raiser funds finds its way to the Premier's Appeal Fund
(left to right)
Saheed Ali, Mohammed Yusuf
(President of ICQ),
Premier Anna Bligh, Rahman Deen,
Minister Stephen Robertson MP
and Junaid Qadiri
Last Wednesday the President of
ICQ, Mohammed Yusuf, presented a
cheque for $44,200 to the
Premier of Queensland on behalf
of the Muslims of Australia.
The money was raised during the
fundraising event organised by
ICQ at the Islamic College of
Brisbane on 30th January.
The amount included a donation
of $10,000 from AFIC as well as
donations from Malek Fahd School
in Sydney, Islamic College of
Brisbane and a personal donation
from the Ambassador of UAE.
In accepting the cheque the
Premier thanked the Islamic
Community for their generosity
Mr Mohammed Yusuf thanked all
the societies and organisations
including Crescents of Brisbane,
Lions Club of Kuraby, Rotary of
Archerfield and the members of
the community for their generous
on - and going strong!
Emma Khan, wife of the late Haji Ali Ahmed
Khan who passed away in May 1991, celebrated her
90th Birthday at the Yurana Blue Care Nursing
Home at Springwood with close family and friends
on the 13th March 2011.
Mrs Khan received well wishes and
congratulations from the Prime Minister Julia
Gillard, Premier of Queensland Anna Bligh MP,
the City of Logan, Lord Mayor Pam Parker, and
Member for Rankin, Craig Emerson.
Mrs Khan is one of the elders and a life member
of the Holland Park Mosque since 1987.
Her family story is in the book entitled 100
Years of History: Holland Park Mosque 1908 to
2008 by Mustafa Ally.
Mrs Khan has also had her story published in the
book Butterflies in Fresh Fields complied by
Emad Soliman in April 2005.
pray to Allah Subhanallah tala grants her
happiness and good health in her remaining
years, insha'Allah", her daughter, Ms Zulaika
Shaheen told CCN.
Her hobbies include painting, crosswords,
knitting crocheting and reading, which still
keeps her very busy.
is a credit to herself and is in sound body and
mind, and she can still tell stories from the
past and has a vivid recollection of her times
as a member of the Holland Park Mosque," Ms
Mrs Khan has 4 children and 8 grandchildren.
cricket star's anti-terror video message (with no spin)
Mushtaq Ahmed terrified
English batsmen with his spin,
guile and flight.
legendary Pakistani cricketer is
backing a campaign to promote
British values as the UK
authorities seek to prevent a
terror attack on the 2012 London
is a role model to many young
Pakistani men and is seen as
being able to reach people in
both Britain and his home
country who may be at risk of
disrespecting each other's
culture or religion here," he
says in a new YouTube video (see
the Foreign Office. "The most
important thing in Britain is
people let you do what you want
The 5ft 4in
bowler, born in the Punjab and
now 40, also revealed how his
former team-mates used to try to
help him observe his religion.
while I was playing professional
cricket for Somerset my
teammates used to tell me it's
your prayer time, should we stop
at some motorway services so we
can have a coffee and you can
have your prayers," he said. "If
you have that kind of people
around you, and the culture, I
don't think people have any
problem. English people are very
open-hearted, you know they can
accept your thing."
in cricket circles as "Mushy"
and famous for his googly, was
appointed spin coach to the
England cricket team in 2008.
He tells in
the YouTube clip how his faith
strengthened during his
international career after
another former Pakistan
cricketer advised him to do this
to find peace.
In his message
to young Muslim men, he adds:
"Please, we're living in a
country, England, we're praying
five times, there's mosques. The
freedom is there."
