ALLAH MADE ME FUNNY TOUR - THE WELLINGTON EXPERIENCE
The long-anticipated arrival of Preacher Moss and Azhar Usman took place on Thursday (9 Nov 2006) andFriday (10 Nov 2006) respectively.
As soon as Preacher landed in Wellington, he was profiled at the border by customs and harassed. They accused him of bringing narcotics, which at the end turned out to be a box of vitamin tablets. That became the central point of his comedy in Wellington and it was brilliant.
Azhar did not have much trouble as the immigration and customs people recognized him for being advertised on TV for a show called Campbell Live. Tickets sales were very low till the day they arrived. However, as soon as they were featured in Campbell Live (the biggest TV interview show in New Zealand) ticket sales shot up.
They gave their first performance last night (11 Nov 2006) at The Opera House in Wellington to an audience that was 80% non-muslimand of multi-ethnicity (Caucasian being the majority, followed by South Asian and Maori). The show was hilarious and the audience response was fantastic. Azhar and Preacher met the audience after the show at the foyer and the audience greeted them with open arms.
Azhar was at his best mixing both Muslim and South Asian themes in his theme. Both the artists also touched on local Kiwi subjects with mastery. It was quiet amazing to watch them create so many jokes with local references in such a short time.
"I know that many might have seen their DVDs, but I promise you that the live experience is out of the world.", said a gushing member of the audience.
The Comedy Tour flies off to Auckland for tonight's show at The Edge.
They will arrive in Brisbane for the show on the 23rd after two performances in Melbourne, before rounding off their tour with shows in Sydney's Capitol Theatre.
NEWS FLASH: Crescents of Brisbane have laid their hands on a limited number of $35 B-reserve tickets. Some $43.90 seats are also available.
At the Punchbowl Musallah in Sydney, Preacher Moss and Azhar Usman will engage in an informal discussion on how comedy can play a role for Muslims to look at themselves as well as to reach out to the rest of the world. On Monday 20th they will discuss how to counter the negative stereotypes and attitudes about Muslims and Arabs by poking fun at themselves, their communities and the prejudices they face. As Preacher Moss puts it: "The purpose of my comedy reflects my Islamic beliefs that say
we, as Muslims, cannot be isolationist. My choice of dialogue is laughter, with a message of overall commitment to improving society as a whole."
"Allah Made Me Funny is funny, inspirational, and important as practicing Muslims as well as non-Muslims come to support it. My cheeks hurt and I laughed out loud! If we’re to be entertained as a community anyway, why not by Muslims?" — Imam Siraj Wahhaj, Imam of Masjid Al-Taqwa, Brooklyn, NY
"It is true that much comedy does little more than distract and degrade. But the best comedy deals with very serious issues indeed, and forces us to confront our vanities and prejudices. At a time when self-awareness and critical reflection is so desperately needed in the Muslim community, the comedy of Azhar Usman is to be applauded (and yes, clapping is permissible!)" — Dr. Ingrid Mattson, President of Islamic Society of North America, Plainfield, IN, Professor of Islamic Studies, Hartford Seminary, Hartford, CT
Australian Muslim Achievement Awards Finalists Announced
Of the 56 nominations across Australia 32 made it to the final selection of the Australian Muslim Achievement Awards for 2006.
Three Queensland institutions made it to the finals: Nora Amath Rane, Eidfest and CresWalk2006.
Woman of the year
Mahboba Rawiah Nora Amath Rane
Man of the year
Youth of the year (Ages 16-26)
Sportsperson of the year
Event of the year QLD Eid fest
Auburn Mosque Open Day CresWalk 2006
Australia Halal Trade
Media Outlet of the year
Role Model of the year
Professional of the Year
Dr Mahmood Khan
Business of the Year
Safa Dalati Abayas
Humanitarian/Charity agency of the year
Muslim Aid Australia
Human Appeal International
Best New community project / Initiative of the Year
Australia Halal Trade
MCCA Muslim Blood Drive
The Winners will be announced on the night of the Awards Ceremony in Sydney on December 2nd 2006.
