Tuesday November 9, 2021

Islamic Relief UK and Greenpeace MENA as part of the Ummah for Earth Alliance brought together young Muslims yesterday (8 Nov) to learn how to become activists in the fight against global warming.

As the second week of COP26 in Glasgow continues, a panel of high profile speakers shared their insights into the climate crisis at Blackhall Mosque in Edinburgh to inspire the next generation of climate activists.

The speakers included environmental campaigners Zunaira Malik and Nana Firman, Islamic Relief UK activist, Fatima Zara Alarakha, Nouhad Awwad from Greenpeace (the Middle East and North Africa), Zahra Khan Durrani from Islamic Relief Pakistan and Sheikh Amin Buxton.

For young Muslims in the UK, climate change threatens places where many of them have relatives, such as Bangladesh and Pakistan. These countries are often hit by floods and droughts, causing destroyed crops, homes, livelihoods and huge suffering.

As well as concern for others overseas, many young Muslims are also worried about not being able to perform their sacred task of Hajj (pilgrimage) to Mecca – as climate change will make it too hot and dangerous in the future.

COP26 is seeing world leaders, tens of thousands of negotiators, government representatives, businesses and civil society come together for talks to tackle climate change. Islamic Relief and Greenpeace Middle East and North Africa have joined with other major aid groups to lobby for immediate climate action, at all levels. 

Young Muslims are demanding tough action from decision-makers at the COP26 summit in Glasgow to reduce carbon emissions and make a greener environment.

Maria Zafar, Islamic Relief UK’s Campaigns and Public Affairs Coordinator said:

“It’s inspiring to see the next generation step up to the challenge of tackling climate change. Seeing these young individuals so passionate about doing everything they can to save the planet gives me hope for the future. It’s our duty as Muslims to safeguard the planet as custodians of the Earth and this message is resonating with the young.

“These youngsters are also determined to make a huge difference to the countless people in countries across the world who are suffering as floods and droughts devastate people’s lives.”

Nouhad Awwad, Project Campaigner on Ummah for Earth at Greenpeace Middle East and North Africa said:

“We have the technology, the insight, the science and the financial means to green our whole planet and live in harmony, dignity and health. What is lacking is the political will and the courage to execute it.

 “We will get there by continuing to educate, inspire and lead the change from the front and by working together in unity and solidarity.”

For more information and interviews, please contact Jonaid Jilani, Media Manager: Jonaid.jilani@islamic-relief.org.uk or 07872 403534.

Photographs can be found here:

About Islamic Relief
Islamic Relief is a faith-inspired, development and humanitarian agency working to transform and save the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in over 40 countries. Islamic Relief assists people according to need and does not discriminate in any way.
Set up in Birmingham in 1984 by a group of volunteers, we have assisted over 117 million people all over the world. We’re saving lives and empowering people to lift themselves out of poverty in over 40 countries – from Bangladesh to Bosnia, Pakistan to Palestine, Kenya to Kosovo.  Islamic Relief is on the ground in some of the world’s most dangerous and difficult places – including Syria and Yemen – strengthening the most marginalised communities to withstand conflict and natural disasters and to build a brighter future. We also support vulnerable people in the UK in partnership with local charities and organisations.

Islamic Relief has been working across the world to help people prepare for disasters such as the development of emergency early warning systems, cyclone-resistant shelters, flood defences, drought-resistant crops and rainwater harvesting systems.

About Ummah4Earth:
The U4E project aims to contribute to the climate movement amongst Muslims worldwide by building on Islamic values to address the vulnerability of Muslims and climate impacts. The project seeks to show how Muslim culture and values are an important guiding light for a more sustainable future while amplifying the voices of Muslim youth in the global conversation around climate. The U4E project serves as a platform for Muslims and Muslim youth in particular to become active citizens working for their communities and the good of the planet. U4E also seeks to work alongside key influencers, religious figures and thought leaders who can contribute to a mindset that prioritizes climate as a pressing global matter.

About Greenpeace MENA:
Greenpeace is an independent campaigning organisation, which uses peaceful, creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems, and develop solutions for a green and peaceful future. Our goal is to ensure the ability of the earth to nurture life in all its diversity.

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