The Origins of Islamic Extremism

Via Boing Boing, I see this article discussing the origins of modern islamic extremism. Apparently, just about every modern extremist islamic movement – from Hezbollah to Al-Qaeda – has been influenced heavily by the writings of a man named Sayed Qtub in which he discusses the wickedness he found while visiting America. Here’s one choice quote from his essay titled “The America I Saw”:

“American girls know perfectly well the seductive power of their bodies… that it resides in their face, expressive eyes and hungry lips. They know that seduction resides in firm round breasts and hungry lips, full buttocks and well shaped legs — and they show all this without trying to conceal it.”

He’s absolutely correct. This is what makes America so great! I’m mostly respective of other people’s cultures, thoughts and ideas and such, but I do believe the freedom of expression Qtub witnessed – which, by the way, is only one narrow example of the types of expression we’re normally allowed – is why America became a super power in the first place and why we seem to be losing that status rapidly now in the wake of the neo-conservative movement.

When Americans are allowed to express themsevles freely without fear of governmental regulations, some of the most amazing things happen. The early and mid parts of America saw unprecedented growth in our nation’s overall wealth and health due in large part to our government’s willingness to let things grow. I think there’s a direct correllation between how much the government wants to interfere in our personal lives – i.e. by clamping down on obscenity and indecency, casting too wide a net for terrorists, etc. – and the productivity potential of our nation. If you leave most Americans alone, they won’t just go about their daily lives happily, they’ll actually improve their surroundings.

The seeming frivolous “wickedness” Qtub witnessed is just one of those side-effects of this freedom. Ultimately, it’s harmless. If you believe in God and believe that all things on earth are His creation and believe that God wants us to be happy and enjoy His creation, then you should take such things as proof that we’re on the right track. Of course, if you believe God expects us to live in misery and that we should disdain his creation in favor of rigid self-discipline and suffering, well… you really need a new hobby.

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