Sunday, August 13, 2006

On Fundamentalism Part 2

Sayyid Qutb who I mentioned in my prevous blog on Fundamentalism as the father of Islamism, formed most if not all of his beliefs during a late 1940's stay in America. First let's give the devil his due. To be a man of colour and an Arab in a horrendously racist country as the USA was in the 1940's was bound to warp any person's point of view. Make no mistake he would not have been given a red carpet and would have been made to know pretty early that his kind was not wanted there. And depended on where he was he could have easily been beaten or killed. One could even make a case for his reactionary views were they founded on America's political or racial stance, but nope, his thing was sex and for all his political and religious posturing homeboy could not get the dirty deed out of his mind. However he was too much in denial to take responsibility for his own obsession. So he did what rapists, molesters and cowards have done for centuries: blamed somebody else. I could go on and on about my personal opinion of him, but why not let the man speak for himself:

"The American girl is well acquainted with her body's seductive capacity. She knows it lies in the face, and in expressive eyes, and thirsty lips. She knows seductiveness lies in the round breasts, the full buttocks, and in the shapely thighs, sleek legs -- and she shows all this and does not hide it."

How about this little ditty about church?

"They danced to the tunes of the gramophone, and the dance floor was replete with tapping feet, enticing legs, arms wrapped around waists, lips pressed to lips, and chests pressed to chests. The atmosphere was full of desire...".

And not just the women, he couldn't put his finger on his messy feelings for the guys either:

“This primitiveness can be seen in the spectacle of the fans as they follow a game of football... or watch boxing matches or bloody, monstrous wrestling matches... This spectacle leaves no room for doubt as to the primitiveness of the feelings of those who are enamored with muscular strength and desire it.”

Hanged in 1966 for his attempt to overthrow the Egyptian government, Qutb managed to tranfer his sexual frustation into religious militance, something that men still do today. Maybe now would be a perfect time to release a DVD of Bertolucci's The Conformist to see just how sexual obsession can be tranformed quite easily into military ardour.

The truth is he was a pathetic, frustrated, little man who unfortunately was the perfect lightning rod for other frustrated little men and his influence continues to this day. By the way; note the moustache.