Ahmed, who took 185 wickets in
52 tests, played for Sussex,
Surrey and Somerset on the
Office released the video today,
with fewer than 500 days to go
until the 2012 Games. It is one
of a series produced to
highlight the UK's tolerant
Muslims Australia president,
Ikebal Patel has
put out a call inviting all Islamic
organisations in Australia to join Muslims
Australia (AFIC) and their respective State
Councils "to strengthen the Ummah and foster a
"In my capacity as President of
Muslims Australia (AFIC), I am urging all
Islamic Associations not to ignore my humble
request to join Muslims Australia for the
betterment of our future generations," Mr, Patel
Charitable Foundation Inc. has responded to calls for
By Janeth Deen, MCF
During March, flood victims have
had furniture and necessary goods donated to
them to help them resettle into new
accommodation after being displaced because of
the flood. Money has been provided for medical
bills and equipment has been donated for those
suffering ill health. People in financial
distress have had some of their burdens lifted.
Two Burmese families found alternative
accommodation in Inala after the floods. They
were grateful for the personal attention they
were given by representatives of MCF to help
rebuild their lives after the traumatic events
of settling into a new country as refugee, then
losing everything in the floods. After the
floods the families had members living apart
with friends. One family had members in three
different houses. MCF members visited them,
assessed their needs and provided furniture,
white goods and the necessary goods required for
them to set up house comfortably. The children
in the families were settled in time to commence
the school year at a new school.
A prominent Muslim family from Karalee lost
everything in the flood, not only their home and
contents, but the workshop and equipment needed
to earn their livelihood. They found alternative
accommodation in Brisbane and MCF
representatives helped with furniture and white
goods. This family would like to return to their
home in Karalee, but the house has to be
rebuilt. They still need gyprock and other
building materials to enable them to return. The
insurance company has not yet informed them if
their claim will be accepted for flood cover.
This is the second time mother nature has hit
this family so heavily. They were also a victim
of Cyclone Tracey when it hit Darwin in 1974.
A diligent Muslim community member has kept a
watchful eye on media reports of people in need.
He informed MCF of a family with a son suffering
from cystic fibrosis who lost his vital gym
equipment due to the clean up of their
Archerfield home during the floods. A
representative of MCF went with this community
member when a treadmill was donated on behalf of
the Muslims who donated funds to MCF. The mother
of the young man stated the machine was critical
to his rehabilitation as it was building him up
in preparation for a transplant operation he is
A young man who suffered headaches because the
family could not afford to have his eyes tested
and provide spectacles for him, is now the proud
owner of a new pair of spectacles thanks to the
help of MCF. The family were refugees from Iraq
and the father returned to Iraq to visit a
brother who is ill. He is finding it hard to
return to Australia as he did not have the
return fare. For this reason, the family is
surviving on a single pension and paying $385
rent per week. They were also assisted to pay
their electricity account as the account was
well overdue and supply was threatened to be
Another young Pakistani victim of a bashing has
had money provided to save his sight. He needed
the operation urgently and MCF responded to his
need as soon as they were informed. The young
man is now on the path to recovery, but may have
to have further operations. He may receive some
compensation as a victim of crime, but the claim
will take time and he needed help when his sight
was threatened immediately after the attack.
A young student has been assisted with education
costs to enable her to pay TAFE fees the family
could not afford as they are refugees with a son
suffering from Leukaemia.
reveals what Muslims really think
There are around 360,000 Muslims
living in Australia today, but what you hear
about Islam and the Muslim community is often
negative and stereotyped.
What do Muslims themselves really think?
Dr Halim Rane from the Griffith Islamic Research
Institute in Queensland is the co-author of a
recent paper published in the Journal of
Sociology called 'Towards understanding what
Australia's Muslims really think'.
Muslims just can't get enough of
the Aussie way of life.
A Griffith University study of
the Brisbane Muslim community found they
overwhelmingly supported democracy and wanted to
further integrate into Australian society.
Learning English was seen as
crucial to living in Australia, with 71 per cent
of respondents saying Muslims should learn the
language and a further 13 per cent saying they
should completely integrate into Australian
Only 1 per cent believed Muslims
should not attempt to integrate.
