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Islamic green awards launched for mosques

January 8, 2014:

MADE in Europe is one of many exciting new campaigning organisations originating from the UK Islamic community. The Muslim Agency for Development Education (MADE) describe themselves as "a Muslim-led movement of young people who want to see our community leading the fight against global poverty and injustice."

Among the causes they support are tackling maternal deaths, promoting Fairtrade and starting a resistance to environment-unfriendly bottled water, while for 2014 they have just launched the Green Up! awards. The scheme aims to encourage mosques and Islamic groups to adopt more environment-friendly practices, with a strikingly designed and thoroughly practical 'toolkit' guide full of ideas to help people get started.

MADE in Europe Board Member and co-founder Saif Ahmad, who has been advocating the links between Islamic values and environmentalism for many years, welcomes the award initiative wholeheartedly:

The Cambridge New Mosque project incorporates green principles throughout its superbly imaginative design.
“ The Qur’an and the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) are packed full of teachings extolling the wonders of nature as signs of God, urging us to live balanced and moderate lives, avoiding excessive use of natural resources and respecting animals as “communities just like yourselves” (Qur’an 6:38).   

Fast forward 1400 years and never have we been more in need of examining the way we live and re-thinking our relationship with the environment.  With the growing threat of climate change, the Green Up! campaign is an initiative to ensure that Muslim communities are the forefront of coming up with solutions so that we safeguard the future of the planet for generations to come.”

(Saif Ahmad, CEO of Islamic Help & Board Member of MADE in Europe)

The toolkit, which is also available as a downloadable PDF document, uses information about the world and verses from the Qur'an to demonstrate how what we do locally has global implications and how Islamic values and traditions make it a spiritual responsibility for believers to treat nature with care and respect. There are impressive examples of ancient Islamic environmental practices such as the centuries-old protection of haram and hima conservation areas from exploitation as well as bang up-to-date case studies of pioneering eco-mosques from around the world. One - the Cambridge New Mosque - is still under construction but will feature energy efficient design, insulation, ground source heat pumps and plenty of bicycle parking to encourage worshippers to leave their cars at home.

Mosques and other Islamic groups can gain a Green Up! Award by demonstrating some or all of 37 different eco-actions, including separating rubbish for recycling, banning plastic water bottles, collecting rainwater to use in the garden and switching to an environmentally-friendly energy supplier.

Useful links

Green Prophet's 7 steps for a greener mosque Muslim Declaration on Nature

The Green Up! Awards

The Green Up! Awards Toolkit

MADE in Europe

The Cambridge New Mosque Project

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