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Sunday, 26 March 2006

Newsletter 0072

This week's issue is kindly sponsored by

Kelly's Distributors

لسلام عليكم





The CCN Who's Who

Featuring a Queensland Personality-of-the-Month






Best Wishes



On behalf of the Crescents Community, CCN makes dua for Amina Adam who underwent a recent operation. The procedure went off smoothly and Amina is recovering well, inshaAllah.


Shabire Elias asks you to please make dua for his father who had a heart problem recently and had to subsequently undergo an operation to get a pace maker inserted for his heart. His father is 85 years old. Make dua also that Allah ta Ala continue to give him long life.


Young Muslim women wear 'Aussie hijab'

Sadia Ali, 20, knows her Australian flag headscarf might be confronting to some Australians, but that's the point.


The Somali-Australian was one of five young women from refugee families who nervously modelled the "Australian hijab" on the streets of Northcote in Melbourne for Tuesday's national Harmony Day.


Since the Cronulla riots, she had felt more fearful on the streets in general, Sadia said.


But she would not let that stop her using the powerful symbol to grab attention and make people aware that her dual identities as Muslim and Australian could happily co-exist.


Sadia said the Aussie flag had been hijacked and used as a symbol of division during the Cronulla riots, "to make it look like it's theirs, not ours".

"But the flag represents the whole nation," she said.

"Everyone has the right to carry the Australian flag and be proud of it.

"I just wanted to show the Australian public that I'm a Muslim and Australian, I don't want the two to be divided."


Harmony Day, which coincides with the United Nations International Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination, encourages Australians to appreciate our multicultural society and recommit to common values of universal respect and goodwill.


"When people get to know each other as people and break away from the stereotypes they have about different races and different cultures, they drop the prejudices they have," Northern Migrant Resource Centre's Hutch Hussein said at the community lunch - incorporating halal food, fatayer Lebanese pizza and Anzac biscuits - and modelling session.


Twelve-year-old Idil Mohamud, who was born in Australia to Somali parents, said she was aware of negative attitudes towards Muslims in Australia, but had never personally suffered racism.


"Australia is very tolerant of different countries and cultures - only a minority are racist, not a majority," she said.

"I don't think about it much."


Prime Minister John Howard made headlines last month when he rejected calls from government backbenchers to ban the hijab, but said most Australians found the head-to-toe garment worn by some Muslim women, the burqa, confronting.

"I don't believe that you should ban wearing headscarfs, but I do think the full garb is confronting and that is how most people feel," he told Southern Cross Broadcasting.


"Now, that is not meant disrespectfully to Muslims because most Muslim women, a great majority of them in Australia, don't even wear headscarfs and very few of them wear the full garb."


The outdoor photo shoot in a neighbourhood with many immigrants didn't attract too much notice, Sadia said, although she received a thumbs down, while a motorist reacted with anger that could have been racism or just road rage when the young women lingered crossing the road.


Back inside, Sadia said she hoped the trend of wearing a flag hijab caught on, while Idil said she would wear the flag again on special occasions, such as sporting events.


"Just because I'm Muslim doesn't mean I can't use the flag as a symbol," she said.





Bosses to be urged to hire Muslims
BOSSES will be urged to hire Muslims under a scheme to prevent young Islamic men becoming radicalised.

The plan will involve the departments of Employment and Immigration and Multicultural Affairs in conjunction with an arm of Prime Minister John Howard's Muslim Community Reference Group, According to The Australian newspaper.

The plan will aim to tackle unemployment within Muslim hotspots in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth through workplace programs.

The plan is outlined in the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs' draft national action plan, obtained by the Australian.

Employment Minister Kevin Andrews said the plan, called Better Connections, would not be limited to Muslims but would be part of 33 workshops his department would run to target high unemployment rates in parts of Australia.

Parliamentary secretary to the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Andrew Robb, was quoted as saying that meaningful employment "denies the opportunity for extremists to get a toehold".



(L-R) Mohammed Rafiq, Abdul Jalal; Bob Atkinson, and Ahmed Khan.

The ISD presented the Queensland Police with a plaque recognizing the

good relations between the organizations

The "Marshall's" In Town (by invitation)

In a typical Western, when the Marshall rode into town it was usually to restore law and order amongst the gun slinging Cowboys and Indians. 


