self-deprecating and occasional tongue-in-cheek look at ourselves and
the world around us ......
Sunday, 19 October 2008
News you won't find on CNN!
CCN extends its deepest
condolences to Mrs. Galila Abdelsalam and Mr.
Emad El-Shemy on the passing away of their son,
Mohammed Hosam (28), yesterday (Saturday) morning in
a fatal motorcycle accident on the Logan Motorway.
He leaves behind his wife
Nazmin and two daughters Hana (2) and
Amina (6 months).
(funeral service) was held at 5pm yesterday at the
Kuraby Mosque and the burial took place at the Mt.
Gravatt cemetery immediately after.
A huge crowd of mourners,
made up of many of the different Muslim communities as
well as from the wider community, came to pay their
''Innaa lillah hi wa Innaa
ilay hi Rauji'oon''
To Allah do we belong and to Him is our return
Crescents Pink Ribbon Pamper Brunch this Saturday
is internationally known as Breast Cancer month. There
are lots of activities designed to promote awareness of
breast cancer and to help raise funds to support
This year Crescents of Brisbane will be hosting a
Pink Ribbon Pamper Brunch to help raise funds for
the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
The program for the day
promises to be educational, fun, relaxing and enjoyable!
There are ONLY 10 of the
150 places available.
For more information call
Saalihah Seedat on 0404 296 297
Note - tickets will not be
available for sale at the door.
The Islamic Society of Darra held its annual 'Eid Nite'
at the Mosque last night (Saturday). Over 400 people
attended the function at which the President of AFIC,
Mr. Ikebal Patel delivered a speech.
In addition to the splendid dinner there were a number
of activities for the children.
The Darul Uloom EId 2008
Sports Day and BBQ was blessed by near-perfect weather
and keen sportspeople.
Following an amusing game
of French-rules cricket won by Rizal (Dave) Palmer, the
attendees played a game of volleyball which was won by
the team captained by Mamduh Fakhrie.
A tiring soccer match
ensued, which ended in a 3-3 draw.
The game was plagued by
cheating on both sides - there was the incident of "the
shrinking goalposts" (Mohideen) as well as numerous "offsides"
After a penalty shootout
by all players, victory went to the team with "no hats"
- Balqis Azhari, Yusuf, Mohideen, Roslan Palmer, Susanna
Palmer and Rizal (Dave) Palmer.
After lunch there was a
game of English-rules cricket and most of the runs
scored by both teams were sundries - wides and dead
Nevertheless everyone had a whole lot of fun and
congratulations went to captain Mohideen for his
Finally there was a
tug-of-war over many rounds for men, women and children
in all combinations and everyone had a share at winning.
Me the Sermon On Muslim Women
Crimson chiffon, silver
lamé or green silk: Which scarf to wear today? My veil
collection is 64 scarves and growing. The scarves hang
four or five to a row on a rack in my closet, and
elation fills me when I open the door to this beautiful
array. Last week, I chose a particularly nice scarf to
slip on for the Eid al-Fitr festivities marking the end
of the month of Ramadan.
It irks me that I even have to say this: Being a Muslim
woman is a joyful thing.
reasons for being a joyful Muslim woman go
beyond the spiritual. Marriage is a contract
in Islam, not a sacrament. The prenup is not
some new invention; it's the standard Muslim
I can put whatever I want in it, but
Muslims never get credit for that. Or for
having mahr, the bridegift that goes from
the man to the woman -- not to her family,
but to her, for her own private use. A mahr
has to have significant value -- a year's
My first neighbor in Arkansas borrowed my Quran and
returned it, saying, "I'm glad I'm not a Muslim woman."
Excuse me, but a woman with Saint Paul in her religious
heritage has no place feeling superior to a Muslim
woman, as far as woman-affirming principles are
concerned. Maybe no worse, if I listen to Christian
feminists, but certainly no better.
Blessings abound for me as a Muslim woman: The freshness
of ablution is mine, and the daily meditation zone of
five prayers that involve graceful, yoga-like movements,
performed in prayer attire. Prayer scarves are a chapter
in themselves, cool and comforting as bedsheets. They
lie folded in the velveteen prayer rug when not in use:
two lightweight muslin pieces, the long drapey headcover
and the roomy gathered skirt. I fling open the top
piece, and it billows like summer laundry, a lace-edged
meadow. I slip into the bottom piece to cover my legs
for prayer time because I am wearing shorts around the
[Mohja Kahf is the author
of the novel "The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf."]
