Friday 29 April 2016 at 19:56Putting On My Superhero Cape
by Hamid Mehmood, Islamic Relief Volunteer
"Father: Son, why do you have a towel around your neck? — Son: No dad, it’s a cape. — Father: And what are you going to do? — Son: One day, when I am big, I will save the world..."
You probably have heard of COP21 last year and its importance — it was a historic UN conference where world leaders gathered and decided on a deal on how to tackle climate change effectively.
Last December I had the pleasure of representing Islamic Relief UK and joined other organisations as part of Muslim Climate Action coalition which Islamic Relief is a founding member of. It was an amazing learning experience. We were in Paris for 3 days raising awareness and our voices for what was one of the most important campaigns I had been part of.
My visit to Paris was truly a wakeup call.
Getting to see people in their thousands from all around the world united just because they want earth to remain was beautiful. What made it even more amazing was the fact that the group I was travelling with were all young Muslim people.
On arriving there, believe it or not, we did not get to eat croissants, but headed straight to a conference organised by Friends of the Earth. There were hundreds of other groups showing off their creativity relating to climate change and talking about what they were doing to bring justice. The things I saw and some of the things I heard were inspiring.
Later that weekend, everybody gathered outside the Tower de Eiffel, where we held banners, raising our voices demanding justice. I saw thousands of people that had woken up from their sleep, saying “Enough is enough." People from all races whites, blacks, natives and even polar bears, which was a beautiful sight in itself, all united.
So why am I sharing my experiences to you all?
The Paris Agreement may have fell short of what we wanted, but that doesn’t mean we give up. As governments have gathered once again to ratify and sign off the Paris deal, we must not forget climate change requires more than just governments taking action. I have come to realise we can no longer rely on governments to save our planet. We are stewards of the Earth appointed by Allah and therefore we have that responsibility upon us.
We will make an even better world for our kids and the next generation, a world where they will breathe better air than us, where they will eat better food than us, a world where they will work together with the Sun to achieve beautiful things. So don’t tell me it’s too late to save the world, this is just the beginning — and I have just put on my cape.
Image via Flickr user Sallie the Cape Lady