Islam alien to Chinese halal meat magnate

Updated 29 April 2016
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Islam alien to Chinese halal meat magnate

Qingtongxia, China: The founder of Sai Wai Xiang Halal Foodstuff Co. does not follow Islam, but still sells more than $50 million-worth of food to Muslims across Asia and the Middle East.
The company is at the forefront of a Chinese drive into the global halal food and beverage market.
Businessman Deng Zhijun bills his wares as “products with Muslim ethnic flavor,” but has difficulty recalling some of Islam’s basic dietary tenets.
“Muslims definitely don’t smoke and don’t drink alcohol,” he said over a lunch at the company, in a garden lined with caged peacocks, macaws and chickens. “There’s also some kind of meat they don’t eat, but I forgot.”
His half-knowledge is typical of China’s complicated relationship with Islam, which officially has more than 23 million adherents in the country. Some independent estimates put it as high as 50 million — which would put China among the world’s top 10 Muslim nations.
Deng’s company is based in Ningxia, a western region a third of whose six million population are Hui. The group are a separate minority under Beijing’s classification policies even though most are essentially from the Han ethnic majority, differentiated only by being Muslims.
The global halal food and beverage market is projected to grow to $1.6 trillion by 2018, up from $1.1 trillion in 2013.
There are concerns over how strictly halal standards are followed in China.
Last year, hundred of Muslims took to the streets in Xi’an to protest the sale of alcohol in halal restaurants. In Qinghai province a crowd destroyed a bakery after pork sausages and ham were found in its delivery trucks.
Such fears have an impact in potential export markets, and food safety scares are common in China, from gutter oil to milk powder.
The integrity of Chinese halal food was “questionable,” Miriam Abdul Latif, a professor of food science and a halal expert at the Malaysian University of Sabah, told AFP, citing examples of “fake halal documents or certificates.”
To build consumer trust, Latif said, Chinese companies should have their products inspected by certification bodies from Muslim countries.


Two killed, dozens injured in Gaza City rallies and clashes

Palestinians take part in a Hamas rally in the Gaza Strip’s Jabalia refugee camp on Dec. 8, 2017, against US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Israel deployed hundreds of additional police officers following Palestinian calls for protests after the main weekly Muslim prayers against US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. (AFP/Mohammed Abed)
Updated 09 December 2017
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Two killed, dozens injured in Gaza City rallies and clashes

GAZA CITY: Tens of thousands of Palestinians demonstrated in the Gaza Strip after the end of Friday prayers, while clashes broke out between hundreds of youths and Israeli forces along the border between Gaza and Israel. At least two Palestinians were killed and dozens injured.
The Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, staged military parades in which masked men wearing military uniforms carried rifles and ammunition. The participants chanted slogans condemning America’s recent recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and calling for a revolt to “liberate Jerusalem from occupation.”
Fathi Hammad, a member of the Hamas political bureau, told demonstrators in the northern Gaza Strip: “Today we declare an uprising against the occupation, and there are no half solutions.
“We call upon all the free people of the world to boycott America and Israel, and we call on the Arab and Islamic countries to take a serious stand and support our people.”
He added that a US Embassy in Jerusalem would be “an occupation entity like any other.”
He also called for the return of the Palestinian diaspora: “Isn’t it time for anyone who (has believed) in this alleged peace for more than a quarter of a century to return to embrace his people and to join us in the trench of resistance?”
In East Khan Younis in the south of the Gaza Strip, clashes broke out along the border with Israel. As Palestinian youths burned tires, Israeli forces reportedly responded with tear gas and live rounds. At least two Palestinians were killed and dozens were injured, some critically.
Senior Hamas official Ismail Radwan said during another march in Gaza City: “The Palestinian Authority must take urgent decisions, by declaring the failure of Oslo Accords and the end of that period, ending security coordination (with Israel) and permitting resistance in the West Bank.


“Hamas leaders declare the intifada for the freedom of the West Bank and Jerusalem, in response to President Trump’s decision,” he said. “Jerusalem will remain the capital of the state of Palestine.” 
“Trump’s decision ended any mediation role the United States could play in the political process, destroyed the peace process, and destroyed any talk about a deal to bring peace to the region,” Osama Al-Qawasmi, a Fatah spokesman, said in a statement.
Friday sermons in the Gaza Strip addressed the issue of Jerusalem and the American decision to transfer its embassy there, and urged the rejection of any attempt to harm “the sanctity of the city.” 
One of the protesters, Ahmed Al-Aksh, blamed “the weakness of the Palestinian people because of the division between Fatah and Hamas” for the US decision, “as well as the preoccupation of Arab countries with internal issues.”
Now, Al-Aksh said: “We must go out to the streets and face that decision.”​