In a society increasingly driven by science and technology, world religions and the communities they inspire remain a vast and rock-solid political force. Going by the numbers alone, Pew Research Center estimated in 2015 that there were over 5 billion people of faith in our contemporary world, belonging to Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and other faith-based cosmologies, including Indigenous and Native belief systems. Despite their outsized influence on so many aspects of our personal, social, and political lives, however, religious thinking and morality have struggled to gain a foothold in debates over a number of critical issues confronting our world today, including climate change and environmental justice, consumer capitalism, and solidarity struggles.
In this four-part series, host and climate correspondent Aman Azhar shines a light on how faith-based cosmologies inform and influence our political conduct, even in the most intimate of ways. These interdisciplinary conversations with thought leaders from different faith groups explore the intersections of religion and the politics of climate change. What sort of political actions do—and can—these worldviews inspire? Do the gods and followers of Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism have a say in the future of our warming planet? If the answer is a resounding “Yes,” then why can’t we hear their voices more in popular media? Have they been muted? If so, why (and by whom)?
In Part 3 of “Faith and the Fight Against Climate Change,” Aman Azhar engages author Ibrahim Abdul-Matin in a spirited debate about his 2010 book, which many have praised as groundbreaking, “The Green Deen: What Islam Teaches About Protecting the Planet.” In his book, Abdul-Matin argues that “the earth is the mosque,” and that caring for the planet is enshrined in Islamic teachings. That’s not the message we hear in mainstream Western media, though, which seem to only be capable of stereotypical and largely ahistorical representations of the world’s second largest faith and its respective sects and followers.
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Aman Azhar