I just attended a wonderful talk at Wilfrid Laurier University by Oren Lyons, "Faithkeeper" for the Onandaga Nation and UN activist for Indigenous Peoples. His words and presence, as well as those of other beautiful people at the conference, inspired me to formulate some thoughts on decolonialism that had been floating around my mind for a while. Here is this formulation:
Seen from the subaltern side of the modern/colonial divide, modern civilization distinguishes itself as uniquely destructive. Colonized and neo-colonized bodies and epistemologies are being destroyed, languages are disappearing at an alarming rate, nuclear weapons continue to threaten the existence of humankind, the ice is melting (as our speaker kept reminding us)...the list of victims is endless. From below the colonial divide, modern Western-centric civilization appears as the civilization of unsurpassed death and destruction. Delinking involves realizing that this system can't be defeated on its own terms. No amount of violence from below can hope to counter the violence coming from above the colonial divide. Only life, love, and wisdom can defeat death, hatred, and arrogant scientism. We are beyond arguments of moral equivalence. It is a matter of survival.
Transdisciplinary scholar of Islam and Sufism.