Mr. Ahmet Riza, Minister of Education for the ailing Ottoman Empire at the beginning of the 20th century, diagnoses the problems of the ummah. Keep in mind that this was written thirty to forty years before the ideology we would call Qutbism came into being. Also be warned that there are casually derogatory remarks about Jews.
“Though many famous scholars emerged among the Arabs in the fields of geometry, algebra, astronomy, geography, and medical sciences during the times of Prophet Muhammad and of his successors, a thousand years later the ummah of Muhammad have descended so low as to request a shopping tally of three and a half gurush from the clerk of grocer Georgos. This is due to the fact that the Prophet’s words have been so misconstrued by our God damn ignorant imams and softas as to claim that when the Prophet used the term science he referred only to readings from the Quran… It is for such reasons that nobody read the works of the Western scholars… These cowardly scoundrels effected the annihilation and wretchedness of a great ummah! … Today the Muslims have declined to the level of Jews. If you ask my own opinion: From the viewpoints of education and knowledge they are certainly at a level lower than the Jews. The ummah is dissolved, weakened, and from this point it will never recover and regain vitality. The believers in the heaven which has houris, cold sherbets, and rivers are decreasing.
Were I a woman, I would embrace atheism and never become a Muslim. Imagine a religion that imposes laws always beneficial to men but hazardous to women such as permitting my husband to have three additional wives and as many concubines as he wishes, houris awaiting him in heaven, while I cover my head and face as a miller’s horse. Beside these I would not be allowed to divorce a husband who prevented me from having any kind of fun, but would be required to submit to his beatings. Keep this religion far away from me.”
— Ahmet Riza, as quoted in a letter to his sister, Fahire. Hanioglu, M. Sukru. “The Political Ideas of the Young Turks.” The Young Turks in Opposition. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995. p200-212. [Emphasis is mine.]
If the minister were a woman, however, he may have been butchered by his own family for the public disgrace of renouncing Islam for atheism. A small hurdle some of today’s Muslim women may also face.
A hundred years later, not much has changed. Islam is still temperamentally inclined to reject any research and science that might be at odds with the Quran, and Muslim women are still de facto and de jure lesser entities under sharia law. Perhaps most sadly, the decisionmakers of our time are even less willing to confront these engines of human misery and call them by their true name.