Greens Get Support from Islamic Militants

Greens Get Support from Islamic Militants

Susan Cosier
Published: 04/14/2011

All support might not be good support when it comes to environmentalism. Islamic militants known for their diatribes against the United States and Israel are now calling on their followers to walk a more eco-friendly path.

Last October, Hezbollah guerilla chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah told reporters that "the climate threat today is among the biggest threats faced by mankind in (terms of) its peace, security, stability and existence," Reuters reported after Nasrallah attended a tree-planting event in Lebanon. When massive floods inundated Pakistan last year, Osama bin Laden also noted on tape that, "the huge climate change is affecting our (Islamic) nation and is causing great catastrophes throughout the Islamic world," marking the second time that he has made the environment a major theme in a statement.

These infamous men are not the first to point out that the Middle East and the world at large are facing dire consequences of climate change. The World Bank states on its website that the Middle East and North Africa are regions particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change: “It is one of the world’s most water-scarce and dry regions; with a high dependency on climate-sensitive agriculture and a large share of its population and economic activity in flood-prone urban coastal zones.”

Yet declarations made by leaders of terrorist regimes may not be what advocates for action on climate change were looking for. The Utne Reader recently reported that, “For greens trying to attract allies to their battle against climate change, these endorsements are a mixed blessing: On one hand, they signal a growing acceptance of current climate science even in unexpected quarters. On the other, do we want the wrong people on the right side of this issue? Doesn’t it make it a wee bit easier for climate-change deniers to paint greens as anti-American terrorist sympathizers?”

Regardless of where you fall, I think it’s fair to say that in the U.S. at least, environmentalists would rather have the support of two other groups: the Democrats and the Republicans.