self-deprecating and occasional tongue-in-cheek look at ourselves and
the world around us ......
Sunday, 20 July 2008
News you won't find on CNN!
This week's CCN is kindly sponsored by
Conference at the Governor's
The Muslim Women Conference Towards Common Ground
held on Wednesday 16 July at Government House attracted
some 140 delegates from many different agencies and
The conference was hosted by HE The
Governor of Queensland (and Governor-General of
Australia elect) Ms Quentin Bryce AC at her
official residence and was the brainchild of Ms Faiza
El-Higzi who coordinated the event.
A number of research papers were
delivered during the course of the day highlighting the
challenges and barriers that Muslim women faced in
Australia. There were case studies that demonstrated the
initiatives being undertaken by community groups and the
government to address some of these issues.
It was also an opportunity to
launch the Youth Affairs Network Queensland Annual
Report to which Ms Shaima Khan and Ms Kareema
Zuhr prayers were read (by
all accounts for the first time within the hallowed
walls of Government House) and lunch was served from the
Dr Helen McCue of the
National Centre for Excellence in Islamic
Studies, University of Melbourne
Mr. Nick Earls introduces the
panel on “Participation of Young Muslim
Women in Sport”
Dr Kirsten McGavin of Youth
Affairs Network Queensland
Tea Time in the Foyer
(Centre) Mr. Mehmood Surtie
of Kuraby Mosque and Dr. Halim Rane of
Ms. Nicky Allouche of Siitra,
Ms. Eman Nasser of the Sudanese Youth
Community and Ms. Heban Allouche
Dr. Rubana Moola of EidFest,
Ms. Ann Jones of the Office for Women and Ms
Agnes Whiten of ECCQ
Ms. Farzanah Ally of DLA
Phillips Fox Lawyers
Ms Homa Forotan launches YANQ
Ms. Faiza El-Higzi Conference
Convener, Mr. Mustafa Ally of USQ, Dr
Mohammed Hanief Khatree of MBN, Ms. Sushil
Sami of ACCES Services and Ms Adele of
Milpera State High School
(Foreground) Mr. Garry Page
and Mr. David Forde of MAQ, Mr. Ari Heber of
Queensland Jewish Community Services
Aussie at 80
Mrs. Vazira Ally (80) (seen
here being congratulated by Brisbane's Lord Mayor
Campbell Newman) became an Australian citizen
this week at the Brisbane City Hall.
At a glittering ceremony that saw
the City Hall packed to capacity the 500 new citizens
stood and repeated their pledges and were welcomed by
Aboriginal dancers and the Brisbane Brass Band.
Night More that All Right!
Twenty seven teams of ten players
took part in last night's inaugural MBN Trivia Night at
the Sacred Heart Community Centre.
Halim Rane was the quiz
master for the night with MBN President Hanief
Khatree as the MC.
There were many individual prizes
to be won, trophies for the winning teams and everyone
was treated to a BBQ in the course of the programme.
CCN congratulates the MBN Team on a
well organized and entertaining evening.
A section of the
The winning team - Al-Andalus
Runners-up, Rane Brain,
with Hassan Corane
taxi drivers refuse blind fares with 'unclean' guide
SOME Muslim taxi drivers are
refusing to carry blind and
disabled passengers with
guide dogs - because their
religion tells them the
animals are "unclean".
Brisbane's Yellow Cab
Company has been forced to
sack drivers over their
conduct towards passengers
with assistance dogs.
Bill Parker, general manager
of the firm, said the
behaviour would not be
tolerated and penalties will
be imposed if drivers
The company has produced a
booklet informing drivers of
their duty towards blind and
disabled customers with
Islamic Council of
Queensland president Suliman
Sabdia said dogs were
considered a health risk for
Muslims but "to use religion
as a reason to refuse blind
and disabled passengers is
Farah Safari was born
Farahnaz Safari Khatoonabad in Tehran, Iran, just 26
years ago and has already had about three whole lives.
