Green Up – An Interview with Kubra Ercan

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Kübra Ercan is the first chairman of Hima eV and has applied earlier this year at FEMYSO to be the coordinator
for the European campaign “Green Up My Community” – successfully!

What is at stake in the campaign?

In the campaign is about to launch a green movement for environmental protection among Muslims in Europe. This will be done primarily in the form that mosques are designed to be environmentally friendly.

Who is initiator of the campaign?

Initiators are made in Europe and FEMYSO. Made from the UK is a Muslim organization that cares about global education and the fight against hunger and since last year also focus on the subject of environmental protection and fair trade.

FEMYSO is a European Muslim student and youth organization, it is virtually the umbrella organization of Muslim Students in Europe.

How many countries are participating?

Officially participate nine countries: Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia, France, Italy, Holland, Sweden and the UK.

Do you have some contact with the other coordinators?

Yes, we have contact with each other, the campaign began with a workout in Brussels in which all coordinators have taken and was at the considered how to translate content. Here we all can get to know, and then there were monthly online meetings where we discuss the latest news and suggestions for the implementation of the campaign. In addition, we exchanged numbers and communicate about Whats App. So we mutually data up what happens to us in the members countries. At a joint website a blog is out about the latest promotions, as well as internationally oriented buyers can track the campaign.

What has attracted you?

As a founding member of Hima, I have been busy since 2010 and we always had in particular to raise awareness mosques in the field of view and to achieve a rethink. Then there is this, the European exchange, the result is that you can gather more creative ideas – to latch there is delightful in any case. It is motivated in the implementation, when you see what others are doing and can thus bundle potentials Europe.

Ahead there was a workshop in Berlin, in December last year, because we have learned how to make environmental protection campaigns, but have also receive substantive input. Here I have also the initiator organizations met and was impressed by the professionalism and the spirituality that prevailed during training. This has also motivated me to join.

If a mosque says: “We do with” how to do it then?

That depends on who signs up – if the board reports directly, then a meeting will be agreed on which one goes through the various aspects of the campaign together and agree on the measures to be implemented in 2014.The mosque will then select a competent person who takes over the action and we support the mosque with the implementation, we again by train and accompany the person targeted. If there are events or the like, we are in the process and also help to organize.

What would you say of a mosque that says: We have pleasure to participate, but no resources?

We understand that mosques have a lot to lift, but it is easier than to imagine many – we do not speak directly of solar panels, but of many small steps to be suspended posters on water consumption, which are decorated with hadiths. Then every mosque visitor who goes to the bathroom is confronted with, and that’s already something out, because the mosque has nothing much more to do.

Or waste separation in the mosque: in the kitchen, for example, is easy to implement if you worried and labeled different containers, paper here, residual waste then automatically then anyone who has worked in the kitchen, so come into contact.

We try to make the mosque easily, and just to start with such measures, and depending on how it goes and how the community responded one can proceed with greater measures.

Why is the environment important for a mosque? 

For Muslims, we often hear: We have many problems and building sites, and Umweltschuzt is there just is not relevant for us. But for us as a Hima is not justifiable. As one mosque is a house of God, which takes care of the needs of the community, especially to the spiritual needs of the community, and the environment has as a very strong connection to our general religious life of action. Since a mosque would particularly value put on it because it has a Vorlbildfunktion for the community. The fact that it is green, it will also automatically be Islamic, which can be well documented by sources. This year’s Open Mosque Day with the theme Islam and the environment came to us because really cared because many board members are first come into contact with this subject, that this relationship exists in Islam and is very clear.

Can individual active in the mosque implement the campaign or it must come from the Board?

That’s no problem, it comes as I said always depends on who answers the phone. If someone from the Youth Board announces itself then we look at the steps at which he can influence, and of course that then influenced the other members of the community – there is a lot which can do the youth groups. Then how the community sees and reacts can perhaps then approach the Board. Definitely there are many package elements that can implement individual active groups of the community.

Today, in a year – what would you like to have with the campaign achieved in the mosques who participate?

I would like to be able to look back on a successful year in which at least 20 mosques have become more environmentally friendly, and in which at least one mosque bigger steps, such as solar panels on the roof to be addressed. Moreover, that very many people, community members were sensitized to this issue, in the mosque and at home – So at least 1,000 people who are actively in the mosque and in their own budget dedicated to this topic and implement something.