COLONIZATION and IRONY

Just a couple of thoughts.

I’ve been reading a lot of history lately, and thinking about colonization (incidentally, I get some of the most bizarre, foul, curious, ignorant and racist comments on the colonization video). Conversely, mostly beautiful comments on Darfur In Ten Minutes.

Anyway, with colonization, I was thinking it’s interesting how many undemocratic Islamic countries feel imposed on by certain Western powers (justifiably in the modern era and historically, in so many ways), but don’t readily admit that they are Islamic due to the aggressive colonization via the armies of Mohammad that spread so quickly across that part of the world and beyond—India, big time—from the 8th century on.

I write this because I’m just finishing a documentary in which Malcolm X plays a role, and I was simultaneously reading a book of comments from the writings of Canadian scholar Northrop Frye. He must have written this sometime in the ’60s (pg 317):

“I must read Malcolm X to see why the hell a black revolutionary would turn to the religion of the Arab slave-traders.”

That is to say, the Arab slave trade of black Africans. Not a bad question from ol’ Northrop: throwing off the chains of the oppressor, and their religion, for a religion that oppressed us and chained us, as black people.

From here I couldn’t help but think of sub-Saharan Africa, where this vast area of countless divergent cultures and languages was rammed and ravaged by Europeans’ (see the Berlin Conference of 1884) and Christianity’s disdain for their ways, and now these Western formed nations as a rule see Western education and Christianity as the answer to their woes.

That requires great propaganda. Indeed, the Pope was in Africa recently celebrating the great success of the Catholic church on the continent. I wouldn’t use the term success, myself.

Rwanda, it has been suggested, at the time of the genocide in 1994, had the largest per capita Christian population of any African country. I’m not saying those two events are necessarily tied together, but I am saying they existed simultaneously.

That’s all. Just a few thoughts. And still, where would so many people be, how would they feel, without their beloved beliefs (myself included?). Wild. Off to work, with a bag full of biases, wondering what it means to be part of this incomprehensible system of manifestation and unfoldment.

Lots of love to you,

pete

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