self-deprecating and occasional tongue-in-cheek look at ourselves and
the world around us ......
Sunday, 8 February 2009
News you won't find on CNN!
Teaching in a place of Hope
Regional Reporter doing her
the new school year has started, and thousand of excited
children have returned to school, we sometimes forget
that it is also a very thrilling time for teachers
looking forward to meeting their new class, who they
will be closely working with for the rest of the year.
One such teacher however,
is a little more excited than most.
Khadeeja Mohammed (pictured
left amongst her adoring students)is
returning to her first full year of teaching in a small
aboriginal community in Far North Queensland.
Khadeeja who did some
teacher training at the Islamic College of Brisbane, is
originally from Innisfail, and has taken on the onerous
task of teaching Year 1 at Hope Vale State School (pictured
Hope Vale is a small indigenous community in the Cape
It is approx 46km west of
Cooktown, and has a population of 850 people.
The school has 140
students, all indigenous, who are facing some real
Like all children, they
are very affectionate, and at times very cheeky, and
teaching them can be very tough and definitely
The community is part of
the pilot program for the Australian Government Welfare
reform project, which is trying to improve enrolment,
and attendance of children at 4 identified indigenous
Miss Deej, as the children know her, is the first Muslim
to teach in a Queensland indigenous community.
This is the first time the
school and community have seen a woman wearing hijab.
When she first arrived,
there was a huge reaction to her wearing the hijab, with
many questions about if she really had hair, if she was
hot in her clothes and what it was actually like to be
However, the curiosity has
settled and now the whole school are eager to tell her
if they saw other Muslims or ‘her people’ on television.
Sometimes wearing sparkly
hijabs to amuse the kids Miss Deej does not feel
out of place, or the heat wearing her abaya to
Not only is this is a learning opportunity for the
community about aspects of Islam, but also for Miss Deej,
who although has grown up knowing many in the Aboriginal
community, is only now appreciating their cultures and
Living in an isolated
community does have its disadvantages like not being
able to pop down to the local coffee shop and obviously
missing family and friends.
it would be impossible not to enjoy the breathtaking
countryside, the beautiful beaches, fishing, and camping
available in the four wheel drive region.
With subsided housing available next to the school, Miss
Deej is really enjoying her time in Hope Vale.
Although she is unable to
get halal products anywhere close, she has learnt to
ration during the wet season when the community is cut
off and she can’t make it home to top up her supplies.
The small Hope Vale
community has already had 3 big success stories come
from its region.
Rugby League players Matt
Bowen, (whose Mother still teaches at the school), his
cousin Brenton Bowen who plays for Gold Coast Titans,
and lawyer and Aboriginal Activist Noel Pearson all
graduated from Hope Vale State School.
Miss Deej is hoping that a
few of her precious class of Year 1s will also aim for
the stars, and one day also be a high achieving
The Wedding Scene with CCN
The nikah (wedding) of
Shaheen Chothia, son of Yusuf and
Shahina Chothia of Kuraby, Brisbane, and
Razeena, daughter of Mohammed and
Yasmin Mayet of Lenasia, Gauteng (South Africa)
took place on 17 January at the Nur-ul Islam Hall in
The nikah was performed
by Moulana Suleman Moolla.
Armed with skills acquired from the recent MYServices
Ameer/Ameera Muslim Youth Leadership Development
Program, a dynamic team of 12 year olds organised
activities for girls over the December/January school
Events included a Girls’ Slumber Party, swimming on two
days, ice-skating and laser skirmish (courtesy of Logan
The team of budding leaders organised the events to give
Muslim girls the opportunity to participate in
Islamically-appropriate recreational activities, to meet
new people, both Muslim and non-Muslim, and, as co-organiser,
Taahirah Ali put it, ‘to escape the boredom of
staying at home!’
MYServices congratulates Taahirah Ali, Yasmin
Hijazi, Ayesha and Amira Al-Maani (now
known as the Al-Nisa Juniors) for taking initiative and
demonstrating that you are never too young to make it
happen. Well done girls! From making the first daunting
calls to venues, to designing flyers and promoting the
activities, the Al-Nisa Juniors did it all.
“The whole organising and facilitating was easier than
we thought,” says Ayesha Al-Maani. “Its more fun when
you’re running the show, you learn heaps.”
