The Islamic Climate Declaration released today calls on 1.6 billion Muslims to work towards phasing out fossil fuel use, as a religious duty to fight climate change. It also calls on all leaders and politicians to do their part for a better future for all.
In common with all the Abrahamic faiths, Islam considers mankind to be stewards of resources endowed by Allah. This implies responsible stewardship of these resources. In particular this leads to the avoidance of asraf (abuse) of God-given resources.
In this context Islamic investments and activities have to have a moral and ethical framework. This clearly lays the foundation of protection of the environment as a key requirement.
Given Islam’s emphasis on equality and justice the present order of predatory capture of global ecological capital would be challenged.
Although climate impacts in the UK dwarf those of countries on the front lines, greater heat wave related mortality, flood induced pauperisation and drought are realities for which we will all be preparing.
British Muslims can respond to climate change in a countless number of ways. We would urge caution over public relations-orientated work in this sector, as it is seldom sustainable and recommend genuine grass roots dialogue, creativity and negotiation. Citizens might be moved to become supporters of the community energy agenda and neighbourhood led climate safeguarding activity.
Dr Shuja Shafi, Secretary General of the MCB said, “We are encouraged by the Pope’s recent encyclical on climate justice and look forward to joining hands and hearts with our sisters and brothers in different faiths to explore each other’s ecological traditions and challenge the systems of inequality that endanger humans and non-humans on our common home.
We are pleased that some of our key affiliates are playing a significant role to raise awareness and are in Istanbul to officially launch the Islamic Declaration on Climate Change.
The MCB believe it is our role as Muslims to be caretakers of the earth and we will be looking to play a supportive role in ensuring that all natural resources are protected and that our future generations continue this legacy”.