In a far-ranging interview, Shahrar Ali, spokesperson for the Green Party, debates with Tariq Ramadan on how Muslims can respond to the challenge of climate change. They discuss what resources Islam has to argue for greater stewardship of the earth, what political parties are doing to engage with religiously-inspired ecologists and how to combat the threats from global overconsumption. First broadcast on Islam and Life on 13 March 2014. Click image to PLAY.
Points made by Shahrar include:
- Muslim scholars’ emphasis on stewardship of earth. A religion can be inspired by nature, by a concern about biodiversity and species extinction.
- Proportion of CO2 in atmosphere has also to do with balance, a key concept.
- Islam also about looking after non-human animals and future generations. Equality between current and future generations.
- Deep ecological perspective: if you want to take your moral framework from religious texts it is there to be found.
- Green Party’s political engagement with religious communities. Muslims are saying, from within a religious framework, that we need to renew our zeal on a humanistic ecological front.
- Climate injustice: Muslims often most adversely affected by impact of climate change, whilst less responsible for overconsumption globally.
- Deep spiritual attitude can counteract excesses of overconsumption.
- The exportation of the American Dream not such a great way of living, e.g work-life balance.
- Whilst the rich West cannot continue to impose their pollution effects upon other populations, the solution still requires joint action. Wouldn’t it be unjust if we collectively didn’t do enough to look after the earth?
- Conundrum of manufacture of insatiable desires on UK surveys of getting richer. Overconsumption will not deepen your spiritual horizon.