“We learnt that you have to be flexible, that we can’t
expect attendees to like what we think they will,”
observed Amira Al-Maani.
Making new friends and interacting with non-Muslim girls
was one of the highlights for many of the participants.
“At first, I wasn’t sure how it would turn out,”
reflected attendee, Aisha Abdullah, age 14. “But it was
cool to interact with non-Muslims at this level. Being
in teams (playing skirmish) with people we didn’t know,
meant working together.”
“You learn ideas from them, teach them things,” says
Taahirah Ali. “The teams were mixed which was great. In
laser skirmish, we planned our tactics together and got
to know each other.”
“I also got to know some of the other Muslim girls I
hadn’t met before,” says participant, Ummaya Suleman,
age 12. “They’re so much fun! I can’t wait to do more
MYServices encourages more young people to help out
organising future activities. The experience is
rewarding and will give you an opportunity to learn new
skills, serve your community, make new friends, and of
course, have a lot of fun!
If you think you’ve got what it takes to volunteer for
future events (or make up your own!), or would like to
keep posted on what’s happening, email us at email@example.com.
• Coming Up:
Take A Chill Pill -
Relaxation Techniques & Go-Karting (boys) 7th March Media Training - Have your voices heard Public Speaking – Master the art and influence
people positively Ameer/Ameera Youth Leadership Development Part 2
Islamic Art Workshops - Youth Week 09
Muslim Youth & Community Development Officer
Al-Nisa and MYServices are
pleased to announce that Riyad Rahimullah, son of
the late Imam Rahimullah, is the new male Muslim Youth
and Community Development Officer, and wish to welcome
him to the MYServices team.
He recently completed his honours degree in Psychology,
graduating with first class honours. As an active young
member of the community, having served as President of
the Muslim Students’ Association of the University of
Queensland, and as a committee member for a number of
Muslim groups, Riyad is well aware of the issues young
Riyad is passionate about learning the Islamic sciences.
He makes a habit of jogging and cycling, likes watching
movies that send a profound message and has interests in
martial arts and archery.
Riyad is looking forward to meeting many of the youth of
Brisbane he doesn’t already know. Amongst other things
Riyad will aim to organise social, Islamic and
personality building activities that the youth will both
enjoy and benefit from, inshaAllah.
opportunity to side a Muslim orientated team in the
upcoming Second Division rugby league season could make
game-day a permanent fixture on our weekends.
Some players from the
defunct 2007 Islamic Rugby League are racing against
time to form Southern Suburbs Football Club before a
February 14 deadline. The proposed team would become an
affiliate of established football club Souths Logan and
benefit from its facilities.
Southern Suburbs Football
club committee member, Haisam Allouche (pictured
left) said the new team would promote camaraderie
and avoid disunity associated with the brawl-ridden
Islamic Rugby League.
‘As Muslims that’s not
what we’re about, it’s about brotherhood, said Mr.
Mr. Allouche said that the
Brisbane Muslim community could have the next Hazem el-Misry
and has talented players; some who played in the Islamic
Rugby League and never played before.
Chairman of Brisbane
Second Division Rugby League, Mick Tierney said a Muslim
team would be acceptable in a league that had sided
Indigenous, Islander and Christian outreach teams.
Mr. Allouche said all
league players are obliged to follow a code of conduct
that promoted good behaviour on and off the field.
Southern Suburbs Football
Club signee, Khodr Baki said mutual understanding
between Muslims on religious requirements eases the
cultural differences that may arise with other teams but
the team was not exclusively for Muslims.
Southern Suburbs Football
club is seeking new players for the upcoming season.
For more info contact
Minister for Foreign
Affairs, Stephen Smith,
responds to a letter sent to him by the Australian
National Council of Imams (ANIC) regarding the recent
Israel attacks on Gaza.
