Tired Earth: An Interview With Fatih Karakaya, Turcologist and Jurnalist

As special citizens, do citizens have enough information about the dangers of masks thrown on our environment?

Since the beginning of the health crisis, the management by the French government has been disastrous. Initially, we were told that the masks were not necessary to hide the lack of equipment, then we are entitled to masks in less protective fabric. Then we had real masks and now the government isn't encouraging fabric masks.

The citizens are being taken for fools and are paying for the incompetence of this government. Obviously, when you couldn't even provide masks to your citizens, "after-use" didn't matter to the government. When we look at government advertising messages at any time do we have information about the dangers of masks thrown on the ground or in nature. So it’s a cacophony, once again. Citizens have to fend for themselves. Fortunately, NGOs and movements exist to overcome the shortcomings of the state.

However to this day, we still do not know whether to put the masks in the domestic or recycling bins. It is still crazy not to inform citizens on a subject so sensitive but above all so crucial.

Do you think religious teachings can help protect the environment?

Unfortunately, we live in a time when the "religious" has become the enemy of the Republic in the eyes of some. Yet, in my opinion, religious leaders can have a very important role to play in a better society. You should know that human law is individual. It obliges the person to respect the laws "so as not to be fined".

But religion is the opposite. It puts forward a responsibility towards society. For example, a person traveling on a highway will not exceed the authorized speed if he knows there is a speed camera. However, as soon as he is sure that he is no longer afraid of anything, he will exceed "his limits". But the religious man knows that even if there are no cops, "Almighty God" sees everything so will still be held to account. This situation means that even in the absence of authority, religion has the power of control. For example, in the case of masks, people who throw the masks on the ground are fined. But we still find them, why? Because the citizen knows that there are no police. However, religious education teaches responsibility to society and prevents it from doing this "stupidity".

It’s a real shame, in the 21st century, to force people to abandon all belief in public. Yet religions have a primordial role in this society.

What is Islam's opinion on our campaign?

Islam was born more than 1,400 years ago. At that time environmental issues were not as important. And yet Islam is already talking about the environment. For example, waste is severely condemned, especially of water.

The prophet of Islam says, "Even if you are on the banks of the Nile, do not waste water."

And here we see the importance of the environment because even if you have plenty of water, it must be preserved. In the belief of Islam, humans came from the earth, and therefore the earth is an important part of humanity. Moreover, the Prophet said: "If the day of Resurrection comes when any of you have a plant in your hand, let him plant it." Thus, it obliges a Muslim to respect the environment to preserve and nurture it. I think it's still crazy that in a time when the word "pollution" doesn't exist, a religion draws attention to the importance of forests, land, water.

Thus, a Muslim has an obligation to preserve "these wonders" that Allah has given them. By protecting nature, the Muslim also fulfills his duty to his creator. In this sense, it can be said that Islam encourages these awareness campaigns.

What do you advise environmental activists to participate in this campaign?

Unfortunately, we are also living in a time when the economy comes before ecology. For some, ecology is the opposite of development. For them, sustainable development does not make sense. Moreover, it suffices to see the articles of certain French media such as Le Figaro, which publish more and more articles against environmentalists. This should not discourage us, on the contrary, comfort us in our fight in spite of them. This planet has no unlimited resources and therefore deserves attention. We have to continue the awareness campaigns, to explain to people the importance of nature.

This sensitivity to the environment is not limited to a party or an association, each of us must have it, if only as a duty to future generations. So I strongly encourage them to share your campaigns.


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