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The 22nd Conference of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization 2022 in Uzbekistan and its Importance for “the West”

On September 15th and 16th, 2022, the conference of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization took place in Samarkand. Chinese President Xi Jinping, speaking to the plenary session of conference participants, said: “China stands ready to play the role of great powers and play a leading role together with Russia to bring stability and positive energy to a world shaken by social unrest.

What is the Shanghai Cooperation Organization?

The predecessor of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization was the “Shanghai 5 Group”, which was founded in 1996. With the admission of Uzbekistan, the group was renamed Shanghai Cooperation Organization in 2001.

Initially, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s main focus was on Central Asian problems such as border disputes and regional military conflicts. After 2001, combating terrorism increasingly became the focus of joint tasks.

In 2003, for example, a joint counter-terrorism center was set up in Shanghai. At the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Uzbekistan, which took place on July 16-17, 2004, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization decided to set up a regional anti-terrorist network as the “Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure” .

Since the beginning of military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization has aimed to counterbalance US influence in the region. This includes, among other things, the demand for the withdrawal of US troops from the region. A US request for observer status to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization was denied in 2005.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization sees itself as a non-aligned organization characterized by openness, without any negative attitude towards other countries or organizations, equality and respect among member states, rejection of any kind of interference in the internal affairs of other countries and prevention of political confrontation or rivalries.

Today the Shanghai Cooperation Organization includes: China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Afghanistan, Mongolia and Belarus have “observer status”. The following are referred to as “dialogue partners”: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey. So-called “guest participants” are Turkmenistan, representatives of the “Association of Southeast Asian Nations” and includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

According to media reports, Turkish President Erdogan has expressed his country’s interest in joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Egypt, Qatar and Saudi Arabia want to officially become “dialogue partners” at the summit in Samarkand. The United Arab Emirates are reportedly aiming for full Shanghai Cooperation Organization membership. Azerbaijan, despite its status as the EU’s new strategic oil partner, is said to be aiming for membership. Currently there are repeated military clashes with Armenia, which is also a “dialogue partner” of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

The member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization combine almost 40 percent of the world’s population and represent around 30 percent of global economic output.

The 22nd Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization

Which countries apart from the nine heads of state and government of the member states took part in the conference is not exactly known due to the sparse reporting in Western media. Apparently there were 14 in total. All that is certain is that Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Belarusian Prime Minister Alexander Lukashenko were present.

The host of the meeting, the President of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, announced the main priorities of the meeting before the start of the conference, namely: strengthening the importance of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, ensuring peace and stability in the region, combating poverty, strengthening interregional economic cooperation and reducing all Trade barriers with the help of technical processes and digitization. As with all conferences, there were many bilateral talks in addition to speeches in the plenary session, but only some of them were made public.

The dominant figure at the meeting was Chinese leader Xi Jinping. After his trip to Myanmar in 2020, his participation in the conference in Samarkand – due to corona – was his first stay abroad in more than two years. One could say it was “China’s visible return to the world stage”, certainly also to strengthen its position ahead of the elections for a possible third term in October 2022. Before attending the Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting, President Xi had traveled to Kazakhstan, a country that is operating at a clear distance to Russia. Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev made it clear at the economic forum in St. Petersburg in June 2022 that he rejected Russia’s recognition of the eastern Ukrainian regions of Lugansk and Donetsk.

The country also wants to comply with the sanctions imposed by the EU and has even offered to help the EU with the energy supply. Tokayev had banned the Russian war symbol “Z”. In Kazakhstan, President Xi announced his “New Silk Road Initiative” in 2013. The country is an important neighboring country for Beijing because of its raw materials and security issues surrounding the neighboring Chinese region of Xinjiang (this is where the predominantly Muslim Uyghur ethnic group lives).

At the Samarkand conference, Xi held important bilateral talks but also delivered a speech to the plenary. In it, he urged SCO members to strengthen their cooperation and called on countries to respect each other’s core interests and chosen development paths. Xi Jinping advocated the principle of equal treatment:

” The big ones shouldn’t bully the small ones, the strong shouldn’t bully the weak”.

The world is anything but peaceful at the moment. The struggle between unity and division, cooperation and confrontation is getting stronger. He called on the member states to expand their security cooperation. Terrorist and extremist forces should be denied the ability to disrupt regional security. Xi called on the participating leaders to work to ensure that “the international order develops in a more just and reasonable direction.” He also warned of popular uprisings and interference from abroad:

“We must prevent foreign forces from starting ‘color revolutions’.”

It is time to reshape the international order and abandon the “zero-sum game and bloc politics”. Trade must be supported and facilitated. At the same time, Xi Jinping promoted the infrastructure initiative to build a “New Silk Road”. He called on the organization’s members to fight drug smuggling, other transnational crimes and the “three evil forces”: terrorism, separatism and religious extremism. China is willing to train 2,000 law enforcement officers from Shanghai Cooperation Organization member states and set up a counter-terrorism training center. To meet the world’s needs, China will provide 1.5 billion yuan worth of food and humanitarian supplies to needy developing countries, Xi Jinping also announced.

In his speech, Xi Jinping further said that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization should be expanded and improved. Other countries should join it.

The Sino-Russian Relations

Certainly the most significant bilateral conversation at this conference took place between President Xi and his Russian counterpart Putin, during which Xi called the Russian President “an old friend”. Parallel to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization conference, joint maneuvers by China and Russia took place in the Pacific. Ahead of the summit, China’s head of state Xi Jinping vowed the “comprehensive strategic partnership” with Russia, which he believes is on the right track and not only serves the people of both countries, but also peace, stability and prosperity in the region the official Chinese news agency Xinhua quoted him as saying.

In recent months, China – unlike the West – has used diplomatic means to position itself on the Ukraine war. On the one hand, the People’s Republic avoided criticism of Russia and did not describe the war in Ukraine as such, but on the other hand, it deliberately held back, which could have been interpreted as direct support for Russia. Beijing called on all parties involved to cease hostilities, instead of using armed force, a way should be found through dialogue that coordinates the “legitimate security interests” of all parties to the conflict, said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning, emphasizing:

The international community should also work to enable the conditions and space for this.”

Xi and Putin last met in person on the sidelines of the Winter Olympics in Beijing. At the time, Xi had promised the Russian President “borderless partnership.” On a recent visit to Moscow, Chinese Parliament Speaker Li Zhanshu, Beijing’s Protocol No. 3, said China supports Russia’s interests, “particularly in the situation in Ukraine.” Russia has hit back in Ukraine “to protect its national interests.” Beijing admits Moscow backed the Ukraine war, has never officially condemned it and portrays the US and NATO as the main culprits. In return, Russia positions itself behind China on the Taiwan issue.

At the beginning of the bilateral meeting, the Chinese President did not mention the war in Ukraine at all. Later in the conversation, of course, the topic was discussed, although, as already mentioned, Xi, out of consideration for Putin, did not use the term “war”.  There was no talk of possible military support. President Putin specifically emphasized China’s balanced position on the situation in Ukraine and said:

” We appreciate the balanced attitude of our Chinese friends in the Ukraine crisis. However, we also understand your questions and concerns in this regard.”

Russia and China obviously maintain a “win-win partnership”. China is compensating for some Western sanctions for Russia by supplying urgently needed components such as microchips. In return, Russia exports gas and oil to China on favorable terms. On the fringes of the conference, the Russian Energy Minister Alexander Nowak explained the latest developments in gas exports to China.

Gas has been flowing from Yakutia to China since 2019 through “ Siberias 1 ”. The pipeline is expected to reach full capacity by 2024. Then 61 billion cubic meters of gas per year should flow through this pipeline, 38 billion cubic meters of it to China.

Now Russia also wants to channel the natural gas that it has previously sold to Europe to China . This is 50 billion cubic meters of gas annually. The contracts would be signed shortly. The planned pipeline ” Siberias 2″ will replace the Baltic Sea pipeline ” Nord Stream 2 “.

The Russian energy minister also announced the construction of another line to northern China. It should start in Vladivostok and bring around ten billion cubic meters of gas to China. In the first eight months of 2022, trade in goods between China and Russia has risen to almost 120 billion dollars; for the whole of 2021 it was 150 billion. China pays Russia partly in Chinese currency, the yuan.

After the meeting of the two heads of state, China released a statement which stated, among other things :

China is ready to support each other in key areas.”

The statement was probably kept rather general because Russia accounts for only 2.4 percent of China’s foreign trade, but exports to the USA are 12.5 percent.

The Sino-Indian Relations

The Chinese President also held bilateral talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It was the first meeting between the two since fighting between soldiers from the two countries on the disputed border around the Ladakh region in the Himalayas in 2020. Currently there is apparently calm in the area. On September 12 this year, the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared that the Indian and Chinese soldiers would withdraw from the border area, which also happened on September 13, 2022 and was confirmed by China. Xi and Modi met for the first time at the 2019 BRICS Conference in Brasilia.

