Islam and the Environment

Friday, November 12, 2010

Blogger, community leader, and The Takeaway contributor Ibrahim Abdul-Matin discusses his new book, Green Deen: What Islam Teaches about Protecting the Planet.


Ibrahim Abdul-Matin

Comments [13]

sogol from bk, nyc

Josie from New York, I completely agree with you! I would like to add to this, most fundamentalist versions of all the religions we know of today technically exclude women. Orthodox Jewish women adhere to the same rules of covering that Muslim women do, but no one ever mentions that this is oppression. Women are a very big part of Islam and as a Muslim woman I whole heartedly believe that the Earth is a Mosque. Just because what we hear of the religion does not include this does NOT mean that it is not a part of the story. We must remember that we do not get the whole story on Islam, or any religion for that matter, and Green Deen offers a great alternative perspective.

Nov. 17 2010 04:39 PM
Josie from New York, NY

Thank you Amy from Manhattan - great point. Right wing religious conservatives use religion to divide and tell people what's "right" and what's "wrong." Ibrahim seems to be advocating for a discussion between people of faith - all faiths, even atheists, to not bicker over differences of creed, but rather, to find commonality in the environmental problem and find common solutions. The Quran says don't waste water. The Bible says don't waste water. The Talmud says don't waste water. Athiests don't want to waste water.

To Ahmed, I'm sorry you feel that religious folks are 'blind followers.' I'd argue that religious folks who write books actually immerse themselves in research and are well versed on the issues.

To Anand Veeraraj, please stop buying the propoganda and ask the Muslim woman how she feels about the phrase, "The Earth is a Mosque." ISLAM absolutely takes women's issues into consideration. Muslim men might not. This should not reflect on the religion as a whole, but rather the practice of a specific group of people. I'm sick of saying this, but just because a few sick priests abused young children, we do not ever say that Christianity doesn't consider the safety of young people.

Thank you Brian Lehrer for having this interesting guest.

Nov. 12 2010 01:43 PM
dboy from nyc

I'm with "Adrienne Adams from New York city".

Nov. 12 2010 12:15 PM
Amy from Manhattan

To Ahmed & Adrienne, when so many right-wing religious leaders are espousing anti-environmental views based on their interpretation of religious doctrine, their views need to be countered in religious terms (like my example on the air of "fill the earth" with & without "subdue it"). You'll never convince them by telling them their beliefs are "unreason" or a "fallacy." Milliions of people in this country & billions worldwide have strong religious beliefs, & their actions affect the real world, incl. the environment. There's a much better chance of convincing them that their beliefs support protecting the environment than of convincing them to abandon those beliefs.

Nov. 12 2010 11:36 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

More Muslim proselytizing. And yes, those who don't follow the Biblical dictum of "Be fruitful and multiply" will NOT inherit the earth. Those who self-liquidate their line in the name of saving the earth, need not worry about global warming, as they will have no grandchildren to worry about.

Nov. 12 2010 11:19 AM
George from NYC

If I heard correctly, Brian said many Judeo-Christians have trouble with the idea of god being in everything, because they interpret this as a form of pan-theism. My understanding is that this concept does not need to be seen as pantheism, but instead suggests a unity of all creation, "God is One", and at the same time is actually more in keeping with discoveries of modern science from quantum mechanics on -- everything is connected. I also see this as the connecting concept between Judeo-Christian concept of one God and the Bhuddist, and Taoist, understandings of the nature of reality.

Nov. 12 2010 11:10 AM
Anand Veeraraj from Princeton, NJ

Islam must take into consideration women's issues to be an effective voice in the world environmental movement. Earth is not a mosque as Ibrahim Abdul-Matin claims; women are excluded from mainstream Islam.

Anand Veeraraj, PhD
Author: Green History of Religion

Nov. 12 2010 11:05 AM
Shawn Shafner from Ditmas Park, Brooklyn

I run an arts organization called The People's Own Organic Power Project ( We encourage people to stop "flushing and forgetting," asking them to focus, as Ibrahim said, not just on what we consume but also what we put out. Celebrate the modern sanitation that makes our lives possible, and honor the 2.6 billion people living without it, at our World Toilet Day event Nov. 19!

Nov. 12 2010 11:04 AM
The Truth from Becky

Wow Brian! you were actually civil and non-judgemental in that discussion, now that's the Brian Lehrer I like!

Nov. 12 2010 11:01 AM
Adrienne Adams from New York city

This belongs on a religious station. There is no context for people who don't buy the fallacy of religon.

Nov. 12 2010 10:57 AM

For Kosher keeping Jewish Orthodox was a lot of disposable dishes. Add that to having lots of kids...
On the other hand Kosher food means you care about what you feed and raise stock. Basically also Organic is the safest bet for Kosher.

Nov. 12 2010 10:56 AM
Gerri Stiner from Cranford, NJ

I'm listening right now and find it fascinating. My congregation has not been very receptive to the idea of "greening our Church," but I have had discussions about it and they continue. I need to be more pro-active. It is a Bibilical truth that we need to be good stewards, as you stated. Interesting how it is interpreted....Are you familiar with the work of Greenfaith?? We have had Rev. Fletcher Harper come and speak to our community. In general, I'm concerned that there isn't more interest in the faith communities.
Thank you for your work....

Nov. 12 2010 10:54 AM

Oh boy. Isn't it clear by now that secularism/rationality is the only thing to save us? Religion, and blind belief in general mean that evidence is discarded in favor of ideology. Science is not ideology. There is a very problematic trend in the US that says that reason is unreason, and that blind belief (in anything, especially religious) is instead reason.

Why have people trying to fit out-of-date, thousand year old beliefs to the problems of the modern world.

Nov. 12 2010 10:53 AM

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