The study also found 97 per cent
of respondents completely rejected the use of
terrorism in Australia, with more than half
saying they would immediately notify the police
of any possible terrorist attack.
Lead researcher Dr Halim Rane
said most Muslims were proud Aussies, but they
wanted to keep their religious beliefs.
'The vast majority of people we
surveyed had a deep respect for Australia's
education system and judiciary," he said.
'They just want to be able to
practice their faith safely."
Despite misconceptions that
associate Islam with misogyny, 89 per cent of
respondents supported gender equality.
Australian Federation of Islamic
Councils president Ikebal Patel said most
Muslims wanted to build bridges.
"We want people to come down to
our community centres and mosques to find out
more about our faith," he said.
Day celebrations in Brisbane
March is a very significant day in the history
Australians let us rejoice for we are young and
Mr Ikebal Patel, president of
Muslims Australia (AFIC), expressed disquiet at
channel’s nine’s most recent coverage of a
Sixty Minutes story in which Michael Usher
reports opinions on race, religion, bigotry and
Muslims Australia (AFIC) the peak body
representing Muslims in Australia unequivocally
rejected any notion expressed in the program
that democracy is incompatible with the
lifestyles of Muslims in Australia.
"As Australian citizens, we
respect and abide by the laws of the land and we
communicate this message to our members and all
citizen’s of this beautiful land," said Mr
Mr Patel further stated, Muslims Australia (AFIC)
supports the Australian version of
multiculturalism, "after all, Australia is a
nation of migrants with a history dating back
some 50,000 years with the arrival of the first
We are a nation of over 40%
either born overseas or had one parent born
abroad. People from almost 200 countries
have made Australia their home – adding
colour, diversity and a unique blend of
cultures, religions and customs incorporated
into the Australian “fair-go, mate-ship” set
of Australian values
Mr Patel invited the media and
others, when seeking to report the views of the
majority of Muslims in Australia to seek such
representation from long standing organisations,
Islamic scholars at Universities around
Australia who are available to provide a
balanced view of Islam and Muslims in Australia.
"The Australian National Imam’s
Council (ANIC), Imams Council of NSW and Board
of Imams of Victoria have all been set up to
address issues relating to Islam and the every
day lives of Muslims in Australia and welcomed
the opportunity for discussion, question and
Mr Patel hoped that all eligible voters in NSW
would have made a concerted effort to make their
votes count in selecting their State government.
"The rights and freedoms afforded
to citizens of this magnificent land must not be
taken for granted or rail-roaded by those who
are motivated by self-centred agenda’s
inconsistent with Australian law and seeking to
instill fear and hatred into the hearts and
minds of many!"
See below Dr Mohamad Abdalla's
response to the Sixty Minutes program on Islam
Multiculturalism from a student's perspective
Jack Campbell is a journalism
student at Bond University. He has written a
feature article on Muslim immigration to
Australia which we publish below:
She stands in
front of the mirror, locks of thick, dark
hair cascading over her shoulders. Her deep
brown eyes steal away from her reflection as
she rifles through an array of coloured
fabrics. Blue. Red. Orange. Black. She pulls
out the black one and holding both corners
of the garment, she whips her wrists, like
one airing out a scrunched up sheet at the
end of a bed. She elegantly wraps the hijab
around her face, pinning it below her chin.
She pulls it to the right. Then left. In a
matter of seconds, eyes, nose, mouth and
eyebrows are all which remain to be seen.
She pins it again, catching the time on her
watch. With minutes to spare before starting
her shift, she rushes through the house and
out the front door. Her stomach growls, a
dog waiting to be fed. She doubles back.
A day is not
worth living without Vegemite on toast.
Dr Nemat Alsaba
works in the emergency department of the
Gold Coast Hospital. The devout Muslim left
her home in Saudi Arabia to take up a
temporary working visa and start a
Fellowship in Emergency Medicine in 2006.
