Sheikh Hamza Yusuf is an unusual figure in American Islam. He is an American-born, white convert who is deeply schooled in Islamic theology -- allowing him to easily bridge the gap of understanding between the West and Islam.
Yusuf was born Mark Hanson in Walla Walla, Wash. He became a Muslim in 1977 and studied for 10 years in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and North and West Africa. He has traveled around the world, giving talks on Islam.
Yusuf founded Zaytuna Institute, which has "established an international reputation for presenting a classical picture of Islam in the West and which is dedicated to the revival of traditional study methods and the sciences of Islam," according to his online biography.
Laurie Goodstein, religion reporter for The New York Times, compares Yusuf's communication skills to former President Clinton's.
He has that Clinton ability to focus in on whoever he's speaking to, look them directly in the eyes and make them feel like they are the only one in the room even though there might be 200 people in the room," she says.
John Esposito of Georgetown's Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding says Yusuf has been working on a project to translate key texts of Islam that are important to the Muslim community and that may also be of interest to non-Muslims.
Esposito says Yusuf has "put a lot of time into the whole area of education [and] access to information... to kind of say, 'Here are the true sources of your faith. That's what you should be looking to. Look to the Koran. The Koran has space for Christians and Jews. And you need to remember and affirm that. You also need to look at our classical texts, rather than the texts that come from the extremists or the terrorists.'"
Audio snippets also available at this site.
Working To Rule
A South African Judge in the town of Kimberley who refused to work after four in the afternoon scrapped 13 cases off the court roll. In the process two alleged rapists and an alleged robber were freed.
Magistrate K Padayachee's action allowed a rapist that police were looking for since 2000 to go free. Padayachee ruled that the 13 alleged criminals be freed when they hadn't appeared before her in court B (a transit court where first court appearances usually take place) by 16:00.
The others include a man accused of raping a 16-year-old girl, alleged stock thieves, an alleged robber and men accused of breaking into houses and cars. "The matter has been reported to the senior prosecutor and the director of public prosecutions.
In a League of their Own
by Ishqi Shuaib
The start of spring can only mean one thing…the start of the football finals and like most leagues around the country, the Flamin’ Grill Brisbane Islamic Soccer League finished off 2006 with a well fought out finals series.
During the season 13 rounds of games were played, and three clear favourites (MSA, Iraqi Stars and Tiger 11) emerged, cementing their places in the semi-finals. The fourth team to join them, Bosna only booked its place at the last round of the season just pipping Bafilamos to take that fourth spot.
The scene was set, top of the table MSA would take on Bosna in the first semi-final, while Iraqi Stars and Tiger 11 would battle in the second semi-final.
The finals were eventually fought out between Bosna and Tiger 11 with Bosna taking the shield with a 6-3 victory to become the 2006 Champions. MSA went home with the third place trophy while the Tiger 11 boys were rewarded with the Best and Fairest trophy.
Introducing the new Minister for Multicultural Affairs
The Premier of Queensland, Peter Beattie, announced Mrs Lindy Nelson-Carr, the Member for Mundingburra, as the new Minister for Environment and Multicultural Affairs.
Her CV reads as follows:
Lindy Nelson-Carr was elected to the seat of Mundingburra in 1998 and has served the electorate in that capacity since.
Lindy was the Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier in
North Queensland and Minister for Transport and Main Roads in the previous government.
She had a high profile in Parliament in her first term, holding membership in several committees, such as the Select Committee on Travelsafe, a number of Estimates Committees, including Chair, and a wide-ranging portfolio of Ministerial Legislative Committees.
In this role she was also the chair of the Premiers Labor Women's Caucus Committee. In 2001 Lindy was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Minister Assisting the Premier on Women's Policy and the co-chair of the Multicultural Women's Advisory Committee.
Lindy was formerly a high school teacher and guidance officer at Townsville State High School and Pimlico State High School. She holds a Master of Education, and has lectured in Human Relationships education at James Cook University and is a member of the Queensland Teachers Union and the AMIEU.
Lindy actively participates in her local community through her electorate activities and board memberships including Lifeline, JCU University Council and other regional bodies.
She and her husband Russell have a large blended family. Her interested include health, education, women's issues, social justice and equal opportunity.
MBN Exco to "Touch Base" with Membership
The Muslim Business Network has now been in existence for 6 months and during this time the Executive Committee has been busying itself with laying a solid foundation for the organization.
MBN will be hosting a General Meeting for its members and their guests at which it is hoped that the membership will become more involved with the activities of the organization and provide feedback to the Executive.
The General Meeting will be held on Wednesday 20 September at 6:30pm at the Brisbane Abruzzo Club. In addition to the Italian-styled dinner there will also be talks on Shariah compliant investments.
For more information send an email to the firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Yousuf Alikhan on 0401006430.
The CCN Inbox
Extract from a letter sent to the Editor of the City South News in Moreton:
At the same time as the Prime Minister of Australia was decrying Muslims for not having Australian values, hundreds of Islamic residents from Southern Brisbane were queuing up at the Red Cross to give blood. I was proud to sit alongside these energetic members of our community and make my small contribution. This flows on from the many other contributions they have made to the community this year, such as the funds raised for Cyclone Larry victims.
Tell us something we don't know, Google!
1- Go to Google
2- Type in the word "Failure"
3- Instead of clicking "Google Search," click "I'm Feeling Lucky."
Do this before Google gets wind of what this results in.
Couple of CCN Chuckles
An Israeli recently arrived at London's Heathrow Airport. After he filled out the usual landing card, the immigration officer asks him a few questions: Name? Age? Occupation?
To the last question, the Israeli promptly replies: "No, just visiting".
A woman accompanied her husband to the doctor's office.
After his check-up, the doctor called the wife into his office alone. He said, "Your husband is suffering from a very severe stress disorder. If you don't follow my instructions carefully, your husband will surely die.
"Each morning, fix him a healthy breakfast. Be pleasant at all times. For lunch make him a nutritious meal. For dinner prepare an especially nice meal for him.
"Don't burden him with chores. Don't discuss your problems with him; it will only make his stress worse. Do not nag him. Most importantly, make love to him regularly.
"If you can do this for the next 10 months to a year, I think your husband will regain his health completely."
On the way home, the husband asked his wife, "What did the doctor say?"
"He said you're going to die," she replied.
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The CCN Classifieds
2 x gym contracts for sale at Club BJS (Kessels Rd, Mt Gravatt). Contracts last up to early February 2007 with a hold available for Ramadaan (so no charge and the contract will roll into February). The cost of a 3 month contract is $78 per month but I will sell this at the price I pay of $55 per month.
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