In 2014 we shared the news that a significant fatwa (Islamic religious ruling) was issued by The Indonesian Council of Ulama (MUI), entitled ‘Protection Of Endangered Species To Maintain The Balanced Ecosystems’, or simply as MUI no.4 – 2014.
This fatwa condemns all activities resulting in harm to wildlife. Any such crime is considered haram, forbidden. The fatwa states that all living organisms, including endangered species such as tigers, “are created by Allah in order to maintain the balanced ecosystem and subjugated to the interests of sustainable human welfare.”
While fatwa are not considered as law by the Sumatran judicial authorities, they act as a strong moral deterrent in Indonesia, home to the largest Muslim community in the world.
21st Century Tiger is delighted to support the Lingkar Institute in Sumatra as an agreement was signed with local religious leaders in Bengkulu just to the south of Kerinci Seblat National Park. Amin Amir, MUI Lebong chairman yesterday [28 March 2017] said, “We will tell our preachers who live in villages near the forest to spread the information about the protection of endangered animals,”.
Kerinci Seblat National Park, an area that is 9 times the size of London, spans four different police districts. This kind of grassroots movement will significantly strengthen the years of hard conservation work undertaken in the region by local and national Government and NGOs.