Five years later, she is finishing her final
year of the program and looking after her
three teenage children, including a
15-year-old autistic boy. She sees her
partner twice a year; he remains working
abroad. It’s not an easy life working in the
emergency ward. She often rushes out
half-way through one of her five daily
prayers to look after the latest broken arm
or leg. Or often worse.
But despite the
challenges, Dr Alsaba calls Australia home.
“To be honest,
the first time I came to Australia was in
2005 and back then I don’t think people were
used to seeing females wearing the hijab,”
she says. “I’ve been lucky though, I’ve
never experienced any problems, especially
working at the hospital because the people
there are from everywhere around the word.”
She glances at a family photo; her family at
Surfers Paradise beach.
“When I talk to my children and my family, I
call Australia my home. Home is where you
feel safe and we put home as the place where
you have people that respect you.”
multiculturalism debate is back in the
political spotlight. Earlier this month,
Fairfax newspapers alleged Shadow
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison wanted
to launch a fear campaign against Muslim
migration. The newspapers reports say
Morrison urged his party members to
capitalise on Muslim immigrants’ fears of
their inability to integrate to keep them
out of Australia. Morrison rejects the claim
as gossip, but the story has ignited a flame
which is turning into a raging inferno – the
Muslim immigration debate.
Heads and the Gold Coast as a village of 500
people. In the entire village, only three
would be Muslims compared to 310 Christians,
according to 2006 Census statistics. Four
years earlier, and the number would have
been closer to two Muslims per 500 people.
step back. With about 5.8 million immigrants
Australia-wide, only one in 29 is
Muslim. In terms of the entire population,
Muslim immigrants are even less, outnumbered
more than 100 to one.
So why are
people scared of a minority group? A leading
expert in immigration studies says it is
because of our association of Muslims with
National University’s Director of The
Australian Demographic & Social Research
Institute Peter McDonald says all immigrants
coming to Australia deserve a fair go at
starting a new life. “There is a double fear
in society which is a fear of Muslims and a
fear of boat people,” he says. “There’s a
small group of Muslims who may be dangerous
but it’s up the security agencies to look
after the matter.” He takes a quick breath.
“Of course, we should be careful, but we
shouldn’t label an entire group of people as
terrorists. The image of boat people coming
to Australia is that they’re Muslims and the
fear generated is that boat people and
Muslims are of the same story when they’re
Azman, 22, knows only too well how it feels
to be stereotyped as something she’s not.
She spreads out her towel over the
sun-scorched sand. Beads of sweat drip from
her brow. Bikiniclad girls pass her by,
staring and making hurried whispers to one
another. She tries to ignore them. She can’t
help staring back. She sits on her towel
beside her friends. These girls don’t judge
her. She wipes the sweat from her forehead.
Her hijab is suffocating. She stands and
makes toward the glistening blue water,
anxious to cool down. She stands in the
shallows as the waves pound against her
knees. People rush past, skin bared to the
world. They do a double-take.
A hijab and a wetsuit aren’t your usual
attire at a Gold Coast beach.
Safiyya is a Muslim from Malaysia who moved
to Australia to study Finance and Law at
University in 2008. She says Australia is
the place she feels most accepted outside
country. But despite the safety, she thinks
Australia’s multicultural strategy has a
long way to go. “I don’t know what people
are scared of because the terrorist image is
not about religion, it’s about politics,”
says Safiyya. “You can’t just blame Muslims
for the September 11 attacks, there isn’t
enough evidence to prove who it was. It
could have been the CIA for all we know.”
She takes a deep breath. “Christianity and
Islam are fundamentally the same, we just
believe in different prophets. There has to
be a lot of time and effort put in place for
multiculturalism to work which is the same
with most countries around the world. It’s
just going to take time.”
furore in federal parliament over Muslim
migration, the Gillard Government is
stepping up with its new The People of
Australia policy. The strategy, released
earlier this month, aims to promote national
unity by responding severely to acts of
intolerance and racism. It also means the
Government has instated a new multicultural
council to devise multicultural policies.
