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Stall at the East London Mosque

Informal Learning via Faith Communities

has resident communities representing the major faith communities of the world. People from Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim and Sikh backgrounds are particularly concentrated in London. This pilot explored the potential of faith as a ‘hook’ to encourage Londoners to take up greener lifestyles. It also considered how sustainability messages could be communicated by making links to faith-based messages of stewardship and creation with the Muslim community in east London.

Pilot aim:
To explore the effectiveness of engaging London Muslims via their religious beliefs, and encourage the take up of more environmentally sustainable behaviours.

Key messages:
Qur’anic teachings (e.g. stewardship/creation) were linked to the environment and sustainable living to encourage behaviour change, e.g. “Eat and drink but do not be wasteful: God does not like wasteful people” (Qur’an 7:31).

Key partners:

Communication channels used:

Profile of target audience:
The Muslim community in East London, representing a wide range of ages, ethnicities and socio-economic status.

Motivators and barriers identified:
The call to express Muslim faith through environmental issues was a motivator, as well as incentives (free energy, water saving equipment and information and advice were given out by sustainability experts at stalls during ‘post sermon activity’).
Barriers included a lack of prior awareness of environmental behaviour and, to some extent, consistent infrastructural provision to support this.

Outputs / activities:

Monitoring and evaluation:
Three focus groups were conducted with a sample of the 13,500 men, women and young people reached by this pilot, who were Mosque congregation members before and after the project. Congregants were also surveyed using questionnaires immediately after the sermons had been delivered.

Key results / outcomes:
94.1% of those responding to the sermon exit poll said they had learnt something about living a greener lifestyle
90.4% of those responding to the sermon exit poll said the sermon had encouraged them to live a greener lifestyle

Evaluative focus group feedback included:

“I reckon that was excellent. That was really really good. [Because} you know what he was saying? It was using Islamic evidence. So all the Muslims that attended the Mosque, now they, it was almost like a religious duty to look after the environment”

“After fitting it [the energy efficient light-bulb] I went to Sainsbury’s and got some more”

“The radio show was good because it goes into everyone’s home – the people not there were able to hear the message”

Our key delivery partner reported that as a result of the initiative, many members of the London Muslim Centre staff were taking forward environmental practices within the workplace and promoting these within the wider community.

Replicability aspects: successes / lessons learned



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