| Where Recherche duTemps Perdu
---- meets Kirchliche Dogmatik
It's been a fairly hectic two days by my standards. Yesterday we spent much of the day with my brother Ralph, who usually confines himself to South Carolina, but had the privilege of seeing Indiana's fertile corn and soybean fields yesterday. He needed to pick up a vehicle in Richmond, Indiana, so June and I picked him up at the Indy airport, drove to Richmond, and then caravaned to our home, where he spent the night getting ready to drive home early this morning. For me, it was a long triangle to drive.
Please be sure to read my review of Seyyid Qutb's Milestones on Alibris. The URL for the book is http://www.alibris.com/booksearch? qwork=- 93490514&matches=3&author=Qutb,+Seyyid&bro wse=1&cm_sp=works*listing*cover. Then click on the customer review tab. For some reason Alibris wouldn't let me use a more transparent screen name, so I went back to good old "William of Baskerville," the sleuthing Franciscan monk in Humberto Ecco's Name of the Rose. Sean Connery played him as a Dominican in the movie. As a matter of fact, there are significant differences in philosophy and plot line in the movie and the book, but they are both excellent in their genre. All of that just to clarify my use of "Baskerville" as screen name.
Far more importantly, we need to continue to stress the importance of Qutbism on radical Islam. We can argue until our faces assume the proverbial azure coloration on whether Islam condones violence and not come to agreement. This is a fairly common occurrence, which may be due to the fact that a lot of people have opinions concerning Islam without ever having read the Qur'an. Regardless, there is no question that Qutb and those who follow his ideology, e.g., Usama bin Laden, believe that aggressive warfare for the sake of spreading Islam is commanded by Allah.
In Christendom attitudes towards the legitimacy of using force vary all the way from Mennonite pacifism to Ann Coulter's celebrated post-9-11 outburst, "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity." The same spectrum obtains in Islam, though the Qutbists are not nearly as entertaining as Ms. Coulter--and far more serious in their intent. Still, Islam also has its pacifists, such as the two branches of the Ahmadiyya movement. The founder of Ahmadiyya was Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1839–1908 ), who was so opposed to violence that he even prohibited his followers from disciplining their children physically. Despite the fact that Muslim apologists love to paint Islam as one unified community based unswervingly on the direct words of the Qur'an, Islam is as complex and varied as one would expect in a religion that covers 170-some countries. So, once again, I have to repeat my exhortation: We're wasting time screaming at or about Islam. We need to learn about it, differentiate between the different schools of thought, accept the reality of its violent side, and assist (or, more likely recruit) the non-violent groups to expose the killers and stop them.
Is there interest in a short series on different groups of Islam?