self-deprecating and occasional tongue-in-cheek look at ourselves and
the world around us ......
Sunday, 4 January 2009
News you won't find on CNN!
Hundreds rally against Israeli attacks on Gaza in
By CCN's embedded reporter on the spot Abdul Rahman Keri
Despite the rain more than
and vocal Brisbanites turned out yesterday in support of
a rally calling for a cease to the attacks on the people
People of different faiths
and backgrounds expressed concern at Queen’s Park on the
humanitarian condition of Gazans amidst consistent
‘Free, free Palestine’ was the mantra of the rally – a
collective support for Palestinian sovereignty.
Public speakers alleged some governments and media
organisations are complicit in denying Palestinians
self-determination and a hindrance to improving their
human condition; they also condemned the blockade of
With Hamas gaining the
reins of power in Gaza in 2007, Israel responded with an
economic blockade in Gaza that severely reduced their
living standards – 80 % of the Gazan population are
unable to support themselves, according to the UN.
Seeping raw sewage through
city streets, high unemployment and malnourished
children are some of the effects of the Israeli blockade
To date Israel has allowed humanitarian aid to enter
Gaza after days of continued bombing but according to
Oxfam, ‘critical gaps’ are stifling the delivery of aid.
Rally organiser, Anas
Abdalla emphasised the humanitarian condition of the
Palestinians and the need to overlook politics and unite
on human rights issues.
‘We’re not here to talk
about the political issues but the humanitarian disaster
that is at hand...this is not an issue about religious
constituencies or religious affiliations, it is a human
rights issue’, said Anas Abdalla.
Mr. Abdalla commended deputy prime- minister Julia
Gillard’s announcement of an immediate $5 million aid
package to Gaza but said the underlying issue was the
unresolved occupation of Palestine.
‘Australia is generally a champion on human rights; in
Zimbabwe, in East Timor, we are asking the Australia
government to step up to the plate in relation to the
Palestinian issue and be a champion there also’, he
Michael Shaik (pictured
on the right being interviewed by Gary Hardgrave on
Radio 4BC) of the advocacy group, Australians for
Palestine, was flown in from Melbourne as the keynote
speaker with several others taking to the podium to
express their thoughts and views on the
300 red, white, black and
green balloons were released
into the Brisbane skies as a symbolic gesture in
remembrance of the victims of the
The rally received wide
coverage last night on SBS, ABC and Channels 9 and 10.
Further rallies are
planned for Brisbane.
Widespread condemnation of Israeli attacks
Several Mosques in Brisbane raised the issue of the
recent bombings in Gaza during the Friday kuthbahs
(sermons) and called on worshippers to support the rally
and pray for the victims.
Sydneysiders gathered in Sydney to condemn Israeli
bombing raids in the Gaza Strip, urging the Federal
Government to take a strong stance against the conflict.
Many of the city's major mosques closed their doors for
Friday prayers, with worshippers gathering in a Lakemba
park in the city's south-west to pray for victims of the
Israeli air strikes on the Hamas-controlled territory.
As a reminder of the lives lost, a coffin was brought to
the front of the crowd, followed by eight Muslim
The Australian National Imams Council (ANIC)
condemned the "brutal and disproportionate military
action launched by the Israeli Government against
innocent Palestinian people, including women and
children" in a
South African Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms
Fatima Hajaig (pictured right), summoned the Israeli Ambassador, Mr
Dov Segev-Steinberg, to a meeting at the Union Buildings
in order to express the grave concern of the South
African government at the brutal assault by Israeli
military forces on the Palestinian people in Gaza.
The organisers of a protest held in South Africa outside
the US Embassy had planned to throw shoes at a large
picture of US president George W. Bush, but this did not
go as planned.
"The target we were supposed to throw shoes at was
burned by our comrades," an organiser told the crowd.
of Faaiza, daughter of Shabir
and LailaElias, to
Abdullah, son of Ferhaad and
HaseenaOsman, took place at a
nikah ceremony on Friday at the Holland
Park Mosque after Jumma.
was performed by Imam Uzair.
reception was held last night (Saturday) at
the Hope Island Golf Resort on the Gold
Coast where a large number of local and
overseas friends and families of the bride
and groom attended the celebrations.
well do you know facts about religions - yours and
our leaders need to learn
the art of public relations
by Firaz Khan
I am no longer surprised
when I see an inarticulate member of the Muslim
community on television trying to speak on behalf of the
mainstream Muslim community.