Quest newspaper's coverage
at the Australian International Islamic College in
Durack can be viewed
Research report overwhelmingly constructive
A research report released
on October 10 by the Parliamentary Secretary for
Multicultural Affairs and Settlement Services, Laurie
Ferguson, provides a generally positive picture of
relationships between Muslim and non-Muslim Australians.
‘The report identified a range of positive activities
undertaken at the local government level to encourage
engagement between faith groups, while also suggesting
where improvements might be made,’ Mr Ferguson said.
‘The report, Muslim Australians and Local Government:
Grass-roots Strategies to Build Bridges between Muslim &
Non-Muslim Australians, has identified a number of
strategies for improving relations between Muslim and
non-Muslim Australians through effective community-based
‘I commend local government for the community-based work
they have already undertaken and in particular I would
like to thank Fairfield City Council, which has not only
done some excellent work in this area but has
considerably expanded its multicultural program.’
Researcher Dr Amanda Wise from Macquarie University was
funded under the National Action Plan to Build on Social
Cohesion, Harmony and Security, a joint Commonwealth and
state and territory government initiative to investigate
community-based activities for improving relations
between Muslim and non-Muslim Australians.
‘It is by undertaking and evaluating research such as
this that we become more responsive to our community’s
changing needs. We all have a role to play in making our
communities more inclusive and stronger for the future,’
Mr Ferguson added.
The report is on the Department of Immigration and
Kuraby Mosque has re-commenced its highly successful
Saturday evening BBQs after Magrib Salaah.
of the BBQs is to create a social Islamic environment
every Saturday night at the Kuraby Mosque for everyone,
including the young, to meet with each other.
This will be followed up by relevant lectures which will
take place after Ishaa every Saturday.
lectures will be conducted by Moulana Akram Imaam
of Kuraby Mosque, Dr. Mohammed Abdalla Director
of the Griffith Islamic Research Unit (GIRU) at Griffith
University, Mufti Ikraam Buksh Head of Religious
Studies at the Australian International Islamic
College(Durak) and Imaam at Baldhills.
Everyone is encourage to attend.
Registration has commenced for the
Quraan class for adults who want to brush up on their
Quraan recitation and learn to read the Quraan with
proper pronunciation (Tajweed).
Islamic Women's Association
of Queensland will be
running a pilot program
called the Muslim
Marriage Toolbox from
7th Nov 2008 to 10th Nov
Muslim Marriage Toolbox (MMT)
has been previously
presented in Edmonton,
Alberta, Canada; New York
city, New York, USA; Newark,
New Jersey, USA; Manhattan,
USA and been very well
received with 300
participants per workshop.
Muslim Marriage Toolbox (MMT)
is designed to assist:
single sisters who are
planning to get married and are looking for spouses
- how to prepare for marriage (including filling a
marriage matchmaking form for those interested)
single brothers who are
planning to get married and are looking for spouses
- how to prepare for marriage (including filling a
marriage matchmaking form for those interested)
parents who have
marriage-age children who are wanting to facilitate
the search for spouses for their children - learn
about their roles in promoting healthy marriages for
relationship between married couples - Q & A format
parenting session -
issues and challenges faced by Muslim parents living
in the West.
The matchmaking process is designed
to assist single sisters and brothers and their parents
in finding approximate matches in the process of the
workshops and the follow-up meeting to initiate the next
steps, with strict accordance of the shariah.
The Muslim Marriage Toolbox
incorporate the present realities of our Muslim culture
and communities, the psychology of human nature and human
relationships, and authentic Islamic teachings about the
subject, through an interactive process.
This is an opportunity for you to:
think about your own personal,
family and cultural realities
check your expectations of
marriage, marital life, and spouse-to-be
understand the nature of
marital relationsip - what makes it healthy or
correct your beliefs in light
of proper teachings of Islam and your personal,
family and cultural realities
Please be aware REGISTRATION IS
ESSENTIAL for the workshop session you wish
to attend by calling
(07) 3272 6355 / 3272 6422
The lecture series (no registration
required) are free-of-charge and include the
Friday, 7th Nov 2008:
strength and weakness of a community
Saturday, 8th Nov 2008:
Sunday, 9th Nov 2008:
specific to reverts (Q&A)
Please RSVP immediately on
(07) 3272 6355 / (07) 3272 6422 for catering purposes.
