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.