The Muslim Council of Britain’s seventh annual Muslim Leadership Dinner on May 23 focused on duty towards the environment and celebrated the role of British Muslims in tackling climate change.
MCB’s Secretary General, Dr Shuja Shafi, identified the importance of stewardship in Islam stating that in the Qur’an, “God has entrusted men and women as vicegerents on earth. Paramount here is our attitude to the environment.” Dr Shafi continued on to praise the work of current ‘green’ mosques and Islamic institutions within the UK but stated that “more needed to be done to increase awareness of the issue within the Muslim community.”
The Keynote speaker, Caroline Lucas MP, echoed Dr Shafi, saying, “I knew that environmental stewardship was very important in the Qur’an – but until Dr Shafi just spoke, I had no idea that no fewer than 700 verses are devoted to it.” She then outlined actions society can take to alleviate the effects of climate change. “We need a major investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and greening our transport system. This could generate a million new Green Jobs. We desperately need the government to lead the way on this, so we have to make our voices heard at the highest level.”
Co-Founder Director of Repowering, Afsheen Kabir Rashid, spoke about current nationalised energy system and how it does not engage with or empower communities to take ownership and control of their generation and use, “however, we are part of a growing movement – there is an energy revolution taking place where local people and communities own their own energy infrastructure such as solar panels, they manage and control it and sell their energy, income earned is ring fenced for the benefit of the community” she said.