Category: Opinion

A great change is approaching

Ahmed Keeler’s  perceptive “Rethinking Islam and the West:  A New Narrative for the Age of Crises” describes the  “ever-growing release of powers within the material realm,” as threatening civilisation.

This is contrary to the view of the British Geological Survey which proclaims  the fact that “Humans are now drivers of environmental change on a scale that is unique in Earth’s history,” is a great leap for human kind.

To the contrary Keeler sees that this has led to an escalation of crises and a once benign natural world turning “hostile and unpredictable.”

He thus questions the long held fundamental truth of modernism that the conquest of nature leads to unending progress.

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Australia reaches The Age of Crises

The nation witnessed climate refugees being rescued by the navy in Eastern Victoria, with major highways closed for long periods.
This has been followed by torrential but patchy rainfall, flash floods and the threat of at least one dam collapse.
Meanwhile our national government continues its generous support for oil coal and gas, with taxpayer subsidies and soft taxation policies.
For example in 2020 our gas output will probably outstrip that of Qatar which gets $26.6 billion in tax but Australia gets only $600 million. [12 March 2018 SMH]
ExxonMobil Australia with a total income of $42.3 billion over the past five years paid not one cent in income tax in this country. [31 January 2020 Michael West Media]
While supporting these contributors to the climate emergency, the government engages in climate emergency denial

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Islam and the threat to the balance of creation

As Asam Redwan writes in “When the Earth Speaks Against Us: Environmental Ethics in Islam:”“Good character extends to not only our interactions with other humans but also to our interactions with the world around us.” (20 September 2018 Yaqeen Institute).
In his 2018 small online survey to investigate the awareness of environmental ethics amongst English-speaking UK Muslim, Redwan found that 60% of respondents claimed that humans were having a negative impact on the planet.

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Rethinking Islam and the West: Progress and Balance

This “progress” also brought us global warming, the atom bomb, devastation caused by chemicals, a tottering financial system, antibiotic resistance, the terrorist perversion of Islam and the world refugee crisis emerging from the War on Terror in the Middle East.

“In looking for a new story, a narrative which can make more sense of our past and the situation in which we now find ourselves, a criterion needs to be found in place of that of progress, and I believe this to be the criterion of balance.”

This is “…represented by the Arabic term mizan, which can be translated as balance, justice, measure, harmony or indeed, weighing scales.”

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