India and China together have 2.8 billion inhabitants. According to a report by the International Monetary Fund, the Indian economy has now overtaken Great Britain and is currently ranked 5th among the world economic powerhouses. The US is still number 1, followed by China at number 2, Japan at number 3 and Germany at number 4.

There are now increasing economic ties between the two countries. For example, the Indian smartphone market is firmly in Chinese hands.

The Sino-Pakistani Relations

In his bilateral meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, President Xi said that despite the changes in the international situation, “China and Pakistan are strategic partners with mutual trust”. Both sides should continuously strengthen their mutual support and deepen the connection of their development strategies. In this context, the role of the joint committee of the bilateral economic corridor should be fully emphasized in order to ensure the rapid construction and operation of large-scale projects. Cooperation in industry, agriculture, science and technology and society should be expanded to give new impetus to the economic corridor. Pakistan should ensure the safety of Chinese citizens and institutions and guarantee the legitimate rights and interests of businesses.


After Chinese President Xi, Russian President Putin was certainly the most important participant at the conference.

In his plenary speech, President Putin, like the Chinese President before him, advocated a new multipolar world order. Among other things, Putin said:

“The growing role of new centers of power that cooperate with each other is becoming increasingly evident.”

At the same time he condemned “instruments of protectionism, illegal sanctions and economic selfishness”. Putin praised the growing influence of non-Western countries. The SCO is now the largest regional organization and is open to new members. He once again accused the West of making mistakes, saying the world was undergoing a transformation that was “irreversible”.

Putin criticized the sanctions imposed on Russia: he also underlined that they would prevent Russia from being able to take an active part in solving world problems. Above all, he called on the UN to enter into dialogue with the European Union:

“I informed Mr. Guterres the day before yesterday that 300,000 tons of Russian fertilizers have accumulated in the seaports of the European Union. We are willing to send them to developing countries free of charge. In addition, I would like to note that Russia is increasing grain exports to world markets.”

At his press conference concluding the summit, the Russian President announced further military operations in eastern Ukraine:

“Our offensive operations in Donbass are not suspended, they are progressing at a slow pace.”

The Russian-Indian Relations

Like the Chinese President, President Putin also held bilateral talks, which, however, were only reported to a limited extent. In addition to the Indian Prime Minister and the Turkish President, there were also meetings between Putin and his colleagues from Iran and Pakistan.

President Putin met Indian Prime Minister Modi for bilateral talks. India is now Russia’s largest oil customer, and India is known to resell Russian oil bought at a “friendly price” on the world market at a substantial profit, thereby partially circumventing the embargo imposed on Russia. Many of India’s fertilizers also come from Russia, and 60 percent of the Indian army is armed with Russian weapon systems. Nevertheless, the Indian prime minister allowed himself to criticize the Russian president. According to a report by the Indian broadcaster Doordashan, the Indian prime minister said on the situation in Ukraine that now is “not the time for a war”.. Modi has called for an end to hostilities, but his government has so far shied away from condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Putin replied that Russia would “do its best to end the special operation as soon as possible “.

The Russian-Iranian Relations

Iran’s acceptance as a full member of the SCO not only significantly strengthened Iran’s position, but also the importance of the organization.

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi said Iran wanted membership to be part of a fair and balanced world order. At the same time, Raisi made serious allegations against the USA, saying:

Our region has tasted the bitter taste of foreign intervention over the past few decades – and the result has been nothing but the creation of terrorism and the spread of insecurity.”

Iran is ready to play an effective role in securing energy supplies. It can be assumed that economic relations between the two countries will be expanded and military cooperation will be strengthened. According to Moscow, trade between Russia and Iran grew by 40 percent in the first half of the year. Politically and militarily, Iran is on Russia’s side, including in the war against Ukraine. It is repeatedly reported that Iran is supplying drones to Russia.


According to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey wants to join the SCO. According to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency, after the organization’s summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, Erdogan said Turkey intended to discuss membership at next year’s meeting. His country has “historical and cultural” ties to the Asian continent and wants to play a role in the organization, whose members together account for “30 percent of global economic output.”

In the event of accession, Turkey would be the first member of the group to also belong to NATO. Erdogan accuses NATO and the EU of a lack of support for his country, and relations with EU neighbor Greece in particular are strained.

Russian-Turkish Relations

The conversation between the two presidents only took place after the end of the conference.

While Turkish President Erdogan condemns the Russian attack on Ukraine, he rejects the sanctions against Russia because he blames Europe and the USA for the escalation. During his talks in Samarkand, Erdogan made no secret of deepening cooperation with Russia. Despite the sanctions, Turkish exports to Russia increased by 90 percent in August 2022 compared to the same month last year, according to figures from the Turkish Exporters Association “TIM”; tendency further increasing.

One topic of conversation between Putin and Erdogan was the grain agreement. Putin thanked Turkey for mediating the deal and praised Ankara as one of his most reliable trading partners. However, the agreement must be improved because too few shiploads go to countries where the population is suffering from hunger. Erdogan had agreed to this. The Turkish President once again announced his willingness to mediate in the export of Ukrainian grain – because the existing agreement only runs until the end of October. “We have very productive cooperation with interested parties and the UN to ensure the export of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea. We strive to make sure that Ukrainian grain reaches our brothers and sisters – especially in Africa and especially those who need it badly,” Erdogan said.

Russian gas exports were also discussed. In a way analogous to the grain agreement, Erdogan called for cooperation with the UN to end the war.

The “Samarkand Declaration of the Council of Heads of States of the SCO”

In the final declaration of the 22nd SCO conference at the level of the heads of state and government, it was stated, among other things, that the world is facing major challenges and changes that can only be met with a multipolar and democratic new order. Along the way, each country must be assured of its national sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. Each country is entitled to its own political, economic and social path to achieve this goal.

Interference in a country’s internal affairs is rejected and conflicts are to be resolved politically and through diplomatic channels. Terrorism, separatism and extremism are condemned and a worldwide abolition of all nuclear weapons is demanded.

After the 10th International Moscow Security Conference from August 16 to 18, 2022, the exercise “Vostock22” from September 01 to 05, 2022 in eastern Russia and the “Eastern Economic Forum” from September 05 to 08, 2022 in Vladivostok The meeting of the heads of state and government of the SCO on September 15 and 16, 2022 in Samarkand was already the fourth meeting in which the two global heavyweights China and India took part in addition to Russia and some Asian countries. If you include the 14th meeting of the BRICS countries Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, which was held on June 23, 2022 in Brasilia – albeit only virtually – there are already five meetings this year at which China, India and Russia have hit the three heavyweights in the Indo-Pacific region.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping again demonstrated fundamental unity at the SCO summit, which India and Iran evidently agree with, taking into account their national interests. This has created a power bloc that “the West” should no longer and must not ignore, because it will change the world order as a whole, to the detriment of the United States and Europe.

Of course there are also differences within the SCO and the states close to it, but these are obviously not irreconcilable because the SCO, like the EU, is ultimately a community of convenience. There are always military conflicts between India and Pakistan or fights between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Above all, it must be clearly stated that some statements by China and Russia and also passages in the Samarkand final declaration are obviously only lip service. This is especially true for the statements that one respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other countries and does not interfere in their internal affairs. The opposite is currently the case between Russia and Ukraine, and the Chinese position towards Taiwan is also difficult to reconcile with these principles.

Regardless, the key takeaways from the SCO Summit for “Western” politicians should be:

  • – There is no fundamental wedge between China and Russia;
  • – Russia is not isolated in the world;
  • – Iran is apparently finally turning away from the “West”;
  • – Turkey continues to keep all options open with regard to its future positioning;
  • – India is increasingly becoming a global player with a preference for China and Russia, but still keeps “the western option” open;
  • – Several Arab states are signaling a possible reorientation, also away from the “West”;
  • – A similar development can be observed for some African countries;
  • – Afghanistan is firmly in the SCO’s sights;
  • The world is again developing into two blocs, but not as in the Cold War, but into countries that follow the unilateral course of the USA and those that rely on a new multipolar world order. This applies to security policy as well as to economic and social development.

From my point of view, it is unfortunately not clear whether Western politicians have recognized these negative developments for the USA and above all for Europe and how they intend to counteract them politically and economically.

GCC State Urge Netflix Ban Over Islamic Values Violation

Saudi Arabia and five other Gulf Council member states are bothered by several films and series on the Netflix streaming service. Because of the violation of Islamic values, the platform is now threatened with a ban in these conservative countries.

In a joint communiqué on Tuesday, the six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, called on the series streaming platform Netflix to stop offering local users content that “ violate Islamic and social values ​​and principles”. They threatened the US company with a ban on their territory. Netflix has not yet responded to a request from the television network CNBC.

Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei might join a potential ban of Netflix too.

The Gulf States justified their request with a “recent observation” that the platform broadcasts video materials and content that violated content control in the Gulf States.

Saudi newspaper Arab News on Tuesday quoted Esra Assery, head of the Saudi General Commission for Audiovisual Media, as saying:

“We will take all legal means to protect the sovereignty and the citizens and residents of the Kingdom from any intellectual attack aimed at damaging its society, values ​​and safety while educating and protecting future generations from harmful content affect negatively.”