Lectures on Video
For a recent talk on the
history of Palestine by Dr. Halim Rane, lectures
by Dr. Mohamad Abdalla and others , and a virtual
tour of the Gold Coast Mosque visit
'trapped' in own home
Source: Southern Star 4 February 2009
details on this Crescents of Brisbane and Kuraby Lions
can be found
Muslim School Rejected
in New South Wales
voted unanimously on Monday
night to reject an
application for a Muslim
school at Gurner Avenue,
applicants, who expressed
disappointment at the
decision, are already
looking at the possibility
of appealing the decision in
the Land and Environment
Councillors said the land's
rural zoning, as detailed in
the Liverpool Local
Environmental Plan (LLEP)
2008, did not permit
development of a school.
was also discussion about
the poor quality of roads in
the area and the inability
of existing public transport
services to support the
Limited director AshrafAli,
who lodged the development
application for the school,
said the result was very
disappointing ruling on the
matter one way or the other.
recommended that council
refuse the application.
Liverpool Action Group
president John Anderson said
he welcomed the decision.
were opposed to it because
of the traffic situation,
the roads out there just
aren't capable of handling
the extra traffic that this
school would have brought,''
Mr Anderson said.
years ago when we lodged the
application this LLEP was
not in place, our
application existed before
it was drafted,'' Mr Ali
have spent a lot of money
having studies done in the
area, so I can assure you we
are not happy.'' The ASFA
committee and community
members met last night
(Tuesday) to discuss whether
they would appeal the
council's decision in the
Land and Environment Court.
meeting on Monday night,
Councillor Nadia Napoletano
acknowledged that the area
was zoned rural under the
new LLEP, but questioned
whether its classification
under the old LLEP should be
taken into account as the
application was lodged
before the LLEP 2008 was
THE Lebanese Muslim
Association has knocked back a $2.5million offer to buy
its cemetery on Richardson Road, Narellan (NSW).
Association president Shawky Kassir said the
organisation had said a "big no'' to the offer that was
made by a different religious organisation.
"They offered $1million profit on top of what we paid
for it,'' he said. "There's a big shortage of graveyards
in Sydney in all communities. We have got a place where
we can at least make sure our deceased have got some
place to be buried.''
The association, which is now building paths on the
site, bought the cemetery in September for $1.5million.
thing as a monolithic Muslim state of mind
Opinion by Irfan Yusuf
Politics and foreign
policy can be so confusing. Let's look at Iraq, for
example. The conventional wisdom is that we went to war
against Saddam Hussein in 2003 and overthrew his
government for a variety of reasons, including that Iraq
was a crucial battleground in the so-called war on
terror. The former Iraqi dictator is said to have had
direct links with an Islamist terrorist organisation,
al-Qaeda. We were at war with al-Qaeda. Hence we had to
make war on Saddam.
Now let's move to the present and another conflict.
Israel claimed to be fighting a war on terror of its own
recently in its bombardment on Gaza. Israeli spin
doctors told us that their war wasn't against the people
of Gaza but against Hamas, an Islamist terrorist
organisation dedicated to Israel's destruction through
firing thousands of rockets and sending suicide bombers
See the connection? The war on terror is always a war on
political Islamists. It isn't a war on Muslims as such,
nor is it a war on the Islamic religion or on nominally
Muslim countries. The battle we wage is against
political Islam, an ideology that seeks to establish an
BASRA, Iraq - He calls himself the
"Iraqi Obama" and hopes to channel
President Barack Obama's good luck
by becoming the first black Iraqi to
win an election.
Salah al-Rekhayis lives in a town
southwest of Basra called Zubayr,
and with the help of his campaign
manager-sister and brother, has
pasted campaign posters urging
citizens to vote for him in
Saturday's provincial elections.
He walks in the unkempt streets of
his town, bending down to greet
children with a big smile and a warm
glow about him, feeling confident of
the great ambition to win one of the
35 seats up for grabs in Basra.
Al-Rekhayis is one of an estimated two million Iraqis
who have African roots — and one of only 800 in his
town. According to al-Rekhayis, his people have never
been allowed to run in any Iraqi elections, or to hold
important executive positions of power in either
political or corporate areas of the country. Until now.
"Obama is the reason I decided to run. We both have
African roots," said al-Rekhayis. "We never had the same
opportunities as other Iraqis before, but Obama gave me
the push to run after he took the leadership of the most
powerful country in the world."
Al-Rekhayis, a municipal employee, said he didn't have
the money to run a full-fledged campaign. His home — a
run-down three-roomed space with very little furniture
and a photo of Barack and Michelle Obama on the living
room wall — was turned into a makeshift campaign office.
