Source: The Christian Science Monitor
For years, Salim Haji was told by government officials and international groups that his methods of fishing were destroying the coral and weren't sustainable. But few fishermen on this small island off Tanzania's coast paid much heed.
Then, the local imam told him that using dragnets to fish and spears to catch octopuses was wrong.
As a devout Muslim, he listened.
"I've learned that the way I fished was destructive to the environment," says Mr. Haji, "This side of conservation isn't from the mzungu," he says, using the Swahili word for white man, "it's from the Koran."
On this remote edge of the Indian Ocean, an experimental model for implementing Muslim environmental ethics and education is yielding results. Local and international nongovernmental organizations, which pioneered the project, will publish a guidebook later this year in English and Swahili to be distributed throughout the Swahili-speaking coast of East Africa and eventually in Muslim communities around the world.