May 29 2019
Europe’s First Eco-Mosque Invokes ALLAH to Fight Climate Change
Europe’s first green mosque is hoping to harness the power of Islam to tackle climate change, urging Muslims who worship…
Europe’s first green mosque is hoping to harness the power of Islam to tackle climate change, urging Muslims who worship in the British newbuild to do more to protect the planet.
As one of the fastest growing faiths in the world, Islam could be a powerful force if Muslims were stirred to environmental action, climate activists say.
Which is where Cambridge Central Mosque steps in.
Located in the world-famous British university city, the mosque opened its doors in May just in time for the fasting month of Ramadan. It is adorned with latticed columns, clad in solar panels and surrounded by crab apples, with space for 1,000 and a mission to become a force for climate good.
“The mosque symbolizes the spiritual heart of the Muslim community, it’s the central locus where the worshiper connects to God,” said mosque trust patron and musician Cat Stevens.
Stevens, famous for hit songs “Wild World” and “Morning Has Broken”, became Muslim in the 1970s and is now known as Yusuf Islam. He told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that Muslims had an important role to play in tackling the climate crisis.
“It (the mosque) is part of the re-education process, digging deeper into the true nature of Islam to reveal its harmony with the balance of the universe,” said Stevens.
“Many Muslims have forgotten this and are not contributing enough to the present climate crisis.”
The 24-million-pound ($30-million) building, funded largely by the Turkish government, will welcome hundreds of worshipers for night prayers every night, during this month of Ramadan – following a 18-hour fast from food and drink in daylight hours.
“The Koran emphasizes the beauty and harmony of the natural world as a sign of God’s creative power and wisdom,” said mosque trust chairman and Cambridge University professor, Timothy Winter, also known as Abdal Hakim Murad.
“Muslims could be a powerful force that can be mobilized against climate change,” said Shanza Ali, co-founder of Muslim Climate Action, a British advocacy group.
“However this would require us to go back to Islamic teachings and back to valuing the skills, ideas and respect that communities would give the environment,” she said.
According to the Alliance of Religions and Conservation charity, the world’s big faiths could galvanize some 5 billion people into climate action, 85% of the world’s population.
In Britain, former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams – representing some 85 million Christians globally – endorsed Green Party political candidates ahead of Thursday’s European elections, saying it was “harder and harder to pretend that we’re not living in the middle of the most serious environmental crisis in recorded history.” (Read More)