Interstate registrations are welcome.
[CCN Editor] And if
ever you needed convincing why these workshops can be of
see our story below.
million for new International Research Centre at UniSA
The Hon Julia Gillard MP
announced this week that the Australian Government will
provide a $7 million towards the establishment of an
International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim
Understanding at the University of South Australia.
The Centre is being established under the leadership of
former Prime Minister, the Hon Bob Hawke AC and aims to
be a leading global institution recognised for research
The Centre’s unique profile will promote understanding
and respect through international scholarship and
The International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim
Understanding will support critical engagement and
dialogue at the local, national and global levels and
the development of effective policy solutions that can
be considered and utilised by governments.
The Centre will probe the basis of tensions between the
Muslim and non-Muslim worlds, including the role of the
media, with a socio-cultural rather than an exclusively
The Centre, which will be located within the Bob Hawke
Prime Ministerial Centre, will also examine and propose
ways of diffusing tensions and ameliorating
relationships at the political, civil and social level
both in Australia and internationally.
The Centre seeks to become, over time, a leading world
policy institution and build cultural and social bridges
with major international bodies such as the UN.
The Australian Government will contribute $7m towards
the establishment of the Centre from the established
Diversity and Structural Adjustment Fund.
the financial crisis waits a nastier beast
The most lasting fallout
of the global financial crisis is unlikely to be
economic. This is the nature of true financial disaster:
in the long run it brings down ideas, recasts societies
and redistributes power in a way that resonates far
beyond its lifespan. One day, the markets will stabilise
and even recover, but the political terrain will likely
be altered irrevocably.
The Netherlands witnessed
a series of riots, increased xenophobia, and the
emergence of the National Socialist Party. And most
infamously of course, there was Germany. With the
national economy overwhelmingly financed by American
loans, the collapse of the New York share market had a
devastating impact. A desperate working-class sought
solace in communism, while an emasculated middle class
leapt sharply to ultra-nationalism. The familiar
consequence was the ascension of the Nazis, whose
support base suddenly broadened.
This is what happens in times of great insecurity. As
the foundations of our lives erode, we search for an
anchor, and social politics very often provides it. When
all else fails, we may still rally around old
certainties: nation, culture, religion, race. We crave
strong authority figures that can imbue us with
certainty and articulate for us a sense of self. That
often involves fabricating a scapegoat who becomes a
In Germany, of course, Jews principally fulfilled that
function, becoming the victims of an entire mythology
that blamed them for the economic difficulties of "real"
Germans. Such virulent prejudice soothes the insecure.
The bad news for us is that malignant social politics
have been slowly returning for a while in Russia,
Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Italy, Britain, Denmark
and Norway. And it is an affliction that spreads well
beyond Europe in the form of radicalism in the Muslim
world and Hindu and Buddhist nationalisms in Asia.
Ours is an age of hostile identity politics. These are
not all directly referable to economic crises (even if
they clearly have a relationship with the anxieties of
globalisation), but they suggest something deeply
troubling: that the world is rich in the kinds of
xenophobic resources so easily amplified by economic
Should the financial crisis become a global recession,
there is no telling precisely what forms of extreme
social politics might be unleashed. An explosion of
anti-Americanism across Asia and Europe? Possibly. But
what about America itself? Here, the seeds of xenophobic
resentment are being sown.
Writing in The National Review, Michelle Malkin blames
the crisis on illegal immigrants and Hispanics who were
"greedy" enough to seek subprime loans. Blogging for the
same publication, Mark Krikorian wonders if Washington
Mutual's demise was caused by its propensity for
employing Latinos and gays. On Fox News, Neil Cavuto
blames congressmen who were "pushing for more minority
lending" without disclosing that "loaning to minorities
and risky folks is a disaster".
The audacity is extraordinary. Suddenly, this crisis is
something poor blacks and Hispanics have inflicted on
rich white people. That is beginning to sound, well,
A reaction is inevitable: one that sees in the crisis
the exploitation of poor black people who will lose
their homes, by white fat cats who skip away from the
rubble with millions. The potential cycle of conflictual
identity politics is terrifying. And that is to say
nothing of developments we cannot predict.