According to Assery, the Gulf Council will reverse its decision if Netflix complies with the request to remove the content banned in the six Gulf states. Should such content continue to be accessible to users in these Arab countries, necessary legal measures would follow.

Neither Saudi Arabia nor the Gulf Council revealed exactly what content had offended local authorities. Netflix has not commented on the matter either. Nonetheless, Saudi broadcaster Al Ekhbariya TV on Tuesday accused the streaming service of promoting gay issues. This has a negative impact on the younger generation.

Other Western media companies had previously been warned by the authorities in the Gulf States against the distribution of homosexual content. In June, the animated film Lightyear was banned from showing in 14 Islamic countries in the Middle East and Asia because in the film two female characters kiss. In July, the UAE government ordered online retailer Amazon to block search results for LGBTQ products on its website in the country.

E-Code Food List: Muslim’s should Avoid these Harmful Additives

A long list of E-numbers can be found on many pre-packaged foods when shopping. Not all of these additives are bad or harmful to health. We have summarized for you which additives you should avoid.

Additives in food: Look out for E-numbers when shopping

E numbers – the “E” stands for “Europe” denote food additives. A total of 300 of these substances are permitted. They have different tasks.

Emulsifiers: These additives are used to connect substances that cannot actually be connected.

  • Dyes: They bring color to our food and are supposed to make it look more appetizing.
  • Antioxidants: These additives make food last longer. For example, they prevent fats from going rancid.
  • Flavor enhancers: As the name suggests, they provide more flavor.
  • Sugar substitutes: They serve as a sugar substitute.
  • Thickeners: These additives give food a creamy texture, such as ice cream or fruit yoghurt.
  • Preservatives: Like antioxidants, they also ensure a longer shelf life, but by inhibiting the growth of microorganisms.

E numbers: The dyes are harmful to health

Sometimes the manufacturers deliberately refrain from listing E numbers and use the name of the additive instead. That’s why we call number and name.

  • E102 – Tartrazine (coloring agent): Yellow coloring agent found in custard powder, processed cheese, confectionery, beverages and mustard.
  • E104 – Quinoline yellow (dye): Only permitted in small quantities for smoked fish, chewing gum, jelly, sherbet powder and fruit wines.
  • E110 – Yellow Orange S (Colouring): Found in salmon substitutes, cheese and wine gums.
  • E122 – Azorubine (carmoisine) (coloring agent): Red coloring agent found in sweets and beverages, as well as in instant soups and other convenience foods.
  • E123 – Amaranth (coloring agent): Red coloring agent, permitted only for caviar, aperitif wines and spirits.
  • E124A – Chochineal Red A (dye): Red dye found in salmon substitutes, chorizo ​​sausage, fruit jelly and other sweets.
  • E127 – Erythrosine (coloring agent): Red coloring agent, only permitted for candied cherries, cocktail cherries and fruit salads containing cherries.
  • E129 – Allura Red AC (colour): Found in Germany in desserts, beverages and confectionery. Banned in Belgium, Denmark, France, Sweden and Switzerland.
  • E142 – Green S (Dye): Green dye that dyes canned peas, beverages and mints green, as well as cosmetics, leather, paper and wool.
  • E150C – Ammonia Caramel (Colouring): Colors cola or mustard sauces brown, as well as whisky – by the way, we present the most popular varieties in another article for you.
  • E151 – Brilliant Black BN (dye): Used in liquorice and in caviar substitutes, but also in shampoos.
  • E154 – Brown FK (dye): Approved only for smoked herring from England, also called “Kippers”.
  • E155 – Brown HT (Colouring): Reddish-brown colouring, approved for coloring chocolate, ice cream, cakes, biscuits or other confectionery.
  • E173 – Aluminum (colouring agent): Silver-grey coloring agent approved for the decoration of pastries and cakes and for coatings on confectionery.
  • E180 – Litholrubin BK (colour): Red colourant, only permitted for cheese rind.
  • E239 – Hexamethylenetetramine (preservative): Authorized for only one type of Italian cheese, namely “Provolone”.
  • E284 – Boric acid (preservative): Approved for caviar only.
  • E285 – Sodium tetraborate (borax) (preservative): As a variant of boric acid, only permitted for caviar.
  • E385 – Calcium disodium ethylene diamine tetraacetate (Calcium disodium EDTA) (antioxidant): Approved only for margarine, frozen crustaceans and canned and glass preserves.
  • E425 – Konjac (thickener): Banned in the EU for jelly confectionery. You can find, for example, glass noodles and Far Eastern specialties.
  • E512 – Stannous Chloride (Antioxidant): Approved for canned and glass jars only. It can be found, for example, in canned asparagus.
  • E999 – Quillaja Extract (Stabilizer): Only approved for beverages, stabilizes foam. You can find it in cider or ginger ale, for example.

Darya Platonova Dugina Assasinated in Moscow – Her Last Interview May 20, 2022

Can you introduce yourself to our readers? Isn’t it sometimes difficult for you to bear Dugin’s name, and thus necessarily be likened to your father?

Darya Platonova: I graduated in the history of philosophy from the Faculty of Philosophy at Moscow State University. My research focused on the political philosophy of late Neo-Platonism, a topic of infinite interest. The main line of thought in late Neo-Platonist political philosophy is the development of the idea of a homology of the soul and the state and the existence of a similar threefold order in both. Just as in the soul there are three bases, so in the state (and the Platonists describe the Indo-European model, later perfectly theorised in Dumezil’s work) there are also three domains – this model manifests itself in antiquity and the Middle Ages. The existential and psychic understanding of politics is in fact lost in many ways today, as we are used to seeing politics only as a technique, but Platonism reveals a deep connection between political and psychic processes. Today there is an urgent need to re-establish a global view of political processes, that is, to examine ‘existential politics’.

I have the honour of being in the same boat as my father (on the same existential ship), being the daughter of a great scholar of the Tradition, author of the 24-volume work Noomachia (‘wars of the mind’ – analysis through the three logos of all the world’s cultures). The fact that we are under sanctions by the US, Canada, Australia and the UK is also a symbol that we Dugin are on the path of truth in the fight against globalism. Therefore, I would say it is an honour to be born into such a family.

Tell us about your current work?

Darya Platonova: I am a political observer of the International Eurasianist Movement and an expert in international relations. My field of activity is the analysis of European politics and geopolitics. In this capacity, I appear on Russian, Pakistani, Turkish, Chinese and Indian television channels, presenting a multipolar world view of political processes. My areas of interest are both the space of European civilisation and the Middle East, where a kind of conservative revolution is taking place – from Iran’s constant confrontation with American hegemony or Syria’s struggle against Western imperialism to Turkey, which is now showing interesting tendencies to move away from NATO and the Anglo-Saxon geopolitical bloc and is trying to build its foreign policy on a multipolar basis, in dialogue with the Eurasian civilisation. I think it is important to follow the processes in the Middle East region, it is one of the stages in the fight against imperialism. On the other hand, I am also very interested in African countries; they represent the ‘other’ for Europe and Russia, from whose analysis we can better understand their civilisation. Africa has always been a dream element for both Europeans and Russians – let us recall Arthur Rimbaud’s Journey to Abyssinia and Harrar, or the Russian poet Nikolai Gumilev who was inspired by Rimbaud (‘African Diary’) and a series of poems about Africa, in which he actually reveals Africa as an unexplored and meaningful civilisation that Western colonialism cruelly tried to undo and destroy. Today, tectonic changes are taking place on the African continent, and the comparison between civilisations: the Western and the authentically African (so different and so unique) is extremely interesting.

For me, a particularly important issue is the development of the multipolar world theory. It is clear that the globalist moment is over, the end of liberalism has come, the end of liberal history. At the same time, it is extremely important to understand that a new phase full of challenges, provocations and complexities has begun. The process of creating multipolarism, of structuring civil blocs and dialogue between them is the main task of all intellectuals today. Samuel Huntington, as a realist in international relations, rightly warned of the risks of a clash of civilisations. Fabio Petito, a specialist in international relations, emphasised that building a ‘dialogue of civilisations’ is the central task and ‘the only way forward’. Therefore, to consolidate the multipolar world, the border (intermediate) areas between civilisations must be treated with care. All conflicts take place at the borders (intermediate zones) of civilisations, where attitudes clash. It is therefore essential to develop a ‘border’ (in-between) mentality if the multipolar world is to function fully and move from a ‘clash’ to a ‘dialogue’ of civilisations. Without this, there is a risk of a ‘clash’.

How do you see the war in Ukraine? What about the reactions in the West and the world?

