1) Appropriate Action: An Introduction
“The Prophet Muhammad was an inspiring example of both a contemplative and a person who took action, devoting himself to God through meditation and prayer and through creatively responding to the needs of the moment, the inner and outer integrated.”
Authentic spiritual traditions can help us to appreciate complex issues within a framework that is holistic and meaningful.
We hope that this website has outlined such a framework and helped readers better appreciate the implications of genetically modifying food.
It is important that we each work with what is appropriate to our own situation – ensuring that we simultaneously take into account our own practical and spiritual needs, as well as that of those around us. The Prophet Muhammad was an inspiring example of both a contemplative and a person who took action, devoting himself to God through meditation and prayer and through creatively responding to the needs of the moment, the inner and outer integrated.
With the above context in mind, and by asking ourselves what specific direction is needed, the next action points weave together ideas that are born out of our own experience. We hope that these can provide inspiration, and points of contact for further action.
2) Stay informed and updated
It helps to be knowledgeable on the subject. We hope that this web-site has been of use to you. More information on GM foods and related topics can be found through the GM links page. Some of the organisations mentioned may focus very directly on GM food, and can be a useful source of information directly about the topic.
3) Food Growing and Community Building Activities
This is where WIN’s Earth and Community strand comes in. An antidote to power being concentrated amongst big agribusiness, is to begin to empower communities: getting together with others for seed swaps, community gardening, skills-sharing and developing local currencies. Co-operative set ups also have much to offer and we can embody some of their ideas, whether in voluntary or personal income generation activities. We have all the resources we need, and if we look around we have each other!
We also highly recommend looking into permaculture, something we weave into our work. Permaculture comprises a set of ethics and principles that can be used to create systems that follow nature’s patterns. It is about maximising useful relationships, rather than making drastic interventions with great risk. Permaculture can be applied to a home, garden, allotment, farm, aquatic systems, as well in social contexts to groups and communities.
In applying permaculture ourselves, we have seen how it very naturally supports a greater appreciation of nature, its patterns and its wisdom. Not only does this help re-awaken a sense of wonder, it can also support a more practical application of spiritual traditions, including Islam – which in essence is a natural way (i.e. in accordance to the fitrah). So, we encourage anyone who can, to learn this valuable art. There are regular courses held in the UK and other countries. We hold basic permaculture training ourselves and if you would like to learn from us, please check out our permaculture training page.
If you’ve already trained in permaculture and want to collaborate with us, also great! We’d love to hear from you.
4) Where do we spend our money? Plus the economic paradigm
Money is an essential nutrient, which is keeping GM foods alive. Whenever we buy something we are financially supporting one approach or another. By bringing a degree of mindfulness to what we buy (and from where), we support better options amongst those available to us.
We can prefer organic foods, for instance. By supporting organic farming, we are also lessening support for GM foods. If price is an obstacle, then one suggestion is to support organic farming occasionally, and buy non-GM conventional foods at other times.
It also helps to grow our own food and support locally grown produce and independent food stores. The further invasion of communities by characterless supermarkets that leak finances away from the local people towards the rich is not the future we want. By buying from independent food stores we can help reverse this trend and also empower people on the ground.
Buying locally produced food discourages food processing, and generally creates less pollution than transporting food over long distances. Examples of such schemes are Farmers Markets/Farm shops, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and Organic Box Schemes. Check them out!
5) Explore Direct Democracy
Related to an earlier point, and also to our Deep Democracy strand, we will become much more effective if we develop skills in facilitating groups and practising inclusive forms of decision-making, such as consensus. If we want to empower ourselves as communities (and move away from power being concentrated amongst corporations and those with alot more dosh), we need to get very good at bringing out and acting through our collective grassroots wisdom. We can offer support in this area if you would like it.
Also the bigger financial context is key. The existing interest-based economic system coupled with the creation of fictitious money is a crime against humanity and against the wider natural order. We need an economics that adds up, and small scale people-led initiatives represent points of transition. Our whole economics core strand outlines the context in more detail.
6) Stimulate Dialogue
Encourage your own networks to reflect on juicy matters such as food, technology, community vs corporate power and how nature works! Within Muslim communities , there is certainly a great need to activate our awareness in these areas. The fact that GM produce is fed to animals destined for halal slaughter with so many Muslims not even questioning this is absurd! We need to wake up, listen, and develop inclusive solutions within a holistic framework.
7) Nurture the soul, and have faith while you work!
Taking regular time to be still, and spending quality time with loved ones is key here, with loved ones meaning all aspects of creation. We need to take care of ourselves as both a responsible basic principle and practically speaking so that what we offer, we can offer creatively and with meaning.
“God is Beautiful and He loves beauty”
Saying of the Prophet Muhammad