Saturday, 25 May 2013

Challenging a Muslim org on sustainably sourced paper

This post has morphed a bit since originally posted, and now covers challenges to a number of organisations.
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Dec2016: After seeing their books pop up on BFTF's FB timeline, sent a on-line feedback message to alihya.org.uk asking if their books were printed on sustainably sourced paper (e.g. recycled or FSC certified)

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Oct 2014 : After seeing their books pop up on BFTF's FB timeline, sent a on-line feedback message to goodwordbooks.com/ipci-iv.co.uk asking if their books were printed on sustainably sourced paper (e.g. recycled or FSC certified)
Oct 2014 : Chased up via email
Oct 2015 : Chased up via email
Jun 2016 : Chased up via email
Dec 2016 : Chased up via email

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Update 2014?
About a year later, BFTF was exiting a mosque and a well known Islamic organisation was handing out political leaflets. A leaflet was thrust into BFTF's hands and BFTF was all set to launch into a sustainable paper spiel when another leafleteer came over and said "It's ok, this guy doesn't need a leaflet" and took the leaflet out of my hand. Turned out it was the same person I had been talking to by the stall a year earlier!

Which just goes to show that challenging people on this issue does change their behavior. Now imagine if, instead of just one person challenging them, the leafleteers had had 20 or 40 people challenging them, and not taking leaflets - BFTF suspects that the organisation would think very seriously about changing their paper sourcing policies!

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Back in 2013, BFTF was walking past a stall promoting literature from an Islamic organisation today and one of the people at the stall offered BFTF a leaflet.

There then followed a conversation, part of which went something like this:

BFTF: Is this leaflet made from sustainably sourced paper?

Stall: I don’t know, there is a website you can contact if you want to find out.

BFTF : My understanding is that Islam teaches that we should care for the environment, and part of that is ensuring that the paper we use is sustainably sourced. I don’t really want to take a leaflet that is made from unsustainably sourced paper - instead I'll check the info out on the website. Also I’ll do what you say and contact the organisation. But do you think this is an issue that needs to be addressed?

Stall : It is a matter of priorities. The priority now is to stop the spilling of blood. It isn't Haram to use unsustainably sourced paper so this isn't an important issue.

BFTF : You know, we can do more than one thing at a time. I can (and have) challenged the government on double tap airstrikes and I can (and have) also challenge organisations on the use of sustainably sourced paper. Now that I have explained the issue, do you think that this is something that needs to be addressed?

Stall : No, I don’t.

BFTF : Can you challenge the organisation on their policy regarding paper sourcing?

Stall : No, you are one who is concerned, you contact them.

So BFTF sent the following email to the organisation in question:

I was offered a leaflet by [organisation] and asked them whether, in line with Islamic principles, it was printed on sustainably sourced paper (e.g. recycled or FSC certified). They did not know and told me to contact you, which, as you can see, is what I am now doing....Hoping you can advise on [organisation] policy on this issue.

There was no response from the organisation.

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