Immigrants will hopefully receive more aid
for everyday activities like transport and
finding housing and jobs as a result.
But will the
policy solve the multicultural issues facing
Australia today? A leading officer from a
multicultural organisation thinks it’s a
good start. The Multicultural Development
Organisation helps immigrants by picking
them up from the airport, setting up their
bank accounts, helping them look for work
and much more. The organisation’s Chair of
the Board Warren McMillan hopes the new
policy will make immigrants feel more
accepted in Australian society.
to see some leadership in multiculturalism
and the promotion of the larger
message of immigrant inclusion,” he says.
“Refugees and immigrants are desperate to
fit in and want to make the most of their
new life. That’s why we help them with
everyday tasks, because for them it is a
daunting task.” He pauses momentarily.
“There’s always a fear of the new and
unknown which is understandable,
particularly with Muslims and their
connection with terrorism.
But every time
there are new people arriving, Australians
need to take the time to share and connect
with them and they’ll find most of their
unfounded fears dissipate.”
After four years of living at the Gold
Coast, Dr Alsaba still wonders if she will
stay in Australia when she finishes her
fellowship. She slumps through her front
door. Her children are already fast asleep.
She walks into her bedroom, undressing as
she goes. The countless lives she helped
change today cross her mind. She smiles,
unpins her hijab and crawls into bed. ‘Home
is where you feel safe,’ she thinks. A
minute later, she is fast asleep.
How you can help
Brisbane-based NGO Multicultural Development
Association is looking for volunteers to
help with a range of immigrant integration
programs. Activities range from airport
greets to helping out with homework clubs.
If Brisbane is too far to come then there
are plenty of opportunities available on the
Gold Coast and at Tweed Heads. Contact a
Volunteer Coordinator on 07 3337 5400.
Pro-Muslim petition tabled by senator
ACT Liberal senator Gary
Humphries (pictured left) has lodged a
petition in parliament calling for better
treatment of Muslim refugees.
It comes one month after presenting a similar
document which argued they shouldn't be allowed
to immigrate to Australia.
Senator Humphries found himself in hot water
after he tabled a petition in the upper house
calling for a 10-year moratorium on Muslim
immigration and a review of Australia's
immigration policy to ensure priority was given
to Christians last February.
At the time he agreed the document, signed by
three Sydneysiders, was "somewhat offensive" but
defended his right to present it because it
conformed with Senate standing orders.
Mr Humphries tabled another petition with quite
a different view in the chamber on Wednesday.
It requested that the Senate endorse and
re-articulate the policy of non-discrimination
towards migrants and reject calls for the
discrimination of Muslim refugees and
built between Police and Australian Muslim communities
Thirty eight projects
that fostered community engagement
between Muslim communities and Police
have resulted in best practices that
could be followed in communities all
around Australia, Race Discrimination
Commissioner, Graeme Innes said today.
“These important and
diverse projects, which ranged from
sporting and arts-based initiatives to
police-community consultations, aimed to
improve relationships between local
police and Australian Muslim communities
by building trust, respect, inclusion
and participation between them,”
Commissioner Innes said.
“Many have been very
successful, particularly in the areas of
breaking down stereotypes,
misconceptions and misunderstanding on
both sides, and have paved the way for
others around Australia to follow their
lead in building stronger communities
now and into the future,” said
Dr Hass Dellal, Executive
Director of the Australian Multicultural
Foundation said, “The varying outcomes
among the projects also demonstrate the
importance of a long-term view of the
issues and the need for a more concerted
government response including a
strategic research, policy and planning
The Australian Human
Rights Commission-funded projects,
selected by a partnership between the
Commission and the Australian
Multicultural Foundation, took place in
communities located throughout Australia
between 2007 and 2010.
