environmental action through Islamic teachings
Credit: ronggur habibun/Flickr

Indonesian religious leaders push for environmental action through Islamic teachings

In Indonesia, clerics are leading a movement to merge Islamic teachings with environmental conservation efforts.

Sui-Lee Wee reports for The New York Times.


In short:

  • Grand Imam Nasaruddin Umar advocates for environmental guardianship as a religious duty, encouraging sustainable practices like planting trees and using renewable energy in mosques.
  • Indonesian clerics have issued fatwas that frame environmental protection as a religious obligation, aiming to curb climate change and preserve the nation’s biodiversity.
  • Efforts to green mosques have gained momentum, with the Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta setting a precedent by winning a green building award and installing energy-saving technologies.

Key quote:

"The greedier we are toward nature, the sooner doomsday will arrive."

— Grand Imam Nasaruddin Umar, head of Istiqlal Mosque

Why this matters:

Indonesia's unique approach of integrating faith with ecology serves as a potential model for global environmental reform, particularly in regions where religion significantly influences daily life and policy. Read more about the intersection of religion and the environmental movement: Unconventional pathways to science, with Dr. Katharine Hayhoe.

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