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Breaking Bread with Al-Nisa
The Al-Nisa Women’s Group hosted its first iftar at Michael’s Oriental for friends and family, Muslims and non-Muslims.
The Hon Gary Hardgrave, Hon Judy Spence and Ms Desley Scott were some of the dignitaries present.
Also in attendance were representatives from Queensland Police, Multicultural Affairs Queensland, Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland, Multicultural Development Association, National Council for Women, Soroptimist International, Believing Women for a Culture of Peace, and the Tarragindi Uniting Church.
Recognizing the importance of sharing this special month with non-Muslims, The Al-Nisa Women’s Executive Committee, consisting of Susan Al-Maani, Nora Amath-Rane, Faiza El-Higzi, Rubana Moola and Shameem Rane, organised the iftar in the hope that the audience will gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of fasting, and in turn of Islam. And they successfully did that last night.
Nora Amath-Rane, gave the key-note address before iftar, sharing with the audience the meaning of Ramadhan, elucidating on the physical, social and spiritual significance of this great month.
The non-Muslim audience were then given a glimpse of the maghrib congregational prayer, led by Saaid Salie.
An explanation of the prayer was provided by Faiza El-Higzi, President of the Al-Nisa’ Executive Committee, who inspired the audience with a very warm and humorous address.
Reflecting on Ramadhan, Ismail Moola, Salam El-Merebi, Yasmin Abdel-Maguied and Emad Soliman shared their own personal stories and experiences with a very appreciative audience.
Although the formal part of the program got the non-Muslim audience thinking, it was the informal part that got them talking. Rubana Moola, the MC passed the microphone around the room and solicited questions and comments from the audience. The majority of the comments focused on the need for more initiatives like this, so as to build better relations. The themes of peace, respect, social justice and understanding were echoed by all in the room.
With laughs, hugs, and handshakes aplenty in the Warrigal Room at Michael’s last night, you would not have been wrong in assuming that there is real strength in diversity. As one enthusiastic prominent Muslim commented, “Let this be the start of something big. I can’t wait for the al-Nisa iftar’ next year.”
Eidfest2006: Whetting your appetite
If you missed out on what Items 1, 2 and 3 were, click here
Nobel Peace Prize for banker to the poor
Muhammad Yunus, the Bangladeshi economist whose Grameen Bank is credited with helping millions of the world's poorest people to lift themselves out of poverty, was the surprise winner of the Nobel Peace Prize yesterday.
Muhammad Yunus is surrounded by media after hearing the news of his Nobel Peace Prize
Prof Yunus, 65, known as Bangladesh's "banker to the poor" won the £750,000 award ahead of the former president of Finland, Martti Ahtisaari, who had been widely tipped for his role in brokering a peace deal in the Indonesian province of Aceh.
Speaking from his home in Dhaka yesterday, Prof Yunus said the award was recognition of the fact that ending poverty was a fundamental prerequisite to bringing peace to the world.
"I am delighted, I can't believe it," he said. "Eradication of poverty can give you real peace. There is no self-respect and status when you are burdened with poverty.
"You are endorsing a dream to achieve a poverty-free world."
BMBS Ghusl Class
The Brisbane Muslim Burial Society (BMBS) has extended an invitation to all men in the community to attend a GHUSL class and demonstration at the Kuraby Mosque today (Sunday) at 1pm. The class will be conducted by Qari Fida-ur-Rahman.
Ghusl is the washing of the body in preparation for burial.
From the CCN Cradle
While the stork might have delivered on time, CCN's carrier pigeons have been somewhat less than efficient.
Nevertheless, CCN would like to belatedly congratulate Raeesa and Mohammed Seedat on the birth of baby Zayn who came in at 3.49kg on 4 September.
Ifthaar at Algester
Over 600 men, women and children broke their fast together at the Algester Mosque at dusk yesterday.