At the age of 21 she decided that she would escape Iran
and, after accumulating as much hard currency as she
could manage to hide, and slipped over the border under
cover of darkness into Turkey. She had never spent a
night away from her parents home before and she suddenly
found herself alone in another country, totally foreign
to her, without being able to speak a word of the
Undeterred she moved to Kayseri in central Turkey, found
an apartment and set about finding friends, learning the
language, and trying to get a visa into a western
country. While she was in Turkey she unfortunately
became very ill and faced the terrifying prospect of
undergoing a serious abdominal operation, despite that
she had no family to support her, little money and still
didn’t understand the language well. Fortunately she
survived the operation and was finally offered entry
into both Canada and Australia. To our good fortune, she
She caught her first airplane from Turkey to Australia
via Singapore and arrived in her third country in two
years, again without knowing a word of the language. In
the manner of her culture, she moved in with some
distant relatives in Adelaide. Again however, she still
dreamed of something more to life. She soon moved to
Brisbane to stay with other relatives and started
learning English under the Australian Migrant English
Program. She became a very dinky-di Australian citizen
on Australia Day 2007 and her Aussie passport is her
After she had learned enough English to survive, she
enrolled in TAFE and completed a Certificate III in
Accounting. Not satisfied with that, she then enrolled
at the Queensland Hairdressing Academy and in 9 months
completed a Certificate III in Hairdressing. She now
believes that, at the age of 26, she has both the
business training, trade skills and personality to be
successful in business.
So, on February 1st this year, she took control of this,
her first business, G.M. Hair Design. She has undertaken
to re-capitalise the business by adding massage and
make-up to her suite of services. Farah has extended the
trading hours to include all-day Mondays and Saturdays
and is hoping to build up a "Saturday Night Live Club"
for people who would like a massage, eyebrow wax & tint,
and hair styling before going out on the town. She has
also re-modelled the salon with privacy curtains so that
on special days she can service the very discreet female
Muslim community who she believes is under-served by the
hair and beauty industry in this city.
Farah would love everyone to know that G.M. Hair Design
is under her management, has a new stylist, Ivy LiQin,
on site and has a wider range of services for her
customers, both former and new. She is looking forward
to making many new friends at her salon, so come and
[Editor] G.M. Hair Design is a
sponsor of CCN.
Susan plan an Extravaganza of Entertainment
After a highly anticipated return, Jas and Susan
are back to bring you IWAQ's Annual Ladies Night 2008!
This year they plan want to reunite our diverse
community by bringing together our cultures and
traditions into an evening filled with great fashion,
entertainment, fine cuisine and let's not forget fun!
Tickets are available for sale and
won't last long!
Jas told our CCN reporter: "Tickets are already running
out the door so please tell your CCN readers not to
leave purchasing their tickets until the last minute as
they WILL miss out! "
Tables of 10 are also available to
Tickets can be purchased from Jas or Susan. 0404 433
702/0433 182 520.
Thousands attend UK's Islam Expo opening ceremony!
Friday 11th July London Olympia hosted the launch of
Islam Expo 2008, Europe’s largest celebration of Islamic
culture, arts and innovation.
The four day event offered
a unique opportunity for dialogue and developing good
community relations; Islam Expo endeavours to promote
awareness and understanding within Muslim and non Muslim
The opening ceremony welcomed visitors to celebrate
diversity within Islam.
A number of high profile
personalities took part in the ceremony, including
the former Mayor of London Ken Livingston; Yusuf Islam
and Simon Hughes.
Also present were numerous academics,
intellectuals and journalists.
Visitors to Islam Expo had the opportunity to choose
from various activities; explore the extensive
exhibition area, attend informative debates and
participate in lively discussions, or simply enjoy the
beautiful tranquillity of the Islamic Gardens (created
by the charity The Religious Education and Environment
These stunning gardens are based upon the
Garden of Paradise, as described in the Quran.
had the opportunity to discover the significant
contributions the Islamic world has made to art over the
Ismail Patel, Executive Director of
Islam Expo, stated “The primary purpose of Islam Expo is
to build bridges between Britain’s Muslim communities
and the rest of society; Islam Expo brings together a
wonderful array of exhibitions and interactive thematic
zones; we hope every visitor will leave with new ideas,
greater understanding and an appreciation of what Islam
has to offer.”
