Muhammed Shafiq, son of Shenaz and FaisalSuleman, and Jameela, daughter of Saeeda Vorajee and Rashid Omarjee this week announced their intention to get married.
Both Muhammed Shafiq and Jameela are currently studying pharmacy at the University of Queensland.
CCN wishes them all the very best for the future, inshaAllah.
............. our Man-on-the-Mussallaah has got wind of other couples who, likewise, have successfully negotiated the Expression of Interest hurdle, and these will also be duly reported on, inshaAllah
Weekend Camp Trip
The Islamic Council of Queensland is hosting the United Islamic Camp at Camp Bornhoffen. The camp is for Muslim Brothers and Sisters aged 16 years and older, only.
It will be held from Friday 3 March 2006 to Sunday 5 March 2006. The cost is $95 per person and includes transport, food and accommodation. Activities include high ropes, canoeing, abseiling, bushwalking, camp fire and many others. Separate activities and accommodation will be provided for males and females.
South African cricket boss Gerald Majola has threatened to boycott future tours of Australia if the racial abuse of the Proteas continues.
"It is very serious and if it continues, yes, we would look very seriously about whether we return here for another series," Majola said.
He was on a short visit to Perth to support the national team against Sri Lanka in the VB Series.
"It is not right when a country has a history like ours," he said. "It is something that we never thought we would hear about. The sad thing is it has continued around Australia. It hasn't just been limited to one state or one city."
In Perth during the first test in December, Makhaya Ntini, Garnett Kruger, Herschelle Gibbs and Ashwell Prince were abused at the Waca test ground by sections of the crowd who used the word "k****r". Some white players like Shaun Pollock and André Nel were called "k****r boetie".
Security was beefed up at the Waca for the match as Australian officials were desperate to avoid a repeat.
Western Australia Cricket Association chief executive Tony Dodemaide said any spectator found to be racially abusing a player would be thrown out.
"It's a very sensitive issue and there's no place in society for racism. We understand the nature of the issue because Australia has a very sensitive past in regards to that as well."
Graeme Smith demanded an apology after the Perth incident, but the taunts continued at all three tests. Kruger, Gibbs and Prince were abused at the Gabba ahead of the first VB Series one-day international earlier this month.
Although those culprits were identified, nothing was done. During that match, a fan who abused Pollock was thrown out.
Ironically, it seems the abuse stems from expatriate South Africans who shouted in Afrikaans.
Smith also made a point of saying how much pleasanter it had been for the South Africans in their matches against Sri Lanka.
The racist abuse all seems part of the general conduct of some of the home supporters when their beloved Australian team is under pressure.
On a lighter note, Majola said he had been encouraged by the performance of the team and was full of praise for the youngsters in the squad.
"Many of them have put their hands up and I've been particularly impressed by Johan van der Wath."
Brains not Body Criteria for Tatarstan "Miss Muslim"
"You can be a Muslim and still do whatever you want as long as it is moral and respectable," said Sadiqova.
By Damir Ahmed, IOL Correspondent
MOSCOW , January 21, 2006 (IslamOnline.net) – Morality and impressive knowledge of Islam and other subjects were the basic criteria for choosing Dilar Sadiqova as "Miss Muslim" in the eastern European country of Tatarstan.
"I decided to take part in the competition to convey the message that you can be a Muslim and still do whatever you want as long as it is moral and respectable," Sadiqova told reporters after her acceptance speech.
"Thus, non-Muslims can have an undistorted vision of our religion," added the 17-year-old high school student, who wishes to become a school teacher.
There was no room in the competition for girls in swimsuits as seen in traditional beauty pageants, but only modestly-dressed and hijab-donned girls in demure smiles, the organizers told IslamOnline.net.
Brains and religiosity set the tone for the unprecedented contest in Tatarstan, where Muslims make up 60 percent of the country’s four million population.
The competition included Qur’an memorization and recitation tests, as well as a set of questions, testing the cultural knowledge of the 56 contesters.
They also took cooking and sewing tests for more points.
Only eight girls, aged 15-19, made it to the finals of the cut-throat competition.
The ceremony was held at the Celebrations Hall of the Grand Mosque in the capital city of Kazan . The audience were all females.
Saida Abukofa, the head of the jury, said the competition aims to encourage more Muslim girls who do not wear hijab to take on the Islamic dress code.
"They see their Muslim peers who wear hijab as beautiful, well-educated and religious," she added.
"We want to show that beauty has nothing to do with nudity and obscenity."
Under Islam, beauty contests in which women’s `awrah (parts of the body which should not be exposed in front of others) is uncovered, are prohibited.
Muslim scholars have called on Muslim countries to organize a "Miss Morality" competition to offset the increasing interest by Muslim nations in Western-styled beauty contests.
