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Current Affairs ( 28 Jul 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Leaving Climate Change to Allah’s Mercy

By Hafsa Khawaja 

24 Jul 2015

A sessions court in Karachi recently dismissed a plea filed by PTI against the Sindh government regarding incompetence and apathy in the face of the devastating heat wave that struck the city. According to a report in Dawn, the esteemed judge was of the opinion that, “Climate change is in control of Almighty Allah…Due to climate changes the season of monsoon also has been effected and rather delayed and for all this we being Muslims have to pray before Almighty Allah to extend the relief to the human being by showing His kindness.”

Energy experts at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in Islamabad, Maha Kamal and Maariyah Wasim recently wrote an article stressing the dangerous scale of climate change for South Asia. While emphasising and proposing proper policy action to combat climate change, they mention that the Climate Change and Environmental Risk Atlas 2015 marked Pakistan in the ‘extreme risk’ category and comment that, “Climate scientists all around the world now agree that climate change is not an esoteric term but a manmade phenomenon, caused by human activities. Blaming ‘climate change’ without accepting responsibility for the causes of climate change has led to inaction by policymakers, as well as a lack of direction.”

The New York Times’ also recently commented on the fresh findings of British medical journal The Lancet concerning the subject of climate change and its effects on health: “More people will be exposed to floods, droughts, heat waves and other extreme weather associated with climate change over the next century than previously thought.”

Furthermore, Michael Kugelman’s article in Dawn throws light on the immensely alarming looming danger of water scarcity in Pakistan: “A new IMF report throws the severity of Pakistan’s water crisis into sharp relief. Back in 2009, the Running on Empty study projected that by 2025, Pakistan’s water shortfall could be five times the amount of water that could then be stored throughout the Indus River system’s vast reservoirs. It estimated that the shortfall in 2025 would comprise almost two thirds of the entire Indus River system’s current annual average flow.” In view of this, the nightmare of a ‘water-starved wasteland’ does not appear too distant as Pakistan’s future.

However, it seems that no amount of studies, statistics, figures and projections can drive home the point that Pakistan faces a crisis of survival posed by climate change. There cannot be a clearer signal and a more frightful warning than the recent heat wave that claimed a staggering number of 1,200 lives. It can only be wondered with dread what more is in store for a country that, according to the data from the Notre Dame Global Adaptation (ND-Gain) Index, holds a dismal ranking regarding its adaptation to global warming, and yet, has left it all to the will of Allah alone.

The belief that all lies in the hands and power of Allah is not alien to Islam. However, neither is the norm of the use, abuse and exploitation of religion by the Pakistani state uncommon. Such an argument, as articulated by the distinguished judge, deprives those in power of any agency, which they are otherwise rather quick to exercise. It serves to justify and perpetuate the incompetence that marks government performance in the country; providing them an escape from the responsibilities and duties owed to citizens.

Back in May a motivational lecture on the ‘Morality and Ethics and Public Service Delivery’ by a religious scholar was organised for customs officers by the Federal Board of Revenue.  While there is nothing wrong with motivational lectures, it remains to be noted that it will take a lot more than sermons to “motivate” the epidemic of entrenched corruption and inefficiency out of the bureaucracy. FBR and other state institutions need immediate reforms which sermons can succeed in supplanting.

What the mention of this motivational lecture exhibits is once again, the pervasive use of religion in Pakistan as a convenient substitute for initiative, action, accountability and reform; a use that will intensify as issues such as those of climate change increasingly lay claim to the country.

Perhaps people in Pakistan need to be acquainted with the message given by Professor Mehmet Gormuz, head of Turkey’s official Directorate of Religious Affairs in 2014. Addressing muftis from every province after the horrific Soma Mine incident that killed 303 workers, Professor Gormez also responded to then PM Erdogan’s statement that such accidents were matters of fate and nature:

 “Producing excuses about ‘divine power’ for human guilt and responsibility is wrong. The laws of nature are the laws of God. God has given us the ability to understand these laws and asked from us to act accordingly. What is suitable for God’s will is to take the necessary precautions against the physical causes for disasters. The strength of the believer against the consequences of disasters is important. But similarly important is the believer’s comprehension of the causes.”

From Soma to Karachi, the importance of Gormez’s message resonates; ‘divine power’ and ‘fate’ should not be draped as escapes from human responsibility, or excuses for indifference and inaction.

Perhaps it would be better if those at the helm of power in Pakistan stop indulging in convenient fatalism and immediately revise and implement the National Climate Change Policy. With more than a thousand lives usurped, it is time to abandon the prime method of redressing Pakistan’s pressing problems, a method which can be summed in three words: Allah de Hawale



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  1. well the answer from Naseer Ahmed is standard answer by all meat eaters from western background and Muslim it is nothin new in the answer, the whole Idea of eating vegetarian is not about balancing about animals getting extinct or not, people eating are just felling that they are doing something wrong as Muslims believe in halal and non halal a food. One more thing cruel animal farming is another reality of modern world.

    I will narrate about battery farming of hens, do they are killed after they enjoy their free right to live? do they get right to live with their small chicks?

    So the are grow in numbers normally by God grace or its human interference is their to manipulate to multiply their numbers by cruelty? 

    Well as it hard for Muslim mind to think rationally, I give another example of western society those who are eating meat, some of them eat only from ethical farming ethical  farming of animal is the one animal has enjoyed full his/her life before they are killed to eat  but not like modern animal farming cruelty  that torcher helpless, miserable animals.

    Well non of the paigamber or nabi had given example of this type of cruelty with animals, they killed it before eating, and before they were killed they allowed them full right to live.

    The only Muslims will do is that they will go to some of their scholar and get the justified answer that will allow them their will, that is the why I said Muslim cannot think rationally.
    By Aayina 01/08/2015 08:25:49
  2. The animals that Muslims eat are in no danger of extinction nor is the ecology disturbed on account of it. On the other hand, the ecology balance is maintained because of their eating habits and could be seriously disturbed if they gave up eating non-vegetarian food requiring forced killing that is often resorted to even today for certain species of animals.

    By Naseer Ahmed 01/08/2015 02:03:14
  3. Nearly all Muslim behave irrationally when it comes nature, because they think all is created for them, I give small example from eating habbit, westerners have vegan or. Vegetarian society they have nothing to do with Hindu concept, they think that some people in their society are harming the environment and animals unnecesorry, while human can live on plant base food, with Muslim you cannot have this Kind of society as it is the most irrationally society on the face of earth, which does not use human Brian given by God as greatest gift but use the interpretation do the their books to live their life and stick to it with rigidity, religion also have to evolve if humans are evolving but with Muslims they have made it immposible. even  their rational mind tells them their is something wrong. The Muslims have only evolve is different phycology based on Quran and Hadith and fighting with each other and non Muslim " so called Muslim  definition for rest of  human beings in the world " non Muslim" " Second example always in hurry to get married to cousins even though science has proved that genes from near kin members will produced defects in the kids but they will never think of the human life coming in the world has to face health problem not the parents.
    By Aayina 31/07/2015 22:48:41