A review of the projects,
entitled Building Trust: Working
with Muslim communities in Australia: a
review of the Community Policing
Partnership Project, was launched
in Melbourne this week by Chief
Commissioner of Victoria Police, Simon
The report highlights the
positive contribution of such
initiatives to building a more socially
cohesive Australian society. It also
concludes that, though local,
small-scale and limited by resources,
such initiatives could become
sustainable when community and policing
organisations integrated them into their
“It is only through
commitment and a willingness to work
together that we can address issues of
concern to communities and police,” Dr
Dellal said. “The lessons learned from
these 38 projects provide further
cultural knowledge for police training
and recruitment opportunities and
highlight the importance of partnerships
in developing sustainable outcomes for
The independent review,
conducted by the Centre of Excellence in
Policing and Security, Griffith
University, is available at:
26th March 2011, it was the date
noted by all members of the Sunnybank Saints
Division 2 men’s football team. The day arrived
and the boys were ready and raring to go. After
a 2-year hiatus from the competition, the squad
had undergone a few changes with new players
joining the team as replacements for those who
could not return.
The team had been in training for about 2 months
now and was looking forward to their first game
of the season. New Manager Shehzad Meman
had instilled in the team a culture of
togetherness and a football philosophy designed
to play attractive football. The squad quickly
learnt from their manager and under the guidance
of their captain Arshad Randeree was
eager to put all their training and practice on
to the field.
The start of the season arrived and the boys
were eager to get their campaign of to perfect
start. The first game of the season was away
from home against West End. Sunnybank arrived
nice and early at their venue and got quickly
into their pre game stretching and warms ups.
Davies Park was a unique venue not far from the
river and surrounded by a farmers market that
added to the uniqueness of the venue. Despite
the interest in the farmers market and the
excitement of the first game, the Sunnybank boys
had to focus as their attention turned to the
game against West End.
The first ten minutes of the game were a touch
and feel game in which both teams were getting
used to the field and scoping out the
opposition. It wasn’t long before the Saints got
things going when Riaz Essof (Rio) fed
his younger brother Farhaan (Fari) a
lovely through ball that Fari dispatched past
the goalkeeper to send the Saints up 1-0. It was
a perfect start for the boys. As the game
progressed the two teams were well into their
rhythm and the Saints were easily in control of
Things were looking all good for the Saints
going into half time, when two lapses in
concentration allowed West End to get through on
goal and dispatch their two opportunities for a
2-1 lead at the half time break. The boys did
not let the deficit keep them down and kept
their heads up completely focused on taking back
control and the lead in the second half.
As the second half got underway, Saints quickly
made their intentions clear with some cool crisp
passing with plenty of intent to attack. A ball
fed through to Ismail Essof just outside
the box was all the striker needed to turn his
defender and get a shot away and past the
despairing dive of the goalkeeper to make the
score 2-2 and bring the Saints back into the
game. From this moment the Saints were in total
control, a good sweeping move in the West End
half ended off with a cracker of a shot
screaming into the back of the West End net
courtesy of the boot of Rio. The midfielder was
having a perfect game and he got the goal he
Sunnybank were intent on making their advantage
count and never looked like letting up on the
opposition. Rio and Ziyaad Hassan (Zeezu) were
moving the ball well in the middle of the field
before a cleared cross fell to the feet of
Irfaan Amod (Iri) who took a first time shot
which cannoned off the crossbar and into the
back of the net. Two cracking goals sent the
Saints up 4-2 and their dominance was now
showing on the scoreboard. The Saints made in
5-2 when captain Arshad Randeree slotted home
from the penalty spot after Zain Amod was
upended by the West End defence.
The result was indicative of a dominant
Sunnybank performance and the boys were
delighted to have kicked of the season with a
win. The Saints will now look forward to their
first home game of the season when they take on
Mansfield Eagles at Lister Street at 5pm. If one
thing is for sure after today’s performance, it
is that anyone who can make his or her way to
watch, will be in for a football treat.
the Muslim World with CCN
Forced To Give Up 40 Days Of Muslim Lent
Mo. (RNS) The Rev. Steve Lawler should have
just given up chocolate or television for
Lawler, the part-time rector of St.