It always seems like the
Imams, most of whom are immigrants, are the ones that
manage to get on television and embarrass us all.
It was an incident that happened a few months ago, but
it is a perfect example of why Muslims need to learn the
fine art of Public Relations.
The latest incident that I
came across was on an episode of the Michael Cohen show.
Cohen had two guests, Tariq Fatah of the Muslim Canadian
Congress and Steve Rockwell, an Imam from Ontario who
hosts a program called “Call of the Minaret.”
of the show was supposed to touch on polygamy and then
go onto various other topics concerning the Muslim
Whereas Fatah was representing the view of
secular liberal Muslims, Rockwell was supposedly there
to represent the mainstream everyday Muslim in Canada.
Needless to say, Rockwell
did a horrible job at it. Not only was he inarticulate, he did not know how to engage
in a civil exchange of ideas.
More often than not, he
would bring up points that had nothing to do with the
issue at hand.
And when he was unable to counter an
argument, he would throw his hands up and say, “I
thought I was here to talk about polygamy.” It was an
Now this is the way I see it.
We do have Imams out there
that represent the views of the mainstream Muslim
But they are rare. The ones that do exist
either do not wish to partake in media discourse, or are
not approached by the various media outlets that exist.
Muslims do not like to acknowledge it but there are
media outlets that want to have Imams and other
spokespeople who represent mainstream, moderate Islam to
come and speak.
But for one reason or another we never
So in the end we are left with people who
can’t engage in a proper debate, speak proper English
and communicate their ideas in a coherent fashion.
intentions may be well but in the end, the audience is
left with the impression that Muslims are not in sync
with the rest of society.
For the past few years, public relations in Muslim in
North American and European societies has been a massive
If our product is Islam, a religion that claims
to be one of peace and tolerance, then we should be
marketing our religion as such.
In a time where the
average person is informed mainly through television and
the internet, the Muslim community must become masters
of communicating those ideas on those mediums.
It’s one thing to have a person of great Islamic
knowledge speak in a lecture style format to a
sympathetic audience, in a Jummah setting, for example.
But in the public realm, the skills required our totally
different. Our leaders need to realize the need for
savvy media polished spokespeople.
If the Imams don’t
have the necessary skills to do it themselves, then we
should be appointing qualified spokespeople to be our
voice – and every member of the congregation should be
trained to direct all media inquiries to them, so that
the community speaks with one clear and coherent voice.
After all, it is only Muslims that can properly
represent our religion. Nobody else is going to do it
A bouncing baby girl,
Imaan, was born to Yasmeen and ShaheemTowner at the Wesley Hospital in Brisbane on
Thursday 1st January 2009.
Imaan tipped the scales at
Imaan is the 4th
grandchild of Dr. Mohammed and Shireen Seedat
Father and daughter are
pictured on the left.
Movies with CCN
Hollywood is preparing a new
epic film on the life of
Prophet Muhammad (peace and
blessings be upon him) and
the birth of Islam.
"[It] is not about division
and conflict but will focus
wholly on the rich values
common to all Muslims, like
compassion and tolerance,"
producer Oscar Zoghbi said
in a statement.
The movie, "The Messenger of
Peace", will be set during
the time of Prophet Muhammad
to portray the birth of
Islam and is expected to be
shot in the holy sites of
Makkah and Madina in Saudi
Zoghbi, who has contributed
to the 1976 film "The
Message", regarded as the
only epic to portray early
Islam, said he appreciates
the sensitivities and
challenges linked with the
He stressed that there will
be no depiction of Prophet
Muhammad on screen.
Islam prohibits the
personification of any
prophet of God in movies or
Message (pictured left),
which was shot in Arabic and
English versions in 1976,
controversy when it was
rumoured that Anthony Quinn
was starring as the Prophet.
Instead, the Prophet and his
companions were heard
speaking, by the movie
character, off-camera but
never directly shown.
The director signified
Prophet Muhammad's presence
with light organ music and
occasionally framed the film
from the prophet's point of
view as he observed the
actions of his followers.
The new movie will be the
second English-language film
of its kind made in the West
to portray early Islam,
"In the 21st century there
is a real need for a film
that emotionally engages
audiences on the journey
that led to the birth of
Islam," said Hollywood
director Ramsey Thomas, who
will write the script.
