01 July, 2011

The Green Renaissance Initiative

Few people here on Earth, have been as careless and destructive to their wildlife and environment as here in the Middle East. In very few other places, are animals and wildlife - on land and in the seas - being driven to extinction faster and in larger numbers, as here. In very few other places have their been as many destructive wars; and been such massive spending on weapons, as here. And here, too, exists some of the greatest and most awesome natural wonders on Earth: Socotra, the Dead Sea, the Bu Tinah Island Archipelago, the River Nile, the Jeita Cave Grotto and  the Cedars of Lebanon are all here; all are incomparable to no other. With one of the fastest growing populations in the world, water shortage most pressing here than any where else and an economy, in most parts, that cannot keep up with the fast population growth; the Middle East needs a reawakening; needs more intensive/extensive attention on environmental and ecological issues - probably more than anywhere else.

Even before Islam, environmental protection existed here. Now - most people, almost all, in the Middle East are Muslims. Islam is what has most shaped people, society, cultures and values here. Islam is green. Islam, preaches green. Alas, very disappointingly - very few in this part of the world, have an ecological or environmental ethic at the center of their awareness or actions.  Today, more than ever before, we are seeing many environmentally friendly undertakings and projects, Muslim initiated, not only in the Muslim World, but in other parts of the world too. But these are a few, government, corporate or community lead projects; we need to have the same initiatives on personal, individual levels, too. Each of us, needs to be environmentally aware and concerned.

Of all living things - we Muslims and humankind as a whole, have been given the very difficult role of  taking care of the Earth. We are the custodians who have been trusted with this Planet: "I will create a vicegerent on earth....." ~ Al'Baqarah - 2:30. We have been commanded so; and yet we have failed being responsible, active vicegerents. “Mischief has appeared on land and sea because of (the meed) that the hands of men have earned, that (God) may give them a taste of some of their deeds: in order that they may turn back (from evil).” ~  Ar-Rūm - 30:41. Indeed, we, Muslims have been most mischievous in not being environmentally conscious and caring.