TORONTO - Joining millions of people in marking Earth Day, Muslims across the world will dedicate their weekly sermons on Friday, April 19, to raise awareness about environment protection and challenges facing humanity.
We are encouraging mosques, schools, universities and Islamic Institutions to devote their Friday Khutbah to celebrate the blessings, graces and beauty of all of God's creation and to raise awareness on the environmental challenges facing humanity, Muaz Nasir, the publisher of the Canadian environmental website Khaleafa.com and one of the organizers of the campaign, told OnIslam.net.
Earth Day is an annual day on which events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection.
Earth Day is observed on April 22 each year.
Ahead of the occasion, Muslims worldwide would dedicate the Friday sermons to raise awareness about environment protection.
This year's Green Khutbah Campaign' challenge is to request all Muslims to commit to the 3 C action plan - to consume less, conserve more and care for the environment, Nasir said.
Launched last year, the Green Khutbah Campaign' saw imams across North America and Europe deliver a message that reminded their congregations of the Qur'anic message to be stewards of the earth and its environment.
Organizers hope that the campaign would be extended to other Muslim communities across the world.
The campaign has been picked up in other parts of the world with Muslims in Thailand and South Africa pledging to deliver a green' Khutbah.
Muslims in Canada has championed several campaigns to protect environment.
In September, Muslims in Toronto joined hands with their non-Muslim neighbors in Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup program to reduce the harmful effect of litter on fragile aquatic ecosystems.
Muslims make around 2.8 percent of Canada's 32.8 million population, and Islam is the number one non-Christian faith in the Roman Catholic country.
A recent report from the Washington-based Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life said that Muslims are expected to make up 6.6% of Canada's total population in 2030.
A recent survey showed that the overwhelming majority of Muslims are proud to be Canadian, and that they are more educated than the general population.
Environmental concern among the global public is on the wane, according to a GlobeScan which tracked public concern on six environmental issues in its annual Radar global poll.
The poll found that across eighteen countries, public concern about water pollution, fresh water shortages, natural resource depletion, air pollution, climate change and biodiversity loss is way down from its peak in 2009.
The period since 2009 has witnessed the most sustained period of economic strife in most of the world's major economies for the better part of a century, wrote GlobScan's Director Sam Mountford in an article on GreenBiz.comAnd bluntly, for many citizens, these appear to pose a much clearer and more present threat to their well-being than environmental jeopardy, which for most people remains hidden from view.
But Nasir says that Muslims cannot tune out from the environmental damage.
Tuning out would mean that we are disregarding our moral responsibility to God's creation, he told OnIslam.net.
Those who violate or abuse the Trust are described in the Qur'an as those who corrupt, degrade and bring ruin on earth, Nasir said.
The corrupters abuse the Trust and are in clear contrast to what Muslims must be - the stewards of the earth.
An extensive online resource has been created by Khaleafa.com to support the campaign and Muslim organizations and well-known leaders are throwing their support behind the initiative.
The first Earth Day, held on April 22, 1970, activated 20 million Americans from all walks of life and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement.More than 1 billion people across the world now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.