Saturday, January 14, 2006

In the Shade of the Qur'an?

From Flight815 Mistress of Information, J-Shep, the Griff to our Chuck and Flav and X*, comes an intriguing suggestion about the name "Sayid." She points out that the character Sayid shares a name (minus one sometimes vowel) with one Sayyid Qutb, "the founder of radical Islamic fundamentalism as we know it."

Qutb was radicalised back in the 50s by, among other factors, his attendance in the USA of what he considered a sexually perverse "sock hop," which is a silly and quite prudish reason to formulate a world-view, and his torture at the hands of Nasser's CIA-trained Egyptian prison guards (according to some, at one point they covered him in animal fat and sicced a dog on him), which is a good deal more understandable.

The question is, is our Sayid's name in reference to this man, the mentor of Osama Bin Laden's mentor, or is it merely a coincidence? Why not Sharif? How about Malik or Mohammed, Yusuf or Abdul, Talib or Tariq, Kareem or Khalid? Perhaps it's giving LOST writers too much credit to assume they had a relatively obscure 30 year old Arab political reference in mind when naming their ex-Iraqi Republican Guard/almost suicide bomber/CIA snitch with a thing for anorexic blondes character, but perhaps not.

We can hope, at least. A good dose of old-fashioned anti-American political intrigue would be a nice balance to the new-age fruitiness of the "ghost smoke," and somebody has got to offer a counterpoint to all the bible thumping that's been going on of late. A radical Islamist might be just the guy.

*Shoklee's jersey, unfortunately, remains retired.
Posted by Mr. Babylon, 8:15 PM


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