An Islamist ideologue credited with inspiring al-Qaida founder Osama bin Laden is "misunderstood," a California State University professor claimed in a speech last week.

Imad Bayoun claimed Sayyid Qutb's writings, such as his manifesto Milestones, were "largely misunderstood" in remarks at the Muslim American Society of Greater Los Angeles' 20th Annual "Agents of Change" convention last week.

Federal prosecutors in 2008 described MAS as the "overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America."

Bayoun, whose biography describes him as a "lecturer for the Muslim American Society," lamented Qutb's execution in 1966 by Egypt's Nasser regime. He praised Qutb's explanation of how the Quran was revealed to Muhammad. Bayoun's talk closely follows Qutb's own words in Milestones, saying that Muhammad "liberated" the Arab world from occupation by the Byzantines and the Persians for Allah.

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