The small team of ladies who did all the cooking and catering did a marvellous job of the menu and the traditional dish of akni was amongst the very best that our Man-on-the-Mussalah has had the privilege of savouring in a long while.
There are not many occasions these days for gatherings such as these that also serve to embrace a diverse range of ideological, ethnic and cultural backgrounds for the common good.
The evening meal was sponsored by the following families:
Irfan Ismail & Family Moulana Nawaaz & Family Yunus Paruk & Family Hanief Yussuf & Family Yahya Hashim & Family Omar Khan & Family Yunie Omar & Family Dado Sacur & Family
Kiran Desai wins 'Man Booker' prize
India-born novelist, Kiran Desai, has scooped the 50,000 pound 'Man Booker' prize with her second novel, 'The Inheritance of Loss', a story rich with sadness about globalisation and with joy at the small surviving intimacies of Indian village life.
The 35-year-old author, daughter of well-known Indian novelist Anita Desai - to whom 'The Inheritance of Loss' is dedicated - is the youngest woman to win the award, eclipsing the works of five other short-listed authors.
Accepting the award at a ceremony at the Guildhall in London, Kiran Desai, a student of creative writing at Columbia University in America, said "I didn't expect to win. I don't have a speech. My mother told me I must wear a sari... a family heirloom, but it's completely transparent!"
After thanking her publisher, editor and agent, she added "I'm Indian and so I'm going to thank my parents."
Of her mother, Anita Desai, 69, she said "I owe a debt so profound and so great, that this book feels as much hers as it is does mine. It was written in her company and in her wisdom and kindness in cold winters in her house... One minute isn't enough to convey it."
It is in sharp contrast to her mother's 40 years of writing experience. The elder Desai has won five different awards and written 14 novels, three of which have been nominated for the Booker Prize, the last in 1999. One was turned into the Merchant Ivory film in Custody.
Kiran Desai came to live in England as a teenager for a year before moving to America. The novel, which took eight years to write, draws on Desai's experience of leaving India.
It is set in the north-eastern Himalayas and New York, and is about an embittered old judge who wants to retire in peace. It interweaves his story with that of his orphaned teenage granddaughter, his cook and his dog.
The Booker Prize is one of the most prestigious prizes in literature which aims to reward the best writing published in Britain, Ireland and the Commonwealth. It has a prize of 50,000 pounds as well as the 2,500 pounds awarded to each of the six short-listed authors.
Members of the audience during Azhar Usman's comedy act at a performance in Rockville, USA.
New operating theatre needed in Muzzafarabad
The Fred Hollows Foundation is seeking $49,000 to build a new operating theatre in the earthquake damaged Pakistani city of Muzzafarabad in Azad Kashmir.
The earthquake, which occurred on October 8 last year, destroyed the city’s only existing facility for eye surgery.
The Fred Hollows Foundation has secured funds for the construction of a new eye department and medical equipment for this new facility but still needs further funds to build a permanent operating theatre to complete the unit.
"At the moment we have doctors performing operations in terribly difficult conditions with inadequate resources," says The Fred Hollows Foundation’s CEO, Brian Doolan.
"A facility was set up following the earthquake but it is only a temporary solution – the operating theatre and scrubbing room are basically on top of each other, separated by just a few aluminum petitions," says Doolan.
The Fred Hollows Foundation has had an ongoing role in the reconstruction and rebuilding process following the earthquake, undertaking a number of projects at the request of the Ministry of Health.
To support The Fred Hollows Foundation please contact Sue Larsen at email@example.com or on (07) 3358 5877 or 0410 007864
A Pixel is Worth a Thousand Words
By The CCN Surfer
Pixel advertising is the latest trend to hit the Internet and a unique way to advertise online. The first pixel site was set up in late August, 2005. The creator of the original pixel site, Alex Tew, 21-year-old British University student, made $1M selling off space on his Million Dollar Homepage.