Dundee with Love
Shanaaz, daughter of
Yousuf and Amina Meer and Mohammed,
son of Faisal and FatimaKoya were
married at the Kuraby Mosque on Sunday 13 July by
Imam Yusuf Peer.
Around 400 guests attended the
reception that afternoon at the Riverside Reception
Friends and family flew in from
South Africa for the occasion.
It must have been a case of divine
intervention that both Shanaaz and Mohammed who attended
the same Madressah as 5-year-olds in the town of Dundee
in Natal should meet up here again in Kuraby, Brisbane.
than a comrade, more than my leader'
A letter to Nelson
Mandela from Ahmed Kathrada on his 90th birthday
As you turn 90 today my mind turns back to 1945 when we
first met. Little did I know then that the tall, lean
man who walked into Ismail Meer's flat in Market Street
that day would shape my life like you have. But even if
I had known I wouldn't have changed a thing.
It's not often that I tell you the things I am about to
say now. And it's rare that I would print them for the
world to see. But then again, it's not often that my
leader celebrates such a milestone. At 90, you're a
You are more than a comrade, more than a fellow
prisoner, more than a brother, more than my leader. That
should make you my greatest friend, but it would be
presumptuous of me to call you that. You're still my
senior, by 11 years, and as the junior I respect that.
But that doesn't take away from the special place that I
will always hold for you in my heart.
In all these 63 years, you've never allowed our age gap
to come between us. You've always treated me, like many
more before me, as your equal. You've never dismissed me
as the youngster, or inferior in any way, despite the
icon you went on to become when freedom became ours. And
that's one of the qualities I admire most in you.
But it doesn't stop there. For me you're a man of
foresight, a person of great compassion, a caring soul,
a statesman, a courageous sort, and a natural-born
And that reminds me of the famous four-and-a-half-hour
speech you gave at the Rivonia Trial in the so-called
Palace of Justice in Pretoria all those years ago. You
told the court that even in the face of death, we would
not apologise for our commitment to a non-racial,
non-sexist democratic South Africa. You reminded us of
our responsibilities to the oppressed people of this
country, to those who fought alongside us for democracy.
Ahmed Mohamed Kathrada (Kathy) is a South African
politician and was an anti-apartheid activist and
In addition to being a veteran of the anti-apartheid
movement, Kathrada is best known for being one of the
famous Rivonia Trialists as well as a long-serving
political prisoner on Robben Island and in Pollsmoor
Prison. He was also an African National Congress (ANC)
leader and a South African member of parliament.
Islam accepts libel award
LONDON (AFP) — Yusuf Islam, the
singer-songwriter formerly known as Cat Stevens, on
Friday accepted substantial libel damages and an apology
for articles that claimed he was sexist and bigoted,
London's High Court was told the World Entertainment
News Network news agency and an entertainment website
contactmusic.com agreed to pay "substantial damages" for
allegations made about him at an awards ceremony in
The articles, published in March last year, falsely
claimed he had refused to speak to or even acknowledge
any women who were not veiled and was not prepared to
speak to women other than through an intermediary,
Islam's lawyer said.
Adam Tudor said his client was caused "considerable
embarrassment and distress" at the allegations, which
had created an "utterly false impression of his attitude
to women" and cast aspersions on his faith.
"In fact, Mr Islam has never had any difficulties
working with women, whether for religious or for any
other reasons. Women feature among some of the most
influential people in his professional team," he added.
"All of the damages secured by Mr Islam will be paid to
his charity, Small Kindness. The defendants have also
agreed to pay Mr Islam's legal costs."
A spokeswoman for law firm Carter-Ruck told AFP that no
details of the exact award would be made public.
THEY filed in, some in
the hijab, others wearing the yarmulka.
There were Buddhist robes, the white and red
tunic of the Zoroastrians, a young Hindu man
and his revered Mataji, or Reverend Mother.