Special Prayer for Rain
Holland Park Society plans to purchase property
The Islamic Society of Holland Park is in the process of purchasing a property at 29 Crest Street.
This property has a price tag of $400000 and adjoins two other properties that the Society owns (one in Crest St and the other in View Street).
The intention is to turn the property into apartments to be rented out, and income from them will help support the Mosque in future.
If you would like to contribute towards the project you can attend a dinner meeting at the Indian Curry Hut tomorrow (Monday, 13 November). Contact Mr. Gaffar Deen (0418 721 165) or Mr. Saheed Ali (0411 229 559).
Crescents Coffee Club Says Thanks-a-Million!
The presentation and setup of the Crescents Coffee Club at Eidfest last week would not have possible without the help and support from several people and businesses in the community.
Crescents of Brisbane is proud to induct the following organizations and individuals into the Crescents Hall of Fame:
Reffik Dada & Kelly's Distributors
Continental Halaal meats
The ladies who donated the delightfully, delectable and wickedly delicious cakes and biscuits that literally (and figuratively) "went like hot cakes":
to Sydney Jewish students Photo: Ingrid Shakenovsky
"We will definitely stay in touch after this -- one of the girls from Moriah College has invited us for Shabbat dinner."
These are the words of Zainib Cheema, a Muslim Year 12 student at Sule College in Liverpool, Sydney, with a large number of pupils from the Islamic community.
But her sentiments portray the feelings she and more than 200 other Year 12 students of Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths felt after a two-day seminar this week.
"We don't think we have preconceptions but we do," Zainib said. "You realise [on days like this] we are all the same. We connected teenager to teenager, human to human."
The program, called the Youth Encounters forum and hosted at MLC Burwood, was conceived by the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies in an attempt to foster inter-faith tolerance and understanding between high school students of the three Abrahamic faiths.
"This is a vital endeavour at any time, but all the more so given the climate of increased tension in which we find ourselves today," said NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff.
The initiative, run in conjunction with the Muslim-based Affinity Intercultural Foundation and Christian Kincoppal Rose Bay, is in its third year of operation and has doubled in size each year.
It now incorporates four Christian, four Jewish and four Muslim schools, and was increased from one day to two days, following requests by previous participants.
The program comprised of theatrical performances, artistic activities, focus groups and lectures.
Durga Dokuma, another Sule College student, said she was surprised by how much Judaism and Islam have in common.
Masada College student Rebecca Glaser, 16, added: "I have learnt that the religious traditions in Judaism, Christianity and Islam have so many commonalities. This interfaith dialogue has enabled me to engage with those who I would not usually come into contact with."
John Fisher, a Year 11 student at Shore College, said: "Although I have learnt various things about what people of other religions believe, and how they go about worship, I think the most important lesson was that the media may falsely represent some groups. It was refreshing to see a realistic representation of the views of [other religious groups]."
Virginia Judge, the MP for Strathfield, encouraged students to respect each other's faiths.
"Respect the culture, language and religion of others and take the lessons learnt in the forum back to your communities. I hope you will all play a part in making this great nation a better place to live."
The Youth Encounters program began in 2004 with 60 students from three schools. Last year there were six schools and 120 students. This year it doubled again, with 12 schools and 240 students.
They were born here, yet some young Lebanese Australians are caught in a bind. They feel like foreigners in their own land and are changing their names to improve their prospects.
On Sunday, Channel Nine's investigative reporter Adam Shand revealed the alienation of these young Australians.
"These are young men who are perceived to be Muslims first and Australians second, but they don't regard themselves as being lost between cultures," noted Shand. "They are creating their own."
Mohammeds are changing their name to Michael to improve their career opportunities. The lack of self-confidence and self-esteem may be driving some to crime.