A pixel (a Picture Element) is defined by the Merriam-Webster online dictionary as "any of the small discrete elements that together constitute an image". A single pixel is one of the many tiny dots that make up an image on your computer screen.
Muslimpixels.com is the first to provide targeted pixelling. This means that only those websites of a Muslim nature are eligible to promote their website here. Set up in late December 2005 primarily to offer websites to advertise online, their homepage is full of pixels displaying Islamic websites that vary from blogs, information resources, buying resources, Islamic multimedia sites and others.
On sale are 2 million pixels. Pixels are available in 100 pixel blocks, so that means each block measures 10x10 pixels. The homepage contains 20,000 blocks for sale. And as the Americans would say: At $1 a pop you do the math to work out how much the pixel site would make just selling off pieces of its home page.
Ladies Night Out
Multicultural Event night on the 27th of October
A night for fun, entertainment and dancing for women only… come in and let your hair down and enjoy the entertainment!!!
Night filled with games, competitions and prizes!!!
Ticket: $30 includes elegant 3 course meal.
Ticket: $15 includes a small snack (sandwich, juice and fruits)
For more information call:-
[Editor] A message to all you husbands and fathers out there. This is a win-win situation for all concerned. The females of the house go out for the night, while you get to sit back on your recliner, kick your shoes off and with TV remote control in hand, become the master of your domain once again!
Visa Applications Processed Over Internet
A Saudi government official has announced that foreigners can now apply for visas to enter Saudi Arabia through the Internet.
The system was implemented over six months ago. The Foreign Ministry says it has already processed more than three million visas through the Internet. The Foreign ministry says visas can be obtained within 48 hours.
The website (http://visa.mofa.gov.sa) includes forms for business, commercial and family visit visa requests as well as requests for Umrah and Hajj. The applicants can follow the progress of their requests over the Internet.
Source: Radio Islam
Prayer Room In The Castle
Queen Elizabeth II gave orders allowing a room at Windsor Castle to be used by a Muslim employee as a prayer zone during the holy month of Ramadan.
The Queen's decision came after 19-year-old student Nagina Chaudhry, who works in the visitors' shop, filed a request to have a place dedicated for performing prayers at the royal castle, according to a royal spokeswoman.
A spokeswoman for Buckingham Palace said: "Miss Chaudhry made a request for somewhere to pray. "During Ramadan if she wants to use this office for praying then that's fine.
"We are an equal opportunities employer and we do our best to facilitate any requests made by our employees."
Speaking to the Daily Mail newspaper, Miss Chaudhry said: "It feels amazing to be the first Muslim to read namaz (prayers) at Windsor Castle.
"The Queen is the head of the Church of England so it's great to know she respects other people's faith.
"I think I'm the only Muslim who works here so I feel special knowing they've made such an effort for me."
Last month the QMT website attracted 636 442 hits with over 8000 unique visitors from 95 countries!
That works out to a staggering average of 21 000 visitors a day.
This is an incredible accomplishment considering the short time QMT has been in existence, and a fantastic effort by all those involved with the publication. Keep up the great work!
Youngest contender in Quran Competition is an Aussie
Dubai: Nine-year-old Australian Abdullah Al Zahabi is planning to become a Muslim scholar and researcher after having memorised the Quran at the age of seven.
Al Zahabi is this year's youngest contender who is representing his country among 80 others who are representing their countries in the 10th session of Dubai International Holy Quran Award (DIHQA).
Having his suhour (a Ramadan meal which Muslims have after midnight) at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Al Zahabi told reporters, "I started memorising the Quran at the age of five and thank God I completed it within two years."
Al Zahabi's father who runs a bakery in Australia encouraged his son to read and memorise the holy book. "My brother and I memorised the Quran at an early age and with help and support of my parents," said the nine-year-old. His future plans are to become a "shaikh and Muslim researcher" and "be able to teach people the Quran".
Having spoken to the media probably for the first time in his life, Al Zahabi seemed very shy and brief in his answers. "Memorising the Quran left in me respect," said the Australian.