He said they were so impressed with Obama's campaign and
victory that he created a small party called the
Movement of Free Iraqis and ran under its banner. He
said they have already created a list of potential black
candidates to run in the next Iraqi elections.
"When we found out that Obama is black from TV, we
started to follow his news carefully," al-Rekhayis said.
"We had a party and celebrated when he won the
India - ’Give Muslims jobs, development benefits to
INDIA: Former chief justice A.M. Ahmadi said
Muslims in India were victims of "discrimination", as a
convention here Sunday recommended job reservations and
other developmental benefits for bridging the
"alienation" of the country’s largest minority
"Muslims in post independent India have been victims of
direct or indirect discrimination. Muslims are suffering
from a sense of alienation and frustration," Ahmadi
US President Barack Obama has told the
Organization of Islamic Conference that
he has full confidence that the US can
work together with the world’s largest
grouping of Muslims, the official IRNA
news agency reported Monday.
In a letter to OIC Secretary General
Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Obama said he
would work to improve relations with the
grouping, the Jeddah-based organization
said in a statement.
Obama also thanked the OIC, which
represents 1.5 billion Muslims in 57
countries, for congratulating him on his
inauguration as the 44th president of
the US Jan 20, the OIC said.
The OIC in its letter to Obama on the
occasion of his inauguration urged the
president to work for a 'shared' peace
in the world rather than one that is
'We warmly welcome your expressed desire
to give a major address in a Muslim
nation soon after you assume the
presidency and hope it will mark the
beginning of a more fruitful and
better-informed dialogue between the
West and the Muslim world,' the OIC said
in its letter to Obama.
'We firmly believe that America, with
your guidance, can help foster that
peace, though real peace can only be
shared - never imposed. A nation can
either be great or feared, but rarely
both at the same time,' it added.
The number of Muslims in Britain has
grown by more than 500,000 to 2.4
million in four years, according to
official research collated for The Times
The population multiplied 10 times
faster than the rest of society, the
research by the Office for National
Statistics (ONS) reveals. In the same
period the number of Christians in the
country fell by more than two million,
the newspaper reported.
It quoted experts as attributing the
rise to immigration, higher birthrate,
more conversions, and a 'growing
willingness among believers to describe
themselves as Muslims because the
western reaction to war and terrorism
had strengthened their sense of
According to the ONS, which gathered its
data from the quarterly Labour Force
Survey of around 53,000 homes, there are
more than 42.6 million Christians in
However, the biggest Christian
population is in the over-70s age group,
while for Muslims it is among under-4s,
who numbered 301,000 as of September
"Most of us Westerners know very little
about the Middle East and the people
that live there. This lack of knowledge
hurts our ability to understand, and
engage in intelligent discussion about
events that happen both there and
elsewhere in the Muslim world.
For example, the difference between
Sunni and Shia Muslims, and most think
the words "Arab" and "Muslim" are the
same thing. They aren't. So here's a
very brief primer aimed at raising the
level of knowledge about the region to
an absolute minimum."
All questions sent in are published here anonymously and
without any references to the author of the question.
KB's Culinary Corner
1 cup cheese
peppers cubed (combination of red and green)
of polony cubed
ground green chillies
½ tsp garlic flakes
all above ingredients in a bowl.
beaten eggs and ¼ cup of cream.
Add 1 heaped tbls
flour and combine all the ingredients
Drop 1 tbls of the
mixture into a muffin pan and sprinkle
with sesame seeds.
Bake for 15min in a moderate oven.
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
working at the lumberyard, pushing a tree through the
buzz saw, and accidentally sheared off all ten of his
He goes to the
The doctor says,
"Yuck! Well, give me the fingers, and I'll see what I
Jalalludin says, "I haven't got the fingers."
The doctor says, "What do you mean, you haven't got the
fingers? It's 2009. We've got microsurgery and all kinds
of incredible techniques. I could have put them back on
and made you like new. Why didn't you bring the
Jalalludin says, "Well, Doc, I couldn't pick 'em up,
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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particularly if they eventually turn out to be libelous,
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It is the usual policy of CCN to include
from time to time, notices of events that some readers
may find interesting or relevant. Such notices are often
posted as received. Including such messages or providing
the details of such events does not necessarily imply
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