All sat quietly in the golden sandstone
embrace of St Mary's Chapter House beneath
enormous, gilt-framed portraits of Sydney's
By the time Pope Benedict XVI left to have
lunch with a group of pilgrims at the
cathedral next door, the world's great
religions seemed at one, if only for an
Sydney had once again turned on her
brilliant sunshine, the bright light a
perfect backdrop for so many enlightened
"Faith is a teacher, a healer and a
wellspring of peace," said Rabbi Jeremy
Lawrence, of Sydney's Great Synagogue.
"Let us replace the fundamentalism of hate
with the fundamentalism of love," responded
Sheik Mohamadu Saleem, an executive member
of the Australian Imams Council.
Both leaders spoke thoughtfully about the
similarities between belief rather than the
"Last week I was honoured to accept an olive
plant from a young Christian student … this
symbolism is significant for all to
understand and appreciate that peace is one
of the noblest ideals in Islam," Sheik
"Muslims should become more inclusive and
universal in their understanding of their
religion … at the same time, significant
segments of the Christian and other
religious communities should overcome their
misconceptions and prejudices of Islam."
Rabbi Lawrence spoke of all faiths' common
concern for the environment and for social
"For the sake of humanity, we must turn the
strangers in our neighbours into our
neighbours and our neighbours into friends."
The Pope, looking more meditative than
during his high-octane harbour appearance on
Thursday, listened attentively to Rabbi
Lawrence and Sheik Saleem.
But when he took the lectern, his message
was clear: religion is the way that humanity
must come to understand that personal
fulfilment does not lie with "selfish
gratification of ephemeral desires".
"[Religions] teach people that authentic
service requires sacrifice and
self-discipline, which in turn must be
cultivated through self-denial, temperance
and a moderate use of the world's goods.
"In this way, men and women are led to
regard the environment as a marvel to be
pondered and respected rather than a
commodity for mere consumption.
"More importantly, [religion] arouses within
the human spirit a thirst for truth and a
hunger for virtue," he said.
"May we encourage everyone, especially the
young, to marvel at the beauty of life, to
seek its ultimate meaning, and to strive to
realise its sublime potential."
A World Youth
Day official, Father Mark Podesta, tours the
Malek Fahd school with students.
POPE Benedict XVI may have raised the ire of the Muslim
world almost two years ago when he invoked a harsh
medieval description of Islam during a speech in
Germany, but for almost 300 Catholic pilgrims, an
Islamic school will be home during World Youth Day.
"Pope Benedict clarified his comments on Islam," said
Pinad Elahmed, a teacher in charge of inter-religious
activities at Malek Fahd school in Greenacre. "Anyway,
no one here even thought of it when we decided to offer
hospitality to the pilgrims.
"We are Muslims but we are also very committed
Australians and that means living in a multicultural,
multi-faith country. We want to be a role model of
generosity for all Muslims.
"This is not unusual. After all, the prophet himself
opened his house to Christians."
The 281 pilgrims will bunk down in the gymnasium and
several classrooms. "They will basically have the run of
the place," Ms Elahmed said.
to Barack Obama are
blasting a New Yorker
magazine cover that
depicts “President Obama”
in the Oval Office,
wearing a Muslim-style
outfit and doing a
fist-bump with his wife,
Michelle, who is dressed
in camouflage with an
automatic rifle slung
over her back.
A picture of Usama bin
Laden hangs above the
mantel of the fireplace,
which has an American
flag burning in it.
The July 21 cover,
titled “The Politics of
Fear,” is intended to be
a parody, an attempt to
show how “scare tactics
and misinformation” are
being used to try to
derail Barack Obama’s
campaign, says cover
artist Barry Blitt.
“I think the idea that
the Obamas are branded
as unpatriotic [let
alone as terrorists] in
certain sectors is
wrote in an e-mail to
the Huffington Post. “It
seemed to me that
depicting the concept
would show it as the
ridiculousness that it
The Obama campaign has
had to fight an
intensive e-mail spam
campaign that claims
Obama is secretly a
Muslim, and his wife is
a black radical.
Campaign spokesman Bill
Burton called the New
Yorker cover over the
“The New Yorker may
think, as one of their
staff explained to us,
that their cover is a
satirical lampoon of the
critics have tried to
create,” Burton said.