Darya Platonova: The situation in Ukraine is really an example of a clash of civilisations; it can be seen as a clash between globalist and Eurasian civilisation. After the ‘great geopolitical catastrophe’ (as the Russian president called the collapse of the USSR), the territories of the once united country have become ‘borders’ (intermediate zones) – those spaces on which the attention of neighbours has increased, with NATO and especially the United States interested in destabilising the situation on Russia’s borders. In the 1990s, consistent work was undertaken with the frameworks of the new state governments – Ukraine being no exception. The events of 2014 in Ukraine, the Maya, so fervently supported by both Nuland and the infamous Bernard-Henri Levy soldier of ultra-globalisation, were a turning point, in fact opening the door to the establishment of a direct globalist dictatorship over Ukraine. In addition, liberal and nationalist elements, which before 2014 were more or less neutral, have united into a united front with a globalist and pro-American agenda. For 8 years in Ukraine, Russophobia was cultivated by various agendas and history was rewritten, up to the physical slaughter of Russians: the same 8 terrible years for the Donbass with daily bombardments. The French public will be able to listen to documentary filmmaker Anne Laure Bonnel, a witness to these 8 years in Donetsk, who is not afraid to tell the truth in her films and interviews.

The West’s unanimous support for Ukraine in 2022, the supply of weapons on an unthinkable scale: it all feels like agony. The agony of a globalist regime that is beginning to lose ground to multipolarism. For me, the most important pain is that Europe has succumbed to the influence of globalist propaganda and, instead of remaining neutral, has sided with the war. In many ways, this was certainly the plan of the United States, which systematically and continuously provoked the entire conflict by supplying Ukraine with weapons. From the US alone (according to Transparency International), more than $658 million was invested in aid to Ukraine between 2014 and 2017.

At the same time, countries in Latin America, the Middle East, China and India have not adopted a globalist stance. Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro declared that his country adheres ‘firmly’ to Russia’s position. In Cuba, during a May Day demonstration, people were seen carrying Russian flags and Z symbols, German broadcaster ZDF reported. Argentina accused the West of double standards. The country’s Vice-President Cristina Kirchner said the country was in conflict with London over the Falkland Islands. In Brazil, presidential candidate Lula da Silva in turn said that Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky is responsible for what is happening in his country. China has spoken out against NATO expansion and US provocations. India has tried to maintain its strategic neutrality (in the 1990s, India itself was the target of painful US and Western sanctions for refusing to adhere to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. The country, which the West wants to cut off its oxygen and deprive of high technology, has since held out (mainly through cooperation with Russia, which did not join the sanctions and demanded their lifting). Some Middle Eastern countries have supported Russia’s special military operation (Syria, which has always been Russia’s ally, knows better than anyone the battle against globalism), in Turkey there are growing calls for withdrawal from NATO, and the President has refused to approve the admission of Sweden and Finland to NATO. Many African countries, especially those with a strong anti-globalist sentiment, did not support Western criticism of Russia (Mali, Sudan, CAR, Zimbabwe, Republic of Congo, Eritrea). These reactions indicate the end of the myth of a ‘one world space’. Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine accelerated the formation of a multipolar world and catalysed many geopolitical processes.

Don’t you think Russia is isolating itself? What do you think will be the consequences of this?

Darya Platonova: I think it is the opposite. Russia is finding new partners and the processes of sovereignty (e.g. economic de-dollarisation) are starting to accelerate. Russia is trying to be ‘punished’ by Western countries through sanctions, but the effect on the Russian economy is not very noticeable (‘International sanctions against Russia do not seem to have an impact on the daily lives of Muscovites,’ says a journalist in a BFM TV report). The West’s sanctions policy has been a catalyst for the search for new partners and the de-Westernisation of our country. At the same time, these sanctions have hit European countries hard, becoming a kind of ‘harakiri’ for many European economies. This is very worrying news, but apparently it was also part of the American plot to destabilise the European continent. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban stated that Budapest does not support the imposition of reckless sanctions against Russia. “Sanctions against Russia are like an atomic bomb, they could lead us not only not to be able to feed our population, but also to receive a mass of migrants at the border,” said the Hungarian prime minister.

New blocs are emerging. “Developing countries, including China, India, Indonesia, Brazil and others that have refused to take sides in the wake of Western sanctions against Russia, should consider how to strengthen their economic coordination to resist further shocks from the West. It is important to note that developing countries should seek a solution through financial and trade cooperation,’ wrote a journalist from China’s Global Times. These are very interesting geopolitical processes. Russia was thus not a victim of isolation, but a pioneer of a multipolar world order.

How is the Russian population reacting to this war, which has obviously already caused many losses on the Russian side?

Darya Platonova: Any military operation always involves losses. It should be noted that the figures given by Ukrainian sources (and they are the ones circulated by the western media) are not correct and need to be verified. We are facing an information war situation where everything, from military reports to figures, is politicised. In the Western media, unfortunately, there is almost no alternative view of events. In 2016, Ofpra produced a dossier on Pravy Sektor (‘Right Sector’), an ultra-Ukrainian group: ‘Pravy Sektor is the subject of accusations of anti-Semitism and xenophobia, homophobic demonstrations, illegal detentions and other abuses of power. It creates an armed militia, the Ukrainian Volunteer Corps, engaged in the conflict with pro-Russian separatists in the Donbass. Tensions between the Ukrainian Volunteer Corps and the authorities continued until the Corps became an uncomfortable part of the regular armed forces. In 2022, those who were regarded with suspicion in 2016 became heroes: the wives of Azov fighters (a group responsible for the cruel killings of Russians in the Donbass) met the Pope at the Vatican. It is very strange that something that seemed forbidden only two years ago has become commonplace in Europe. Or BHL’s meeting with the former head of the radical Russophobic and xenophobic Aydar battalion (a terrorist organisation banned in Russia) Marchenko. Today liberalism goes hand in hand with xenophobia and Nazism. This is a paradox. But it can be explained if one understands the ‘totalitarian nature’ of modern liberalism. This is the issue of the manipulation of information and figures.

As for the reaction of the Russians, the overwhelming majority supports the special military operation. In their eyes, it is an understandable defence of Russia’s geopolitical interests and a fight against Russophobia, because a regime has been formed in Kiev that denies Russians the right to self-determination (language, culture, identity) and existence. Some elements of society immediately left the country after the outbreak of hostilities, travelling to the United States, Europe and Israel. Significantly, Anatoly Chubais, former head of the Russian presidential administration and one of the ideologists and leaders of economic reforms in Russia in the 1990s, left the country. In the 1990s, the Patriotic Front called him a ‘traitor’ and responsible for Russia’s economic difficulties. This is a symbol. There are certainly such cases.

Everyone I know supports the special military operation not only in words but also, for many, in deeds, by providing humanitarian aid to refugees and the region. Moreover, they have not been doing so for a few months, but for many years. The same eight years that the West knew so little about.

As a journalist, what do you think about the censorship of RT in the EU or Sputnik, and the silence (if not approval) of the majority of European journalists?

Darya Platonova: This is an unprecedented case of violation of ‘freedom of expression’. Freedom of expression implies the possibility of having different points of view, sometimes unwelcome by the authorities. RT and Sputnik were not Russian propaganda tools, but platforms for discussion. I watched many RT France programmes and they were interesting because they included experts with an alternative point of view to that of the system’s media. The fact that journalists in Europe did not react in any way to these blockades demonstrates the ‘totalitarian’ nature of the entire Western media world. This is very sad. Hopefully, the reinformation media will remain active and prolong the destruction of the disinformation blockade.

In France, the economic consequences are already being felt (particularly the increase in petrol prices). How can a vicious circle be avoided?

Darya Platonova: The anti-Russian sanctions are starting to drain the European economy. Le Pen, in her debate with Macron, rightly called them a ‘harakiri’ for the French economy. But let us think, who needs a weakened Europe? Plagued by COVID, weakened by the anti-Russian sanctions, Europe will have to focus all its forces on saving its economy; in such a situation, the beneficiaries are the United States, which is able to establish its control over the continent. An independent Rimland is unacceptable to Anglo-Saxon civilisation, the growing anti-American and anti-NATO sentiment (in France, it should be noted, Mélanchon, Le Pen, Zemmour and many others have actively criticised France’s NATO membership and advocated an almost Gaullist 1966 scenario) is a threat to US global dominance. Therefore, the idea of anti-Russian sanctions was implemented with the selfish aim of weakening the region. The EU elites acted as intermediaries, proxies for the globalists in this attempt, and dealt a severe blow to the welfare of the European peoples and nations.

Any final words?

Darya Platonova: I invite all readers to think critically and question the media reports. If Western liberal elites insist so much on supporting Kiev and demonising Moscow, it is because there is a profit logic behind it. Everything must be questioned. This is an important principle that allows us to keep a sober eye. In the society of spectacle, propaganda and the totalitarian nature of Western systems, doubt is an essential step to come out of the cave…

Published on Breizh-info

Translation by Lorenzo Maria Pacini

Milka Chocolate suddenly tastes different – Halal status not known yet

The traditional Milka brand actually comes from Switzerland, but today it belongs to the US group Mondelez (formerly Kraft Foods) and is mainly produced in the German town of Lörrach.

It took three years to develop the new Milka chocolate, says Milka on its own website. “More than 30 chocolate experts from research and development” worked on the new recipe, which was tested by 3,000 consumers.

