August 08, 2004
2 Qutb 12
This non sequitur is brought to you by the 12th and final chapter of Milestones, by radical Islamist Sayyid Qutb, sometimes described as the "brain of Osama":
Let me appear, for a moment, in my true guise -- as Qutb would have it -- and begin where Qutb ends, by echoing any number of Medieval Christian polemicists by calling Qutb nothing more than a Christian heretic, a follower of that arch heretic Mahomet, who surely will be consigned (I'm switching metiers to poetry now) to the eighth circle of Hell for sowing discord. I am normally unwilling to write such a thing because were I to do so as openly as I have done so here, I would clarify the great struggle in which my home team, the democratic, pluralistic West (make that, the Crusader West), is engaged in with the Ummah, and had always been engaged in with the Ummah. I am no less a crusader than Richard the Lionheart, the Templars, King Louis VII, Pope Urban II, or Peter the Hermit.
This is where Qutb ends the twelth chapter -- and it comes as something of a non sequitur. The previous paragraphs, beginning with a tale of martyrdom at the very outset that has much in common with Christian tales of martyrdom (the faithful going helplessly to their deaths defiant in their beliefs), extols the virtues of death:
Life's pleasures and pains, achievements and frustrations, do not have any great weight in the scale, and do not determine the profit or loss. Triumph is not limited to immediate victory, which is but one of the many forms of triumph.
In the scale of God, the true weight is the weight of faith; in God's market the only commodity in demand is the commodity of faith. The highest form of triumph is the victory of soul over matter, the victory of belief over pain, and the victory of faith over persecution. ...
All men die, and of various causes; but not all gain such victory, nor reach such heights, nor taste such freedom, nor soar to such limits of the horizon. It is God's choosing and honoring a group of people who share death with the rest of mankind but who are singled out from other people for honor -honor among the noblest angels, nay, even among all mankind, if we measure them by the standards of the total history of generations of men.
This rather contradicts much of the point of Qutb's earlier work Social Justice in Islam, in which he argued that, contrary to the Christian demand for martyrs, Islam was concerned with the hear and now, with the practical affairs of life. Yet the practical affairs of life often require settling for half a loaf -- ask any politician or businessman -- something that Qutb here explicitly rejects.
What's interesting is that appears that most of the twelth chapter is devoted not to conjuring up jihad against the West, but rather, jihad against the rulers of, well, most likely Egypt and other Arab states. I'm basing this conclusion in part on my impressions from the 11th chapter, and in part on the way Qutb ends the effort:
The enemies of the Believers may wish to change this struggle into an economic or political or racial struggle, so that the Believers become confused concerning the true nature of the struggle and the flame of belief in their hearts becomes extinguished. The Believers must not be deceived, and must understand that this is a trick. The enemy, by changing the nature of the struggle, intends to deprive them of their weapon of true victory, the victory which can take any form, be It the victory of the freedom of spirit as was case of the Believers in the story of the Maker of the Pit, or dominance in the world -as a consequence of the freedom of spirit-as happened in the case of the first generation of Muslims.
We see an example of this today in the attempts of Christendom to try to deceive us by distorting history and saying that the Crusades were a form of imperialism. The truth of the matter is that the latter-day imperialism is but a mask for the crusading spirit, since it is not possible for it to appear in its true form, as it was possible in the Middle Ages. The unveiled crusading spirit was smashed against the rock of the faith of Muslim leadership which came from various elements, including Salahuddin the Kurd and Turan Shah the Mamiuk, who forgot the differences of nationalities and remembered their belief, and were victorious under the banner of Islam.
"Christendom" is brought in as the decisive trump against fellow Muslims who might not share Qutb's emphasis on death, rather than the focal point of his ire.
Note: This post may be renamed "12a" at my discretion -- I might want to say more about this strange chapter.
Note: There were a couple of comments on this post which I haven't gotten around to reading in full, but both seem to be a bit nastier than the standard fare here. I'll make a decision on whether to restore them soon...(8/11)
Update: After reading the comments, I've decided to restore them. I'll join the discussion soon...
Posted by Ideofact at August 8, 2004 11:21 PM
I knew Abu the Moslem from Ireland couldn’t resist the temptation of my summary of Islam and Qutby in 6 lines. First the name is Kabay, Abu, Kabay from Australia. As an intellectual I was always ashamed of myself not supporting young Rushdie (the “die” in his name is prophetic ain’t it) against old Khomeini. ( (But see the other side) Though I don’t blame the likes of Ibn for not giving their real names, all of us should have stood beside Rushdie and said we in spirit co-authored that book.
