Qutb is a tragic and a highly misunderstood personality. His detractors have labeled him an atheist and a communist. During the height of his popularity with the Egyptian public, the Nasser regime attacked him claiming he was a spy and traitor of Egypt. Even after his Execution in 1966 popular media labels him a terrorist, and more recently, he is considered the intellectual godfather of Osama bin Landen. The 9-11 Report established by a bipartisan committee of Congress in 2004 has depicted Qutb’s philosophy as one of holy war and the killing of innocents. Never does the report quote Qutb as ever saying that carnage was an answer to the condition of his countrymen that were still living under British occupation and, in service to the British Crown. Despite all of these labels being inaccurate and misguided, the myth of Qutb’s violent nature continues.
Later on, the article compares Qutb to John Locke:
He does for the Islamic world what John Locke did for western democracy and liberalism. In Lockes’ The Second Treatise of Government, he states, “The natural liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on earth, and not to be under the will or legislative authoritative of man, but to have only the law of nature for his rule.” Locke too was responding to a contemporary belief that not all men are equal. In his First an Second Treatise he goes to great length to refute Sir Robert Filmer, and his notion that in Revelation it could be found that God had made some men more superior than others, and therefore justify a ruling class and monarchy that knew what was best for the masses. Nor does Qutb ever advocate the use of violence. Never does he call for an armed movement against the government or against non-Muslims. In fact, he continues through all of his work to strengthen his argument that Islam must be a movement that overtakes peoples’ minds and hearts from the bottom up. In Islam: The Religion of the Future “ We must prepare ourselves for quite a long time to be fit for this un-relaxing task. We must be prepared by means of exalting ourselves to the level of true religion.”
An earlier post discussed the relationship between Mohammed Badie, the new leader of the Egyptian Brotherhood, and Sayyid Qutb, one of the most important and most radical ideologues in the history of the Muslim Brotherhood.