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Environmentalists recognised in prestigious list of the world's 500 most influential Muslims

January 23, 2012:

The 'Green Grand Mufti of Egypt' Sheikh Dr Ali Goma'a

Muslim environmentalists - including the 'Green Grand Mufti of Egypt' Sheikh Dr Ali Goma'a, who attended ARC's Windsor Celebration - are included in a list of the 500 most prominent Muslims of the past year.

The 500 Most Influential Muslims has been published by the Jordan-based Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre.

Sheikh Ali Goma'a, who comes 12th in the list, is the second highest Sunni authority in Egypt and one of the foremost Islamic scholars in the world.

He is the legal authority for 80 million Egyptian Muslims and is said to have 30,000 books in his personal library. His office issues 5,000 fatwas (religious rulings) a week, with Sheikh Ali Goma'a crafting the most complex and important ones himself.

The 500 guide refers to Sheikh Ali Goma’a's comments about plans to make Medina the first 'green' Islamic city - which he made at ARC's Windsor Celebration in November 2009 - as an example of his outspoken comments on the environment.

Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra reads from the Qur'an at ARC's Windsor Celebration, November 2009
Green, the Middle East's leading green website, described the Green Grand Mufti of Egypt as "a progressive and influential faith leader" who has highlighted the role that faith can play in confronting the ecological crisis.

As Moshe Terdman, a writer at Green Prophet, observed:

"Sheikh Ali Gomaa has been outspoken on environmental sustainability. On November 2, 2009, on his speech at the Alliance of Religions and Conservation conference at Windsor Castle, Sheikh Ali Gomaa said that 'it is a religious duty to safeguard our environment and advocate the importance of preserving it. Pollution and global warming pose an even greater threat than war and the fight to preserve the environment could be the most positive way of bringing humanity together'.”

Fazlun Khalid, founder of the first green Islamic organisation, the UK-based Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences (IFEES), is also included on the list.

Fazlun and ARC have worked together, including on a successful project in Zanzibar to engage local imams in persuading fishermen to stop the damaging practice of dynamite fishing because of its impact on wildlife and the environment. Read about it here.

He has written books on the green ethics of Islam and Green Guides for Muslims.

You can download The 500 Most Influential Muslims for free here.

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