Food Waste, Media Fasts and other Green Ramadan updates

As we head into the last days of Ramadan, A World of Green Muslims has scoured the blogosphere for the latest news on Muslims going green this holy month. First up are the Ramadan Compactors.

In case you don’t know, the Ramadan Compactors are a group of Muslim who pledge to give up consumption and unnecessary spending during Ramadan. One of the participants, Dina. B recently posted a great blog on the need to ‘un-plug’ from the modern distractions of TV and the internet and came up with some rules for a ‘media fast’.



Friday’s News Round-up

a work by nusret colpan depicting the islamic ...

Image via Wikipedia

For all those stories that didn’t make it as blogs!

Islam and Climate Change~ A Call to Heal

Green Muslim organisation Wisdom In Nature have released a great booklet outlining the Islamic perspective on the environment. Put together by the small team of faith-inspired community activists, it explains in simple terms climate change and its effects as well as concepts such as Khalifah (stewardship), Wholeness, Fitrah and practical actions we can take.

It’s quite an easy read with lots of images and not too much text so that you don’t lose interest. Here’s what the team had to say:

Climate Change is a signal that humankind has lost its course. By drawing on spiritual wisdom, we can respond to this call – this call to heal. This booklet was produced by a team of community activists to educate, cultivate reflection and inspire holistic action to help build a fairer and more sustainable world for all.

You can download the booklet for free from HERE although contributions are invited and gratefully received by the voluntary organisation. (For details see inside the booklet).

Updated with new image via Only Sequel on 25th August 2010.

350 ppm CO2 and why it matters

350 from Hans Hansen on Vimeo.

The lovely people from the 350 campaign explain the importance of maintaining CO2 levels at 350 pp with the help of graffiti artists Hans Hansen. Enjoy!

Littering is super uncool- Islam says so

People who litter the streets with their rubbish have to be the most universally hated people. In the whole world. Ever.

I don’t know if it’s  just me but littering seems to defy all logic and sense- why litter YOUR own streets with filth that YOU have to smell and might STEP on, when you get dispose of it in a bin? WHY?!?

Ok. Rant over now so let’s get to the important stuff.

Emirate is attempting to fight the tonnes of litter it has to deal with by reminding its Muslims that littering goes against one of  the most important tenets of Islam: doing good for others.

According to an article in the National, Sheikh Musa Furber, a researcher and scholar of Islamic sciences with the Abu Dhabi-based Tabah Foundation is hoping to challenge Emiratis attitudes to littering by highlighting the fact that a hadith reported by Abu Hurairah, a companion of the Prophet, states  that removing harmful things from pathways is an act of charity.

Furber also added that “just as there is some reward for performing this action, there is a penalty for performing its opposite.” This seems to be part of a bigger campaign to encourage environmental awareness amongst the Gulf residents as recent friday khutabs have extolled the virtues of preserving water.

The full article is definately worth a read as it mentions the notion such as the world being inter-related, kindness to animals, modesty and limiting waste. It also mentions the need to encourage Islamic scholars  to go back to the basic “green” tenets of Islam and use them to explain issues faced by people today, such as conservation or global warming.

Couldn’t have put it better myself.

Image via Dan Taylor on Flickr.

Did climate change cause the floods in Pakistan?

Unless you have been using Ramadan to hibernate, there is no way that you have missed the terrible news of the catastrophic floods in Pakistan.  According to the latest reports 1,600 are believed to be dead, making it worse than the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, 2005 Kashmir earthquake, 2008 Cyclone Nargis disaster in Burma, and the recent earthquake in Haiti –  combined. Whilst the efforts to help and support the victims are still in full swing, others are now asking: what caused the horrendous floods in the first place?

Experts have been pointing to various issues such as deforestation and intensive land-use practices but the top U.N. and Pakistani government officials are now saying that climate change as the principal culprit. During an aid appeal Pakistan’s foreign minister, Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi remarked:

“Climate change, with all its severity and unpredictability, has become a reality for 170 million Pakistanis… The present situation in Pakistan reconfirms our extreme vulnerability to the adverse impacts of climate change.”


Ban bottled water… for ever!

At taraweeh this Ramdan, I couldn’t help but notice the rows upon rows of not only praying Muslims but also bottled water.  As it’s Ramadan, everyone is doing their best to keep hydrated but why bottled water?

Bottled water is one of the biggest cons of this century and not only does it divert money away from better water infrastructure, it poisons supplies due to the production of plastic bottles which end up in toxic landfills. Also,  research has found that bottled water isn’t always safer than tap water and definately isn’t tastier.


Why being an Environmental Activist can get you arrested in Morocco

For most us, being green is a choice we take because we believe it is better for the environment but also that god has entrusted us to care for this planet. We take very little risk while doing our recycling or composting,  and reducing our waste isn’t likely to attract the attention of government officials. But in Morroco, activist Mohamed Attaoui was sentenced to two years in prison for exposing illegal logging of shrinking cedar forests and ‘cedar mafia’-style corruption among the ranks of the forest service and  government officials.

Weeks after he published his article on the illegal trafficking of cedar by community leaders in March 2010, Attaoui was arrested and sentenced to two years in prison. Although cedar wood is a protected species in Morocco and so those who were partaking in the illegal logging are in the wrong, Attaoui was arrested on charges of extortion for his whistleblowing.


Earth is a Mosque: Green your Deen in 30 days

Green Your Deen in 30 Days (Click on the image to download the guide)

I have already posted a blog on going green this Ramadan as well as publishing an article on the ‘Ramadan Compact’  in Green Prophet but the latest initiative by the ‘Green Deen’ author really deserves some backing.

Brother Ibrahim Abdul-Matin has put together a great little guide with some  very simple steps that you, your family, your friends, your neighbors, and your masjid can all do – steps for the individual and steps for the collective – to reduce waste, save water, conserve energy, and provide food to as many as possible.

And as its Ramadan- there really isn’t a better time to do it. Remember it takes 30 days to install a good habit so lets start now and take these positive habits forward after Ramadan too.

As Abdul-Matin reminds us:

Earth is a mosque. If we can pray anywhere, everywhere is sacred.  Protect the planet from piles of plastic and dried up water supplies.  Simple steps can make sweeping changes.
Ramadan Mubarak!

Green ‘Ground Zero Mosque’

The ‘controversial’ Ground Zero mosque has been in the news again- but this time for something more positive. Once it’s built, organizers behind the mosque insist it will boast green LEED credentials which will inspire Muslims and non-Muslims alike to take up the environemntal cause. Plans for the mosque have been dogged by harsh criticism from the American right as ‘tactlesss’ and an affront to the memory of 9/11.  However  Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, a Green Muslim from the city revealed that the mosque will be a green, open space for everyone and will “provide an opportunity for all people to gain a more complete and accurate picture of how Islam sees the world.”

Author of ‘Green Deen: What Islam Teaches about Protecting the Planet‘, Abdul-Matin also added that the mosque is more like a community centre and has been renamed Park51 to reflect its green concern as well as its openess. Reactions from the green community have so far been positive with stating that it was a ‘symbol of a better planet’  with “the potential to help heal the wounds of September 11th” and “harness the power of Islam (and of all world religions) to contribute to some planetary healing too.”

Image via Panoramas

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