Fasting during Ramadan triggers few concerns among health experts
Crankiness probably is the worst that most healthy Muslims will suffer during the monthlong fast of Ramadan.
In fact, studies that have examined health consequences of the religious practice as well as fasting in general have suggested people might even experience benefits normally associated with long-term calorie-cutting.
"Most will have absolutely no (negative) health effects from the fast," says Dr. Sondra Crosby, who specializes in refugee health at Boston Medical Center. "Most people tell me they feel invigorated and energized during Ramadan."
Even weight loss isn't a significant concern; Crosby reports few of her Muslim patients lose weight.
That's partly because the religious rules governing the fast allow for eating and drinking from sunset to sunrise, giving people the opportunity to make up for meals and liquids missed during the day.
It's also because the human body is particularly adept at adjusting to even extreme dietary fluctuations. During fasts, metabolism slows so fewer calories are needed and less fat is burned.
But Milton Stokes, a spokesman for the American Dietetic Association, says he doubts a monthlong fast is long enough to have any lasting effect on metabolic rates.
He does, however, worry about diabetics who fast. Regular meals are a key part of regulating blood sugar levels.
"We don't want that person skipping meals because that's like skipping medicine," he says.
But Crosby says that with careful monitoring by a physician, even diabetics can fast safely. The key is to consume plenty of food and water before dawn and after sunset, as well as to adjust the timing of any medications.
Headaches and crankiness are the most common complaint, but those are as likely explained by caffeine withdrawal as by hunger, Crosby says. She urges her patients to ease off caffeinated drinks prior to Ramadan, reports AP.
And studies in the Middle East have not found higher rates of serious health problems such as heart attacks or stroke during Ramadan, Crosby says.
Her advice: Drink plenty of water before the fast to stay hydrated throughout the day, and avoid strenuous exercise.
THE UNREST sparked in certain parts of the world recently by Pope Benedict XVI's reference to a 14th century commentary on Mohammed may have a positive outcome.
The Holy Father has since apologised for the reaction the comments caused among parts of the Islamic world.
However, a group responsible for bringing closer the Catholic and Muslim communities in Toowoomba, see a positive from the issue.
"That the Vatican and a group of Islamic scholars have agreed to intensify dialogue between the two groups appears to be a positive to come from it, " Catholic priest Father Brian Sparksman said.
"Here in Toowoomba we (Catholics and Muslims) have always operated on the basis of mutual respect and friendship. "We will be watching this international dialogue with interest."
Fr Sparksman acts on behalf of the Diocesan Commission for Ecumenism and Interfaith Relations and regularly meets with Muslim groups headed by Dr Shahjahan Khan, associate professor and spokesman for the Islamic Society of Toowoomba.
"This is a relationship that goes back before 9/11," Fr Sparksman said.
"We have shared some very happy social occasions and we have also prayed with each other." Dr Khan said Christianity and Islam had far more similarities than differences.
"In the spirit of Islam we condemn all immoral and unethical acts including terrorism of any sort," Dr Khan said.
"We love all prophets mentioned in the Bible and in the Koran. Muslims love and respect Jesus, peace be upon him, as much as they do Muhammad, peace be upon him.
"Some politicians, disregarding moral and ethical responsibility, are trying to score votes by spreading the fear of the so-called 'clash of civilisation' and blaming everything evil on Islam and Muslims. "Nothing could be further from the truth.
"Some religious leaders, unfortunately, have joined the politicians to worsen the relationship between Muslims and Christians in the West."
Dr Khan said it was harder for Muslims who feared terrorism, but were also at times held in suspicion due to the way some terrorist acts are reported and incorrectly linked to Islam.
The Muslim community in Toowoomba had received abusive mail and there had been an occasion when some Muslim women had been followed by adversaries.
"At the end of the day we will have to live together in the same community," he said.
