‘HALAL PRODUCTS ARE FAVOURITES FOR MANY PEOPLE WORLDWIDE’

Thanks to its unparalleled standards in such areas as cleanliness and health, halal products are the favourites of people all over the world, not just Muslims, said a top official of the Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries (SMIIC), a report said on November 25. International interest in halal products grows greater each day, Mahmut Sami Sahin, SMIIC Vice President and also Head of the Turkish Standards Institution (TSE), was reported as saying during the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) Halal Expo and World Halal Summit, hosted in the Turkish metropolis, Istanbul. The global halal market, including Islamic finance, food, tourism, cosmetics, medical products and textiles, totals $7 trillion, according to World Halal Summit Council.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Kabir Hassan, an economist at the University of New Orleans said that the economy around halal products has a very bright future, and underlined the need to expand the non-financial part of the halal economy. Benefits of halal products and services should be advertised to the people, he added. On Türkiye’s position, he said: “Turkish halal economy can be a sort of role model for the rest of the Muslim world.” Mentioning the country’s new economic model based on investment, production, employment, and export, he said the model has to be integrated with the concept of Islamic finance and halal economy. “We need to go to the zero-interest-based financing,” he added.

ROHINGYA RIGHTS GROUPS FORM ALLIANCE FOR SELF-DETERMINATION

For the first time since the genocide against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar’s Rakhine State in August 2017, several leading organisations and prominent activists have formed a greater alliance titled “Arakan Rohingya National Alliance (ARNA)” with the aim at ensuring the persecuted community’s safe and dignified survival in their homeland. Nay San Lwin, a founding member of ARNA and co-founder of the Free Rohingya Coalition, said on November 24 that a unified representation of the Rohingya was necessary at relevant international forums, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. Among the diaspora and refugee communities, Rohingya has dozens of organisations, but none of them is the only representative, Lwin said, adding that a stronger collaboration among Rohingya organisations was required to represent the entire community. He accused the country’s military of genocide against the Rohingya and stated that the Myanmar army is not their ally.

OIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION MEETING BEGINS IN ISTANBUL

The 38th ministerial meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in the fields of economy and commerce began in Istanbul on November 26. The four-day meeting of the Committee for Economic And Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC) will discuss economic developments in the world, with special reference to OIC member countries and intra-OIC trade. In the first two days, OIC member state officials will work on a draft agenda and resolution for the meeting, including on the implementation of the OIC-2025 program of action. As the world slowly moves out of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Muslim bloc’s socioeconomic empowerment will also be discussed during the meeting, which is also expected to focus on enhancing the role of private sector and deepening financial cooperation among the OIC members. Improving transport, communications, developing sustainable and competitive tourism sectors, increasing agricultural productivity to ensure food security, and cooperation on digital transformation are other issues expected to be taken up during the four-day meeting.

PALESTINE MP CALLS FOR PUNISHING ISRAEL

On International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Palestinian MP Huda Naim called for the international community to punish the Israeli occupation for its crimes against Palestinian women. Speaking to Safa New Agency, Naim stated: “The Israeli crimes and violence against Palestinian women are represented in killing, detention, deportation, siege, torture and depravity.” Naim called for the international organisation promoting women’s rights to protect Palestinian women from the “systematic Israeli practices against them.” She also called for taking practical measures to guarantee Palestinian women’s freedom and ensuring they obtain their entitled rights according to international laws and conventions. The MP called for parliamentarians worldwide to disclose Israeli crimes against Palestinian women and work on isolating the occupation in the international arena. Meanwhile, the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas has responded to the Israeli threat following the bombing attack in Jerusalem, for which Israel holds the movement responsible. The Palestinian resistance has reportedly reinforced its forces and organisation to be ready for any possible Israeli aggression.

WJP RANKS EGYPT 135 OUT OF 140 IN RULE OF LAW INDEX

The World Justice Project (WJP) has ranked Egypt 135th out of 140 countries in terms of its commitment to the rule of law and justice. The index is based on eight factors, namely Constraints on Government Powers, Absence of Corruption, Open Government, Fundamental Rights, Order and Security, Regulatory Enforcement, Civil Justice and Criminal Justice, measuring restrictions on government powers, absence of corruption, open governance, basic rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice and criminal justice. The Middle East region’s top performer was the United Arab Emirates (ranked 37th out of 140, globally), followed by Jordan and Tunisia. The three countries with the lowest scores in the region were Lebanon, Iran and Egypt. Globally, Denmark ranked first in the rule of law index, followed by Norway and Finland. Last year, Egypt ranked 136th out of 139 countries in the Rule of Law Index.

TOKAYEV SWEARS IN AS PRESIDENT OF KAZAKHSTAN

Kazakhstan’s new president took office on November 26 after an inauguration ceremony in the capital Astana. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev was sworn in at the Palace of Independence during the ceremony, which opened with the Kazakh flag, presidential standard, and Constitution being brought into the Grand Hall. Swearing an oath of loyalty to the people of the Central Asian country, Tokayev was officially declared head of state. In his address, he said the snap presidential election held earlier this month was a “patriotic triumph,” confirmed by journalists and international observers to have been “just and open.” “It is a high honour and a colossal responsibility to lead the country, enjoying the people’s support,” he said. Tokayev said he would hold state interests “above all” and vowed to do “everything possible” to meet the people’s expectations, “to build a just Kazakhstan.”

LEBANON FAILS FOR 7TH TIME TO ELECT NEW PRESIDENT

Lebanese lawmakers on November 24 failed for a seventh time to elect a new president as the country grapples with a deepening political and economic crisis. The voting session was attended by 110 lawmakers of the 128-member parliament. Michel Moawad, a candidate backed by the Lebanese Forces party, got 42 votes, well short of the figure needed to win the first round, while 50 lawmakers cast blank ballots. Speaker Nabih Berri set the next voting session for a week from now, on December 1. A candidate needs two-thirds of the vote (86 lawmakers) in the 128-member parliament to get through the first stage, while an absolute majority is needed in subsequent rounds. Former President Michel Aoun left office on October 31 after completing a six-year term, without lawmakers agreeing on a successor. Since 2019, Lebanon has been facing a crippling economic crisis that, according to the World Bank, is one of the worst the world has seen in modern times.

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