Stephen's Episcopal Church, decided to adopt
the rituals of Islam for 40 days to gain a
deeper understanding of the faith.
after it began, he faced being defrocked if
he continued in those endeavors.
"He can't be both a Christian and a Muslim,"
said Bishop George Wayne Smith of the
Episcopal Diocese of Missouri. "If he
chooses to practice as Muslim, then he
would, by default, give up his Christian
identity and priesthood in the church."
Lawler didn't foresee such problems when he
came up with the idea. He merely wanted to
learn more about Islam, he said, especially
in light of the ongoing congressional
hearings on the radicalization of the faith.
Wednesday, the first day of Lent, he began
performing "salah" five times a day, by
facing east, toward Mecca, and praying to
Allah. He also started studying the Quran
and following Islamic dietary restrictions
by abstaining from alcohol and pork.
During Holy Week, he planned to fast from
dawn to sunset as Muslims do during Ramadan.
But in Smith's eyes, the exercise amounts to
"playing" at someone else's religion and
could be viewed as disrespectful.
Plus, he said, "One of the ways (Lawler)
remains responsible as a Christian leader is
to exercise Christianity and to do it with
clarity and not with ways that are
It's not the first time the Episcopal Church
has confronted a priest over dabbling in
Islam; in 2009, the Rev. Ann Holmes Redding
was defrocked two years after she embraced
Islam because, her bishop said, "a priest of
the church cannot be both a Christian and a
Smith said Lawler would face punitive
actions if he continued with the rituals.
he only planned to take his idea so far --
he did not intend to embrace one of the Five
Pillars of Islam that requires Muslims to
declare a belief in the oneness of God and
to accept Muhammad as God's prophet.
I could have
sat down and
back from it
On his second
day of seeing Lent through Muslim eyes,
Lawler issued a press release promoting his
unique way of spending Lent. Speaking to a
reporter that afternoon, he had no problem
reconciling his Episcopal views with those
"I could have sat down and read scholarly
literature on Islam, but that's still
stepping back from it rather than
encountering it," he said, over a cup of tea
in the office of St. Stephen's Church. "You
can think about doing something, but once
you do it, you really reflect on it."
has been at St. Stephen's for eight years,
was born and raised in the Roman Catholic
Church but left during his early 20s because
he didn't care for its conservative
"The Episcopal church is a fairly open
church," he said. "If I was the pastor at a
very conservative church, I could come in
one day and have the locks changed (for
doing the Islamic rituals)."
I knew I was
into this as
out to be
learned the Episcopal church is more rigid
than he had thought. After hearing the
objections of the bishop, Lawler reversed
course, giving up the Islamic rituals.
what he's trying to accomplish or says he's
trying to accomplish, which is to deepen his
understanding of Islam, is admirable," the
bishop said. "But you dishonor another faith
by pretending to take it on. You build
bridges by building relationships with
neighbors who are Muslim."
Mohammed Ibrahim, chairman of the board of
directors of the Islamic Foundation of
Greater St. Louis, isn't offended at all by
Lawler practicing Islamic rituals.
"I think it's a good idea to understand
better what Islam is," he said. "We do
welcome it. People can come and watch us
pray at the mosques and participate in
prayer if they want to."
For his part,
Lawler said he was not disappointed with the
Episcopal church's reaction.
conversation, so I don't feel excluded or
ordered about, and I understand Bishop
Smith's concerns about what this would
mean," he said. "I knew I was stepping into
this as a discovery. It's turning out to be
different than I thought, but also richer
than I thought."
Asif Yasir, grandson of the former Mayor of
Brent, Ahmad Shahzad, has topped Cambridge
University 2010 International O’Level
Yasir, of Pakistani origin, scored 9 A* in 9
subjects and was the only student to receive
a 99 percent result in Chemistry.
Normally this top position is shared between
three or four students out of 123 countries.
Yasir said that his “love” for Chemistry was
a pivotal reason for his results.
