Friday, 3 May 2019
- Balham Mosque and Tooting Islamic Centre goes green in Ramadan campaign
- MP Dr Rosena Allin-Khan shows her support following the declaration of ‘climate emergency’ in UK Parliament earlier this week
Balham Mosque and Tooting Islamic Centre, in partnership with Islamic Relief UK, is piloting a new campaign to reduce plastic waste and become more environmentally friendly this Ramadan.
The ‘Eco-Ramadan’ project, which launched at a community event after Friday afternoon prayers on 3 May at the Tooting Islamic Centre, will introduce reusable water bottles and dispensers to the mosque, which will be sold to mosque goers, with proceeds going to a water project in Kenya run by Islamic Relief.
The Labour Member of Parliament for Tooting, Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, attended the launch.
The Balham Mosque and Tooting Islamic Centre has pledged to only use biodegradable cups and cutlery during Ramadan, which starts next week. Some mosques prepare food so their congregations can break their fast in the evening meal (iftar). They commonly use disposable plastics, including plastic water bottles, so this is an important development.
It comes at a time when concern about the environment is at a critical point. It is widely accepted that individuals, communities and governments must do more to address the negative effects of climate change.
Single-use plastic is a growing concern that threatens the lives of millions of marine animals each year, already affecting around 700 different species.
On Wednesday, the UK Parliament declared a climate emergency.
Foredul Islam, London and South Regional Fundraising Manager at Islamic Relief UK, said: “During the holy month of Ramadan, mosques up and down the country use hundreds of plastic cups, plastic bottles, plastic plates, and plastic cutlery on a daily basis when breaking fast and during prayers. We must accept that this has a damaging impact on the environment.
“Ramadan has always been a time for Muslims to reflect on society, community and the world around us, and Islamic Relief UK is delighted that Balham and Tooting Islamic Centre is presenting an opportunity for communities to think about their carbon footprint and to reduce waste.
“Balham Mosque and Tooting Islamic Centre’s Eco-Ramadan appeal will hopefully educate the local Muslim community about reducing waste and influence other mosques to do the same. We cannot expect to change people’s behaviour overnight, but it is a gradual process to ensure our community starts taking steps towards a greener world.”
Pictured from Right: Tufail Hussain, Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, Arshad Daud
Arshad Daud, vice-chairman of the Balham Mosque and Tooting Islamic Centre, said:
“This year, the Tooting Islamic Centre has decided to significantly reduce the consumption of single-use plastic and food wastage during Ramadan. We wish to drive incremental systemic change and heighten awareness of how we, as a community, have an impact on our environment and the communities in which we live. Ramadan is an ideal time to achieve this aim.
‘We need to make the link between our religion and where the planet is right now. We are ruining the natural balance that has been provided to us by our creator by not behaving sustainably.
“The shift to a green lifestyle for Muslims when it comes to clothing, food habits and use of natural resources such as energy and water, is not only a social responsibility during the month of Ramadan, but also a religious duty.”
Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, Labour Member of Parliament for Tooting said: “The Tooting Islamic Centre is at the heart of the local community and I was so honoured to be at the launch of the ‘Eco Ramadan’ project.
“This week, I declared a climate emergency in Parliament, so I am proud to see the local community coming together to make changes that will positively impact the planet.
“Young people are our future – it is crucial that other community organisations follow the lead of Tooting Islamic Centre.”
- This year, donate to our Ramadan Appeal and the UK Government will match £2m of the funds raised. Your donation could feed a malnourished baby in Yemen, care for an orphan in Pakistan, protect a family in war-torn Syria or send relief to any of the 30 countries we support. Match funding from the UK Government will help us provide life-saving water in Ethiopia.
- To support our Ramadan Appeal please click here
- Islamic Relief is an international aid and development charity that aims to alleviate the suffering of the world’s poorest people in more than 30 countries, mainly in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. As well as responding to disasters and emergencies, Islamic Relief promotes sustainable economic and social development by working with local communities – regardless of race, religion or gender.
- About UK Aid Match – From 15 April to 30 June 2019 the UK Government will match £2m of the total raised for Islamic Relief’s Ramadan Appeal.This is thanks to UK Aid Match, which provides opportunities for the UK public to engage with international development issues and have a say in how UK aid is spent, whilst boosting the impact of the very best charity projects to reach the poorest people in developing countries. In five years, UK Aid Match has supported 42 charities, running projects in 27 countries. Projects are expected to benefit more than 25 million of the world’s poorest people. For more information on Islamic Relief and UK Aid Match visit islamic-relief.org.uk For more information on UK Aid Match visit https://www.gov.uk/international-development-funding/uk-aid-match
- This Ramadan, Balham Mosque and Tooting Islamic Centre is making a statement to its congregation declaring an alignment with the environment. Every single action it takes will aim to influence and teach the community, starting with saying no to single-use plastic.