A report on the progress of SCIN by Sister Janette Hashemi
(L to R and top to bottom) Janette Hashemi, Wesley Jackson, Dr. Phillip Mahnken (lecturer languages USC), Marcus Bussey, Brian Taylor (Catholic Priest), Barry Farrin (Zen Buddhist)
Already the future is looking bright for interfaith dialogue on the Sunshine Coast. We have agreed to hold a symposium on the 30th March this year and meetings are underway for a National Interfaith Festival to be held in Maleny inshaAllah.
The Sunshine Coast Interfaith Network (SCIN) was formed in November 2002. Muslim, Christian, Jewish and Zen Buddhist religious representatives consult and co operate as the core management group. Janette Hashemi co ordinates and convenes meetings and symposiums and undertakes networking.
Last November, Wesley Jackson, a Muslim and a keen supporter of the Islamic Society of the Sunshine Coast, took the floor for our last forum with a paper on “The interaction between modern media and religion”. This was an open forum which concluded that the media is not altogether helpful in friendly religious harmony.
This year the core group of SCIN met on the 27th January to discuss our future. We agreed that SCIN should continue especially in the aftermath of the race riots in Sydney and the government’s emphasis on upholding “Australian Values”. After much lively discussion we agreed to hold a symposium on 30th March speaking on the topic “I am, you are, we are Australian, with or without religion, an exploration of our Australian Values”.
Then, much to my delight, the Cultural Planner at Maroochy Council recommended SCIN as a strong supporter for a National Interfaith Festival to be held at Maleny in 2007 inshaAllah. If we can successfully organize an Interfaith Festival it would be a dialogue boon for the very Christian fundamentalist Sunshine Coast.
Another boon to dialogue appeared in Pope Benedict’s recent encyclical where he encouraged religious dialogue and co operation with other religions particularly mentioning Islam.
We pray interfaith dialogue can result in a peaceful and harmonious pluralistic society.
At the Movies with CCN
Syriana is a political thriller that unfolds against the intrigues and corruption of the global oil industry. From the players' back-room brokering deals in Washington to the men toiling in the oil fields of the Persian Gulf, the film's multiple storylines weave together to illuminate the human consequences of the fierce pursuit of wealth and power.
As a career CIA operative, Bob Barnes (George Clooney) begins to uncover the disturbing truth about the work he has devoted his life to. An up-and-coming oil broker, Bryan Woodman (Matt Damon) faces an unimaginable family tragedy and finds redemption in his partnership with an idealistic Gulf prince, Nasir Al-Subaai (Alexander Siddig). A corporate lawyer, Bennett Holiday (Jeffrey Wright) faces a moral dilemma as he finesses the questionable merger of two powerful US oil companies, while across the globe, Wasim Ahmed Khan (Mazhar Munir), a disenfranchised Pakistani teenager, falls prey to the recruiting efforts of a charismatic cleric. Each plays a small part in the vast and complex system that powers the
industry, unaware of the explosive impact their lives will have upon the world.
Steven Spielberg's latest film, Munich, is a milestone in mainstream American culture. It tells the story of the 1972 Palestinian attack on Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics but focuses more on the aftermath – and Israel's response – than the massacre itself. Many prominent Jewish groups have condemned it while Spielberg, a self-confessed “pro-Israeli Jew,” says he made the film “out of love for both my countries, USA and Israel.”
The Washington Post's Charles Krauthammer reached dizzying heights of vitriol when he claimed that “Spielberg makes the Holocaust the engine of Zionism and its justification. Which, of course, is the Palestinian narrative.” He argued that such arguments were shared by Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and proved a new war against the Jews was upon us. Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz was similarly outraged and wrote that Spielberg confused cause and effect, damning him for claiming counterterrorism “only incites more terrorism, which in turn provokes reprisals.” Mark Baker, lecturer in terrorism at the University of Melbourne, was incensed that Spielberg had “created a flattened universe where there is no moral compass of right and wrong."
The triumph of Munich – and the work is not without its flaws – is a Hollywood film that confidently challenges the myth of Israeli moral superiority and its use of state-sanctioned terror. As Robert Fisk recently argued, any nation that embraced an “eye for an eye” ideology is bound to discover the immorality and uselessness of such actions. “The real enemy [in the conflict],” wrote Fisk, “is taking other people's land away from them.” Spielberg has allowed Palestinians, albeit far-too-briefly, the chance to talk about their longing for a homeland. Similar dreams, in fact, to many Jews the world over. Spielberg doesn't shy away from bestowing the “other” side with humanity, something that threatens accepted Zionist dogma.
Screenwriter Tony Kushner recently wrote that critics of the film – and advocates of shock and awe “diplomacy” – simply refuse to accept anything other than simple “morality tales”: noble and valiant Israelis versus evil and brutal Palestinians. As Hamas assumes control in the occupied territories – partly due to years of Israeli and US undermining secularism within the Palestinian movement – and former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu compares Hamas's victory to the rise of Nazism in 1930s Germany, Spielberg's plea for greater understanding could not be more timely.
