Green Islam: Muslims Speak Out on Climate Change

August 19, 2015

Following the declaration by Pope Francis in June, leaders in the Islamic world have now issued a warning on climate change to the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims.

In May, I interviewed Imam Achmat Sallie, an important leader in the burgeoning movement of “Green Islam”.  Imam Sallie is founder of the Islamic Studies program at Mercy College of the University of Detroit.


Muslim leaders and experts from 20 countries emerged from talks in Istanbul on Tuesday with an eight-page declaration urging Islam’s 1.6 billion followers to recognize and take action against the threat of climate change, Reuters reports.

The declaration, signed by 60 leaders, including the Grand Muftis of Uganda and Lebanon, takes an urgent tone on the moral obligation of corporations, political leaders and all Muslims to protect Earth.

“We are in danger of ending life as we know it on our planet,” the statement says, according to The Guardian. “This current rate of climate change cannot be sustained, and the earth’s fine equilibrium (mīzān) may soon be lost.”


A group of Islamic experts urged the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims on Tuesday to do more to fight global warming, in a new example of religious efforts to galvanize action before a U.N. climate summit in Paris in December.

In June, the world’s most important Christian leader, Pope Francis, urged world leaders to hear “the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor” in an encyclical on the environment for the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.

Unlike Roman Catholicism, Islam is a highly decentralized religion with no single recognized authority. But Muslim experts from 20 nations agreed an 8-page declaration at talks in Istanbul where it was adopted by 60 participants including the Grand Muftis of Uganda and Lebanon, a statement said.

“Excessive pollution from fossil fuels threatens to destroy the gifts bestowed on us by God, whom we know as Allah – gifts such as a functioning climate, healthy air to breathe, regular seasons, and living oceans,” they wrote.

They said inaction on reining in manmade greenhouse gas emissions, from factories, power plants and cars, would mean “dire consequences to planet earth”.

The declaration called on rich governments – and oil-producing states that include some OPEC nations where Islam is the state religion – to lead the way in “phasing out their greenhouse gas emissions as early as possible and no later than the middle of the century.”

2 Responses to “Green Islam: Muslims Speak Out on Climate Change”

  1. Sean Munger Says:

    This was inevitable, but I’m very glad to see it happen. Inter-faith dialogue on climate change is one of the things that I hope will lead to meaningful action.

  2. omnologos Says:

    is there any fatwa on climate change, maybe issue by a well-recognized Islamic scholar? (asking)

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