Queensland hosted a function at the Conrad
Treasury Hotel during the week at which the
Honourable John Mickel MP, Queensland
Minister for Trade (right in picture)
and His Excellency Mohammed Omar Abdullah,
Under Secretary, Department of Planning and
Economy, Government of Abu Dhabi (left in
picture) signed a Memorandum of
Understanding between the Queensland
Government and the Government of Abu Dhabi.
presenters included senior representatives
from the United Arab Emirates, His
Excellency Dr Saeed Mohammad Al-Shamsi,
Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to
Australia and senior representatives from
the Queensland Government, the Honourable
Mike Ahern AO, Advisor, Trade
Queensland, Loftus Harris, Trade
Queensland, Special Representative to the
Middle East and India, Susan Rae,
Trade Commissioner, United Arab Emirates,
and Hassan Miski, Trade Commissioner,
(l to r) His
Excellency Mohammed Omar Abdullah, His
Excellency Dr Saeed Mohammad Al-Shamsi, Mr.
Mehmood (Twiggy) Surtie and the Honourable
John Mickel MP
the IWAQ Desk.....
condolences to Br. Emad Elshemy,
Sr. Galila Abdelsalam and the
whole family on the sad death of
their son Hussam Elshemy.May Allah grant him
paradise and the family
Management Committee and Staff.Our duas are with you.
misconceptions about IWAQ:
1.IWAQ has plenty of money
The majority of funds (99%) that IWAQ
receives are government grants (local, state and
federal) and these are tied up in service delivery which
includes direct client care that involve wages,
superannuation, equipment etc for workers providing the
IWAQ has never had a fundraising
function. The social activities and annual ladies fun
night are targeted at those most vulnerable in the
community – Muslim women who are isolated and in
financial hardship to have some social interaction as
these opportunities are the only time they can go in a
safe environment and enjoy themselves. None of the
events have to date made any profit for the organisation;
in fact the organisation has incurred losses through the
heavily subsidised activities and tickets.
3.IWAQ only employs people
who are from Arabic-speaking backgrounds
Any vacancies have always been advertised
internally and externally and the process is very
transparent. Applicants apply, are shortlisted,
interviewed by an interview panel and the most suitable
person for the job is employed. IWAQ employs people
from 22 different cultural backgrounds who are a mix of
female and male and Muslim and non-Muslim staff members.
an age of uncertainty, women need an alternative to the
Western style of selecting a marriage partner, the
author Reva Seth argues
5 and 7
One of the most distinguished muftis in the Gulf
switches on his computer, dons a headset and prepares to
issue yet another fatwa.
Abdulrahman Ammoura, 48, usually dispenses his religious
advice to the faithful at a nearby mosque but today he
is in a cramped cubicle in Abu Dhabi, answering the
telephone at the world's first call centre for people
seeking a fatwa, or religious edict.
The popularity of the service easily eclipses attendance
at his Friday prayers; it is used by Muslims all over
the world, and its organisers say it now takes about
3,700 calls a day, including queries from Britain.
“I am tired, so tired,” the mufti says, midway through a
six-hour shift. “I hear ringing in my ears.” He is
distressed by his most recent caller, a married woman
whose alcoholic husband had turned violent, hitting her
and forcing her to have sex. Should she seek a divorce,
the woman asked. “I said, ‘No - it is better for him to
find help'. A woman living alone with children could
face too many problems.”
His advice now counts as an official fatwa in the United
Arab Emirates, under new rules issued by the General
Authority for Islamic Affairs and Endowments.
The UAE Government established the call centre three
months ago in an attempt to root out extreme
interpretations of Islam issued by unqualified scholars.
All fatwas issued through the call centre comply with
the Government's moderate religious stance. Any others
are considered invalid instructions.
MARSEILLE: The bright cafeteria of Saint Mauront
Catholic school is conspicuously quiet: It is Ramadan
and 80 percent of the students are Muslim. When the
lunch bell rings, girls and boys stream out past the
crucifixes and the large wooden cross in the corridor,
heading for Muslim midday prayer.
"There is respect for our religion here," said Nadia
Oualane, 14, her hair covered by a black headscarf.
"In the public school," she added, gesturing at nearby
buildings, "I would not be allowed to wear a veil."
