FREDRICK, Maryland – Members of different faith groups came together in Fredrick’s Islamic center, Maryland, on Sunday, October 21, to plant trees and raise awareness about climate change.
“In the Quran, God tells us you are sent to this earth to protect it, not destroy it,” Omar Mahmassani, Islamic Society of Frederick board member told The Fredrick News-Post.
The 13 trees planted were part of an interfaith event coordinated by the society and the Multifaith Alliance of Climate Stewards of Frederick.
According to Mahmassani, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) encouraged tree planting as a way to give charity to a community.
Barb Trader, a member of the Multifaith Alliance of Climate Stewards of Frederick, shared a similar opinion, adding that trees are important symbols in many religions and faith communities.
“All of our faith traditions believe that this planet was given to us by whatever creator we believe in,” she said.
“We see it as a matter of faith to steward the planet as a way of love and respect.”
The interfaith event comes just weeks after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report released October 8 that found that if global temperatures rise to even 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels there will be steep rises in global food shortages, dangerous weather, and drought. These effects could be felt within 20 years.
Trader warned that people should take steps to reduce the damage of climate change, like planting trees.
“We see this mostly as a moral obligation for our children and our children’s children, who will share this planet,” she said.