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Nov 6, 2010

Some time ago I exchanged some messages with Arwa on Islam and vegetarianism, some of which ended on her website. Finally managed to put up my 2p response on the website, copied hereunder:

Re: "I see the problems of stating that Islam promotes vegetarianism as it simply does not" - I agree the Quran doesn't state 'thou shalt be an exclusive vegetarian'; however, there are at least 4 verses in the Quran which positively encourage the non-animal food blessings...:

6:99 - "(God) is the One Who sent water down from the sky. Therewith We brought forth plants of all kinds and from them the verdure and We brought forth from it the clustered grains, and from the palm-tree its spathes with bunches of dates (hanging) low, the gardens of grapes, olives and pomegranates similar and different. Look at their fruit, when they bear it, and their ripening. Verily, in that there are signs for people who believe."
16:10-11 - "(God) is the One Who sends water down from the sky. For you this is a drink and out of it (grow) shrubs in which you let (cattle) graze freely. Therewith for you He makes sown fields, olives, palm-trees, vineyards and all kinds of fruit grow." [the cattle here could be ploughing animals]
50:9-11 - "We caused to grow gardens, grains for harvest, tall palm-trees with their spathes, piled one above the other-sustenance for (Our) servants."
6:141 - "It is He Who produces gardens, with trellises and without, and dates, and tilth with produce of all kinds, and olives and pomegranates, similar (in kind) and different (in variety): eat of their fruit in their season, but render the dues that are proper on the day that the harvest is gathered. But waste not by excess: for Allah loveth not the wasters."

... and none that encourage meat ... just that certain animals are definitely haram/ forbidden and that if you want to eat those which are not haram, then kill it properly, e.g....:

6:142 - "Of the cattle are some for burden and some for meat: eat what Allah hath provided for you, and follow not the footsteps of Satan: for he is to you and avowed enemy." - Satan mentioned in same sentence as meat eating... so eating too much of it can be easily done, and things like factory farming (where vast majority of meat nowadays available in many countries now comes from!) should be a definite no-no!
22:36 - "The sacrificial camels we have made for you as among the symbols from Allah: in them is (much) good for you: then pronounce the name of Allah over them as they line up (for sacrifice): when they are down on their sides (after slaughter), eat thereof, and feed such as (beg not but) live in contentment, and such as beg with due humility: thus have We made animals subject to you, that you may be grateful. "

My 2p. In peace, Rianne

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Posted: Nov 6, 2010 1:28pm
Aug 7, 2010

Unless we realise and radically change the way in which we treat the environment we are heading towards unprecedented disaster from which no technology can protect us.... that was the premise of recent 'Islam & Environment' event organised by the Radical Middle Way. If you've missed the event, watch it here: 

Islam & Environment Question Time

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Posted: Aug 7, 2010 4:11am
May 1, 2010

Finally had some time in recent weeks to play with promised depository (or that's ultimate aim) of all things green and muslim. What do you think?

IFEES - green & muslim

As part of researching for the site found a dissertation on ecotheology which includes a quote (which in similar words I hear often): "Muslim theologians or Imams stringently advocate the acquisition of the life in the hereafter while in the process relegating the relevance of ecology in Islam." - I agree with the first part, but disagree with the second part (if agree I don't feel I hear this often enough in mosques I know, sigh!)... HOW are we going to acquire a nice report for Day of Judgment to deserve paradise if not by looking after God's Creation?

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Posted: May 1, 2010 6:45am
Jul 27, 2009

In some 36 hours I was supposed to take the train to attend the Big Green Gathering (BGG). It was going to be my holiday, but I was also invited to speak twice: on women & environment and on community engagement in environment.... but yesterday the organisers were forced to cancel the event due to "serious concerns from Mendip District Council and emergency services about public safety and possible crime and disorder". Mendip Council had threatened BGG with a High Court injunction which BGG was bound to lose as it was on a technicality of not having road closure permit, which relevant authority had long promised was under control. BGG had a permit for the event itself since June.

But how strange is that as a reason: the event has taken place since 1994 without ever any problem, it is an event "for people who care about health, the environment, sustainability, our children's future and life in general" and just 15-20,000 people attending (while Glastonbury - which takes place 'next door' to BGG is the "largest greenfield music and performing arts festival in the world", had 134,000 people attend in 2008 and took place again just last month, with lots of drink and 24hr music, NOT the idea of family event like BGG).

It seems political reasons are a more accurate an article in The Times, The Guardian (plus a blog note from one of their editors and a contribution on 'Comment is free': "being green is no crime") or Weekly SchNEWS.

So: green (environmentalists), the new red (communists)? It's quite worrying (and disappointing).

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Posted: Jul 27, 2009 11:57am
Jul 12, 2009

With quotes such as "much of civilisation will collapse" many people might like to think (hope?) it is some extremist doommongerers talking. Alas! As mentioned in today's The Independent, the 2009 'State of the Future' report was written and/ or supported by UNESCO, the World Bank, the US army and the Rockefeller Foundation. It runs to 6,700 pages and draws on contributions from 2,700 experts around the globe. For those of us who care about alleviation of poverty (and who would not?), the quote "billions of people will be condemned to poverty" is most worrying indeed. For more information, see the UN's Millennium Project.

In Islam (as in many other faiths), though it is God who created the world, we have been given a free will with a job of being God's guardian (or vice-regent, caretaker). We cannot just sit back and expect God to do our job (even if God could if God wanted to). Also, if we are ungrateful, e.g. by neglecting our duty of looking after God's Creation, God can destroy us and replace us by a more grateful lot (note the information of the people of Ad and Thamud in the Quran who this happened to - the people of Thamud are mentioned 25 times in the Quran, as a warning to us!).

Please God, do a green deed today (and every day). {edit: this is not a supplication to God, but a call to action to us all}

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Posted: Jul 12, 2009 2:23am
Jun 9, 2009

On 19 May, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) put out a press release calling for an immediate moratorium on Genetically Modified (GM) foods because "GM foods pose a serious health risk". Citing several animal studies, the AAEM concludes "there is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects" and that "GM foods pose a serious health risk in the areas of toxicology, allergy and immune function, reproductive health, and metabolic, physiologic and genetic health."

I think these doctors know better what's good for us or not than those working for commercial companies making/ dependent on GM telling us it's all fine and we 'need' it for all kinds of reasons...there is NO food shortage (there are now more overweight/ obese people than those malnourished), it will NOT solve poverty (being forced to keep buying sterile seeds from a global behemoth will only increase wealth gap), it will NOT help combat climate change (most GM are only pesticide resistant, so not using pesticides in first place is more sustainable & there are many plant varieties we could use), and, last but not least, how dare we think we can mess around with God's Creation (Satan disclosed some of his plots to confound us saying: "Verily of Your servants I shall most certainly take my due share, and shall lead them astray and fill them with vain desires. And I shall command them so that they cut off the ears of cattle (in idolatrous sacrifice), and I shall command them and they will CHANGE GOD's CREATION.", Quran chapter 4:119)?

A good site with information on Islamic view on GM is Muzammal Hussein's site.

An unrelated, but important piece of news I wanted to share is that it seems we still have a strange set of priorities: according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), world governments spent a record $1.46 trillion on upgrading their armed forces last year despite the economic downturn (see article in The Independent), while for $40-60 billion a year we could achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) (according to research by the Worldbank)

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Posted: Jun 9, 2009 5:05am


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Rianne ten Veen
, 3
Solihull, United Kingdom
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