"Ignorant attacks and periodic unfounded blames are unhelpful for peaceful and harmonious living.
"We thank our Christian friends, men and women, who always try hard to develop and maintain good relations among people of all religions."
Source: The Toowoomba Chronicle 10 October 2006
The CCN Clever Dick of the Week
At a U2 concert in Glasgow, Bono asks the audience for some quiet.
Then in the silence, he starts to slowly clap his hands.
Holding the audience in total silence, he says into the microphone
"Every time I clap my hands, a child in Africa dies."
As a most appreciative reader of the Crescents newsletter, I would like to congratulate you on a fantastic effort of producing 100 issues.
From the outset I applauded your dedication to promoting a healthy lifestyle through sport and entertainment. In my view, you have stayed true to your dedication.
As a Muslim living away from the ummah, I sometimes feel sad that I cannot join in with all the joyous occasions you share with your readers, but I also feel so pleased that the Muslim community is enjoying life. Ten years ago, all the events were in Sydney and Melbourne. Now, alhamdulillah, Brisbane is up there with the best.
To me, your newsletter is my vital link with the ummah in Brisbane. Keep up the great effort and may Allah subhana hu wa ta'ala give you abundant blessings in health and happiness.
Assalamu Alaikum wrt wbt
Ramadhan Kareem to the team at Crescents and Mabrukh on your 100th birthday!
There are days when I refuse to get online and read my emails, but not on Sundays. I look forward to getting up late, having my coffee and getting online to read what the Crescents team has put together that week.
And CCN has never failed to deliver. A mixture of news, comedy and outright ridiculous (sometimes), it is a sure winner with me.
As an activist in the community, I thank you for providing a forum for organisations to let everyone know what is happening and how they can get involved. And I thank you for the support you give to ALL community organisations.
Great job TEAM CRESCENTS! CONGRATULATIONS on a job well done. Now get back to work so you can produce many more excellent CCNs, Inshallah.
[Editor] Dear Nora, To help you stock up on enough coffee beans to see your through at least the next few issues of CCN, we are sending you a Coles gift voucher.
Congrats to the team on the wonderful job that you are doing with CCN. I know it must be a job and a half to collect enough information to publish a newsletter every week. You must be a slave driver for your numerous staff, do you ever give them time off?
You have done an outstanding effort for the community. Your articles are not only entertaining, but some are even educational. I wish you all the very best with the newsletter in the future. May Allah reward you for all your efforts.
[Name withheld on request]
UK School suspends woman over veil
A Muslim woman has been suspended by a school in West Yorkshire after she insisted on wearing a veil in lessons.
Bilingual support worker Aishah Azmi, 24, was asked to remove the veil after pupils found it hard to understand her during English language lessons.
Headfield Church of England Junior School, in Dewsbury, said she could wear the veil outside the classroom.
Ms Azmi refused and was suspended pending the outcome of an employment tribunal, Kirklees Council said.
The tribunal heard the case in September and is due to announce its decision within the next two weeks.
"There is no religious obligation whatsoever for Muslim women to cover themselves up in front of primary school children"
Shahid Malik, Labour MP for Dewsbury
Dewsbury MP Shahid Malik backed the school's decision, saying: "In schools the top priority has got to be the education of our children.
"I fully support the decision of the education authority and the school in requesting the classroom assistant remove her veil when teaching primary school children.
"I believe the education authority has bent over backwards to be accommodating and has been extremely reasonable and sensible in the decision it has come to.
"There is no religious obligation whatsoever for Muslim women to cover themselves up in front of primary school children."
The school, which has 529 pupils aged seven to 11, takes many children from different ethnic backgrounds where English is not the first language.
An Ofsted report carried out in February said: "The first languages spoken by most children are Panjabi, Gujarati and Urdu, and many children are still learning to speak English.
"Significant improvement is required in relation to the inadequate standards of achievement reached by children and their slow progress over time.
"Children's speaking skills are poor and this holds them back in most aspects of their work."