Like most devoted pious Moslems (I know Saidy (the Edward of Orientalism- bless his heavenly soul- Saidy ) doesn’t like me stereotyping Arab Muslims but bugger him he’s dead and can’t criticize me and in addition I find the orientalist technique one of the few useful tools for me to rationalise 9/11)who don’t like what they hear/see/read, Abu says I didn’t read Qutby (the “y” at the end of a name is an Australian way of indicating a bond/matemanship - spiritual in this case not personally as the Australian version ) or can’t read the original Arabic or King didn’t obey unjust American laws or McVeigh shows there is no such thing as Islamic terrorism or American individual supremacy based laws are the same as Iran’s Islam supremacy based laws or why can’t Moslem practice polygyny in USA and other such diversionary irrelevant crap.(I’m doing an analysis to the various processes devout Muslims use to argue when non Moslem ask or point out negative aspects of Islam and compare the same when a reformist/liberal/moderate? Moslem does the same to a devout Moslem. . My initial thinking on the matter after I had read a few and I realise there was a pattern, suggested the same processes are used in both but they are very different. I’ll let you know the results. But I digress again. Bugger!)
After nineteen pathetic, sexually confused, (if you don’t believe me Google Islam, Male and then Sex – you know they don’t believe in fellatio: not too sure about cunnilingus. Typical western Jahilian bastard aren’t I) disturbed, pious male Arab Moslems committed suicide and murdered 3000 peaceful individuals going about their work (just think about that for a moment- you are siting there then all of a sudden there, in front of you, is this fucking big flaming plane and your dead. Just because some one thinks Allah don’t like you) I have tried to understand this Islam. I am reading Said, Ibn, Chomsky, Qutb (don’t bother with his In the Shade unless you want to read some pious writings. His other books are better) Gunaratna, Benjamin, Simon, Bergen, Lewis, Sachedina, Esack, Esposito, Haddad (–see my Amazon wish list for hope to read books), I got on the email list for CIAR, anti CIAR, Islam on Line, MEMRI, CIAO, Pipes, Council of Foreign Relations, Grundman etc, read the many web pages of Islam organisations and about Islam, trying to learn Arabic on the web and finally, found the universe of Bloggers and cuddley Abu. I think I’m going to like Abu. I can see us having arguments/intense discussions: him calling me a wanker me calling him a prick but still talking/shouting to/at each other. Shit it’s going to be great!
I didn’t have any one I knew die in the event though there was a person I knew just missed dying. But he is a prick so it was bad luck. But his mother’s nice and it would have been very sad for her if he died. So I feel as if I knew someone who was effected so I feel involved. Why he missed out is a typical Australian worker story. He got told to evacuate and leave work, then halfway down he was told its ok and to return. You never tell an Australian worker to leave and expect him to come back if told. The first command is relevant at least for a day and over rides any thing else that is said on that day. Because of that he is alive today and his mother is happy.
Before I show Abuy the relevant verses leading to my 6 point summary we need to just explore this religion of Qutby. Now you need to realise that the Qur’an is allah. Like Jesus is god. ( Note the small “a” and “g”. There is no god but I am 100% sure that most men and women need God. Having God is the only thing that stops the human mind going off that thin line of sanity and tames him/her. Just compare the mass murders by fanatical religious freaks to the genocides of atheistic megalomaniacs- But I digress). Given that you obey god then these two entities are important. With Jesus you have to watch him. The bible tells you what he did. Lots of room to discuss what his actions really means. Not so with the Qur’an. Its written down like a legal document. Black and white. You thought your insurance contract is hard to understand and get out of. You wait till you sign the Qur’an. Mohammad is the Lawyer Supreme- a lawyer of lawyers. This fact though good at first (look at what they had and achieved in the first 5 centuries. They were with the Chinese in the east the masters of the west. They maintained and added to mankind’s knowledge, culture, governance and instigated a social contract between men/women which bought man out of the dark ages. With out Islam western civilisation would not have been) has eventually fucked Moslems because like all agreements god or man given it needs to be renegotiated because of Allah’s higher expectations of His subjects. Fortunately Allah knows that His creations grow and change (as day changes to night; winter into summer; today into tomorrow and child into adult) unfortunately his subjects, with the same sort of arrogance the rest of His human creation shows, don’t agree with Him and so have followed the same agreement for 1500 years. How do you get out of this contract? .Usually they kill you if you leave. How do you go back to the former glory but not leave. Its NOT the Qutby way of inventing a time machine and bringing old Mohammad and his mates (and wives) ack.. There is a better way if Muslim philosophers and theologians put their minds to it. However the Moslem mind (I know Saidy doesn’t like me doing that but he’s dead now so it won’t hurt him) because of its community, prevents itself from realising the way. It goes like this. Allah because of what He Is cannot “go through” a human being to become the Written Allah. Gods don’t do that because they are Gods. It’s not the God Thing. We don’t go through a dog to tell another dog what to do –we tell the bloody dog directly. “Fetch it” It’s a “spiritual level” thing. This fact means one of 3 things in regards to the Book.