Last night (Saturday 25 March) the script was somewhat different.


The Islamic Society of Darra (ISD) instead invited the Police Commissioner, his assistants and several politicians, dignitaries and guests to a sumptuous banquet at the Darra Mosque.


It was an occasion for thanking the Commissioner and his force for their co-operation and consideration to the Muslim community over the years .

Mohammed Rafiq, PRO for the ISD, was Master of Ceremonies for the night.


Dr Mohammed Abdallah opened proceedings with a talk on the convergence of Shariah and Australian values.


Minister of Health, Stephen Robertson,  Democratic Senate Leader, Andrew Bartlett, President of the Islamic Council of Queensland, Abdul Jalal, and the Brisbane City Council representative then addressed the guests.


This was followed by Queensland's Commissioner of Police, Bob Atkinson, who thanked the community for their part in maintain cordial relations with the police and his Cross Cultural Liaison Officer, Jim Bellos, for the sterling work that he was doing.


Ahmed Khan, President of ISD, rounded off the night's formalities by citing the instance when the police, and Jim Bellos, in particular, ever mindful of and sensitive to Muslim religious practices, expedited the burial of a local resident by cutting through bureaucratic red tape and getting the body buried within 24 hours.


Jim Bellos (left) accepting a plaque from Mohammed Rafiq

Our Man-on-the-Mussallaah rated the night's organization very, very highly and the food and presentation even more so. Well done to all concerned. It was an excellent exercise in bridge building.

Ignorance rules our knowledge of Islam
By Debra Jopson
March 20, 2006

MORE than one in three Australians admit to knowing nothing about Islam and its followers, a study has found.

When people were asked to demonstrate what they did know, the proportion that revealed complete ignorance of the practices and beliefs of Muslims was even higher.

The findings are from a study carried out by Kevin Dunn, a geographer at the University of NSW, published in Studia Islamika, the Indonesian journal for Islamic studies.

Understanding of the religion was so poor among some of the 1311 people surveyed that one person claimed Muslims believed in Buddha.

Those with the least knowledge and personal contact with Muslims were the most likely to feel threatened by Islam, said Dr Dunn, who was commissioned by the Australia-Indonesia Institute to carry out the study.

"Intolerant" and "fundamentalist" were the most common stereotypes, cited by about a quarter of those surveyed. About one in 10 also considered Muslims to be misogynist, fanatical, militant or alien in some way.

Even among the six in 10 people who professed to know something about Islam, many beliefs were misrepresentations of the religion, he said.

Most Australians do not know any Muslims, but those who do are generally richer, well educated and male. Dr Dunn said it was impressive that two in five people said they knew "a few" Muslims and at least one in 10 could name Allah, Muhammad or the Koran when asked about Islamic beliefs.

The research showed that contact with Muslims could have dramatic and positive effects in fighting intolerance.

"These rates of ignorance are very strong and one wonders why they haven't generated stronger levels of antipathy and inter-communal tension than we have had," Dr Dunn said.

"I suspect that's because of some strong strains of tolerance within the Australian community we have found in other research."


- Muslims make up 1.5 per cent of the population.
- About 3.4 per cent of Sydneysiders are Muslim.
- Thirty-six per cent of Muslims in Australia were born here.
- Ten per cent were born in Lebanon; 8 per cent in Turkey.

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics




Muslims Donate Toward Cyclone Victims

The newly structured Muslim Business Network raised its profile a significant notch this week by being amongst the first of the organizations to donate towards the Premier's Disaster Relief Appeal Fund.


The fund was set up in the wake of the devastation caused by Cyclone Larry in North Queensland during the week.


The MBN Executive Committee handed over a $10 000 cheque to Queensland's Deputy Premier, Ana Bligh, at the Sunnybank Hills Commonwealth Bank.


MBN President, Hanief Khatree, said that the Committee raised the money with a few phone calls in less than an hour. "We have a double obligation: firstly to our fellow Australians and secondly as Muslims it's our duty to help anyone in need, " he said.


The children of the Brisbane Muslim School raised $2 500 amongst themselves within a few days and handed the money over to Minister Gary Hardgrave.


