On Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 February, more than 70 Muslims from across Sydney joined together at Rose Hills Gardens to raise their voices about the cost of electricity and how they should respond in light of the Islamic faith.
The 90-minute process called a “table talk” was organised by the Sydney Alliance and its Voices for Power campaign and was led by the Alliance’s Muslim community committee.
After hearing a theological reflection from Imam Hassan Elsetohy, CEO of Muslim Aid Australia, and expert input from NGO Solar Citizens, Muslim participants shared their own experiences of rising energy prices and the difficulty of accessing renewable power.
The Sydney Alliance is a coalition of 40 organisations representing community organisations, unions and faith groups in Sydney, working together to advance the common good and achieve a fair, just and sustainable city.
The Sydney Alliance is a non-party political organisation whose purpose is to strengthen civil society. Amongst its members are the National Zakat Foundation, the Muslim Women’s Association and the Australian National Imams Council.
Beginning last year, the Voices for Power Campaign aims to support diverse religious and ethnic communities to take a lead role in the effort to tackle the high cost of electric bills in Sydney and to guarantee fair and equal access to affordable renewable energy.
At the table talk, stories emerged about the enormous pressure that the high cost of energy is putting on Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Participants shared stories about thousand dollar electricity bills and the difficulty for new migrants navigating a complex energy market. They also spoke of their hopes for renewable energy and their desire to look after the environment that Allah has made.
Abdalnasser Abumustafa, Sydney Alliance Muslim Communities Organiser, said “For Muslims in Sydney, we can’t solve the issues that confront us unless we become an active part of the broader civil society. I am proud that our committee brings together Muslims from many communities, including notably the National Zakat Foundation. All of us are committed to the common good of our city. By working to make energy cleaner and more affordable we are taking this opportunity to be politically and socially engaged and improve the lives of everyone who lives here.”