“In addition to a higher proportion of cocoa from the Cocoa Life sustainability program, the new rounded bar shape adapts even better to your palate and thus offers even more delicate moments of pleasure,” says the manufacturer.

Milka’s famous purple cow now also has a prominent place on the chocolate and is emblazoned on a corner. This is “a loving homage” to the cow, which will be “a proud 50 years old” this year, Milka explains.

Milka doesn’t taste like Milka anymore. Does everything have to be changed?” asks a Twitter user. Another complains that the new recipe tastes “too much like nougat or noisette” and adds that his “favorite chocolate no longer exists”.

The current status of Halal certification is still not confirmed.

Recall: Zabiha Halal & Maple Lodge Farms Chicken Products for Undeclared Proteins

Some Zabiha Halal brand and Maple Lodge Farms brand Chicken products recalled due to undeclared Proteins

The affected products are being recalled from the marketplace because they contain pea protein which is not declared on the label.

The recalled products have been sold nationally.

What you should do

  • Check to see if you have recalled products
  • Do not consume recalled products to which you are allergic or sensitive as they may cause a serious or life-threatening reaction
  • Do not serve, use, sell or distribute recalled products
  • Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the location where they were purchased

Will the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman save the “Free Western World”?

Relations between the US and Saudi Arabia have recently hit their lowest point in decades, particularly after US President Biden dubbed Saudi Arabia a “pariah state” and announced that the kingdom would be punished for human rights abuses such as the to account for the assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Biden has also not once officially spoken to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman since taking office as US President, because he sees the Saudi de facto ruler as implicated in the gruesome 2018 assassination of Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

In the wake of the Ukraine war, rising oil prices and fears of the economic consequences this would have in the West prompted the White House to reassess US foreign policy. However, the Biden administration had already tried in vain to persuade the Saudis to extract and pump more crude oil into the market in order to lower global oil prices.

Last year, Saudi Arabia agreed with the other OPEC countries and nine other non-OPEC countries – including Russia – to only gradually increase oil production.

After the latest package of EU sanctions, the EU’s oil imports from Russia – taking into account the exemption for pipeline deliveries – will fall by around 90 percent by the end of the year. Meanwhile, oil prices are climbing to their highest level in two months and the West is in a real state of emergency. At the same time, reports are circulating that Joe Biden is considering visiting Saudi Arabia as part of his planned trip to the Middle East at the end of June. Reaching a package of deals between the US and Saudi Arabia to increase oil production is crucial to Biden’s potential visit. Biden is now apparently ready to jump over his shadow and “come to terms” with Mohammed bin Salman.

When Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrived in Saudi Arabia for bilateral talks on Tuesday, some Western media claimed to know that some members of OPEC were considering excluding Russia from an oil production deal of the expanded OPEC+ oil alliance. “If Russia were excluded, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other OPEC member countries could produce more to meet production targets,” the Wall Street Journal said . 

Saudi Arabia has agreed to increase oil production if Russian oil production fails. The country has pledged to increase production if the oil market experiences a supply shortage due to sanctions against Russia, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing “people familiar with the matter”.

Contrary to Western media trying to play up suspected discord within OPEC+ in their own reporting, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov praised the level of cooperation within OPEC+ during his meeting with Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud on Tuesday.

The alliance with Russia is particularly important for the OPEC countries in order to retain control over prices and guarantee stable income. The Gulf States have so far remained neutral in the Ukraine war – despite many calls from the West to condemn Moscow. Oman’s foreign minister recently said that the Ukraine crisis required only a European solution and that the West should not force the Gulf countries to take sides in the conflict.

In the Ukraine war, the US specifically aims to weaken Russia without killing a US soldier on the battlefield. They could then benefit from the war if the rise in energy prices were curbed. Otherwise, the West’s sanctions against Russia would be the much-cited “a shot in the foot.” At the moment everything seems to depend on whether ultra-conservative Arab states like Saudi Arabia are willing to sharply increase their own oil production, contrary to the agreements made in the OPEC environment, in order to save the West’s so-called “free world” from the crisis.

Will Qatar be able to supply enough Energy to the European Market?

The Russia-Ukraine conflict is escalating with no end in sight. The solution of the West has been to impose sanctions on the Russian Federation but now the European Union rely on new Energy trading partners from the Middle East.

But will Qatar be really a safe alternative to the Russian Federation?

In the past two weeks, a number of European politicians have admitted that their assessment of Russian President Vladimir Putin was wrong and by surprise the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz admitted that the German Energy strategy has finally backfired.

According to the former German Defense Minister, Ursula von der Leyen, which now runs the European Commission, she believes that Qatar could be an alternative to Russia in terms of gas supply.

Lets be clear, the same old mistake is done again by talking about business and overlooking the politics in the background. Obviously, the European have learned nothing from the Russian and Ukrainian conflict, so lets do more research about the Forum of Gas Producing Countries.

Last month, the Sixth Summit of the Forum of Gas Producing Countries was held in Doha, the capital of Qatar. The summit was overshadowed by the Russian / Ukrainian conflict and its motto was “Natural Gas – Shaping the Energy Future” with a Marketing Slogan to the energy crisis in Europe. The European Union get’s 40 percent of their gas needs from Russia, and gas prices have more than doubled during the last month.

An alternative energy Source for the European Union is not in sight and the German Nord Stream 2 pipeline is unlikely to go online after Russian troops invaded Ukraine.

Interestingly during the Sixth Summit of the Forum of Gas Exporting Countries, Viktor Zubkov, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Gazprom and the Special Representative to Russian President Vladimir Putin was awarded for his life-time contribution to the Forum of Gas Producing Countries. The award was received on behalf of Viktor Zubkov by Russian Energy Minister, Nikolay Shulginov and the European diplomats must have been stunned on how deeply the GECF is linked to the Russian Federation.

The Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) is leaning towards the Russian Federation (47,805 billion cubic Meters), Iran (33,721 billion cubic Meters), Qatar (24,072 billion cubic Meters), Saudi Arabia (9,200 billion cubic Meters), Turkmenistan (7,504 billion cubic Meters), United Arab Emirates (6,091 billion cubic Meters), Venezuela (5,740 billion cubic Meters), Nigeria (5,475 billion cubic Meters) and the People’s Republic of China (5,440 billion cubic Meters).

The forum of gas exporting countries has existed since 2001 and goes back to an Iranian initiative. After Russia’s accession in 2008, it gained in importance and unity as Russian President Vladmir Putin closely initiated an alliance with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of Iran.  Today, 19 member countries control 71% of the world’s known gas reserves. GECF member countries produced 43% of the world’s gas and 58% of its liquefied gas in 2020. Only two major gas producers are not members of the forum which should not be a surprise as they come from the United States and Australia. Technically speaking the GECF is operated by governments that do not follow the Western style of democracies and the West is just seen as a Trading Partner.

The current crisis has shown the geopolitical dimension of gas and Russia uses it to put political pressure on Europe. The gas from Russia is considered climate-friendly and therefore an alternative to oil and coal and the demand for Russian gas is enormous, so it helps to take a look at the production numbers to meet potential new business partners for Ursula von der Leyen.

In 2020, the USA led the list of the ten largest gas producers with 960 billion cubic Meters, followed by Russia (705 billion cubic Meters), Iran (234 billion cubic Meters), China (195 billion cubic Meters), Canada (172 billion cubic Meters), Qatar (167 billion cubic Meters), Australia (154 billion cubic Meters), Norway (116 billion cubic Meters), Saudi Arabia (97 billion cubic Meters), Algeria (84 billion cubic Meters).

Together they hold more than half of all known Gas reserves today (205,000 billion cubic Meters) and the Russian Federation, Iran and Qatar will play an enormous geo-pollical role during the next century. Cancelling Russian gas or trying to bypass Russia will have huge consequences to the European Community.

Could Qatar be an alternative gas supplier to Russia?

It is not surprising that the European Union want to take advantage to focus on getting Qatar in its pockets but it will not happened. Russia and Iran have constantly tried to turn the GECF into a new OPEC, which will set the production and prices of gas in favor of the producers.

Qatar was a world market leader for years in the export of gas, but in 2021 it slipped to second place with 77.4 bcm and was even overtaken by Australia (87.6) in third place, like the USA (71.6). However, Qatar mainly supplies Asia, in which it has long-term supply contracts for the next 15 years and the Gas prices have been pre-negotiated at a fixed contract rates and for that reason in Western countries, Energy prices are adjusted on a daily basis, compared to the Asian markets which have a buffer zone of 6 to 10 weeks before the energy prices get adjusted.

Qatar’s LNG Exports by Destination (2020 in million tons)
Qatar’s LNG Exports by Destination (2020 in million tons)

One wonders why the Western companies didn’t do the same by negotiating longterm contract rates but energy experts explained that European companies were opposed to long term contracts, preferring short contracts to ensure price certainty by passing prices on to the Western consumers overnight but lets be certain, when prices skyrocket in Western countries, so do company profits.

