Sustainable Muslims break the terrorism link

environment muslim qu'ran muhammad photo kristiane backer

Muslims everywhere can be at “peace with the earth and be at peace with heaven” by adopting environment message from the Qu’ran, advocates new UK campaign launched by Muslim convert.

Shocking statistics and a love for the environment have inspired a new campaign which highlights Islam’s Eco message in order to break the link between Islam and extremism. Inspired by Muhammed is a new campaign which showcases Muslims who have been inspired by their faith to contribute positively to society and focuses on areas such as women’s rights, social justice as well as the environment. Its message can impact the Middle East and the world.

Launched by the Muslim convert Kristiane Backer (pictured above) on behalf of the Exploring Islam Foundation, the campaign hopes to improve public understanding of the more positive aspects of Islam.

Islam muslims praying Pakistan

Muslims praying in Pakistan

The campaign was prompted by shocking finds from a May 2010 national poll in Britain which found that more than half the British population associated Islam with extremism (58%) and terrorism (50%). The opinion poll also discovered that just 6% of the British population believe that Islam promotes active measures to protect the environment.

inspired muhammad environment logoKristiane, the former MTV presenter from Germany, is one of the campaign profiles and talks about her awareness of green issues and how she’s adopted an environmentally-friendly lifestyle to suit her Islamic beliefs.

She explains: “Green living and the preservation of our resources are essential principles of Islam. ‘Don’t be wasteful, for God does not like the wasters,’ the Qur’an tells us. Prophet Muhammad reminded his companions to respect nature and use its resources moderately, not to waste water even when next to a flowing river.”

inspired by muhammad environment islam muslim

Backer explains: “The environment is everyone’s concern. According to Islam, life is sacred, as is everything in the natural world. Many verses in the Quran are concerned with nature, the earth and its resources. The earth is a trust from God and we are its ‘stewards’, a role we need to fulfil with responsibility and respect towards all creation.

The Koran tells Muslims to not be wasteful

“I have always cared for the environment. In Germany, where I grew up before I moved to the UK, green conscience is part of the national psyche since the Green movement was founded there in the 1970s. Similarly, green living and the preservation of our resources are essential principles of Islam. “Don’t be wasteful, for God does not like the wasters,” the Quran tells us. Prophet Muhammad reminded his companions to respect nature and use its resources moderately, not to waste water even when next to a flowing river.

“Having done courses in Sustainable Environment at a London university, I know there are many small things each of us can do to care for the environment. They will have an immense impact in the end, it is the ripple effect. If every household replaced just three 60-watt incandescent bulbs with efficient bulbs, the pollution savings would be like taking 3.5 million cars off the road!

“I do what I can. I recycle, switch off the lights when not at home and ride my bicycle around the neighbourhood. I eat organic halal meat, feed the birds with leftover bread and boil the kettle half full and I try to use green, organic products whenever I can from fruits and vegetables, and skincare to cleaning materials.

“Today we can all draw inspiration from Muhammad and try a little harder to live green, to recycle and to conserve energy. And to re-establish harmony between us and the world around us.”

The high profile media campaign is really hoping to change people’s perceptions of Islam in the UK and includes adverts at bus stops, tube stations and even on London’s iconic black cabs. A fun and informative website has been launched to explain Islam’s ethical principles and includes short videos to explain Islam’s more environmentally-friendly aspects.

Following Muhammad’s “green” ethics

The prophet Muhammad’s ethic that the planet is sacred and should be cared for is highlighted as is his respect for the environment. Muhammad encouraged water conservation (see Waqf for Water), planting trees and turning forests into protected conservation areas called hima as well as limiting waste.

Other high-profile Muslims on the website also discuss how Islam has inspired animal welfare through the prophet’s example who taught that animals should be treated with the same respect as a person.

The campaign is a great way of getting the message of peace and understanding within Islam to the wider general public and also reminding Muslims of their duties towards the environment. Its affects could reverberate to the entire Middle East.

As Kristiane says, “Today we can all draw inspiration from Muhammad and try a little harder to live green, to recycle and to conserve energy. And to re-establish harmony between us and the world around us.”

