The 2010 Annual General Meeting of the World Halaal Council (WHC) took place in Istanbul, Turkey between the 29th of September and the 3rd of October 2010. The session began on the 29th of September with an executive committee meeting attended by Hafez Moorad Booley of the National Independent Halaal Trust (NIHT) who is an executive member of the World Halaal Council as well. The deliberations of the Excom meeting centered on the upcoming AGM as well as issues relating to membership and new applications. A number of technical and Shariah issues were presented as well. The goal of World Halaal Council (WHC) is to establish a unified Halaal standard worldwide.
GIMDES, the Turkish hosts of this year’s AGM also hosted their 3rd Annual Halaal Conference on the 30th of September. The conference was well attended and a host of speakers delivered interesting papers on various topics related to Halaal foods and cosmetics. Most notably, the talk on Halaal and genetically modified plants and animals drew much attention from delegates. The paper delivered was by a renowned Turkish scientist Dr Halim Aydin. With the advanced use of cloning and genetic modification of various vegetables, fruits, animals, birds and fish, Shariah (Islamic Law) needs to be considered and attention and prudent investigation of the facts should be undertaken. The cloning of the various species has left Islamic scholar’s seeking Fatwa (edicts) on the permissibility of these animals. Whilst the animals are slaughtered Halaal, cognizance needs to be taken of the origins of these animals. The dilemma being faced is not only a religious one but a moral one as well. The various role players in the World Halaal Council (WHC) must undertake continuous and serious investigation into these matters. The need of establishing a seed bank for developing Islamic countries was also discussed.
The AGM of the WHC began on the 1st of October 2010 with delegates being welcomed by the then incumbent president, Brother Lukamul Hakim of Indonesia. Various reports submitted and delivered by different committees of the WHC. These included the Shariah Committee, under the chairmanship of Moulana Abdul Wahab Wookay (SA), membership committee under sister Yasmina Ben-Koubia (Netherlands), the technical committee under Dr Al-Absy (USA). A number of resolutions where presented and deliberated, however, no resolutions were accepted due to various technical and practical difficulties experienced.
This year also saw the election of the new Secretary General of the organization, a post that was held by Abdur Rahman Linzag (Philippines) for the last three years. Lukmanul Hakim (Indonesia) was elected as the new Secretary General, with South African Sheik Thaffier Najjaara (SAHUC) elected as Honorable President.
A number of organizations that have previously not attended World Halaal Council meetings were attending for the first time this year. These included delegates from India, Pakistan, Spain, Italy, Colombia, Switzerland and France. Delegates from these countries expressed their interest in seeking membership of the organization, making this organization a truly united nation of Muslim certifiers. More than 68 delegates from almost 40 countries were represented in Turkey. One of the highlights of the days spent in the country was a visit to the first Halaal Food and Cosmetic Exhibition to be held in Turkey. A number of Halaal certified Turkish companies proudly exhibited their products.