Poor Muslim countries like blinkers, top boss says

Poor Muslim countries like blinkers, top boss says

ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
Poor Muslim countries like blinkers, top boss says

Muslim countries should not see each other as enemies, says Hisarcıkoğlu. AA photo

The world’s energy needs are met by its 57 Muslim countries, which account for 23 percent of the global population, but ironically these are also some of the world’s poorest countries, according to a report by the Economic and Social Research Education Center (SESRIC).

“It’s like we have blinkers. We look at each other as enemies. We built walls around the love we are supposed to feel for each other. We can’t put all the blame on political leaders,” said Rifat Hisarcıkoğlu, president of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB), referring to the fact that emerging Muslim countries are supposed to support one another.

Dr. Savaş Alpay, SESRIC’s director, said 69 percent of world’s oil reserves and 65 percent of the world’s natural gas supplies come from Muslim countries. Despite being energy suppliers for the world, the richest Muslim country is 220 times wealthier than the poorest Muslim country, a phenomenon that points to the wide gulf between the rich and poor Muslim countries.

“The World Bank only ranks seven out of 57 Muslim countries as high income earners,” said Hisarcıkoğlu, adding that 21 out of the world’s 49 underdeveloped countries are Muslim countries.

“Natural resources make governments wealthy, but don’t trickle down to the population and help with unemployment. Trade and enterprise are the only solutions to unemployment,” he said.