::Inspired by Muhammed website

Read more on greening Islam:
Water Conservation Values in Islam
The Muslim World Wants to Green Hajj
Breast Feed Baby in Hijab

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9 thoughts on “Sustainable Muslims break the terrorism link”

  1. We have a new children’s Islamic cartoon DVD just arrived “Zaky’s Adventures- The Earth has a fever”. It takes children on an adventerous journey with Zaky and his friends to discover about global warming and how to help our enivornment whilst trying to save their freind’s school. An excellent resource to educating the young ones in a child friendly way about islam and our enivornment! [email protected]

  2. Listen to an EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with Remona Aly – Director of Inspired By Muhammad on ‘Revealed’ (Reprezent Radio).

  3. Len Pipkin says:

    RE: Kristiane Backer / Inspired by Muhammad Campaign; June 7, 2010 (GP)

    Hello, Prophets…

    Thank you so very much for the kindness, attentiveness and interest afforded me this morning. Please know that in spite of my rambling, unorthodox, unpolished presentation skills, I will try my best to make this commentary properly hopeful. Geography, history, leadership, party affiliations, economic systems and advantages that we traditionally tend to base the concept of success upon are marginal at best; illusory at their worst. Community relationships, the cohesion amongst citizens are the benchmarks by which to measure the genuine well-being of any given area: choosing to be accountable, creating contexts of hospitality and possibility, these are the actions that bring the gifts of those on the margins to the center; this is power; through community, your caring for one another – to include the environmental efforts and choices within everyone’s lifelong ebb and flow – brings forth what is desired. That’s the essence and impetus behind this email today. Once that reality is internalized and honestly contemplated, a heavy heart takes flight. The word risk is an early Italian derivative of the term “risicare”; in this particular sense, the intent is – to dare; applicable to the actions we dare to take, which in turn define our very humanity. For Pete’s sake, kingdoms have ascended to greatness, only to descend into the dustbin of history, while flat earth hypotheses, Fibonacci sequences, the wonders afforded by (zero) and planetary orbits were argued over. These were just ideas being bandied about which spanned centuries. Place those mental olympics against the all too real scarcities and conflicts of today, and one sees that this proposal, this process could be quite lengthy; but what a great first step if indeed this concept is successful. No, not great; stupendous is a bit more apropos. I would sincerely love to know from someone actually in the region – is this initiative pure naivete? Is anyone, a certain percentage of the population, perhaps, receptive whatsoever? Is this seen as a nascent, outsider organization sugar-coating a deeply divisive situation for fame or monetary gain, or, is it being taken seriously at all, giving thought to its outcomes the gravity it deserves? Answers of that sort are what would interest me greatly. As you know, the “volunteer” state is my home of record in the US – Tennessee; and at this very moment, I am typing only a few miles from where Martin Luther King, Jr was assassinated in 1968. The imagery from that tragic day will be with me forever; although I was not born until the following year; its as though all which that act symbolized – attempting to squash racial equality, living wages, adequate housing, proper educations and social justice – is within every Memphian’s very DNA, yet, in reverse. Over time, that one act of cowardice on behalf of James Earl Ray has actually brought the aptitudes and understanding between cultures to a higher ground. I know these to be points of contention in your area of the globe, too. An initiative of some sort failing is part of the human condition;
    conversely, allowing for catastrophe via inaction or negligence is patently outrageous. Let’s all do the right thing, neither for a certain leader or sects advancement / hedgemony – but because it is that and that alone: right.

    Peace, my friends…

    Len Pipkin

  4. Gord Easton says:

    It is groups like these that promotes Islam as the beautiful and peaceful religion it is. I wish them luck. And I also believe that as all major religions start promoting eco issues the earth will finally turn back on the destruction that is being caused daily.

  5. Arwa says:

    Hi pm,
    Thanks for your comment.

    The campaign did include other messages such as that for gender equality, human rights, charity, social justice and others. In fact here is the link for their section on co-existance:

    I also take issue with your statement that “terror carried out in the name of Islam by too many Muslims. Don’t forget 7/7.”

    Only a tiny minority of extreme Muslims can EVER justify terrorism and 7/7 was an attack on all of British society- where many Muslims also suffered. Extremists exist in every religion- I am sure even in Judiasm. Our battle is against extremists NOT each other.

  6. pm says:

    I would much prefer to see posters claiming that mohammed advocated loving other people, respecting them and their right to be different, especially Jews; the environment, whilst important, pales into insignificance when compared to the terror carried out in the name of Islam by too many Muslims. Don’t forget 7/7.

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