Halal certification must include environmentally-friendly criteria


THE Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (Abim), together with international NGO coalitions, is always mindful of the ongoing climate crisis and problems of environmental degradation around the world.

This situation requires concrete actions by all parties that take the initiative to care for the environment.

Among the initiatives Abim is involved in at the grassroots level – using the Malaysian Interfaith Climate Change Network (MICCN) platform – is the launch of the “Destroying the Environment is Against My Religion” campaign.

This campaign aims to inculcate the importance of environmental care among religious communities.

As part of this campaign, Abim calls upon the authorities in Malaysia, such as Jabatan Agama Islam, and accredited international bodies to include environmentally- friendly criteria as prerequisites for halal certification.

This action expands the definition of “halal and good” – also known as “halalan toyyiban” – by encouraging the public to become aware of the importance of environmentally-sustainable practices.

This initiative can guarantee environmentally-friendly food sources that are halal and good, where the earth and its produce can be cared for and guarded against irresponsible activities.

This will also be a starting point to educate the people – and Muslims in particular – to take climate change and environmental protection seriously, especially with regards to consumption patterns.

This proposal is in line with the 17th principle of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ie, to encourage the development of industries that support sustainable environmental practices. (SDGs are a collection of 17 interlinked global goals designed to be a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all” set in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly.)

Abim is optimistic that Malaysia, as an international halal hub, can be a pioneer in bringing about better global halal standards with environmental protection.

Abim strongly believes that this initiative is a key item in fulfilling our responsibilities as stewards and caliphs on the earth who are responsible for caring for the world in an inclusive way for the good of all humanity.

MUHAMMAD FAISAL

ABDUL AZIZ

President, Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (Abim) & Coordinator, Malaysian Interfaith Climate Change Network (MICCN)

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