This Is What A Muslim Vegetarian Looks Like

Arwa meets three Muslim vegetarians from around the world whose views, lifestyles and paths to vegetarianism couldn’t be more diverse and distinct

When I was 16, I discovered the horror of factory farming and decided to become a vegetarian. That was 8 years ago and I have been a vegetarian ever since. Thankfully, I no longer have to explain why I- as a Muslim- have chosen to become a vegetarian amongst my family and friends or face a barrage of questions before I tuck into my veggie dinner. However, for many people the concept of a Muslim vegetarian is still confusing. So I wanted to introduce you a few – an eco-warrior, one of faith, and one vegetarian for animal rights.

“Are Muslims allowed to be vegetarians?” and “Why would any Muslim want to be a vegetarian?” usually follows the polite explanation that I don’t eat meat. Over the years my responses to these questions changed but I now usually respond with a rather non-committal ‘well, it depends on the person’. I have been asked to speak as a Muslim vegetarian on a couple of occasion and whilst I was more than happy to do it, I often felt uneasy ‘representing’ Muslim vegetarians due to the diverse views and opinions we hold.

For some Muslims, the decision to become a vegetarian has been a truly personal experience with no relation to their religion whilst for others it stems directly from their Islam faith. Caring for the environment may have been a root concern whilst for others protecting animals was the primary motivation. In the spirit of showcasing this diversity, I have asked three Muslim to answer set questions about their vegetarianism and I hope you find their responses as fascinating as I did!

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Video: Can Islam meet the Environment Challenge?

This video is of a meeting arranged by Radical Middle Way. It takes quite a while to load (and doesn’t seem to have a working pause button so you’ll have to watch it all in one go!) but is really worth watching and has some great speakers including Rianne ten Veen, Kristiane Backer, Fazlun Khaled from Ifees, Sheikh Babikir Ahmed Babikir and organic farmer Lutfi Radwan.

Click on the image to take you to the video.

A World of Green Muslims

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