In the wake of the Sheik Alhilaly controversy, these young men shared their attitudes about women. They rejected the notion that they could be moved to criminal action by their religious leaders.
The report examined the moral panic which gave rise to zero tolerance policing in the late '90s. The young Australian Lebanese men commented on the alienation this caused. Leading policing academic Dr Michael Kennedy said the police declared war. Dr Kennedy said the police tactics were born of politically motivated "racial profiling". Police discussed the fallout from the tactic and the bridges now being rebuilt with the Australian Lebanese community.
The report also highlighted stories of assimilation — including the all-Muslim cricket team playing in the shadow of a mosque and the boxer who declined to fight for Lebanon at the Olympics (for fear of drawing an Aussie opponent).
Leading members of the Muslim community discussed their fears of a repeat of the Cronulla riots and of the simmering tensions.
Helping Hands Queensland would like to thank all those volunteers who helped and individuals who bought ice cream from us at the Eidfest. Given the circumstances, the stall was a great success, although (with thanks to the rain) we have a reasonable number remaining.
So for those of you who tasted some of our delicious ice creams, here's your opportunity to buy more. For those of you who didn't get a chance to try them....well, just speak to anyone who did try them and you won't want to miss out.
Click on the image for our ice cream selection and note what a great cause you're supporting by buying them.
All proceeds to Refugees - Great to keep in the freezer!
Please call in orders to either
Raeesa Gutta on (home):32197068, (mob):0405230305 or
Shenaz Seedat on (home): 33422992, (mob):0415180065.
Thanks for your support,
Helping Hands Queensland
PS: You can catch up with HHQ and its dedicated team of volunteers at the Brisbane Muslim School fete, at Blunder Rd, Durack, on Saturday 18th November where they will also be selling ice-creams.
UNDP Index picks out the "Lucky Countries"
The UN Development Program's human development index, which was released on Thursday, ranked Norway as the world's best nation to live in for a sixth consecutive year.
Norway, Iceland, Australia, Ireland and Sweden ranked as the best five countries to live in, but Africa's quality of life has plummeted because of Aids, said the report. South Africa is ranked 121st.
The United States was ranked in eighth place, after Canada and Japan, in the report that rates not only per-capita income but also educational levels, health care and life expectancy in measuring a nation's well-being.
With interest rates rising once again, everyone needs a little bit of help here and there. Each week CCN will provide you with a tip sheet on how to save money courtesy of http://www.simplesavings.com.au.
This week we have Guide to Shopping At Aldi.
"ALDI keep their prices incredibly low by purchasing high quality products in bulk and by being more efficient. Everything is faster, smarter and cheaper. Your first shop will be quite an experience! These tips will make your first visit easier."
(a) I am an item for whom men have gone to the ends of the earth, fought wars and I have become indispensable to the food industry. You will find me in your home. Do you know me?
I am flavoring from the dried leaf of the evergreen tree, “Laurus nubilis” also known as sweet bay or laurel tree. Slightly bitter but sweetly fragrant, I am native to Turkey and Portugal, and very popular in meat, soup and stew. What am I?
I am very well-known and found in Tanzania, Madagascar and Indonesia. From the unripened bud of the tree “Eugenia carophyletta thumb”. I am very strong and pungent when used in whole form in relishes, marinades and sauces. In ground form I am used in cakes, cookies and meat sauces.
You must know me. What am I?
There might even be a prize for some lucky entrant. Who knows!
Medical Certificate for a Serious Sickie from School
CCN News Teasers from around the Muslim World
Click on the title for more.
Airline Bans Muslim Prayer Time A state airline has banned its staff praying at their offices and headquarters. Royal Air Maroc company says that in the past its workers have abused the privilege of praying, by taking too much time away from their desks and...
Source: BBC News
SPAIN: dismay at converts holding sway When Abdennur Prado adopted Islam in 1998, he had no idea that he would become a spokesperson for the Spanish Muslim community. As a young writer, Mr...