Leaving Celebrity Status Behind Syed Faisal Ali, Arab News
MINA, 12 January 2006 — From a non-believer to a worshipper; from polytheist to monotheist; from Dileep Kumar to Allah Rakha Rahman, the famous music wizard has come a long way. This journey, he says, has completely changed his outlook toward life.
Rahman is well-known in India. He revolutionized Bollywood music, giving it a new direction. But in Mina, the man was spiritually charged, relaxing in his camp after Isha prayers, remarkably very far from the rhythm of success.
He said that in India’s film world, people change Muslim names to Hindu ones to get success but, “in my case it was just the opposite from Dileep Kumar to Allah Rakha Rahman — and I’m very proud of it.”
Rahman’s music is everywhere: in discotheques, in malls, at wedding parties, on satellite channels, in taxis. He is a celebrity in his own right. His face adorns the cover of every album he cuts. Autograph hunters hound him wherever he goes. A couple of companies have tried to lure him into product endorsements, but he refused, preferring to distance himself from the glare and the sometimes self-indulgent afterglow of fame.
Such was his attitude when Arab News met him yesterday in Mina after a hunt of five hours that had started just after Maghreb prayers.
Once a practitioner of idolatry, Rahman now talks about Islam like a scholar. He winced as he spoke about the ignorance of some Muslims and the divisions among them on trivial issues.
Rahman, who has come to perform his second Haj with his mother, utilized every bit of his stay in Mina, Arafat and Madinah in prayer and remembrance of God to “cleanse the inner self.”
He said Islam is a religion of peace, love, coexistence, tolerance and modernity. But due to the behavior of a few of us, it’s labeled as an intolerant orthodoxy. He says that the image of Islam is being tarnished by a small group of people and that Muslims must come forward to present before the world the correct picture of their divine faith.
“The enormity of their ignorance of the Islamic history and its code of conduct is mind-boggling. We should be united in fighting these elements for the cause of Islam,” he said.
“Muslims should go to lengths to follow the basics, which say ‘be kind to your neighbors, keep smiling when you meet others, pray and do charity.’ We should serve humanity. We should not show hostility toward others, even to the followers of other faiths. This is what Islam stands for. We should present before the world a model through our behavior, nature and presentation. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) never used his sword to spread Islam; rather he spread the religion through his virtues, behavior, tolerance and righteousness. And this is what is needed to change today’s distorted image of Islam.”
Talking about his Haj, Rahman said, “Allah made it very easy for us. And up until now, I have enjoyed every bit of my stay in the holy land and I pray to Allah to accept my pilgrimage.”
For him, the stoning ritual is a physical exercise that symbolizes internal struggle: “It means the defeat of temptation and killing the devil inside ourselves.”
“I would like to tell you that this year I got the most precious gift on my birthday, Jan. 6. Allah gave me the opportunity to confine myself inside the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah and pray all through the day. Nothing could match this experience and that too on my birthday; I am extremely delighted and thankful to Allah,” he said.
Rahman said that prayers release his tension and give him a sense of containment. He performs prayers despite heavy work pressure. “I am an artist, but despite tremendous work pressure I never skip prayers,” he said. “I am very punctual in offering the day’s all five prayers on time. This releases me from tension and gives me hope and confidence that the Lord is with me, that this is not the only world. It reminds me of the Day of Judgment.”
It was in the year 1989 that he and his family embraced Islam.
Talking about his reversion, Rahman said, “The whole process started with a sequence of dream. It was in 1988. I was in Malaysia and had a dream of an old man who was asking me to embrace Islam. For the first time, I did not take it seriously, but then I saw the same dream several times and I discussed it with my mother. She encouraged me to go ahead and to respond to the call of the Almighty. Also, in 1988, one of my sisters fell seriously ill and in spite of the family’s effort to cure her, her health deteriorated by the day. Then under the guidance of one Muslim religious leader we prayed to Allah, which did wonder for my sister and she made a miraculous comeback to life. Thus, began my journey from Dileep Kumar to A.R. Rahman.”
He said the decision to embrace Islam was a mutual one with his mother. Not one to normally discuss this aspect of his private life, after taking a pause, Rahman narrates succinctly, “My mother and I resolved to follow one faith ... we wanted to cleanse ourselves of our sorrows.”
After initial doubts, his three sisters also embraced Islam. For them he has tried to be a role model, he said. However, his eldest sister was divorced later.
Rahman began learning piano at the age of four. But life was not all that hunky-dory for the young boy who lost his father at the age of nine.
The responsibility of supporting his mother Kasturi (now Kareema Begum) and three sisters soon fell on his young shoulders. He began his prosperous musical career at age eleven out of necessity.
Rahman is married to Saira. They have three children: two girls, 10 and seven, and a three-year-old son.
Rahman performed his first Haj in 2004. This time, he is accompanying his mother.
“I wanted to bring my wife also for Haj this year, but since my son is only three years old, she could not make it. God willing, I will come again — next time with my wife and children,” Rahman said.
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