February 04, 2004


I should both thank Demosophia for the kind plug of my ramblings on Qutb, and note that he's offered some thoughtful commentary of his own, as has Regnum Crucis. For the record, I tend to think Milestone isn't quite Das Kapital or Mein Kampf -- it's closer to the Communist Manifesto, although that comparison is a bit inapt as well. Maybe it's closest in theme to Lenin's What is to be Done? For a very interesting post on Qutb's European influences, let me recommend Newsrack Blog's discussion of Qutb and Alexis Carrel, a French surgeon, mystic, and eugenicist who Qutb apparently read a lot.

Posted by Ideofact at February 4, 2004 12:00 AM


So is In the Shade of... the Mein Kampf or Kapital? As regards our pal Abu Noor, I suppose it's quite possible for people to adhere to a movement for entirely honorable reasons, without realizing the true nature of that movement. But the inability to distinguish between two very different forms of martyrdom seems, well, dysfunctional? I'm inclined to take him at his word, that he really believes Qutb had no intentions of spawining such atrocities. If true, it merely tells me that he has no such intentions, or that he resists them. But of what practical import is such a commitment in the scheme of things, where there's no perceptible difference between murder and pacifism?

If the Palestinians had followed Gandhi's lead they'd have had an independent state decades ago, with a fraction of the tragedy. In all probability they'd be allies of Israel now, or competitors. (Or both.)

Posted by: Scott at February 4, 2004 10:32 AM

Scott --

Regarding the Palestinians, I absolutely agree. But violence seemed to be their first resort. I don't blame Qutb entirely for this -- it seems Arab Nationalists had the same conception. -- The emphasis on driving the Jews into the sea seems fairly universal across the political spectrum.

Above, I quoted an al-Ahram piece the describes Qutb's writings as "violent discourse." I think your notion that, excepting Abu Noor, most of his readers understood where he was coming from and what he intended is sound.

As for Shade, well, maybe its Die Grundrisse...

Posted by: Bill at February 5, 2004 12:36 AM


I'm just curious. If the Mexican and Mexican American population of the Southwest United States decided to declare the area an independent country or a country joined to Mexico and declaring that the State was a Mexican state on the ancestral homeland of Mexico and denied equal rights to the "Anglos" who lived there -- Do you think the United States citizens of that area or any of the rest of the country would react with sitins or protest marches or do you think they might react with violence and a desire to drive the Mexicans into the sea? Just a question.

Abu Noor al-Irlandee

Posted by: Abu Noor al-Irlandee at February 9, 2004 06:39 PM

Interesting question. Of course, illegal Mexican immigrants aren't risking life and limb to cross the border in order to repatriate the Western and Southwestern United States to Mexico, so it's a rather academic question. (Yes, there's a tiny fringe movement that advocates just such a thing -- you're not suggesting that you take their aims seriously, are you? Or that you grant them a certain intellectual respectability? We still have Klansmen in this country -- I presume you don't think they have a legitimate point as well...)

So let me respond by asking another question. What if the duly constituted Caliph declared in a public letter that he wanted to create an autonomous homeland for the Jews in Palestine? Wouldn't a good Islamist be duty bound to follow such a decree?

Posted by: Bill at February 9, 2004 10:24 PM