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Why Muslims Should Speak Up About Climate Change

With Muslims described as stewards of the Earth in the Quran, it’s important for us to be part of the conversation on climate change.

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With Muslims described as stewards of the Earth in the Quran, it’s important for us to be part of the conversation on climate change.

When it comes to climate change, we are at a tipping point. In the last year alone, we’ve seen and experienced scorching summer heatwaves, around the same time as devastating floods that have impacted so many lives in Pakistan and wildfires in Portugal and Spain. These events took place after two surreal years of a global struggle to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and are sandwiched between the current cost-of-living crisis. What these global events have in common is how they have highlighted that not everyone’s experience is equal: historically and presently, global power imbalances and their consequences have left some people more likely to be at a disadvantage, whether because of their nationality, race, gender, class, sexuality and/or (dis)ability, and it is those who are more likely to be disproportionately impacted by these large-scale events.

#TwoBillionStrong from Twobillionstrong on Vimeo.

Although many Muslim majority countries and minority Muslim communities are at the frontline of climate crises, when it comes to the climate movement, Muslim voices are barely in the conversation. The Muslim community is approaching two billion strong, almost a quarter of the world’s population. Islam has always been rooted in justice and equity, and throughout the Qu’ran, readers are referred to as Khalifah, often translated as ‘stewards’, of the Earth. Although Islam and the environment are so interconnected, the conversations on both often sit quite separately. There is a lack of Muslim representation in the mainstream portrayal of climate change, and we must strive to change that, together. Climate change is degrading the nature and the landscapes that surround us and support us, that we are connected to through the Oneness of our faith, and the oneness of ecological science. Let’s bring these conversations into our lives and communities. Let’s spotlight the solutions. Let’s make our voices heard for all of those who are unable to speak.

The newly launched Two Billion Strong campaign is working to bring together Muslims in the climate sector and influential voices in the community, to empower Muslims to believe in their ability to change the direction of the climate crisis, by demanding their voices be represented, heard, recognised, and valued. Having a conversation is the first step to making change. The campaign has encouraged Muslim content creators to talk about how climate change impacts their own work and craft. Actor and poet Ashley Belal Chin has written and performed a powerful spoken word piece on the importance of looking after the Earth. Cook and mum Ilhan Abdi has created a leftover recipe, encouraging her followers to think about food waste and its impact on the planet.

Many people think climate change is a distant issue, and don’t realise how much it has already impacted our everyday lives. With Two Billion Strong’s online campaign on Instagram and TikTok, we are encouraging conversations to make young Muslims realise that although climate change is closer than they think, so is their ability to make change. Our young activists are also appearing on Muslim community media platforms to spread the message within the community.

On February 15, London Muslim professionals network EMERALD are partnering with Two Billion Strong to host a panel discussion and networking event to bring the conversation to the community in person.

REGISTER: Muslim Voices for Climate Action, February 15, 2023

Muslims are two billion strong, and we deserve to be part of the conversation. Speaking up about climate change is how we can make a difference.

For more information on climate change and Islam, and how to get involved visit TwoBillionStrong.com.

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