The Mining Industry and the Principles of Shūrā 

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Zaheera Soomar provides a comprehensive article that explores how the principles of Shūrā (consultation) in Islam may provide a solution to the impact of automated processes in mining on economic participation and equitable community participation.

Mining is a human activity that has negatively disturbed the environment and is linked to significant social impacts, inequalities (Carvalho, 2017), economic power and greed (Zorrilla, 2009). The key question that has been posed for decades is “how can the various stakeholders use their diverse interests and needs to generate mutual benefits for all, while respecting the environment and striving for sustainability” (Milano, 2018). More recently, the emphasis has shifted from mutual benefit to one of equity instead. Best practice has shown that good engagement and participation, across all stakeholders, builds trust, leads to resolution on disputes, strengthens the local economy and generates sustainable practices (Milano, 2018).

With the mining and energy industry moving to more automated processes, not only will communities be negatively impacted by economic participation, but equitable community participation will drop even further as societal license from local communities will become harder to obtain (Carvalho, 2017). In this article, we look at the principles of Shūrā (consultation) in Islam and see what lessons we can draw to strengthen the principles of community participation in the consultation process to ensure communities are fairly and equally represented, now and in the future.

While the concept of Al- Shūrā will be discussed in this paper, in relation to the natural resource sector, they can be applied to many areas requiring consultation such as in the position of ruler or judge, political, civil, military spheres of administration (Al-Raysuni 2013) and technology, which has been attracting increasing attention to their products, use of social media and the harm caused in society.

Key points include:

  • Working with indigenous communities

  • Shūrā – the Quranic Principle of Consultation

  • Equal decision making through popular consent and collective deliberation

 

Read the full article, How Shūrā aids community participation: The case of mining of natural resources, on ResearchGate.net.