The Madness of Qutb’s ‘Milestones’

Sayyid Qutb was a selfless, sexless, empty little man, a mad and maddened  creature who annihilated himself and advocated the annihilation of anyone or  anything that had an identity. A desolate world of ruins and corpses and bowing  figures is the only world such a creature could feel comfortable in.


Reading Sayyid Qutb’s Milestones to pen a serious, informative, and  critical review was an intellectual and literary chore I expected to be a cinch.  Having finished reading this short, 160-page encomium for Islam, it is not so  much a cinch as an exercise in nausea. Imagine assigning oneself the task of  comparing a set of amusement park horror houses and awarding them points on how  realistic their artificial ogres, witches, and ghouls were and how successfully  they caused people to scream, cringe, or have strokes.

That is, how does one go about discussing with a straight face the  pathological meanderings of a very disturbed and malevolent man, knowing that  his meanderings have served as an intellectual sanction for terrorism, death,  destruction, and the ongoing Islamic jihad against the West? What makes it so nauseous a chore is not the English translation of Qutb’s screed. I do not  think the quality of the translation matters, because there is no way any  translator could do the work justice other than just translating it straight  from the Arabic. There are no elusive nuances to catch and objectify, there is  no “poetry” or literary value to be found and captured in the work. It is the  subject matter itself that is nauseous. Milestones is the Islamic  equivalent of the mental ravings of psychotic murderers such as Richard Speck,  Charles Manson, Ted Bundy, and Ted Kaczynski.

Milestones, published in 1964* (Ma’alim fi al-Tariq),  purports to adhere to and advance the cause and spread of a moral code that will  “save” mankind. The book is actually a manifesto for nihilism that guarantees  man’s enslavement and the eradication of any and all who refuse to submit to  Islam.

I have been writing for years saying that Islam is fundamentally a nihilist  ideology (and that President Barack Obama is a practicing nihilist, as well,  thus his symbiosis with Islam). Nihilism is an ideology that recognizes the good  and acts to destroy the good, because it is the good. Qua nihilism, the  destruction of the good is not haphazard or accidental. It is conscious and  deliberate. Instances of Islam’s core nihilism are legion. At the moment, I can  think of no better example of it than Lara  Logan’s description of her ordeal in Tahir   Square, Cairo, on  February 11, 2011. As she describes it, her attackers, all Muslims (whether they  were government goons or anti-Mubarak celebrants, is irrelevant), sought to  literally pull her to pieces and to make it as painful as possible, and in the  end destroy her. Nihilism is a system of negation; her attackers wished to  extinguish her existence.

Sayyid Qutb would have approved. To learn why, read these two accounts of his  experiences in the United States here  and here.

Who was Sayyid Qutb?

Qutb was a selfless little man, a “moderate” Muslim, who came out of Egypt to  absorb Western methods of education, and returned to Egypt convinced that the  West needed to be educated about the true nature of Islam, even if that pedagogy  meant killing, maiming, and enslaving non-believers. He developed a special  animus for the United States, for that is where he went to learn about Western  education. Long before any mullah deemed America the “Great Satan,” Qutb’s  observations of the country during his two-year sojourn here (1948-1950) caused  him to mark it for jihad and its cultural and/or violent conversion to  Islam.

That is, he marked it for death. For that is all Islam is – a nihilist state  of existence for Muslim zombies and their looted and subservient  non-believers.

Read more: Family Security Matters

Edward Cline is the author of the Sparrowhawk novels set in  England  and Virginia in the pre-Revolutionary period, of several detective and  suspense  novels, and three collections of his commentaries and columns, all  available on  Amazon Books. His essays, book reviews, and other articles have  appeared in The  Wall Street Journal, the Journal of Information Ethics and other  publications.  He is a frequent contributor to Rule of Reason, Family Security  Matters,  Capitalism Magazine and other Web publications.