Ideals and Realities of Environmentalism in the Muslim World: The Case of Saudi Arabia Restricted; Files Only

Elmagraby, Norah (Summer 2021)

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This dissertation juxtaposes the political, religious, and social dimensions of contemporary environmental discourses in the Muslim Middle East, focusing on Saudi Arabia as a case study. It investigates the ways in which the environment is perceived, utilized, and protected. By examining the confluence of political, religious, and societal factors in shaping Saudi Arabia’s environmental policies, this dissertation reveals a nuanced understanding of the interrelationship between state power, economic priorities, and environmental decision-making in Saudi Arabia. It also shows how environmental civil society operates within oil-based regimes. Furthermore, this dissertation examines public interpretations of Islamic environmental principles and their application by religious and political authorities to provide a critical depiction of environmental religious discourses in Muslim-majority settings. In doing so, it contributes to the hitherto limited understanding of the multilayered contexts in which Muslims in the Middle East perceive environmental issues and their subsequent actions.

Table of Contents

Introduction (1)

Chapter 1: Environmental Policies in Saudi Arabia: Between Conservation and Exploitation (16)

Chapter 2: Is the “Deen Green”? The Islamic Religion in Environmental Discourse (52)

Chapter 3: Environmental Awareness and Activism in Saudi Arabia (96)

Chapter 4: Zooming Out: Transnational Islamic Discourses on the Environment (140)

Conclusion: Conflicting Priorities: Power and Environmental Sustainability in the Middle East (186)

Bibliography (196)

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