Fracking is just the beginning of the robbery of our natural resource – we need to act now

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You want to have water to do your wudu, right? Astonishingly, that privilege is becoming a bleaker option, unless we stand up. The US government and private corporations like Nestle are steadily monopolizing and polluting our public clean water.

According to The Huffington Post, for the past few years fracking (underground drilling for oil) has infiltrated across the United States including Michigan and Pennsylvania. This controversial chemical drilling directly coincides with a record increase in earthquakes: Oklahoma never used to experience earthquakes but now has more than California! Alarmingly, according to BBC News, fracking uses carcinogenic (cancer-causing) chemicals. These chemicals, including formaldehyde and arsenic, can pollute our water supply and cause birth defects and infertility, says Huff Post. People living near fracking sites are getting sick. Therefore this issue affects all of our health, and needs to be addressed.

This process has taken a terrifying turn and therefore calls for Muslim support: in an abysmal violation of natural resources and property, the US government is actually seizing Native American land in North Dakota, sovereign to the Sioux tribe since 1857, to drill for oil. Indigenous Natives in Standing Rock, North Dakota are struggling to retain pure water on their own land from the US government. They are being attacked and arrested for trying to protect their own land.

The Natives need and deserve Muslims’ spiritual and financial support. This should not be the motivating factor, but there are a good number of Muslim Natives (including Southern California’s LaTanya Barlow). Therefore, it is our duty to help our fellow brothers and sisters in Islam. We (justifiably) continuously protest the occupation of Palestine, but this occupation is happening right under our noses. Once we fix the problems at home, the problems abroad become easier to resolve. Muslim figures like Imam Zaid Shakir and Margari Aziza of Muslim Anti-Racism Coalition are supporting this cause, and we need to increase our numbers.

Muslims here are demanding recognition as Americans. The best way to do so is by helping the original Americans first. Muslims need to be proactive instead of reactionary. We need to start trending stories about issues instead of only jumping on already trending issues like the recent burkini ban in France.

Ironically, the hijab has been banned in schools in France since before 2001, but I’ve never seen such enraged posts by Muslims about this issue until the major news media publicized the burkini ban. It’s great that we can wear burkini’s in Cannes again, but does anyone know if the Muslim girls are allowed to wear hijab in the schools? Many Muslims support #BlackLivesMatter (including myself), but is that because it’s trending?

Let’s make the fight to block the Dakota Access Pipeline (#NoDAPL) a trending topic.

#NoDAPL is our fight, because it maintains our right to clean water. Fracking is just the beginning of the robbery of our natural resource. Nestle pumps out millions of gallons of public water reserves to sell as bottled water, despite water shortages in the Oregon, Arizona, and California, etc. It is only going to get worse and it will affect all of us.

Let’s do something now before we’re forced to do tayamum all the time. Several surefire solutions include: contacting the White House to uphold their treaty with the Sioux Nation and remove military troops from their territory. The petition can be found on change.org. Voting Yes on Measure Z to Ban Fracking, and lastly boycott Nestle and Arrowhead bottled water.

by Shireen Hakim



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