Oualane, of Algerian descent, wants to be the first in
her family to go to a university.
France has only four Muslim schools. So the 8,847 Roman
Catholic schools have become a refuge for Muslims
seeking what an overburdened, secularist public sector
often lacks: spirituality, an environment in which good
manners count alongside mathematics and higher academic
LONDON — Different attires. Different
cuisines. Different languages. Still, one
`Eid Al-Fitr celebrated by Britain's
sizable, multiethnic Muslim community.
Muslim Londoners dressed differently for the
celebration of the three-day `Eid, which
began on Tuesday, September 30.
In East London, home to a concentration of
Pakistani community, the traditional sari
and punjabi suits hold sway.
Across the city to the north in Edgware
Road, where the Arab community dominates,
women wear their new abayas and men are in
their best jilbabs.
`Eid cuisines also reflect the different
cultural and ethnic backgrounds of Muslim
In the region around East London Mosque,
Pakistani and Bengali families celebrate are
cooking Jalebi, a puffy fritters fried and
then soaked in syrup.
In North London, the traditional Turkish
dessert Hazer Baba is the favorite `Eid
In East London's West Ham street, the scene
sums it all.
On one side, Pakistani-origin Shaban sells
Karachi-made sari to last-minute `Eid
In the shop right door, Shaker, who has
Iraqi background, is busy selling different
kinds of traditional Arab sweets.
Britain is home to a sizable, multi-ethnic
Muslim minority of nearly 2 million, mainly
from Pakistani, Bengali and Indian
United in Park
But irrespective of cuisines and clothes
differences, Muslim Londoners are united in
one big `Eid celebration.
Thousands will pack Trafalgar Square in
central London on Saturday, October 11, for
a `Eid gala organized for the third year on.
The celebration is organized by the umbrella
Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), supported
by the Mayor of London and produced in
association with the London-based
international charity Islamic Relief.
Londoners from all racial backgrounds,
Muslims and non-Muslims, are invited to the
gala which will include a street bazaar,
various food stalls and exhibitions.
Visitors this year will be able to enjoy
live entertainment from many performers,
nasheed groups and singers, including the
world renowned Sami Yusuf.
This year's gala will also feature
interactive workshops about Islam in
Video displays will introduce to the
audience how multicultural and diverse the
British Muslim community is.
Shaker, the sweets vendor, cites the `Eid
gala as a manifestation of diversity and
"The differences in our food, clothes and
tongues do not matter.
"What is important is that we all celebrate
All questions sent in are published here anonymously and
without any references to the author of the question.
KB's Culinary Corner
BEE STING CAKE
1/3 Cup sugar - 4 Tbsp butter - ½ cup almonds- sliced CAKE
125g butter - 1 cup sugar - 2 eggs - ½ tsp
bicarbonate of soda - 1tsp Cream Of Tartar - 1 ½ cups flour - ¾ cup
1cup milk - 80g icing sugar - ½ tsp vanilla - ¼ cup
water - 2 Tbsp corn flour - 2 eggs separated.
Place topping ingredients in a pot and cook until light
Pour into one greased 20cm baking tin and leave to cool.
Cream butter and sugar.
Add eggs one at a time.
Add cream of tartar and Bicarb Soda and beat.
Lastly alternate the milk and flour and fold in.
Pour half cake mixture over the topping.
Pour the other half of cake mixture into the other 20cm
greased baking tin.
Bake at 200 c for 20-25 minutes.
Remove the cake without the topping and place on a cake
Make the custard and pour cooled custard over the cake.
Remove the cake with the topping and place over custard.
Dust with icing sugar and serve.
To make the Custard
Heat milk and add icing sugar and vanilla essence. Beat
egg whites stiff and set aside. Mix the water, corn
flour and yolks, add to the milk. Cook until mixture
forms custard. Remove from heat and fold in egg whites.
Leave to cool and then pour over cake.
Do you have a recipe
to share with CCN readers?
Send in your favourite recipe to
firstname.lastname@example.org and be our "guest chef" for
The CCN Chuckle
While attending a
marriage seminar on communication, Mula Nasruddin and
his wife, Shabnum, listened to the instructor declare:
"It is essential that husbands and wives know the things
that are important to each other.
"For instance, gentlemen, can you name your wife's
Mula Nasruddin leaned over, touched his wife's arm
gently and whispered,
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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