Source: Christian Science Monitor
First Muslim Congressman Makes It to D.C. Keith Ellison, a Democrat, has become the first Muslim to be elected to the US Congress by winning a Minnesota seat in the House of Representatives...'Tonight, we made history...We showed that a candidate can run a 100%...'
Source: BBC News
Ellison: 'We won a key election...and More' Democrat Keith Ellison has become the first Muslim to win a seat in the US Congress despite a bitter campaign marked by sharp personal attacks...Ellison won a strong majority but amid controversy over his past links to a...
Muslim Lawyer Refuses to Remove Veil A Muslim lawyer refused a judge's orders to remove her full-face veil during a hearing, lending more fuel to an increasingly contentious debate in Britain over the right of women to wear the garments. Shabnam Mughal, 27...
Source: Associated Press
John Esposito Debates Islam Spectators packed Hutchison Commons last Wednesday night to hear renowned Islamic scholar John Esposito’s talk entitled 'Understanding Islam in the Modern World,' organized by the Muslim Students Association (MSA)...
Source: Chicago Maroon
Muslim airport workers protest in France One was a security agent once praised for finding a weapon in a piece of luggage, another handled baggage and a third delivered mail. All are practicing Muslims...
Source: Ely Times& County
Gov't Officals, Muslim Teens Meet on Talk Show Muslim students put FBI and immigration officials on the hot seat Sunday at a taping in Queens of a well known Pakistani talk show. NY1 Criminal Justice reporter Solana Pyne was there as a panel answered questions about...
Imam's Talk On Islam Called Eye-Opening With a bit of humor and storytelling, Imam Abdullah Antepli outlined the basic beliefs and traditions of Islam Monday night to a crowd of nearly 100 at Somers Congregational Church. Speaking before the group...
Source: Hartford Courant
Ellison, A Muslim Trailblazer Keith Ellison, the first Muslim ever elected to Congress, sees it this way: Osama bin Laden no more represents Ellison's religion than Timothy McVeigh represented Christianity. Ellison, a 43-year-old Democrat, won...
Source: Associated Press
UK: Muslim Women Can Cover in Court Judges have been told to allow solicitors and other legal advisers to wear the Islamic veil in court unless it interferes with the 'interests of justice.' Interim...
Source: Manchestor Evening News
Special Interview with Yusuf Islam 'I like to take a walk out in the midday, checking life out in the park.' On paper, these words don’t sound that special, rather humdrum in fact. But wait till you hear...
Source: The Sun
The CCN Chuckle
Mulla Nasruddin was giving a lesson on the circulation of the blood. Trying to make the matter clearer, he said, "Now, class, if I stood on my head, the blood, as you know, would run into it, and I would turn red in the face."
"Yes," the class said.
"Then why is it that while I am standing upright in the ordinary position the blood doesn't run into my feet?"
A little fellow shouted, "Cause your feet ain't empty."
The CCN Date Claimer
Lecture: Islam: Indigenous Australians’ way of Life: Illyaas ‘Umar Maalik
Lutwyche Mosque, 33 Fuller St
Special Prayer for Rain: Salatul Istisqa
ICQ, BMS, Darul Uloom, Board of Imams
Brisbane Muslim School, 724 Blunder Rd, Durack
Darul Uloom, Buranda
10am to 3pm
Brisbane Muslim School FETE
724 Blunder Road, Durack
10.30am to 2.30pm
Forum Discussion: Mysticism in Religion
Sunshine Coast Interfaith Network
Lecture Theatre 4, University of the Sunshine Coast
10am to 12 noon
Allah Made Me Funny: The Official Muslim Comedy Tour featuring Azar Uthman & Preacher Moss
Crescents of Brisbane Inc. with Arasta Productions
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
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 email@example.com 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, particularly if they eventually turn out to be libelous, unfounded, objectionable, obnoxious, offensive, slanderous and/or downright distasteful.