He noted that the script
will be in English, but the
movie will be dubbed into
other languages, in
Executive producer of the
new movie, Hajja Subhia Abu
Elheja, also noted that over
three decades, only one
Hollywood movie, The
Message, tackled the birth
"It is telling that only one
great historical film has
ever been made about Islam,
a religion with 1.5 billion
Christianity has been the
subject of over 30."
Like Thomas, Abu Elheja
agrees that media and the
cinema industry in
particular can help bridge
the gap between the Muslim
world and Western societies.
"Since 9/11, Islam's image
has suffered tremendously,"
"Now more than ever it has
become important to bridge
the gap of understanding
between Muslims and
Al-Nisa Youth Group
Inc. is currently looking to employ a male Youth and
Community Development Officer to service the Muslim
Community predominantly in the Greater Brisbane,
Logan and Gold Coast areas with some outreach work
in Ipswich, Toowoomba and Sunshine Coast.
Forward your completed selection criteria and CV to
email@example.com or post to:
The Steering Committee, MYServices,
PO Box 1586, Sunnybank Hills, QLD 4109
Applications close on
Friday 16th January 2009 at 5:00pm.
Gautam Malkani's extraordinary comic
novel portrays the lives of young Muslim, Sikh, and
Hindu men in the ethnically charged enclave of one of
the biggest western cities, London.
A world usually-but wrongly-portrayed as
the breeding ground for Islamic militants is, in
actuality, a world of money (sometimes), flash cars
(usually), cell phones (all the time), rap music and
MTV, as well as rivalries and feuds, and the small-time
crooks who exploit them.
In Malkani's hilarious depiction of
multiculturalism, race is no more than a proxy for
masculinity, or lack of masculinity, among young men
struggling to get by in a remorseless city.
Q: Dear Kareema, can you please explain what Boot
Camp involves and what some of the benefits are?
A: The idea behind Boot Camp is to get
participants in shape as quickly as possible! It's a
progressive program over
the course of about 4 - 6 weeks which allows 'recruits'
to work through at their own pace and get the most out
Sessions are generally an hour long and consists of a
combination of different exercises. All fitness levels
catered for, so there are NO EXCUSES!
If the focus of the session is cardio, it may involve
different running exercises such as sprints, sand runs
or stairs. If it's a strength session, the focus is
normally on exercises using body weight, such as
push-ups, sit-ups, squats, chin-ups, etc.
- INCREASED ENERGY
- WEIGHT LOSS
- HIGHER SELF-ESTEEM
- BETTER SLEEP
- STRESS REDUCTION
- FREER MOVEMENT WITHIN YOUR BODY
- meeting new people
- getting fitter faster
GIVE IT A GO - WHO KNOWS, YOU MIGHT JUST WANT TO GO BACK
All questions sent in are published here anonymously and
without any references to the author of the question.
KB's Culinary Corner
CHINESE FRIED RICE
½ cup oil - ½ cup chicken fillet – cut into
srrips – 1/2 tsp chilli, ½ tsp garlic paste
- 1 cup green, yellow and red pepper
(sliced) - ½ cup carrots - cut into julienne
strips - 1 tsp salt - 3 cups cooked rice - 2
tablespoons soya sauce - 2 tablespoons
chilli garlic sauce - 1 egg (for rice) - ½
cup spring onions (chopped) - 2 eggs for
omelette and coriander Method
• Heat oil and stir fry chicken and chilli
and garlic paste
• Add peppers and carrots and stir fry for 2
• Add the salt, cooked rice and soya sauce
• Break one egg in the centre of rice, mix
in with the rice and add the spring onions
• Make omelette with eggs, salt, pepper,
green chillies and coriander
• Cut omelette into strips and garnish rice
with spring onions and omelette strips
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
speeding along in his car when he was caught by
radar from a police helicopter in the sky.
An officer pulled
him over and began to issue a traffic ticket.
"How did you know I
was speeding?" the frustrated Jallalludin asked.
The police officer pointed somberly towards the sky.
"You mean," asked Jallalludin, "that even He is against
University of Queensland,
323 Hawken Drive,
Event: Weekly Learning Circle: Sharh
Riyad-us-Saliheen (An Explanation of
'Gardens of the Righteous'
Venue: Prayer Room, University of Queensland
Time: 6.45pm to 7.30pm
Fiqh Made Easy
Room E215 Building 1 (Forgan Smith),
University of Queensland
Time: 6.30pm to 7.35pm
Tafseer al Qur'an (Explanation of the
Venue: Room E215 Building 1 (Forgan Smith),
University of Queensland
Time: 7.45pm to 9pm
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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