The production of LPG Gas requires huge investments, so only long contracts to Asia can ensure price and supply stability and protect the interests of the producers, governments and consumers. Qatar also asked the Europeans to do the same and invited them to participate in its projects as Qatar wants to increase its liquefied gas production from 77 bcm now to 126 bcm in 2027 at a cost of $51 billion. During the next 12 to 18 months European companies might not be able to benefit but in 2024, Europe should be able to replace Russian gas with gas from Qatar and other Middle Eastern countries.

Iran, Qatar & Russia: Close Allies in the Middle East

In order to attract Qatar, the US has persuaded the Arab states of Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Saudi Arabia to lift their blockade against Qatar, which has been in place since 2017. Then, last month, US President Joe Biden received the Emir of Qatar and promised to make his country the only strategic ally outside of NATO and these concessions appear to have worked, but have not changed Qatar’s stance.

Iran and Qatar share the world’s largest gas field in the Gulf with reserves of 51,000 bcm of which Iran owns 38 percent and Qatar 62 percent. Gas production began in 1989, and three years later Qatar signed 30-year contracts with western oil companies. They regulated the exploitation of the field and, above all, the liquefaction of the Natural gas, which requires highly developed technology. Iran was left out after Western Sanctions for supporting terrorism and had no access to the global Gas market. After a decade, Qatar has become the world market leader in the production of liquid gas.

In 2019 Qatar Petroleum didn’t renewed it’s 25 years contract with ExxonMobil and Total, giving QP full control of the Qatargas 1 fields.

As a result, Qatar also became the richest country in the world due to its large gas reserves and the ruling family began to pursue their own goals. So far, as a member of the Cooperation Council of the Gulf Arab States, Qatar had supported a pro-Western stance but in 2006, Qatar broke from that consensus and voted in the UN Security Council against imposing new sanctions on Iran over its recently discovered nuclear program and there are concrete indications of how the sanctions against Iran are being circumvented by exporting more gas than Qatar actually can produce.

Qatar maintains close contacts to both the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban’s

With the onset of the Arab Spring in 2011, like Iran, Qatar supported the Shiites in Bahrain against the ruling Sunnis. Despite an agreement with Saudi Arabia to support the Syrian opposition as a whole, the Qataris in Syria only aided the Islamists and jihadists, particularly al Qaeda’s offshoot Al Nasra Front. They have been providing political and financial supports to Islamists in Libya, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. The Qatari rulers had always maintained good relations with the Taliban, letting them set up a liaison office in Doha and overseeing their secret negotiations with the Americans. Qatar also helped the Americans flee Afghanistan and, after they left, took over management of the Kabul airport to allow remaining civilians to leave the country, and now, in the nuclear negotiations with Iran, Qatar is mediating in the background.

Because of its commitment to backing the Iranians, Qatar came into conflict with the Gulf States and Egypt after 2013, which put the Muslim Brotherhood on their terrorist lists. In 2017, the conflict escalated and these states imposed a blockade on Qatar as well as a sea and air space ban. With the help of Iran and Turkey, the blockade was undermined and the Iranians supplied Qatar with food and other goods and made their airspace and national waters available.

Both Qatar and Iran moved closer together and by the end of the blockade, Qatar no longer had any economic links with its Arab neighbors.

Since Obama, Americans have wanted to leave the Middle East

Qatar has been maneuvering between the United States and the camp of Russia, Iran and China and economically, it is definitely keeps closer economical relations between GECF member countries. Politically, it wants to appear neutral but in practice, it officially announced that it will not renew the gas and oil contracts with Western companies that are due to expire this year.

After thirty years, Qatar has sufficient know-how and has become more independent. The new contracts will be negotiated accordingly and Qatar also wants to increase its stake in the companies. At the same time, Qatar has ordered four LNG tankers from China.

Since Obama  the Americans have wanted to leave the Middle East in order to stop China’s policy of expansion in the Asia Pacific region and a void has emerged in the Gulf that has been filled not only by Iran and Russia, but also by China.

Last year, China and Iran signed a 25-year cooperation agreement in which China would get cheap Iranian oil. In return, China will invest $400 billion in Iran.

It is unrealistic that the US embrace of Qatar will induce the emirate to divert a significant portion of it’s Energy exports for Europe that is currently allocated for the Chinese market and Qatar would never inflict such a blow on the Russians and Chinese.

Biden is continuing Obama’s policy in the hope of signing a nuclear deal with Iran after all. He has made no effort to win back his old friends; that is why no Arab country has condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and everyone was neutral and appealed for peace. Whether Qatar can solve Europe’s problems is doubtful and a solution can only be a new European energy solution. You can’t rely on the political instincts of the Europeans, but you can rely on their science, they will have to invent something new. Until then, the Germans are well advised not to shut down the three remaining nuclear reactors and as well activate their coal powered plants this year and they need to keep their Fingers crossed that Russia is not shutting down it’s Energy supplies to Europe. If Russia does cut the energy supply to Europe it would be an economical disaster for all countries in the E.U. with a long lasting recession.

Irwan Shah is the Founder of eHalal Group

Why was everyone silent when the Ukrainian Russian War started 8 years ago?

“As many of you may know, my mother was born in the former Soviet Union, in Ukraine, where my large family is a Mix of Russians and Ukrainians. For this reason, I feel compelled to share my perspective on developments in Ukraine to share with you.”

Because of my Russian-Ukrainian roots, I love both nations very much, centuries-old fraternal nations merging together. When you asked my Ukrainian mother if she felt more Russian than Ukrainian, she replied: “It’s a strange question that I don’t have an answer to. There are differences in our language, our music and our dance, but ours hearts are one.

That’s how I grew up and spent 40 years – the best vacation of my life – in love and togetherness, experienced in Russia and Ukraine, in the former Soviet Union.

It is good that everyone in the Netherlands is now speaking out against war. Nobody supports the war.

But why was everyone silent when this war started 8 years ago?

Why didn’t everyone complained when thousands of citizens were slaughtered in eastern Ukraine?

Why didn’t everyone scold Ukraine for not complying with the Minsk agreements?

Where was everyone who looked the other Way when 52 people were burned alive in Odessa?

Where was everyone who thought it was good that a government elected in 2014 was overthrown and that a large European country was taken over by a bunch of neo-Nazis?

Where was everyone when the Ukrainian regime took away basic human rights from Russian Ukrainians?

The Russian language was banned, the right to a pension for Russian in the Ukraine was abolished, and children who spoke Russian and had Russian names were no longer welcome in schools.

Where was everyone when neo-Nazis organized torchlight rallies and shouted slogans like “Russians to the gas chambers”?

Finally, where were all those who remained silent when large Parts of this beautiful country, once Europe’s granaries, were sold for an apple and an egg to banks and investors, e.g. to be exploited for genetic engineering by Monsanto and Europe’s newest mega-bio-industry?

My niece in Ukraine saw how such a factory farm was built in front of her house. The incessant screaming of these closely packed animals, and then this deafening silence…

Take note: Ukraine had only one small breed of cattle before the country came under the western bloc ownership. For 8 years Ukraine has become a vassal of the West. A colony. and all this at the expense of people, animals, nature and the environment…

So why are people’s compassion only now being channeled into anger against the war?

The Ukrainian population has been at war for 8 years. Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have already fled to Russia, including my relatives, like my niece and her family.

Of course, I know that most people are unaware of this side of the story because our news service gives a very one-sided picture of the situation. I am now providing this information from the other side. Do what you want, but silence is no longer an option for me.

I can only hope that peace will soon come to ALL Ukrainians, Russian and Ukrainian speakers.

Natascha Janssen from the Netherlands

1st Arabia Tradeshows & Conferences & Group Partner for the success of the Saudi International Halal Expo 2022

The Saudi International Halal Expo 2022, which is the first of its kind to take place in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, it will serve as an outstanding platform to present the latest trends of the global Halal market and to highlight the challenges this industry face which may vary in complying with Halal regulations & standardization and to offer a great opportunity to focus on the latest innovations, research, and development within the Halal industry.

Saudi International Halal Expo 2022

The Exhibition aims to spread and expand the awareness about the industry among the visitors by attracting major international bodies to share their knowledge and to present their researches and innovations. On a second note, the Saudi International Halal Expo 2022 aims to attract professionals from around the world, Muslims and non-Muslims to establish great business opportunities with regional & international businesses. The Saudi International Halal Expo 2022 promotes a healthy, ethical, and fairway of life in all aspects including family, society, and business interactions and transactions where anyone would be attracted to these values that transcend religion.

The organizers of the Exhibition; 1st Arabia Tradeshows & Conferences set the Expo date to take place from 7 – 9 November 2022 at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center – RICEC. The organizers aim to secure and connect 200 local & international companies in this three-day event, welcoming over 10,000 visitors from nearly 35 countries worldwide.

The organizers plan is to host this Expo annually and to highlight the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as the main hub for all the Halal industry’s businesses and to create a huge network of new buyers and suppliers.

1st Arabia Tradeshows & Conferences is pleased to announce the partnership with Group which is believed to be an important partnership and of added value to the Saudi International Halal Expo 2022.

