Booknotes: The Looming Tower ch. 1

Sayyid Qutb comes to booming postwar US in ’48, out of a bleak and
despairing Egypt.Is outwardly polite, but accompanied by constant
loneliness. Sees America as spiritually barren, given over to

Qutb harbors a deep disdain for American’s relative sexual openness
(aside: it’s strange reading about a relatively promiscuous United
States in ’48-50). Despite bing in his 40s, his writings remind me of
those of a socially awkward teenager. He feels constant loneliness and
sexual need, and as a result imagines the women around him to be
shameless hussies dripping with lasciviousness. He’s like the modern
19 year old shut-in who makes awkward advances to a girl, gets
rebuffed, and then goes home and writes self-righteously misogynistic
comments on Reddit and Youtube calling all women “bitches”, “whores”,
and “sluts”. Qutb desperately needs to get laid, hates himself for it,
and transfers that desperation and loathing onto the women he sees.
And then imagines a society where they wouldn’t be permitted to tease
him so.

Qutb returns to Egypt more intent than ever on establishing a pure
Islamic state that will eventually conquer the world and bring
spiritual purity to it. Het gets involved with the Muslim Brotherhood,
helps Nasser stage a coup, then falls out with the essentially secular
Nasser. Spends the rest of his life in and out of prison, and
eventually manages to get himself martyred.

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