"In the face of our environmental challenges, it is for us, people of faith, to paint a brighter future, using the brushes of our enduring religious traditions and the colours of our religious values. We must honour the colours our sacred past to paint an inspired future for all of God’s creation.” - Hussain Rajwani

The Whitehorse Interfaith Network community forum brought together diverse faith communities in a speaker and panel session titled ‘Faith and our Environment.’ Various faith groups shared their insights on caring for the environment including the Sikh Interfaith Council of Victoria, Er You Buddhist Temple, Carrum Downs Hindu temple and the Ismaili Muslim Community. 

Hussain Rajwani, a graduate of the Institute of Ismaili Studies’ Islamic studies program, was invited to speak on the responsibility of Muslims, as trustees of God’s creation, to care for our environment. This was followed by a lively question and answer session which focused on the role of faith communities in mobilising environmental concern and action. 

Hussain’s presentation examined how, despite the diversity within Islam, Muslim communities are united in their faith-inspired purpose to leave the world a better place. Hussain used the example of the local ICERV (Ismaili Community Engaged in Responsible Volunteerism) activities which include local clean-ups, tree planting and bush care projects. He also showed pictures of the Al-Azhar Park project to show how the Aga Khan Development Network's environmental rejuvenation work was a catalyst for social and economic development. The Al-Azhar Park project involved transforming a 500-year old rubbish dump in Cairo, Egypt into an award-winning park and an incubator for new local jobs and small businesses.

The presentation concluded by encouraging all faith groups to think about the environmental legacy they intend to leave our future generations. “Today we paint our future on the canvas of tomorrow. Let our future generations inherit a masterpiece.” he said.