“What’s Climate Change Got to Do with Me?” – Tips for Environmental Action in the Malay/Muslim community

In February 2021, Singapore’s Parliament debated its first motion on addressing climate change. Filed by six Members of Parliament (MPs), the motion included several recommendations, including “regular reviews to increase the carbon tax, encouraging the setting up of more electric vehicle (EV) charging points in public, expanding climate education in schools and adding climate defence as a seventh pillar of total defence”1.

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Environment, Sustainability and Islam

The groundbreaking Netflix documentary Seaspiracy shocked viewers by exposing the widespread corruption within the global fishing industry. It mainly focused on the harmful impact of industrial fishing on the ecosystem and how people and communities who rely on fish and fishing as a livelihood are affected1. In addition, the documentary highlighted the interconnectedness between humans and the natural world that requires one to see the world as a tapestry of cause and effect. Unfortunately, our modern, urbanised lifestyle has created a hyper-consumerist, hyper-individualistic society that has greatly contributed to this catastrophe, which is antithetical to the religious epistemic.

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Refusing a Culture of Convenient Consumption

Environmental sustainability in Singapore is increasingly contradictory. Although globally known for its clean streets and greenery, it has become commonplace to see the streets being cleaned and trees pruned – often times not by Singaporeans themselves. Additionally, despite the immense societal concern on the effects of climate change, most people believe that government action is more important than individual climate action[1].

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Reflections of An Aspiring Eco-Warrior

Extremist. Annoying. And my personal favourite, environmental salafist. These are just some of the charges that have been levelled against me ever since I’ve started on my personal crusade to be more eco-conscious and environmentally friendly.

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Islam and the Environment: The Disconnect?

Everyone has a part to play for the environment. As Muslims, we are encouraged by our religion to spread mercy to all creations. By following the footsteps of our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), it is expected for us to treat the environment with care. However, without a doubt, the way we are carrying our lives is creating a havoc on the only earth we have.

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