A Young Muslim Diver's Passion for the Sea (Video)
Link TV/Video screen capture
"Eat and drink from the provision of Allah, and do not commit abuse on the Earth," says the Koran, the holy book of the Muslim faith. Though Islam's tenets contain similar calls for revering and protecting nature as does the Bible, the idea of Muslim environmentalism is far less known than that of Christian evangelicals promoting "creation care." No wonder a short film about a young Muslim scuba diver comes across as such a breath of fresh air -- or, perhaps more appropriately given the subject, a cool drink of water.
San Francisco-based director Rolla Selbak's Green Blue Sea won first prize in the "Youth Story" category of the second annual "One Nation, Many Voices" online film contest. Sponsored by Link TV and the nonprofit group One Nation, the competition aims to bring "compelling stories about the American Muslim experience" to a larger audience and broaden people's images of who Muslims are. This film does a bit of the same for stereotypes about environmentalists as well.
Watch the short film Green Blue Sea. Video via Link TV.
The subject of Green Blue Sea, Hanny Selbak, started scuba-diving around the age of 14 after watching a film on a waste dump in the Pacific Ocean that was killing sea life and deciding that he wanted to "see some of that before it's all completely gone." Inspired by both his environmental convictions and his Muslim beliefs -- which he says "specifically stress goodness to animals" and "promote a lifestyle where you pace yourself, take in the beauty, think about things" -- Hanny is passionate about his underwater experiences.
"Being underwater is like floating in the clouds, but there's more to see -- there's way more to see. Every time I go down there, it's sort of like waking up again, like, hey, this Earth isn't mine, this Earth isn't just for me to stomp on. There's so much there that it just wakes you up" he says, adding, "Maybe even these big guys with these factories and toxic-waste dumps ruining the ocean, maybe if they took a second out to see it, it might even change their minds."
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