News / Middle East

Muslim Environmentalists Push for Green Hajj

Muslim environmentalists are pushing for a green Hajj - the pilgrimage in Mecca that three million Muslims make each year - which would include a ban on plastic bottles at Hajj sites
Muslim environmentalists are pushing for a green Hajj - the pilgrimage in Mecca that three million Muslims make each year - which would include a ban on plastic bottles at Hajj sites

Multimedia

Brian Padden

With a population of 1.4 billion and control of the world's largest oil reserves, Muslim communities can play a crucial role in protecting the environment. There is a new effort to organize an international green movement within the Islamic community.

An environmental movement is emerging within the Islamic world. Devout Muslims say there is no contradiction between their faith and environmental protection, and, they say, global warming does not discriminate by region or religion.

Environmental activist Mahmoud Akef with the Earth Mates Dialogue Center was among about 200 Muslim delegates from around the world at a recent environmental conference in Jakarta.

"Because we are all living on this Earth and what is happening, or what's affecting with regard to the climate change, affecting Americans, affects the Muslims here in Indonesia, affects Egypt, Muslims in Africa and Asia anywhere," Akef said.

Climate experts and environmental activists say that burning fossil fuel contributes to global warming. The environmental movement has long focused most of its resources on lobbying for change in Western nations.

But they say many Muslim-majority countries have done little to limit pollution from factories and automobiles, and have allowed the exploitation of natural resources like large scale clearing forests in Indonesia.

Environmentalists say Muslim-majority countries have done little to limit pollution from factories and automobiles
Environmentalists say Muslim-majority countries have done little to limit pollution from factories and automobiles

Akef says Muslim environmentalists want to spread the message. For instance, they want to create a green Hajj, the pilgrimage in Mecca that three million Muslims make each year, to raise awareness about global warming. The plan includes a ban on plastic bottles at Hajj sites and workshops about the link between environmental stewardship and the teaching of Islam.

"The Koran is kind of ecology book. A lot of verses tell about the environment and how to deal with the environment and how to protect the environment," Akef said.

They are also planning to designate eco-friendly mosques and publish the Koran with paper from sustainable forests.

Muhammad Sembiring, with the Indonesian environmental organization Kehati, says these Muslim activists see no conflict between science and faith on the issue of the environment.

"It is proven there is totally no conflict, it is really [a] complement and it is shaking hands, it is matching," Sembiring said.

He says the beginning of an environmental movement in the Muslim community represents a significant step toward a global consensus on climate change.

You May Like

Video Obama to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, President says US will take leadership role for a global response to deadly Ebola virus that is ravaging West Africa More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid