In light of COP26, the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Glasgow, MEND hosted a YouTube Live webinar on “Muslims and the Environment: Time for Change”. The event took place on November 11th 2021 and featured three environmentalist panellists:
Rianne C. Ten Veen – Author of 199 Ways to Please God
Zarina Ahmed – PhD researcher, listed on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour Power List 2020
Fazeela Mubarak – Co-founder of Wild Heart Kenya
Following introductions, the panellists began their discussion on climate change and the environmental ties it holds with Islam. MEND’s Regional Manager posed the first question of the discussion to the panellists, highlighting that some communities are excluded from climate change conversations and asking how that can be justified.
Fazeela Mubarak’s spoke about inequality that the Global South face with regards to climate change. She spoke about the Global North not taking enough action to cut carbon emissions. She described her experience of droughts in Kenya and the long-lasting impact that climate change has on farms and crops. She urged Muslims to be more environmental and help to make a change.
Rianne C. Ten Veen talked deeply about justice, highlighting the need for the Muslim community to unite in order to tackle the root of the climate change issue. She discussed the Islamic principles of the protection of life and of dignity.
Zarina Ahmed spoke about the importance of the Muslim presence in the environmentalism scene, emphasising that there were not enough Muslims around the globe getting involved. She shared her own experiences of being disregarded and not being given due consideration as a Muslim woman in the field, and she urged more Muslim women to participate in environmentalism in order to break the patriarchal stance that exists among some Muslims.
Thank you to Rianne C. Ten Veen, Zarina Ahmed and Fazeela Mubarak for participating in the live stream discussion and sharing their compelling stories and interesting views; and for all of the incredible work, they do to tackle climate change.
You can watch the full live stream here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3tqOdLhAQU&t=1152s