photo: Al Jazeera English/CC BY ND
Some timely examples of the intersection of Islam and environmental stewardship, both coming via the good folks over at Green Prophet: 1) Any new mosque built in Qatar must be eco-friendly, and 2) a new green guide to the Hajj is to be launched at the UK's House of Lords. Leaders from a good number of Middle East nations, along with representatives from nations with significant Muslim populations farther afield (Southeast Asia, Nepal, Kosovo...), will be hosted by the UK's Under Secretary of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change to launch the first worldwide guide to a greener Hajj.
Just one infrastructure change already launched to help ensure the annual pilgrimage to Mecca has a lower ecological footprint include a high speed train expected to reduce private vehicular traffic to Mecca.
In 2010, just under 1.8 million foreign visitors travelled to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj, a near doubling since the mid-1990s.
As for eco-mosques in Qatar, a special design committee has been formed to review nearly 20 different designs for new mosques aimed at reducing water consumption and energy usage.
Eco-mosques are nothing new. Just one example from the TreeHugger archives is a solar powered mosque in Turkey. Green Prophet has further examples: The first eco-mosque in Europe, in Cambridge, England; as well as eco-mosques in Albania, Chicago, Mali, Yemen and Dubai.