“But most readers will
see it as tasteless and
offensive. And we
Obama did not reply to a
question about the cover
when he answered
reporters’ questions on
Sunday in San Diego.
John McCain’s campaign
also slammed the cover
as “tasteless and
offensive.”The New Yorker editors
also issued a statement
Monday saying the cover
“combines a number of
fantastical images about
the Obamas and shows
them for the obvious
distortions they are.”
“The burning flag, the
Islamic outfits, the
fist-bump, the portrait
on the wall? All of them
echo one attack or
another. Satire is part
of what we do, and it is
meant to bring things
out into the open, to
hold up a mirror to
prejudice, the hateful,
and the absurd. And
that’s the spirit of
this cover,” reads the
Switzerland braced itself for a troubled
campaign of Islamophobia last week after the far right
drummed up enough support to force a national vote to
In a country that is home to more than 300 000 Muslims
but boasts only three minarets, a series of court cases
and votes in regional parliaments has recently dismissed
attempts to have minarets outlawed.
But a campaign, led by the right-wing populists of the
Swiss People’s Party, to enshrine a ban on minarets in
the Swiss Constitution mustered more than enough
signatures to warrant a referendum on the sensitive
Disputes over mosque and minaret-building are rife
across Europe, with controversies in Germany, Austria,
Italy and The Netherlands.
Readers' Book Club:
You are what you read!
God, Actually by
Why should we believe in
God? It's a question that has exercised the minds of
sceptics and unbelievers for centuries, and one that,
given the current state of the world, seems more timely
than ever. Former lawyer Roy Williams contends that
belief should be based on logical deductions from known
facts: it is not a matter of blind faith.
Using many examples drawn from science, politics,
history, sociology and the arts, he tackles all the
biggest questions by appealing to evidence and to
Rebutting the arguments of atheists such as Christopher
Hitchens and Richard Dawkins, Williams explores the role
of faith, which he considers a much-misunderstood
concept. Part reasoned apologia, part testament to
Williams personal journey towards faith, God, Actually
will appeal to sceptics and to people of all faiths.
Would you like to see the cover of
your favourite book on our book shelves below?
All questions sent in are published here anonymously and
without any references to the author of the question.
6 Dry Red Chillies (Soak over night in water) - 6 Cloves
Garlic - 1/4 Cup Vinegar - 1/4 Cup Tamarind - - Juice -
Salt to taste - 1 Tbsp. Oil - 1 Tsp. Mustard Seeds.
Liquidise Garlic and Chillies with Vinegar until a very
smooth sauce result. Add tamarind and salt to sauce. Mix
very well. Fry Mustard Seeds in oil and when they stop
spluttering add to chutney. Cool and bottle tightly.
Serve with dry meats and savouries.
Add Tomato Sauce to Chutney. Absolutely Delicious!!!
Source: Radio Islam Newsletter - Friday, 18 July 2008
Do you have a recipe
to share with CCN readers?
Send in your favourite recipe to
email@example.com and who
knows, you could be our "guest chef" for a future
edition of CCN.
The CCN Chuckle
Mula Nasruddin took
time from their village to visit a modern city for the
first time in their lives.
They were amazed by
almost everything they saw, but especially by two shiny
silver walls that moved apart and back together again by
Mula Nasruddin's son asked, "What is this, father?"
Mula Nasruddin, having never seen an elevator,
responded, "I have no idea what it is."
While Mula Nasruddin and his son were watching
wide-eyed, an old lady in a wheelchair rolled up to the
moving walls and pressed a button.
The walls opened and
the lady rolled between them into a small room.
The walls closed and Mula Nasruddin
and his son watched as small circles lit up above the
The walls opened up again and a beautiful
twenty-four-year-old woman stepped out.
Mula Nasruddin looked at his son anxiously and
said, "Go get your mother."
University of Queensland, 323 Hawken Drive,
Contact: 0421 731 797
Time: 6.45pm to 9.00pm
Sunnah Inspirations is a
non-profit organisation to cater for Muslim
social support and supplying information to
Muslims and non-Muslims. They have
been doing various activities around
Australia, and have organised Da'wah
information stalls at various universities
in Brisbane. More info can be found on
their website above.
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