2nd Annual Defining Islamic Psychology Conference — The Decolonization of Knowledge and Psychology

There was some conversation at the 2nd Annual Defining Islamic Psychology conference this weekend about the de-colonization of knowledge and producing Islamic knowledge (psychology), versus merely Islamicizing knowledge (psychology) and again, the solution lies more in regaining confidence in Islam itself for it is this—our confidence in what we believe to be right and true that colonialism successfully undermined—that will give us the most bang for our buck in terms of what we “spend” of our various resources in the quest to produce a genuine Islamic psychology. Without dealing with the elephant in the room (our lack of confidence in Islam) virtually all other gestures and efforts will be nothing other than maintaining the position over us colonial mindsets and epistemologies hold by either confirming they are our masters in that we must focus exclusively on fighting the specters of colonialism or deeming them our masters to which we must capitulate lock, stock, and barrel.

Colonialism, Decolonization, and the Need For Muslims to Move Beyond Crass Symbolism

Yesterday I made a post on Twitter which sparked some difficult but worthwhile conversation about the topics of colonialism and decolonization. The following are some additional thoughts I had on the topic:One reason why the Muslim world was so ripe for conquering is because they were overly invested in symbols and not The Truth. In other words identity politics and I sort of crass conservatism mixed with a simple minded symbolism is what contributed to the ease of them being conquered. This is why large tracts of the Muslim world will flip when one white dude draws a cartoon but will either turn a blind eye to, or participate in, corruption. ‎Instead of the Qur’anic

(رب إني ظلمت نفسي)

“O God I have wronged myself”Qur’an, 28: 16

it’s “the West is bad”. And the ulama’ have in large part enabled this line of thinking particularly from the vanquished lands of the Muslims.

If identity is not subservient to The Truth then you’ll have a people who espouse The Truth while contradicting it in their every day lives. Additionally, symbols and identity are easily hijacked, whereas The Truth remains aloof, an independent arbiter.