Taking action… finally??

In July, some 200 Muslim scholars gathered in Istanbul and formulated the first ever Muslim Climate Change Action Plan. This is indeed a milestone as it demonstrates a united front by the Muslim community in the need to be proactive in addressing contemporary global issues. 

Sheikh Ali Gomaa, The Grand Mufti of Egypt, speaking at the historic meeting in Istanbul.

Sheikh Ali Goma'a, The Grand Mufti of Egypt, speaking at the historic meeting in Istanbul.

However, I do have some reservations as to how this plan will play out. While the bulk of the plan does have significant initiatives to address climate change, one of it seemed to suggest that “Islamic environmental labels” should be created. Is this really necessary?

Global environmental standards, labels and mechanisms are already readily available; why then should “islamic” labels be used? Why waste our time inventing the wheel? This response is therefore inappropriate as it only serves further separate the Muslim community from the wider society. Moreover, creating more ‘islamic labels’ only serves to further emphasize rituals and rules, rather than a deeper and holistic understanding of islamic teachings on the environment.

It is only a matter of time till we see how this plan will materialize (if at all).

To view a related op-ed that I had written in 2007 on the role of the OIC, click the link below.

Climate Change and the Muslim World: The OIC can do with Captain Planet

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  1. F. Shafique says:

    I find introducing a new “Green & Halal” label redundant, especially if a country/state already has their own “Green” certifications body and a “Halal” certification body….

    ….unless it’s a cost-saving move, i.e. 2 certifications for the price of 1.

    ….or, in the spirit of sacrifice, we can enter “Makrooh” territory if the “Halal” option is not sufficiently “Green”, i.e. the choice between shipped & imported halal-raised beef, or locally-grown questionably-raised beef.

  2. it is definitely redundant and it would seem to suggest that Muslims are dependent on labels rather than having the ability of making informed choices themselves.

    I think current standards for Halal certification (i.e. ensuring meat slaughtered according to Islamic requirements) would suffice.

    Even without green certification, there are at least existing labels on the meats indicating where its from (i.e. shipped or locally-grown). Surely with awareness on the significance of local produce, we can make green choices based on our own discretion (inshallah).

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