Mr. Bilal Al Barmawi – CEO & Managing Director of 1st Arabia Tradeshows & Conferences said “We welcome all professionals in the Halal industry worldwide to meet, network and to share experiences in the Saudi International Halal Expo 2022, and we humbly offer this chance to all the international companies & organizations to gain a greater exposure in the Muslim hub & the fast growing consumer market of Saudi Arabia”.

Al Barmawi also added “We believe that the support of local & international partner in the Halal industry and the Food & Beverage industry is very important to us & is of great value to the Saudi International Halal Expo 2022. The success of the first edition of this event relies on all of our partners”

“We look forward to marketing and introducing Quality Halal Food Products from different Parts of the world to the Saudi market,” said Irwan Shah Bin Abdullah, the Co-Founder and CTO of eHalal Group Singapore. He continued, “In addition to eHalal’ s B2B Marketplace, we’ve launched the Halal Verification process on the Ethereum Blockchain and are looking forward to introducing our Halal Quality Supply Chain Management solutions to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”.

For more details and on information on how to participate in the Saudi International Halal Expo, visit or

The current challenges in the Islamic Initial Coin Offering (ICO) Market

The absence of a minimum viable product as well as a fine-tuned Islamic tokenomic model leads to fundamental risks for Islamic investors on a global scale. In this article, IRWAN SHAH ABDULLAH @ WOLFGANG HOLZEM discusses the challenges with the current Islamic initial coin offering market situation and its main problems that need to be addressed to secure confidence in the global Islamic financial sector.

According to a large number of online reports, no more than 3.8% of all initial coin offerings have finished their token sales successfully and are now listed on exchanges with the others having either failed or are outright scams.

Of those Islamic projects listed on exchanges, not one project performed well during the past 12 months and several projects that promised a global Halal chain and that raised millions of dollars in funds have actually stopped their projects.

Moreover, the situation has become riskier since 2019 when we saw a huge drop in Islamic-linked crypto-currencies of which the majority dropped to as low as the initial coin offering price, or even lower. As an example, the project HalalChain was marketed for two years as a breakthrough in Halal certification but the losses are now at -98.61% since the pre-initial coin offering.

What we see currently is the outcome of bad decisions from which hundreds of millions of dollars were contributed to Islamic-linked projects without any diversity of risks. Many of these so called Islamic, Shariah or Halal-related blockchain projects did not have a real token economy but instead had high speculative expectations and were Haram projects from the beginning.

In the traditional Islamic financial market, a project that raises US$10 million is usually at stage ‘A+’ or upwards and has a stable, ready-to-scale  business model; however, the current Islamic initial coin offering launching model does not suppose any venture stages and as a result, token buyers lose most of their investment, though this could be avoided by changing the Islamic model itself and setting up a Shariah compliant code of conduct with a possibility of an index of tracking Shariah compliant assets or an Islamic asset rating agency.

Asset-backed securities have been around for at least a hundred years and play a major role even on the global bond market including Sukuk bonds which were authorized and approved since 1988.

The issuance of an Islamic token via blockchain either for Shariah or Halal projects should therefore be well approved by an Islamic asset-rating agency with the lead taken by initial coin offerors or local governments. It would be absolutely unjustified to give funding to an Islamic initial coin offering project at a seed stage and sometimes pre-seed stage until it creates a minimum viable product and scalable model of growth for its Islamic asset token.

The minimum viable product and prototype must also prove that the tokens are deployed as utility tokens and until proof has been provided, authorities should step in to investigate initial coin offerings for financial compliance and potential fraud.

The absence of a minimum viable product and a fine-tuned Islamic tokenomic model leads to fundamental risks for Islamic investors on a global scale.

Let us draw another parallel with the venture capital market in the Islamic world. What amount does a venture investor typically give to a project without a scalable product? It is very rare that this sum is over US$1–2 million.

I think most investors even in the Islamic world understand that if we put away speculative expectations, submitting a bigger amount of investment at this stage is extremely risky.

Can you imagine that the IsDB would start investing US$20–40 million on an early-stage project that only provides a whitepaper without any financial forecasts and just on the blockchain hype?

The main question to be asked is who benefits from such a situation inside an Islamic-linked ICO market but actually, there are a large number of individuals who benefit hugely from Islamic-linked ICO’s. These individuals are mediators and are listed on the advisory boards that are often linked to crypto exchanges, token brokers, ICO’s consultants and event organizers and often these advisors do not really care what will happen with the project in the future as the main issue for them is that everyone buys today the tokens on the hype of blockchain projects for the Islamic world.

Parts of even well-known Islamic projects are not made as Islamic-linked blockchain projects but based purely on hype so that advisors can exit after three to six months after the public token sale has ended with the hope of selling their tokens once the tokens are listed on an exchange.

These are the several steps to solve this situation and make future Islamic linked blockchain projects that are Halal and Shariah compliant. Let me list some of my thoughts and how to protect our Ummah.

A Shariah compliant project has to raise 30% internally from the management, shareholders and advisors for the full Islamic initial coin offering amount to be raised. If an Islamic blockchain project try to raise US$10 million, it has to raise internally from the stakeholders at least US$3 million for the development of a minimum viable product prototype and then sell the rest of the tokens to the Ummah, once the public has full access to the Source code of the minimum viable product prototype, financial statements and how the funds have been spent.

Any Islamic project that wastes Islamic tokens as giveaways in exchange for some favorable reviews on Twitter or Facebook to push the Ummah to buy those Islamic tokens should be classified as Haram by Islamic asset-rating agencies to regulate scams and millions of dollars in losses involving the global Ummah could be saved.

Such a solution is surely not perfect and there are still high risks for Muslim investors contributing at an early stage as too much funding might be allocated for huge marketing expenses such as bounty during the Stage 2 funding process.

Furthermore, the management of the project should inform the public on how many tokens have been allocated to each advisor and when they are able to sell them. Any Islamic ICO project that allocates to the founders 10–30% and permits their founders to sell within three to 12 months after the official listings on an international crypto exchange should be subjected to a criminal investigation with the freezing of all assets.

The only solution is to make additional guarantees for Muslim investors according to the milestones in the project’s road map, while creating a minimum viable product and a dynamic Shariah compliant token economy.

When investing in Islamic-linked ICO tokens according to this solution, we will certainly not see sharp crashes in token prices as the price of Islamic tokens cannot fall below the sum in smart contract reserves. Once a bigger part of the Islamic crypto space start using this business model, the market of Islamic cryptocurrencies will be able to show a stable and balanced growth.

At this moment, with most Islamic-linked blockchain projects, the management team and advisors’ eff orts are mainly focused on raising funds (other people’s money) and not on the creation of an Islamic blockchain project with original ideas that could greatly benefit the Ummah.

Irwan Shah Abdullah @ Wolfgang Holzem is CEO of eHalal Group and the the former Founder of He can be contacted at

This article first appeared on Islamic Finance News.

The current challenges in the Islamic initial coin offering (ICO) market PDF File

“Experience Halal Travel in Berlin: Enjoy Baklava & Dried Fruits at Adlon Kempinski”

Ever heard of Halal Travel?  No population group in the world is growing faster than that of Muslims and now the tourism industry is adapting to the new target group – also in Europe

With its sweet and juicy baklava, dates and dried Fruits from the Arabic welcome treatment, the view of the Brandenburg Gate at Pariser Platz can be embellished in the suite of the “Adlon Kempinski Berlin“.

An Arabic transmitter is quietly playing in the background, the Koran is at hand, the prayer mat too. An arrow shows the right Kiblat to the person praying.

Refreshments are waiting in the minibar, but no alcohol – if you get hungry, you can order food with confidence, there is also halal food here. No population group worldwide is growing faster than that of Muslims and the tourism industry is taking on the new target group with halal-friendly trips.

“Halal” describes according to Islamic law “all things or actions that are permitted, in contrast to haram”, says professor Jamal Malik from the Institute for Religious Studies at the University of Erfurt. This means compliance with Islamic dietary regulations, the waiver of pork and animals that are not properly slaughtered, but can also relate to the entire lifestyle and is “to a certain extent a matter of interpretation” due to various legal schools.

This includes praying to Mecca five times a day, following dress codes such as wearing headscarves, and refraining from alcohol, drugs and extramarital sex.

“Customers no longer want to compromise”

Those who live according to Islamic rules also value halal services when traveling. No matter whether on a business or city trip, a wellness weekend or a beach vacation. Like the “Adlon Kempinski Berlin”, more and more hotels across Germany are trying to reach the target group – also because the so-called “Halal Travel” market is exploding:

According to the “Muslim Millennial Travel Report” (2018), the number of Muslim travelers will be close to 160 million and the numbers are rising.

By 2020, the new jet setters are expected to spend $ 220 billion annually, by 2026 it should be $ 300 billion. The growing interest in halal-friendly travel is also due to the rapidly growing group of young and affluent Muslims.

