In Tunisia, the country that had the highest percentage of mini-skirts in the Arab world, Islamism got 40% of the vote. In Morocco, which was once considered a pillar of Arab secularism, the Islamists won 30%. Meanwhile, some 70% of Egypt’s new Parliament is in the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood and the salafists, who praised Osama bin Laden last April.
In Libya, Islamic law supporters and former al-Qaeda bosses took power after Gaddafi’s fall. The Syrian National Council, the opposition group to Assad’s rule, has 19 members: 15 Islamists, 2 Christians and 2 Druze.
It’s possible that in the coming years the Arab masses will revolt against their new Islamic rulers. Today it’s the turn of Sayid Qutb’s children. The Islamic revolutionaries are offering to the Middle Eastern people a proud and totalitarian way of life. They are much stronger than their secularist fellows.
One year ago the Muslim Brotherhood's Supreme Guide, Mohammed Badie, proclaimed: “We will continue on the path of Qutb.” Few “experts” understood the deep meaning of this statement. Ennahda’s founding ideology in Tunisia has also been largely shaped by Qutb’s books, which were banned under Ben Ali’s former regime and are now featured in many Tunisian bookstores.
The stories about the suffering of Qutb in Egyptian prisons are a kind of original mythology of Islamism. Qutb was held for hours in a cell with dogs snarling while being beaten during long rounds of questioning. Badie was his cellmate. Qutb managed to get his manifesto, “Milestones”, smuggled out of jail. It known as the “Mein Kampf of Islamism.” This text circulated clandestinely for years and was later banned.
Qutb’s disgust for the “degenerate” West does not stop with its women or jazz music, which he claimed was “created by Negroes to satisfy their love of noise and to whet their sexual desires.” He described the West as a “rubbish heap” and claimed that because of its “enmity toward Islam” it planned to “demolish the structure of Muslim society.” He also vilified the Jews as “slayers of the prophets” and as essentially “perfidious”, double-dealing and “evil.”
Qutb was hung on August 29, 1966, after the dawn prayer. It was a strategic martyrdom, which has planted deep roots in the Arab soul. Qutb had written that the only way to get rid of corruption of the Egyptian colonialist regime was the imposition of a “just rule” and the war against modernity, secularism, rationality, democracy, individualism, universal human rights, promiscuity, materialism and Zionism.
Like Adolf Hitler, Qutb was a dark man, humorless, intense and rigid. Like Hitler, Qutb suffered from illnesses and he poured his energies into intellectual and spiritual pursuit. Like Hitler, Qutb turned his sexual frustration into a fanatic virtue. Like Hitler’s Aryanism, Qutb heralded the notion that Islam is superior. Like Hitler, Qutb saw the existence of the Hebrew people as the measure of the world’s moral bankruptcy.
After six decades of Arab kleptocracy and secularism, the Middle East is going to be engineered according to Qutb’s ideology. It will be a paradise for Muslim men, but a hell for women, atheists, Christians and Jews.
Giulio Meotti, a journalist with Il Foglio, is the author of the book A New Shoah: The Untold Story of Israel's Victims of Terrorism