South Africa - Radio / TV Stations on the Internet




I-Care Camp

Qld I-Care Inc.  will be holding a Multi-Faith Camp at Camp Maranatha on the Sunshine Coast and invites Muslim High School students to attend the camp.  The camp will be held on April 28th to May 1st and will include flying foxes and abseiling as well as interfaith dialogue and a leadership program.  The cost has not been finalised at this stage, but will be around the $60 mark for 4 days of fun and activities.


The camp is limited to 30 Muslim students, as the other places will be taken by high school students of other denominations.  For further information you can contact Yasmin Khan on 0419 025 510, or email bilkees@bigpond.net.au


CCN 'Nets' Families Together

Ifham Samsudeen, who lives in Melbourne, discovered the Crescents of Brisbane website and took a long shot at sending CCN an email asking if we knew of a Dr. Adel El-Mezin and family whom they had not seen for some 18 years.


"We had been close friends of Dr. Adel El-Mezin and family and have been desperately trying to get in touch with them for a while now", he wrote.


Off course CCN obliged accordingly by passing on the email to the El-Mezins and by all accounts contact has been restored and friendship resumed.





I am, you are, we are Australian

- with or without religion

- an exploration of our Australian Values




Thursday, 30th March, 2006, 10.30am to 12.30pm or so,

Library Seminar Room, University of the Sunshine Coast



Sensei Barry Farrin      -    Forestway Zen Buddhism

Janette Hashemi         -    Islamic Society of the Sunshine Coast

Father Brian Taylor      -    Caloundra Catholic Parish

Rabbi John Cooper      -    Jewish Council of the Sunshine Coast

Dr. Phillip Mahnken      -    University of the Sunshine Coast


For further information contact: Janette Hashemi

Co ordinator, Sunshine Coast Interfaith Network 5496 0332


CCN Competition

First correct entry drawn from the CCN Inbox that scores the full 100 points will receive a Nandos Fiesta voucher.


Email your entry by midday Saturday 1 April (which date should give you some clue as to the nature of the questions).


What do coffee beans, torpedoes, surgical scalpels, arches and observatories all have in common?
Were Leonardo da Vinci’s flight ideas originals?
Who devised the casing for pill capsules and where did Fibonacci learn to flex his mathematical fingers?


The Islamic contribution to the science, culture and heritage of our modern world is often forgotten. From coffee to cheques and the three-course meal, the Muslim world has given us many innovations that we take for granted in daily life.

Each week, over the next few weeks, CCN will bring you an invention inspired by the Islamic World.


The Origin of Coffee

The story goes that an Arab named Khalid was tending his goats in the Kaffa region of southern Ethiopia, when he noticed his animals became livelier after eating a certain berry. He boiled the berries to make the first coffee. Certainly the first record of the drink is of beans exported from Ethiopia to Yemen where Sufis drank it to stay awake all night to pray on special occasions. By the late 15th century it had arrived in Mecca and Turkey from where it made its way to Venice in 1645. It was brought to England in 1650 by a Turk named Pasqua Rosee who opened the first coffee house in Lombard Street in the City of London. The Arabic qahwa became the Turkish kahve then the Italian caffé and then English coffee




Taking the Climb: Expressions of Interest

(Don't be a Sunday slouch - tog up 'n come on out!)


In addition to the on-going programme, CresFit4Life is organizing a dusk climb of the Storey Bridge within the next few weeks. Parties of 12 and more get a 10% discount.



If you would like to take on this two and a half hour trip to the top and back email theteam@crescentsofbrisbane.org.


Find out more about the climb at www.storybridgeadventureclimb.com.au


A Word From Our Sponsors



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The best ideas and the best feedback come from our community of readers. If you have a topic or opinion that you want to write about or want seen covered or any news item that you think might be of benefit to the Crescents Community please e-mail theteam@crescentsofbrisbane.org.


Share your thoughts, feelings and ambitions for our community through CCN.


If there is someone you know who would like to subscribe to CCN please encourage them to send an e-mail to theteam@crescentsofbrisbane.org with the words “Subscribe Me” in the subject line.


Articles and opinions appearing in this newsletter do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Crescents of Brisbane team, CCN, its Editor or its Sponsors.