This blog is a dual report. Mary Ellen Mallia, the director of Environmental Sustainability will provide the introduction and a council chair, will provide his impressions.
On March 18th, the Muslim Student Association and UAlbany Sustainability Council co-sponsored Ibrahim Abdul-Matin an environmental activist based in New York City. This was the capstone event of Islam week. Deen means path or religion and to Abdul-Matin, the teaching of Islam encourages environmental stewardship. His very engaging speech challenged everyone, regardless of our faith, to live a sustainable life. He recalled the piles of garbage he observed in his Mosque after breaking fast and felt that we as a community can do better in respecting the environment. And in fact, this is what is expected of people of faith. His book is divided into four main sections: water, waste, energy and food and discusses how our choices and actions in these areas affect the world around us.
He mentioned how Islam advocates that there should be a balance on Earth as far using natural resources. In essence, Islam would be against exploiting the world’s resources and polluting to the extent that it causes global warming and environmental degradation. In the month of Ramadan, (month of fasting) we should practice recycling and teaching the youth the importance of it. Overall this was a great program, one quote he said that stood out to me the most. He said “we need to get educated and educate others on the issues and solutions. The way that we manage the major systems of water, waste, energy and food define civilization. At no time in the history of the world have the people of the world been in more constant contact than we are now. This connectivity is a challenge and also a blessing. We can harness this people power to hold our institutions accountable and to find better ways to deliver water to the thirsty, food to the hungry, power to the industrious and reduce the impact that our actions have on the planet. We are all responsible for protecting the planet.”
Thanks to MSA for bringing Abdul-Matin to campus!!