Sayyid Qutb on economics of idolatry

  • See also, “Sayyid Qutb, influential Islamic author”

    [We currently have a struggle against a form of idolatry, itself a form of polytheism. That idolatry is love of the U.$. dollar beyond its true worth. This pernicious avenue of exploitation robs the Third World of hundreds of billions each year. Now we turn to a quote from Sayyid Qutb about struggles like this one — MIM.]

    “Yet others in the Muslim community, some of whom might have been among the noblest and most dedicated Muslims, might have feared economic depression ensuing from the disruption to business transactions in Arabia as a result of declaring war against all Arabian idolaters. That was bound to affect the pilgrimage season, particularly after it had been announced that no idolater would be allowed to go on pilgrimage after that year, and that idolaters would not be allowed to enter into mosques and places of worship. Such people’s fears were made greater by the fact that such a step was not particularly necessary. Its outcome could have been reached in a slower but more peaceful way. But, as we have said, God wanted the basic bond to unite people in the Muslim community to be the bond of faith, so that faith should be felt to have far greater weight than blood relationships, friendships and economic interests. He also wanted the Muslims to realize that He alone gave them all the provisions they had and was their only provider. The means they might have had to earn their living were not the only ones He could have granted them.

    “There were others in the Muslim community who lacked strength of faith, or were hesitant, or who were hypocrites, or who might have been among the large numbers who embraced Islam but had not yet fully absorbed its truth. Most of these feared the possibility of open warfare with the idolaters, the economic depression that might result from war, the lack of security for trade and travel, the disruption of contacts and transport and worried about the likely costs of mounting a jihad campaign.”

    Albert J. Bergesen, ed., The Sayyid Qutb Reader: Selected Writings on Politics, Religion, and Society (Routledge, NY: 2008), p. 90. See also, p. 92, “verse 28.”

    Egypt executed Qutb in 1966, so he did not see this current international economic crisis. However, his quote above still reads as if good as new.

    The struggle against the dollar links together many social forces. Successful struggle loosens the U.$. grip on its world-leading millions of prisoners; makes U.$. military domination of the world more expensive; reduces the cost of paying back most Third World debts and overall undercuts Amerikkka’s greatest power — its power to alienate the Third World’s labor for use against itself.


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