By 2030, almost 30 percent of the worl s population will be Muslims between the ages of 15 and 29. While globetrotters with an interest in halal offers have so far mostly come from rich oil countries such as Saudi Arabia, demand is now increasing in countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia, where the middle class is growing. “But the second and third generation of Muslims in Europe also want to make nice trips,” says Malik.

“With the new purchasing power, customers have become more demanding and don’t want to compromise anymore,” says Ufuk Seçgin from the booking portal
Seçgin, who was born in Hamburg with Turkish roots and has lived in London for 16 years, knows the dilemma himself. “When I travel, I’d like to go to a chic star restaurant, and I don’t always fancy Turkish cuisine. “In the meantime, many British restaurateurs in London have prepared themselves for Muslim guests from home and abroad, while hip bars are expanding their cocktail menu with non-alcoholic alternatives and leisure organizers such as “Muslim History Tours” offer sightseeing trips with a focus on British Muslim history. For many cities, tourism associations, tour operators or hoteliers there is a lucrative potential.
Prayer rugs in the room and corresponding culinary offers are just the beginning and for many people, halal travel begins with the arrival of the appropriate food on the plane or even prayer rooms on board and at airports, continues with leisure activities and ends with the quiet place.
“It is comMy in the Muslim world to clean yourself with water after going to the toilet,” says Seçgin. “Anyone who adapts to this as a hotelier with special sanitary facilities really serves a great demand.” to introduce Halal ERP/SCM solutions on the African Continent

eHalal Group today announced the expansion of its ERP/SCM software solutions to the African continent, with focus on member countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

The Software as a Service (SaaS) will be available to companies in Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia and Uganda free of charge .

“Africa is the home of more than 550 million Muslims, and the continent would benefit greatly from the introduction of an efficient Halal supply chain management and compliance system. seeks to offer a globally Halal Standardized Certification System and the establishment of a uniform regulatory framework.” said Irwan Shah Bin Abdullah, the Chief Technology Officer of eHalal Group.

The localization of eHalal ERP/SCM has been completed in English, Arabic, French, Portuguese and will be launched in the ECOWAS region with the hope on teaming up with local partners in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Mali, Niger and Senegal.

The launch of eHalal Network in West Africa, will also open training and career opportunities to African’s in the Information Technology and Supply Chain sector throughout the African Halal supply chain.

Malaysia’s Halal Crisis with JAKIM

In Malaysia today, halal practices, or those that adhere to Islamic law, are deeply important for increasingly devout Muslims, who make up more than 60 percent of the population. The country’s Department of Islamic Development, known by its Malay acronym JAKIM, is the sole statutory halal certifier although it has neither fully operational forensic laboratories nor experienced staff, despite having enormous and mostly arbitrary power.

Industry figures have told Asia Sentinel the agency is deeply corrupt, with bribes routinely charged to certify establishments and products as halal and with a long string of other problems that endanger the entire process of what should be serious attention to religious requirements but which has none of those characteristics.

One of the casualties is the Malaysia n Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC), established in 2006 to take over halal certification from JAKIM and promote Malaysia n halal products internationally. But in 2009 JAKIM, under mysterious circumstances, took back complete halal certification from the HDC and put it into a newly established department called the Halal Hub Division.

The HDC then morphed into a White elephant operation focused on spending hundreds of millions developing warehousing facilities in what were called Halal Parks with few functions. All of these, like the Labuan Halal Complex, have few or no tenants. Asia Sentinel visited the Perlis Halal Park in Padang Besar recently and found it mainly empty except for a tenant using the park as a staging point to smuggle goods in and out of Thailand. The rest of the HDC’s activities involve organizing exhibitions as an event manager.

Traditionally in Malaysia , stalls, eateries, and restaurants were known to be halal through word of mouth. The surroundings and Islamic symbols on the walls with signs saying “bertanggung halal” were enough assurance. These businesses relied on community recognition. Any premises suspected of not being halal would just be boycotted by locals. It’s only been in the last decade that authorities have been pushing small businesses to seek halal registration.

Today, only a small fraction of Malay sole proprietors and SMEs have gained halal certification. In addition, only a small proportion of international hotels and resorts have halal registration. SME owners and food and beverage managers of hotels say the major barrier to gaining halal registration is money. For many sole proprietors and SMEs who ran traditional businesses, the on-site infrastructure requirements were prohibitive and Way beyond their financial means.

A dark side to the halal certification process has cropped up, however, for a process millions of Malaysia ns take very seriously but know very little about. SME proprietors and F&B managers told Asia Sentinel that JAKIM officials routinely request cash payments above the statutory fees in order to guarantee registration.

In addition, they say, Municipal Councils and the fire department also request cash payments above statutory fees to issue the necessary documents required by JAKIM in halal product and premises applications. According to one F&B manager, this practice is not just carried out by a few rogue officers. It appears endemic. One officer, the manager said, brought out his immediate superior to negotiate the payment.

In another case, a Muslim Lebanese butcher was setting up a halal choice meat cut butchery in Kuala Lum for retail and distribution. A JAKIM official requested a RM50,000 payment for registration. Due to the company’s policy of not paying bribes due to the firm’s religious moral philosophy, investment in Malaysia was immediately aborted.

Some SMEs have tried to circumvent the issue of corruption through hiring consultants or brokers who don’t have technical or religious backgrounds but rather, as one proprietor put it, seem to be “sleazy hustlers” to “facilitate” the process.

Companies have found bucking the system by complaining only leads to drastic consequences, like have their operating licenses suspended and being put out of business.

Some JAKIM officers, the purveyors say, are arrogant and refuse to assist in the registration process, leading to a backlash against certification. The high rate of application rejection is discouraging firms to apply, they say, leading to a black market in rented halal certificates, or even bogus logos, now in epidemic proportions that JAKIM can’t handle. As a consequence, 60 percent of halal registrations in Malaysia are to non-Muslim multinational companies.

JAKIM doesn’t have its own compliance officers on the ground, relying on officers from the Ministry of Domestic Trade to assist. With Domestic Trade officers focusing on their own agendas such as price control, the whole halal regulatory system in Malaysia is undermined. Yet JAKIM’s overzealous actions over incorrect reports made by other parties have led to brand damage.

JAKIM is using the halal certification system to impose its ideas and opinions on the Malaysia n community. Just recently alcohol-free beer has been banned in Malaysia , even though these products are widely distributed and sold throughout the rest of the Muslim world and available even in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. McDonalds Malaysia doesn’t allow customers to bring in cakes that have not been certified halal by JAKIM. Words like ‘chicken ham’, ‘beef bacon’, and ‘chicken char siew’ are not allowed to be used on products certified by JAKIM, even though similar culturally derived food names are certifiable in other countries . JAKIM determines its own standards and opinions about the definition of halal without any recourse to appeal their rulings.

The success and credibility of the agency’s handling of Malaysia ’s halal certification system are at stake with 90 percent of Malaysia ’s companies outside the scheme. Research indicates that there is a public trust problem with certification, compromising the integrity of the whole halal system.

In order to keep up with the developing sophistication of the international halal trade, JAKIM’s halal certification process requires some innovation to assist Malaysia n companies develop a competitive edge. At present, JAKIM’s certification lacks the supply chain tracking element that Thai exporters have perfected, called Hal-Q, and which leads the world with its Halal Science Centre at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, established in 1994.

The center focuses on developing standards, a haram (forbidden in Islam) ingredient detection system for certification purposes, halal food production system development with a Halal-GMP-HACCP framework, and developing consumer information systems through Apps, as well as general halal research. The Hal-Q system has not just been widely accepted by Muslim businesses in Thailand but has been taken onboard as an industry standard by many multinational food manufacturers in Thailand.

In addition, many Arab and European countries have also adopted this system and come to Thailand for training on Halal logistic management, putting Thailand more than a decade in Advance of any system Malaysia has to offer. This has enabled Thailand to become one of the foremost Halal food manufacturers in the region today.

JAKIM could look at coupling halal certification with Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) and ethical business ratings, such as Tawhid compliance. Tawhid compliance would take into consideration issues far in excess of supply chain management such as management practices, employee exploitation, sustainable production, community flow-downs, and other ethical issues related to business. At the same time, there could be a special certification recognizing the issues related to sole proprietors and small businesses.

In addition to the corruption issues, JAKIM as a certification monopoly has many shortfalls. Staff are viewed as unfriendly. The online application portal doesn’t work most of the time, making applications very difficult for firms domiciled outside Kuala Lumpur . State-level accredited halal certifiers are needed to facilitate easier application and processing. The Halal Hub Division should be made independent, with JAKIM playing more of an appeal and arbitration role for aggrieved applicants.

There needs to be more science put behind the halal process such as the development of standards and enhancing detection techniques, along with much more open public policy discussion. The current method of enforcement relying on the Ministry of Domestic Trade and local government needs rethinking.

However, the major issue in the short-term which is directly related to the whole integrity of the halal application process is eliminating all types of bribery and corruption. A halal certificate issued with a bribe involved under Islam is not halal. The Malaysia n Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) needs to make an investigation of JAKIM’s Halal Hub Division one of the highest priorities to ensure the integrity of Malaysia ’s halal certification system.