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Dr. M. Saidul Islam Assistant Professor Division of Sociology Nanyang Technological University Email: email@example.com The rise of Muslim ecological paradigm in the discourse of environmental governance
Outlines • Background • Environmentalism • Ideology of Environmentalism • Dynamic History, Static Positions • Muslim Ecological Paradigm • Conclusion
1. Background Each dayhumans: • consume 54% of the accessible runoff water on earth • mine more materials from the earth than the natural erosion of all earth’s rivers • add over 15 million tons of carbon to the atmosphere • destroy 180 square miles of tropical rain forests • create over 60 square miles of desert • eliminate at least 74 animal or plant species • erode 70 to 80 million tons of topsoil • add around 1,400 tons of CFCs to the stratosphere Also: • Nearly 70,000 chemical products have been introduced since World War II; 1,500 new ones are added each year. • Total U.S. production of chemicals amounts to over 300 million tons annually. • In 1994, 22,744 facilities of U.S. released 2.26 billion pounds of listed toxic chemicals into the environment.
1. Background… RESULT? Planet in Peril: Climate change, disaster vulnerabilities, loss of biodiversity, fatal diseases, environmental refugees… HOW TO ADDRESS? Environmental governance: • Sustainable development discourse • Green discourse • Ecological modernization • Environmentalism
2. Environmentalism • Environmentalism is one of the trajectories in the study of environmental governance. • A broad philosophy & social movement. • Dynamic, pervasive, transnational and multi-dimensional. • A social program • “Western” in origin (?)
2. Environmentalism 1962 1970
2. Environmentalism [1801-1882] John Muir (1838-1914)
2. Environmentalism Aldo Leopold (1887-1948) Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)
3. Ideology of Environmentalism • Human is not off nature, but of nature. • Not above nature, but a part of it. • From “ego-centric” to “eco-centric” life. • Think globally, act locally. • Spaceship earth. • The common heritage of humanity. • Pollution does not respect national border. • We have not inherited the earth from our parents; we’ve borrowed from our children. • The tragedy of the commons • The world is enough for everybody’s need, but not enough for one person’s greed. • A shift from Human Exemptionalist Paradigm (HEP) to New Ecological Paradigm (NEP).
4. Dynamic history, static position Common markers: • No clear beginning. • Emerged as a response to the negative impacts of industrialization on environment. • Histories were written by Americans. • For the American audience. • They all stop in 1970s. • They disregarded “Environmentalism of the Poor.” • No attention to the “outdated” and “dark” phases of society and history.
5. Muslim Ecological Paradigm (MEP) MEP as a Philosophy: • “More common than you think” • “Earth” (ard) appears 485 time in the Quran • Charity to creatures has rewards • All creatures have similar rights over nature • Preservation of water is a worship • Islam forbids water pollution • Islam forbids air pollution • Islam endorses the transformation of wilderness into agriculture and cattle pastures • Earth as the first mother: • “Humans have rights over the earth, and the earth has the rights over humans”
5. Muslim Ecological Paradigm… • Kindness to animals: not to kill animals for amusements • Moderation in life: neither luxury nor miserliness • Kindness to animals is an article of faith • Two stories in prophetic tradition: • Hima (wildlife conservation) in Islam • Islamic science: no tension between science and nature • Islam on consumer waste • Purity of human life • Improving greenery
5. Muslim Ecological Paradigm… MEP as a movement/activism: Change through actions and movements: • Intellectual movement led by Seyyed Hossein Nasr (George Washington University) • “Green Muslims”, “Green Iftaar”, “Green Dinner” (Washington DC) • “Eco-Halal” (Muslims in Chicago) • “Green Mosque” (The ADAMS Center in Virginia, 5,000 families) • “Green Ramadan”, “Green Khutbah” (Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago) • “Green Haj” (Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences, UK) • “Eco-warriors”, First Eco-City (Indonesia) • The world’s first Islamic conservation guide (Zanzibar, Africa) • The first Muslim Theology of the Sea, (written and designed by Fazlun Khalid and Ali Thani, was published in May 2008 by IFEES).
5. Muslim Ecological Paradigm… Some Muslim Organizations Focusing on Environment: • Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) • Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America • Islamic Research Foundation International, Inc (IRFI) • World Federation of Muslim Youth • LINE (London Islamic Network for the Environment) • The Seyyed Hossein Nasr Foundation • Islamic Relief Worldwide • Islamic Environmental Club • Muslim Associations for Climate Change Action (MACCA) • Wisdom in Nature (WIN) • The Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences (IFEES) • Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) • Africa Muslim Environment Network (AMEN)
5. Muslim Ecological Paradigm… Environmental groups/organizations in the Arab world • Arab region as a whole: • Arab Water Council (AWC) • Regional Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment 2. Jordan: • Jordan Badia Research and Development Centre (BRDC) • Jordan Environment Society (JES) • Jordanian Environmental Watch Program • The Jordan Society for Sustainable Development (JSSD) • The Jordanian Network For Environmentally Friendly Industries (JNEFI) • The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) • Wild Jordan (WJ) 3. Kuwait : • Eco-Environmental Consultants • Environment Public Authority • ROPME: Regional Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment – Kuwait • The Kuwait Turtle Conservation Project
5. Muslim Ecological Paradigm… Environmental groups/organizations in the Arab world 4. Qatar: • Friends of the Environment Center • Law No. 30 of 2002 – Law of Environment Protection • Qatar Chemical Company Ltd. • Qatargas Company • RasGas Company • The Supreme Council for the Environment and National Sanctuaries • Saudi Arabia • Arabian Environmental Science Ltd Company (Arensco) • Environmental Technology & Management Association • Saudi Arabian Water Environment Association • Saudi Gulf Environmental Protection Co. (SPECO Environment) 6. United Arab Emirate: • Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital • Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi • Global Engineering Systems FZC
5. Muslim Ecological Paradigm… Environmental groups/organizations in the Arab world 7. Yemen • Water and Environment 8. Egypt • Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency 9. Tunisia • The Mediterranean Renewable Energy Centre (MEDREC) 10. Oman • Environment Society of Oman 11. Bahrain: • Universe Environment Bahrain B.S.C.
6. Conclusion • There can be an ontological alliance between modern environmentalism and MEP. • Environment will be the most crucial issue in international relations and for the future world. • Solidarity with MEP?