Serendipity struck this afternoon. I was poking around in my hard drive and I came across something I'd forgotten about, another critical piece on Ramadan: Ramadan est un chef de guerre (in French).
It makes sense that you would find Tariq Ramadan and Alija Izbetgovic more accessible and more interesting than Sayyid Qutb.
While Sayyid Qutb did spend some time studying western culture, Ramadan and Izbetgovic were both products of the European environment and obviously understood it at a a much deeper level.
Beyond that, when they wrote, they were writing for an audience of both non-Muslims and Muslims who were similarly the products of European culture.
So for many reasons beyond the substance of what they are saying, it would be expected that you could relate much better to Ramadan and Izetbegovic.
Although Qutb is certainly read by Muslims all over the world, Qutb's intended audience was Muslims in the Muslim world at a certain time and place. (This is especially true of works like Milestones or the others you've read as compared to "In the Shade of the Qur'an," which because it is a commentary on the Qur'an will naturally assume a more timeless quality.)
I wasn't aware that Islam made a distinction among ethnic groups -- that European Muslims differed in character and quality from Arab or Persian or Mongol Muslims.
I'll try to remember that.
Thanks for your bizarre non-sequitur.
I NEVER wrote that Muslims of ethnic groups differe in "character or quality," nor would anyone who even knew me in the least ever imagine I would say such a thing.
Sometimes during this discussion when you attribute wicked ideas to myself or to people I admire I often get hurt because as much as I sometimes like to play at being a revolutionary, in a lot of ways I'm much too concerned about everybody liking or at least understanding me to ever really be one. May Allaah help me with any negative effects of that characteristic.
Then, you make a statement such as that one, to remind me that you literally don't know the first thing about me or what I believe so how could I possibly worry about what you think.
Reread my post -- I don't think its too difficult to understand. Perhaps you read it late last night and were tired...I certainly understand that. Other than that, I can only really think of two possibilities: you are not sincere in the discussion and were simply using sarcasm to attribute something to me you know I don't believe (to what purpose I'm not sure -- amusing yourself?) or you're just projecting your own beliefs about the differences between European Muslims and others. (So far the Muslims you like all seem to be European ones).
Allaah knows best.
Flippant as my comment was, I think it's bad faith on your part to attribute differences in thought among Izetbegovic, Ramadan and Qutb solely to their respective cultural milieus, or my responses to each of them as being determined by mine.
That was the point I was trying to make.