in which I would die rather than live. Victory Now.)
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To: knews_hound
BTTT
26 posted on 03/27/2003 7:03:01 PM PST by homeagain balkansvet
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To: homeagain balkansvet
Back at ya
27 posted on 03/27/2003 7:11:27 PM PST by knews_hound (Anyone else play Day of Defeat?)
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To: homeagain balkansvet
You're saying they're determinists ala BF Skinner...except they think EVERYTHING that happens is God's will? Wouldn't that tend to kill personal ambition and correction. I mean, do they take personal responsibility for anything, or is it just "God's will" when things go awry. Does free will exist in Islam??
28 posted on 04/03/2003 2:36:32 PM PST by azjatojarhd1ea (azjarhd)
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To: azjatojarhd1ea
You're saying they're determinists ala BF Skinner...except they think EVERYTHING that happens is God's will? Wouldn't that tend to kill personal ambition and correction. I mean, do they take personal responsibility for anything, or is it just "God's will" when things go awry. >>

When things go right, it's their doing AND 'inshallah'. When things go wrong, 'inshallah.'

Does free will exist in Islam??>>>

Depends on what sect but in essence.... no. Neither does the Fall of Man. The concept of 'fallenness' is alien to Islam.

"There is no greater salve for the broken of heart or broken of head than a big slug of 'Thy Will Be Done.'" -- Stephen King, THE STAND

29 posted on 04/03/2003 3:01:09 PM PST by homeagain balkansvet
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To: Pyro7480
bookmark
30 posted on 04/03/2003 4:05:02 PM PST by Stultis
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To: Pyro7480

Re-BUMP


31 posted on 07/23/2004 1:56:39 PM PDT by knews_hound (Out of the NIC ,into the Router, out to the Cloud....Nothing but 'Net)
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