1 the Book was actually written by Allah something along the lines of god scratching on the rock tablets of Moses for the ten commandments thing. Moslem tradition say no it was written by men (women?).
2 Mohammad was Allah (something like Jesus). This way Allah can write the Qu’ran. No. This is definitely a no no for Moslems.
Or 3 the Book is the Recordings of Mohammad’s Thoughts on the Discussions he had with Allah written within history. The objective evidence indicates 3 is right (This is not too say that Moslems can not say “I have Faith that the Qu’ran is what I say it is”. But just don’t say its fact (have a look at some of the Islam sites and see what they use to convince themselves that it is fact. I would hope my five year old kid would have more critical cognitive abilities when watching TV . But I digress again. Shit I do it every time!!)
If you accept that the Qu’ran is a human written document written in history then Heaven and the world is yours. Have you ever taken out the anti International Declaration Human Rights crap from the Qu’ran and see what a document you get. Its beautiful. Better than the bible. Now this is Sayyid Qutb’s best book of Mankind. Something even Allah would be proud of.
However Qutb Moslem community prevents him from making this intellectual leap and he is left in abject spiritual poverty. Hence his book. Now back to my six liner.
Point 1 Moslems have to change society into an Islamic society that obeys Islamic laws.
I suppose Agu agrees with me that point 1 is right and that is what Islam has to do. However what Abu is saying in his reply to point 2 is that Qutb was writing about was the “correct way” of establishing an Islamic society in a Democracy (or Jahiliyyah). What Adu doesn’t say is what the Prophet and Qutb in saying what the “correct way” is tears strips off moderate Muslims “this group of thinkers who are a product of the sorry state of the present Muslim generation” p 56 who were trying to define Jihaad as “defensive”. as Qutb says the “correct” way is that they (us or the jahili) be “treated harshly” p54, and “uses physical power and Jihaad for abolishing the organisations and authorities…” p55 or “usurpers be thrown out” p58 or “…strike hard at all those political powers (democracy) which force people to bow before them…p61 or …Islam is not a defensive movement…p61 and “..when the above mentioned obstacles and practical difficulties are put in its way it has no recourse but to remove them by force …” p63 and “Islam has the right to remove all those obstacles which are in its path… P 74 ( read the whole of Chapter 4 to see that the above are not taken out of context which I’m sure Abu in his Moslem way will say they are). As Qubt says (and this is Allah’s “correct way” or Method) Islam commanded “ Muslims were first restrained from fighting then they were permitted to fight and then they were commanded to fight against the aggressors and finally they were commanded to fight against all polytheists” p64 us! . “It (Islam) has the right to destroy all obstacles in the form of institutions and traditions..” p75 (these are my Point 3) but get this “ It does not attack individuals(my point 4) nor does it force its belief” p75 but they have to pay Jizyah .( my point 5 and 6) These two last quotes is an example of the schizophrenic nature of the Qu’ran, the cause of confusion in western mind and in a way summary of my 6 points. So Islam is commanded by the Qu’ran to destroy everything that is culturally of relevance to you (how that wouldn’t kill you or how they could do it with out killing you is beyond my comprehension but the Arab Muslim mind is the Arab Muslim mind my Point 3) that what makes you a you but doesn’t finish you off. You are free to exist as a non Muslim. You have “..complete freedom to decide whether they will accept Islam or not” p56 BUT- and this is the big but, the mother of all buts, the quintessential but the but that Abu and the rest don’t want you to know about “However this freedom does not mean that they can make their desires (kissing a girl who is not your sister of wife) their god or that they can choose to remain in the servitude of other human being (wanting democracy) making some men lords over other (like cops I suppose)” p61 (my point 5 and 6)…As Qutb says (my summary” Islam can strip you and screw silly you but doest allow you to come until you “La ilaha illa Allah” and “Wa ashhadu anna Muhammadar Rasul Allah” your self then heaven is yours.
Abu you need to read Qutb. He was writing for the whole world. Islam was to save mankind and Qubt was writing about how to do it!! He was writing to show how Islamic 5th columnists in a country (Muslim or non Muslim) were to do it! (see introduction and Chapter 1). And from my reading driving a plane into a building was part of it.
Abu your comment on my Point 5 you seem confused with allowing Dr King to not obey unjust American laws but you force me to obey the repressive Islamic Iran legal system. If you really believed Islam does not force me to accept Islam you have to accept my total rejection of Islamic law and to dis obey them as I, as a non muslim, regard them as totally unjust laws. I am sure that if I accepted the 5 tenants of Islam I would welcome in totality Islamic Law and would be flying one of those plains into those buildings.
