What does Green Deen mean?
Green has become the catch-all word for being environmentally friendly. Deen in Arabic means religion but can also be translated to path or way. So a green deen is literally an environmentally friendly religion.
I use green deen to also mean finding inspiration in one’s faith to become more conscious about humanity’s effects on the planet. Islam is a green deen in many ways. First and foremost, Islam recognizes that while God is all-powerful, humans can and do impact the Earth.
Therefore, Islam provides guidance by way of the Quran and the Hadith (sayings of the Prophet Muhammad) on how to make that impact positive. This is basically what my book is about - what Islam teaches about protecting the planet.
How does your book contribute to changing perceptions of American Muslims?
This is a core mission of my book. Look, everyone wants to know where the moderate Muslims are. They’re everywhere. They go to work, they go to school. Frankly, they’re boring - which is why the media doesn’t do any stories about them. Why would CNN do a story on Ali the doctor who spends his evenings watching ESPN?
So I’m creating the story by writing this book. I’m highlighting Sarah the Muslim who believes in recycling. As more and more Muslims come forward, describing the positive ways they are contributing to society - and they are, they’re just not advertising it - I believe people will stop focusing on the tiny percentage of Muslims who are extremists.
I hope my book will re-label Muslims from terrorist to activist or, even better, environmentalists. I want Muslims to be known as the people who save water.Read the full interview here.