OIC BACKS TECH INNOVATIONS TO ‘PRESENT TRUTH’ ABOUT ISLAM

The Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), on October 22 called for “utilising new and emerging platforms and technological innovations to present truth” about Islam effectively. A declaration adopted at the end of the two-day 12th Conference of the Information Ministers of the OIC in Istanbul also welcomed the UN General Assembly resolution on International Day to Combat Islamophobia adopted by the global body on March 15. The OIC conference emphasised on the importance of cooperation among the OIC member states in “developing necessary mechanisms to fight disinformation and other related challenges of the post-truth era, and devising short, medium and long-term strategic processes in the total fight against disinformation.” It urged media outlets in the OIC member states to raise global awareness about “deliberate acts” of destruction and desecration of Islamic cultural and religious heritage in non-Muslim countries, especially in those areas where Indigenous Muslim communities were subjected to ethnic cleansing.

POLICE SEARCH FOR SUSPECT AFTER MOSQUE IN CANADA VANDALISED

York Regional Police of Canada say they are looking to identify a suspect wanted in connection with a hate-motivated incident reported at a mosque in Thornhill, Ont. They said on October 14 they were called to Imam Mahdi Islamic Centre on Bayview Avenue for reports of property damage. An investigation into the incident revealed graffiti was spray painted the night before on October 13. Investigators alleged a man spray painted three areas of the mosque with “derogatory, anti-Iranian language, written in Farsi, aimed towards the Iranian government.” Investigators said they are investigating the crime as “hate-motivated.” Police are looking for a man described as about five-foot-seven with a thin to medium build. His face was covered with possibly a bandana.

UGANDAN BANK LAUNCHES 1ST ISLAMIC SHARI’AH COMPLIANT ACCOUNT

Uganda’s Finance Trust Bank on October 20 launched the country’s first Islamic Shari’ah compliant account called Halal. Prominent Muslim personalities attended the launch event held in the country’s capital Kampala. Percy Lubega, head of business development at the bank, said: “We have today launched the Trust Halal savings account for individuals and businesses. This is the first time for a Shari’ah compliant account to be officially launched in the country.” Haria Nakawunde, managing director of the bank, said the Halal account does not charge interest on money clients borrow from the bank. The guest of honour, a prominent businessman in the country, Hajj Karim Kallisa said Shari’ah compliant banking is not only for Muslims but for all of humanity. In July, the country’s Cabinet approved of a law to allow commercial banks to offer Islamic banking so that low income population has wider access to credit.

ISRAEL’S OCCUPATION OF WEST BANK UNLAWFUL UNDER INT’L LAW

The Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory is unlawful under international law due to its permanence and the Israeli government’s de-facto annexation policies, according to a new report issued by the United Nations General Assembly. The report, released on October 20 by the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, noted “[a] coercive environment intended to force Palestinians to leave their homes and alter the demographic composition of certain areas [in the occupied West Bank.]” “By ignoring international law in establishing or facilitating the establishment of settlements, and directly or indirectly transferring Israeli civilians into these settlements, successive Israel governments have set facts on the ground to ensure permanent Israeli control in the West Bank,” Navi Pillay, chair of the commission, said. The authors warned that Israel’s actions in the occupied West Bank were in direct contradiction to Israel’s UN vote last week declaring that any unilateral annexation of a state’s territory by another state is a violation of international law.

ERDOGAN PROPOSES VOTE ON RIGHT TO WEAR HIJAB

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has proposed a nationwide vote on guaranteeing a woman’s right to wear a headscarf in state institutions, schools and universities. The subject is particularly important for Erdogan, whose ruling party lifted a long-standing ban on wearing the hijab in state institutions in 2013. The headscarf issue has dominated political debate in recent months ahead of general elections in 2023 that are set to be one of the most serious challenges to Erdogan’s two-decade control of Türkiye. Erdogan often refers to the ban’s lifting as an example of how his party represents devout Muslim Turks against irreligious parties that ruled Türkiye before his party’s arrival in 2002. “If you have the courage, come, let’s put this issue to a referendum… Let the nation make the decision,” Erdogan said in remarks aimed at main opposition party leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu on October 22.

UAE WOMAN AMONG WORLD’S TOP 2% SCIENTISTS BY ‎STANFORD

The American University of Stanford has chosen the Emirati academic Professor Badria Al-Junaibi, among the 2 per cent of best scientists in the world. In the media category, Al-Junaibi was chosen from among more than 160,000 researchers, chosen from among more than 8 million scientists considered active worldwide. Professor Badria Al-Junaibi is a professor in the Creative Industries Department at the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at UAE University. Al-Junaibi obtained her bachelor’s degree at the United Arab Emirates University, majoring in journalism, and a master’s and doctorate from the United States, majoring in public relations and social media, with distinction, and she was honoured there in 2004. She “published 78 scientific papers in scientific journals in many countries, including the United States of America, Canada and Britain, in the Journal of Media Studies and Applied Journalism,” explaining that she “works as a member of the editorial board of 18 refereed scientific journals.” Al-Junaibi received more than 33 local and international awards in the field of progress, scientific publishing, teaching and community service.

TÜRKIYE REMEMBERS BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA’S FIRST LEADER

Türkiye on October 19 remembered Alija Izetbegovic, Bosnia-Herzegovina’s first president who led the country to independence from the former Yugoslavia, on the 19th anniversary of his death. On Twitter, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan remembered Izetbegovic with respect, saying he “made his name in history with his leadership and services to his people.” Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin praised Azerbaijan’s late leader as “a wise statesman, an intelligence with taste and aesthetics” on Twitter, adding: “Do yourself a favor and read something from Aliya today.” Communications Director Fahrettin Altun also remembered “Wise King” on Twitter and said: “… We will not forget his honourable struggle to protect the freedom, religious and national values of his people.” Often dubbed the “Wise King,” Izetbegovic is one of the most important Muslim thinkers of the last century.

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