...which, logically, deals with the 2 Qutb series, or ideofact's analysis of what may well be Qutb's most influential work, Milestones. Yes, the slightly annotated index to all Sayyid Qutb posts on paleo Ideofact and ideofact continues. Depressingly, all of the links to Milestones are broken as of this writing; maybe I'll fix them later. Milestones has been called by some a sort of Mein Kampf or (perhaps more accurately) Communist Manifesto for Qutb. I prefer to think of it as a "What is to be done?" -- though I have never been certain whether it is the comically bad What is to be done of Nikolai Chernyshevsky or the tragically bad What is to be Done of V.I. Lenin. So, without further ado...
In 2 Qutb I, we learn that curiosity salted the snail. Also, that Qutb has "this new thing" which "cannot be appreciated" unless a "vanguard" of the Islamoteriat emerges, or some such.
2 Qutb 1 contains a regrettable error on my part, but also tells us that only the first generation of Muslims really rocked, the rest are all poseurs because of this damnable, Western induced Jahiliyyah.
2 Qutb 2 is a bit of a waste of time, but does note that even in the time of Prophet, just as in Calvin's Geneva or any other religious community, there are sinners...
2 Qutb 3 suggests a contradiction: if 2 Qutb 2 argues that the central organizing principle of Islam is complete and total submission to God, then how is thatt Qutb can turn around and call for the complete submission to a vanguard that has completely submitted to God?
2 Qutb 4A quotes this bit: "This movement does not confine itself to mere preaching to confront physical power, as it also does not use compulsion for changing the ideas of people." It also quotes this bit: "...[this movement] uses physical power and Jihaad for abolishing the organizations and authorities of the Jahili system which prevents people from reforming their ideas and beliefs but forces them to obey their erroneous ways and make them serve human lords instead of the Almighty Lord." Nice to know there's no compulsion involved.
I wrote in 2 Qutb 4a that it's very difficult for me to have anything intelligent to say (a self evident statement if there ever was one) but also point out this gem from Qutb: "What [Islam] wants is to abolish those oppressive political systems under which people are prevented from expressing their freedom to choose whatever beliefs they want, and after that it gives them complete freedom to decide whether they will accept Islam or not."
2 Qutb 5a worries that we might mistakenly worship school board members, dog catchers, members of Congress, township supervisors and presidents.
2 Qutb 5b notes that Qutb's ideas on politics suffer from a disturbing lack of specificity.
2 Qutb 6 notes some hope for humanity. It's mine, not Qutb's...
2 Qutb 7a concerns itself with Bernard Shaw, progressive Islam, and Qutb's rejection of same (despite his fondness for Shaw)...
2 Qutb 7b tells us that a society in which "people are permitted to go to mosques, churches and synagogues" actually "denies or suspends God's sovereignty on earth."
In 2 Qutb 7c, a critique of journalism in the jahiliyya is offered, particularly the idea (which I believe the New York Times, Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer and Wall Street Journal all garnered Pulitzers in the 1950s for arguing) that sex, premarital sex, sex, infidelity, sex, more sex, extra sex, casual sex, sex out of wedlock, and -- did I mention sex? -- should be encouraged.
2 Qutb 7d further explores Qutb's obsession with sex, premarital sex, sexy sex, sex cetera...
2 Qutb 7e tries to wrap up the seventh chapter of Milestones with a few quotes I found interesting....
...but 2 Qutb 7f offers the most interesting quote:
This movement, from the moment of its inception until the growth and permanent existence of its society comes about, tests every individual and assigns him a position of responsibility according to his capacity, as measured by the Islamic balance and standards. The society automatically recognizes his capabilities, and he does not need to come forward and announce his candidacy; in fact, his belief and the values to which he and his society subscribe compel him to keep himself concealed from the eyes of those who want to give him a responsible position.
...suggesting to me a not uninteresting fiction: Perhaps Egypt in the 1950s, the Egypt Qutb railed against, was in fact the ideal Islamic community, and Qutb's position of responsibility (prisoner, ranter) perfectly matched his capacity...
2 Qutb 8a is devoted to the themes of art, literature, classical music, poetry, and other tricks concocted by World Jewry, LLP.
2 Qutb 8b demonstrates Qutb's scientific acumen, particularly his notion that some questions cannot be asked.
2 Qutb 8c was a bit of a stinker, not my best work, but it does tell us that in "principles of economics and political affairs and interpretation of historical processes" only a Muslim is worthy of consultation.
2 Qutb 8d notes strange disparities between F. Scott Fitzgerald and Sayyid Qutb.
In 2 Qutb 8e, we learn that the decision to hold the scientific and industrial revolutions, the enlightenment, and even the Protestant reformation in Europe was a regrettable scheduling mistake (and they were pretty much stolen from Islam anyway...).
2 Qutb 8 note offers some intelligent analysis (hint: I didn't write it).
2 Qutb 9 (too) briefly suggests that the chapter was designed to appeal (psychologically) to younger Muslims; I recall that when reading it you could almost count the beats until the next manipulative passage designed to stoke the would be jihadi.
In 2 Qutb 10a, apparent inconsistencies in his thought are noted.
2 Qutb 10b is about the odd contrast implicit in much of Qutb's thought, but explicit here: that human desire invariably is at odds with Islam.
In 2 Qutb 10c, we find a confession of a lack of good manners.
2 Qutb 11a returns to the theme of the psychological impact of Qutb's statements, particularly suggestions that a believer should be "above all the powers of the earth which have deviated from the way of the Faith, above all the values of the earth not derived from the source of the Faith, above all the customs of the earth not colored with the coloring of the Faith, above all the laws of the laws of the earth not sanctioned by the Faith, and above all traditions not originating in the Faith." I imagine Mohammad Atta was feeling something similar as the World Trade Center came into view...
2 Qutb 11b continues this theme; Qutb writes, "Even if death is his portion, he will never bow his head. Death comes to all, but for him there is martyrdom."
Unable to restrain my crusader blood, in 2 Qutb 12, I point out that Qutb was merely a Christian heretic; hopefully, the idea that I regret not having had the chance to run my sword through him personally is implicit in the post.
Ugh. and that's it for Milestons. More later...Posted by Ideofact at March 17, 2005 11:17 PM