Kirklees Council's children's services spokesman, Jim Dodds, said Ms Azmi's suspension was "nothing to do with religion".
"We are simply trying to ensure that our children get the best possible education," he said.
"Both pupils and teachers raised concerns because they were finding it difficult to make out what she was saying during lessons.
"We have a lot of pupils who do not speak English as a first language and you have to be able to see people's lips move when you are being taught.
"We asked this young lady to remove her veil when she was teaching English language, but she refused."
Mr Dodds said that even if Ms Azmi won her case the council would not change its position.
"Our only concern is that the children are taught properly," he said.
Last week, Commons leader Jack Straw angered some Muslims when he said wearing the veil made community relations more difficult.
Muslim Aid Australia has allocated $100,000 for its Ramadan Campaign this year. Many of the world's poorest communities are now in the position to enjoy iftar as we do.
People from Palestine, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Somalia, Aceh, Iraq, China, Sri Lanka, Lebanon and Uganda are now recipients of generous contributions from the public for their Ramadan Campaign.
Zakat-Ul-Fitr funds have already been disbursed to some of these countries so that Eid Gifts, Food Parcels can be distributed to the poor and needy.
While this continuous support is highly appreciated, unfortunately, millions still remain without any food, shelter or water. You can support the Ramadan Campaign by calling 1800 100 786 or visit their website at http://muslimaid.org.au.
CCN News Teasers from around the Muslim World
Click on the title for more.
NY: Muslim Worker Sues Over Skullcap Abdus Samad Haqq, 53, has been employed as a corrections officer at a New York work-release facility for more than 12 years. For almost all of those years, he has worn a kufi — a traditional Muslim skullcap — to work...
Source: ABC News
Morocco Latest Country to Drop Headscarf Morocco is making major changes to religious education, in particular regarding whether young girls should wear headscarves. A picture of a mother and her daughter wearing headscarves is being removed from the...
Source: BBC News
The Koran: Must-see TV With its big-budget sets, promise of large cash prizes and surly judges who grimace at the slightest slip-up, the contest might seem like yet another made-for-TV talent show. But the winners will not become the objects of gossip in glossy magazines. Instead, they will become stars of a different sort, earning the respect of devout Muslims and invitations to recite the Koran during religious gatherings.
The competition, the Dubai International Holy Koran Award, is...
Source: New York Times
Yusuf Islam releases first single in 28 years Yusuf Islam, more commonly known as the singer Cat Stevens before his conversion to Islam in the 1970s, is to release an album of new songs for the first time in 28 years. The singer-songwriter said that he felt...
The joys and frustrations of Ramadan IT'S supposed to be a time of peace and piety, but it's really hard to stay spiritual while trying to get work done during Ramadan. For one month of the lunar calendar, Muslims abstain from food, drink, sex, cigarettes and profanities from sunrise to sunset with the aim of purifying the body and soul. But for many people such as journalists who have to work through the feast, fasting often breeds frustration... Source: News.com.au
The Islamic nation has not progressed and remains backward "because Muslim scholars and researchers are being left behind", said the 10th Islamic Personality of 2006 of the Dubai International Holy Quran Award.
"The Islamic nation is currently living in a state of backwardness because Muslim intellectuals and figures have been abandoned and their services are being disregarded," said the Egyptian scholar Dr Zaghloul Mohammad Al Najjar, who was named... Source: Gulfnews.com
Companies Courting Muslims with Money When Caribou Coffee went public last year, sharp-eyed investors noticed some unusual promises in its prospectus. Caribou, the nation's second-largest coffeehouse chain, said it would never sell pork or...
Source: Associated Press
troops must pull out of Iraq soon: UK Chief General Sir Richard Dannatt, the head of the army, dropped a political bombshell last night by saying that Britain must withdraw from Iraq 'soon' or risk serious consequences for Iraqi and British society. In a...
Source: The Guardian
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