Yes Abu I agree with your statement regards Qutb message “I am not saying it is not worth any thought or discussion…”
As a start Abu I want you to refute Qutb in wanting the world to become Islamic, to allow me to stay in Jahiliyyah and for you to be happy about it. Ok?
As I said Abu you are a pious devoted Muslim for whom I hope ( or as they say Allah willing of course )I would die to allow you to keep and practice your religion. But likewise I, (Allah willing again)would also now die to protect others from you and your religion if they did not want Islam.
As I said Abu
Islam 1 me 0
Dave just for a moment read what you have written and then think if you are not but an idiot of the highest rank. At any point in this long moronic speech like comment do you try to make any sense whatsoever. The whole intent seems to be mongering about things that you have no idea about. Baby come live here and then talk about stuff. Its easy to bugger up from there in your cozy seat. very few have the balls enough to come experience the facts before buggering about them. Get some fresh air and try to breathe some common sense and reality into your brain that at the moment seems to be full of shit load of shit.
Moiz or who ever you are stop babbling, take a deep breath and talk to me. Print out my comments and read it slowlly and aloud. Pause at the coma's and ignore where I wander off the point. If you do'nt understand a sentence or what I mean ask me to explain.
Ok Now tell me where I'm wrong and where I'm off the track (giving me references, web pages etc and not babbling) I'm trying to understand why 19 seemingly normal people rammed 3 jets up 3000 arses!! To me Qubty had a little to do with the warping of their Islamic faith or it could be that that is Islam. I'm trying to find out and arsholes like your self with their babbling do'nt help!! AS well I'm not too sure where your "here" is ?the USA or Iran or Saudi Arabia?
I have tried to read through your message a few times, I have to say it is pretty hard to make out a lot of it. I do understand some of it, but I think a comment discussion between myself and someone who states there is no god and makes bizarre and ill-informed comments about Islam of a sexual nature would not be beneficial.
I will engage any sincere person in discussion who wishes to better understand Islam, or Qutb, or even some Muslims if I may be able to help them with it. I am not saying you are not sincere, but I have no way of telling whether you are in this forum and your comments unfortunately lead one to fear otherwise.
And Allaah (swt) knows best.
Abu Abu You are back!!. For a few days there I thought I had lost you. First Bill saying there was a couple of “nasty” comments, then babbling Moiz, Then silence. But now you are here. I thought I had a lot of good vibs in the comments but obviously vibs is in the eye of the beholder.
Abu, reading a number of your comments in Ideafact, you are what I would call a very pious man. Holy is not a word I would use in regard to a Moslem but if you were a Christian its what I would call you. To me your religion means every thing to you and without it you are not you. I also appreciate but not understand that some items are taboo for you ie sex, However Abu you need to get use to people saying that though man needs and yearns for a God there is none. We are alone just with each other for better or for worst. And Abu I need you. You are the token Moslem in this show. So don’t go not answering my comments. Stay with me. Remember what I said - you call me a wanker and I’ll call you a prick (if you do not understand what these words mean culturally let me know-really. I’ll explain)
First you need to go through my comments saying which ones you don’t understand Mark them as paragraphs or parts of paragraphs ie 2nd half etc. If need be I’ll re phrase them. Those you understand but not agree with you need to send me off to the relevant Islamic web page or something else. I would appreciate it you didn’t just say its not so or do that Moslem thing I talked about in my second paragraph. I’m a left (or is it right- you know the person who is from Mars the non emotional person) brained person who wants facts just the facts to explain why 19 young men did what they did. And you Abu are one of my links to understanding.
Abu I know exhibitory sex is not your thing but Qutb would not have done what he did for the rest of his life if it wasn’t for that woman on the ship or what he saw in the States. So we need to discuss the subject. My reason for bring up that item in para 3 was a comment I read on an Islamic web page. A cleric was answering an email question from a Moslem. I followed it up through the various Islamic web pages. The thing that fascinated me was not so mush the sex but the extensive theological discussion that must have taken place on the topic to get a decision. I in my simple ways multiples this by a million and I think I understand the $64 question of why things are different for Moslems today compared back 1400 or so years ago! Abu if you don’t want to discuss Moslem sex I understand. But its one of the things (very small in the nature of things) I would like to talk about.
So Abu what do you think? Are you going to help me? Are you going to talk to an infidel. A person who is starting from the premise there is no god but wants to know what in Islamic culture makes 19 men fools. Is it man’s(eg Qutb) interpretation of Islam or once 19 men became Moslems there was no chance for them-their fate was already written. They were doomed from the start because of Islam.
I also assume that Bill will bear with us as well.
Hopefully you friend