Target: Council of Indonesian Ulama
Goal: Commend Muslim community for protecting endangered wildlife
The preeminent Muslim clerical body in Indonesia has issued a fatwa against illegal wildlife trafficking. This fatwa, or edict, mandates that Indonesia’s 200 million Muslims begin to take part in protecting endangered species. This will help preserve Indonesia’s many endangered species like tigers, orangutans and rhinoceros. The announcement was highly praised by conservation groups around the world. We should commend the Council of Indonesian Ulama for its role in guiding the Muslims of Indonesia to conserve endangered wildlife.
According to Hayu Prabowo, chairman of the Council of Ulama’s environment and natural resources body, “This fatwa is issued to give an explanation, as well as guidance, to all Muslims in Indonesia on the sharia law perspective on issues related to animal conservation.” Trafficking of protected species is already illegal under Indonesian law. Penalties include up to five years and jail and fines up to $8,800. “People can escape government regulation, but they cannot escape the word of God,” said Prabowo.
Unfortunately, existing laws have done little to curb wildlife trafficking in Indonesia. A survey conducted in 2009 by the environmental group ProFauna showed 183 protected species being traded in bird markets around the country. Crimes are seldom prosecuted and sentencing for those who are prosecuted is typically light.
Deforestation due to palm oil plantation expansion has also had a profound effect on endangered species in Indonesia. This is due to loss of habitat as well as deliberate extermination of species by plantation owners.
Hopefully the fatwa issued by the Council of Indonesian Ulama will have some impact on endangered wildlife preservation in Indonesia. Perhaps those unwilling to adhere to secular law will be more likely to heed an edict handed down by Muslim leaders. We should commend the Council of Indonesian Ulama for its efforts to preserve endangered wildlife.
Dear Council of Indonesian Ulama,
I recently learned that your council has issued a fatwa against illegal wildlife trafficking. I am writing to applaud the council for taking this initiative in protecting endangered species in Indonesia. This fatwa will help preserve Indonesia’s many endangered species like tigers, orangutans and rhinoceros.
Endangered species in Indonesia face threats from illegal poaching, illegal trade, and habitat loss. Secular laws have not had much of an impact on curbing the illegal trade. Hopefully the guidance from Council of Indonesian Ulama will have more of an impact. I applaud your organization in its efforts to protect endangered wildlife in Indonesia.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Krish Dulal via Wikimedia Commons