Faith Communities Defending the Environment
During the last blessed 10 days of Ramadan, we attended an interfaith iftar evening at The National History Museum in London, focused on giving young people a seat at the table when it comes to climate change. Organised by the Naz Legacy Foundation in memory of the late Naz Bokhari OBE, a pioneer in promoting diversity and inclusion in the UK, the event brought people together from all walks of life. This annual event ensures that Naz Bokhari OBE’s legacy lives on, The Foundation’s work aims to support initiatives that promote social cohesion and integration by providing opportunities.
National faith leaders, government officials and over five hundred members of the public gathered to discuss faith, the natural world and how youngsters must be advocates for the planet. The key values of Ramadan, reflection, generosity, and community were discussed and must remain in the conversation regarding climate justice even now that Ramadan is over. The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “The world is beautiful and verdant, and verily God, the exalted, has made you His stewards in it” (Sahih Muslim).
A speech from Secretary of State, Gillian Keegan outlined the importance of the younger generation’s presence in the discussion of climate change, she said, “it is young people who will inherit the consequences of the actions we take today” and “we need to empower them to take action, to speak out and to make a difference.”
The event brought many members of the community together to enjoy an iftar meal, religious and non-religious. It highlighted the importance of coming together for the benefit of the bigger picture. Our CEO, Ridwana Wallace-Laher said “this event is a testament to the importance of building bridges between communities.”
A panel discussion, hosted by the museum Director, Dr Douglas Gurr, went into depth about the link between faith and environmentalism and how faith acts as inspiration to protect the natural world for many. Another common theme among panel members was the importance of leadership skills for young people, equipping the next generation with knowledge and skills will make them the best advocates for the planet.
Reflecting on her visit to this incredible event, our CEO, Ridwana said, “I was honoured to attend. It was a wonderful opportunity to come together with people from different backgrounds and faiths, and to share in the spirit of community and generosity that defines the holy month of Ramadan. I am proud that Penny Appeal was able to support it as we continue to navigate a world that can often feel divided and polarized, events like this remind us that we are all part of a global community, and that by working together, we can build a better future for all.”
The interfaith iftar at The National History Museum was a reminder that we are all connected and have a responsibility to protect the planet we share. At a time where we are especially in touch with our faith, let’s continue the spirit of togetherness. The event last week was an evening of discussion, reflection, and action: a true testament to the power of community to effect positive change.
MONDAY 24 APR 2023