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Tuesday, July 29, 2014  

Steps needed to tackle global warming: Khalid
By David Solomon

MUSCAT If immediate steps were not taken, the world could be heading for another ice age on account of environmental pollution and global warming, according to leading Islamic scholar and orator Sheikh Khalid Yasin.

The Islamic scholar from the US, who converted to Islam in 1965, is here on a three-day lecture tour of Oman at the invitation of the Diwan of Royal Court, (Sultan Qaboos Centre for Islamic  Culture), since Wednesday. His first lecture on the topic of ‘God’s Real Religion,’ was delivered the same evening at the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque to a huge congregation.   

In an exclusive interview to the Oman Tribune, he said the excessive industrial growth by the western world had jeopardised the delicate eco-balance and could lead to an irreversible global catastrophe.

He appealed to Muslims around the world and those in particular from Oman and the region to show exemplary behaviour as Muslims in preserving the sanctity and health of the environment.

In the context of the lecture he had to deliver on Thursday on the subject ‘Islam and challenges’, Khalid said: “Today crucial issues are facing humanity and the response to those issues must come from the Muslims.

In response to a question on whether Islam had the answers or solutions to these crucial issues or challenges, he said: “Islam has a proposition that can lead to a solution and should be given a patient ear”. If there was oil in your backyard won’t you check it out? Islam is like the oil in your backyard. You need to at least check it out”.

Adding more force to his argument he said: “We Muslims are like bankers we don’t carry currency; we don’t carry proofs about Islam, we ourselves are the living proof”.

Later, addressing a huge gathering inside the Amphitheatre at the Qurum Natural Park, Khalid said: “The war on terrorism in the last 10 years has cost the US government $4.4 trillion while the collaborating nations have had to spend $7.6 trillion”.

He stressed that the war on terrorism was a war on Islam. “Those who created the idea have also created the scenario apart from the staggering devastation and losses that have taken place in those places where these ‘wars’ are being waged. The learned scholar said his lecture on ‘Islam and challenges’ was based on a white paper he had written three years ago. “I’ve been required to go back to it and update so that it becomes contemporary”.

He added: “It is imperative that Muslims join in this public and moral consensus for crucial issues that afflict the world today”.

Sheikh Khalid Yasin, a former Christian, is a celebrated comparative religion scholar and the executive director at the Islamic Teaching Institute, a premier organisation dedicated to the work of Dawah. The scholar regularly tours different countries debunking the misinformation about Islam and also conducting Dawah workshops. He makes efforts in raising Muslim awareness on the positive views related to contemporary changes happening these days and stressing that Islam is a peaceful religion and which is accommodating and that can cope with modern challenges.

He has studied Arabic in Madina, Saudi Arabia and Cairo, and has had many mentors and teachers who tutored him in Fiqh us-Sunnah, Fiqh us-Seerah, Islamic History and the memorisation and recitation of the Holy Quran.

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