Islamic community calls for fossil fuel divestment

Three Islamic faith-based organisations yesterday called on Muslims to divest from fossil fuels and invest in renewable energy to help deliver clean power for all.


In a joint statement, the Bahu Trust, Islamic Foundation for Environmental & Ecological Sciences (IFEES), and the Mosques & Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB) said that fossil fuel profiting in its current form is “morally wrong”.

It cites a verse from the Quran that alludes to human destruction of the natural world, and a saying from the Prophet Muhammad highlighting the importance of environmental stewardship.

The statement also makes reference to the Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change, drafted by IFEES founder Dr Fazlun Khalid, which calls on Muslims to cut their carbon footprint and commit to 100% renewable energy.

"Profiting from fossil fuel production in its current form is financially unnecessary, morally wrong and goes against the spirit of the Quranic teachings of good environmental stewardship," the statement reads.

"We call upon all Muslim individuals and institutions to immediately commence a comprehensive process to evaluate all of their current savings and investments to ensure they are not invested in the fossil fuel industry. 

"There is little time to bring about the transition, action is urgent, and the Muslim community should stand firmly among the global community of people dedicated to climate action.

"Loving the creation of Allah is part of one’s love for Allah. Divesting from fossil fuels and reinvesting in cleaner renewable energy is the only way to provide for a sustainable future for the generations already born and those to come."

The statement comes little more than a week after the Fiqh Council of North America – responsible for issuing authoritative religious rulings known as fatwas – called for a rapid transition towards renewable energy.

It also affirmed the 2016 fossil fuel divestment commitment made by the Islamic Society of North America – the first time that a Fiqh Council anywhere in the world has taken such a position.

Moreover, the council called on Islamic investment houses and other investment funds to immediately develop fossil fuel-free investment vehicles and portfolios that include renewable and clean energy companies.

Bahu Trust sustainability lead, Kamran Shezad, said: “So far, $11trn (£9trn) has been divested from fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas. This is clearly a major milestone and worthy of celebration, but there is still a long way to go. 

"With this in mind, the Bahu Trust will work with IFEES and MINAB to develop an educational programme for Muslim communities so they can be educated on how they assess their personal and business investments to ensure they are not invested in the fossil fuel industry, and how they can campaign and advocate for divestment so that the poorest gain climate justice."



Image credit | iStock

Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM

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