!قراءة الناس

'You can't take a King to his own Court…'

GREENING UP LONDON

The environment is changing drastically. The air temperature at the Earth’s surface has risen by 0.8 ºC in the last century. Most scientists now agree that greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide are causing global warming and climate change, and people’s lives are being affected as a result. Extreme weather events such as the devastating flood that took place in Pakistan in 2010 are becoming more common and intense. Persistent droughts are becoming the norm. It has been predicted that by 2025, 3.4 billion people will live in water-scarce countries. Also, according to the United Nations, the adverse effects of climate change on grain yields could leave 25 million additional children malnourished by 2050.
 
For the last month I have been an intern at MADE in Europe, an organization dedicated to mobilising and influencing young Muslims to take action against the injustices and suffering experienced by billions of people in their daily lives.
 
During my time here, I have been working on the Green Up campaign; a joint initiative by MADE and FEMYSO, working with Mosques and Muslim communities across Europe to become more environmentally conscious and environmentally friendly.
 
My colleagues and I have been working with various Mosques in London to introduce to them the various ways in which they could become more environmentally friendly, from switching to energy-saving light bulbs to installing solar panels! Mosques that are willing to work with us on implementing initiatives appropriate for them would be eligible for the Green Up award; a certification that will accredit Mosques for becoming more environmentally friendly. Mosques can not only save energy by implementing these initiatives, but also lower bills by using less energy!
 
While working with Mosques, we have discussed how significant and important these changes are, while at the same time linking them to the Islamic teachings of protecting and preserving the natural environment. The whole idea of the campaign goes back to the simple point of reminding ourselves why it is crucial that as Muslims we work towards a better and cleaner environment.
 
The importance of Mosques, and Muslims in general, supporting such a campaign is vital to helping protect the environment, and ensuring that we are able to hand over a less polluted planet to the next generation.
 
At the moment, there is already an Eco-Mosque being planned in Cambridge. According to the Mosque Trust, it will incorporate significant design features which will minimise carbon emissions and emphasise the role of faith in promoting responsible management of the earth’s resources.
 
While most of the Mosques that we are working with may not become full Eco-Mosques, it is still important to make these changes, for these little steps can become a movement for environmental protection.
 
I hope that such an initiative will encourage Muslims around London, and indeed around the UK, to take an active interest in issues of environmental degradation, and to gain knowledge and skills on how to preserve resources both at home and in the Mosque, Insha’Allah.
 
By Uzair Ahmed 

Advertisements

SREBRENICA WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN…

“By seeking to eliminate a part of the Bosnian Muslims, the Bosnian Serb forces committed genocide. They targeted for extinction the 40,000 Bosnian Muslims living in Srebrenica. They stripped all the male Muslim prisoners, military and civilian, elderly and young, of their personal belongings and identification, and deliberately and methodically killed them solely on the basis of their identity” Theodor Meron – President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

As of July 2012, 6,838 genocide victims have been identified through DNA analysis of body parts recovered from mass graves and 5,657 victims have been buried. Every year newly identified bodies are buried at the Srebrenica cemetery in Potocari.

Last year I paid my respects at Potocari to the innocent Bosnian Muslims who were massacred 18 years ago. It was heart wrenching seeing the rows of hundreds of coffins and watching families finally being able to put their loved ones to rest after so many painful years. I admired the spirit of strength the families have kept as the years pass by although that day at Potocari was a day of mourning and remembrance. Emotions that have been locked up for years came pouring out in some of the most poignant scenes I have ever witnessed.

The sweltering heat, hundreds of closed green coffins and thousands of people etched a vivid memory in my mind that I can take myself back to one year on as if I was there today. Sitting at the top of the hill, in awe at the beauty of my surroundings, and the shocking view of the mass janazah, the sense of the power of Allah SWT was overwhelming.

Throughout the day, I felt a sense of helplessness. Over 8,000 Bosnian Muslim lives were taken in the Srebrenica massacre whilst the world stood back and failed to intervene. Most of those who lost their lives were men and young boys while the women were raped. This was all at the hands of the deranged General Ratko Mladic and his army of cold-blooded killers.

As we watched the fallen martyrs being laid to rest, a fellow volunteer, Zayaan and I decided to assist with the burial of one of the victims. A feeling of disbelief passed through me that I was actually burying a twenty year old simply because of his religion and his identity. It took a lot of strength to get through it and I could not imagine the pain that the families were going through. We felt deeply honoured to have had the opportunity to carry and bury a ‘shaheed’, a martyr.

In 2013, President Tomislav Nikolic of Serbia personally apologised for the first time on behalf of his country: “I am down on my knees because of it. Here, I am down on my knees. And I am asking for a pardon for Serbia for the crime that was committed in Srebrenica. I apologise for the crimes committed by any individual on behalf of our state and our people…” However, he has refused to correctly identify the killing of 8,000 people as ‘genocide’.

The genocide that took place in Bosnia is one that must never be forgotten. The Srebrenica memorial is a moving testament to the suffering, but also the endurance of those courageous Bosnians who lived to tell the world their story. We must now make sure that it never happens again.

By Uzair Ahmed

“We pray to You,
Almighty God, may grievance become hope,
May revenge become justice
May mothers’ tears become prayers
That Srebrenica never happens again
To no one and nowhere!”

Dr Mustafa Ceric – Grand Mufti of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Akala – Fire In The Booth

Knowledge Is Power

“I am down on my knees because of it. Here, I am down on my knees. And I am asking for a pardon for Serbia for the crime that was committed in Srebrenica. I apologize for the crimes committed by any individual on behalf of our state and our people” Tomislav Nikolic – Serbia’s President

“Thousands of men executed and buried in mass graves, hundreds of men buried alive, men and women mutilated and slaughtered, children killed before their mothers’ eyes, a grandfather forced to eat the liver of his own grandson. These are truly scenes from hell, written on the darkest pages of human history.” Foud Riad – International Tribunal Court Judge