“We got the good news from British Council
Pakistan on behalf of Cambridge
International Examinations that I had topped
the world in Chemistry and that I was the
only student to have achieved this feat.
“It was one of the happiest moments of my
life because I knew it had made my family
very proud while glorifying my beloved
country, Pakistan,” said Yasir.
He added: “I thank Allah Almighty for giving
me this honor and I thank my parents and
teachers for their continuous love, support
“Last but not least I would like to thank my
grandfather who has always been there for me
and who has provided me with great
inspiration, motivation and encouragement to
achieve such greatness.”
USA: Faith groups call for withdrawal of
Muslim, Jewish and Christian
leaders and CAIR officials gathered near the
Tennessee Capital on March 1 to ask an anti-
Shari’ah bill be withdrawn.
They fear that the law would make it illegal
to be Muslim in the state. Supporters of the
bill say it only applies to terrorists, and
one section says, “This part neither
targets, nor incidentally prohibits or
inhibits, the peaceful practice of any
religion, and in particular, the practice of
Islam by its adherents.”
However, the bill claims that Shari’ah law
demands the overthrow of the US
Constitution: “The knowing adherence to
Shari’ah and to foreign Shari’ah authorities
is prima facie evidence of an act in support
of the overthrow of the US government....”
It gives the state Attorney General the
right to say who is practicing any kind of
Shari’ah law, which includes prayers,
marriage and dietary restrictions, and who
is in support of it.
Those convicted would be guilty of a Class B
felony punishable by a fine, not less than
15 years in prison or both. Imam of Masjid
Al- Islam in Nashville, Yusuf Abdullah,
said, “All of a sudden, I pray using the
Qur’an or the Sunnas of the Prophet, and
it's a crime”.
In response to the bill,
Zeljko Milicevic, Chair, JUSTICE FOR BOSNIA
TASK FORCE, Ottawa, Canada
writes an opinion piece on the subject.
MWSF Cobras continue winning streak
UK: Reigning women’s Futsal
Festival champions the MWSF Cobras beat FC
Eighties 11-10 in a friendly on March 12 at
Preston Manor High School, Wembley.
The closely contended match saw the Cobras
score the winning goal in the final minute
of the game. Both team and vice captains,
Sana and Anisa Tirmizi scored together with
Meera Sivasundram and Ayesha Abdeen scoring
a hatrick each. Raneem Zabadne and Rosemin
Abdeen also added to the tally with the
latter claiming goal of the match. Rimla
Akhtar was named player of the match.
The Cobras are managed by the Muslim Women’s
Sport Foundation (MWSF) and train weekly in
a female only environment.
first female Astronomer and Physics
Professor, Dr Alenoush Terian passed away on
The Professor who was of Armenian origin
celebrated her 90th birthday on November 9,
Born in an Armenian family in 1920 in
Tehran, Terian graduated in Physics from the
University of Tehran in 1947.
She continued her studies at the Sorbonne
University in Paris, graduating with a
degree in Atmospheric Physics in 1956. She
returned to Iran to work as an Assistant
Professor in Thermodynamics at Tehran
Terian got a scholarship to study Solar
Physics in Germany, after which she became
Iran’s first female Physics Professor in
In 1966, Terian became a member of the
Geophysics committee of Tehran University
and was elected as the chief of Solar
Physics studies three years later.
She was one of the founders of the solar
observatory of the Institute of Geophysics
at Tehran University, where she also worked
until her retirement in 1979.
Muslimah of Scotland Conference
February 12 over 100 Muslim women braved the
unseasonal blizzards to attend the
conference organised by Amina - the Muslim
Women’s Resource Centre at Dundee’s West
Park Conference Centre.
Dundee’s Lord Provost John Letford,
indicated how highly appropriate it is that
this national Scottish Muslim Women’s
conference should be held in Dundee given
the City’s history of inspirational women.
Scottish Minister for Public Health and
Sport, Shona Robison, MSP, spoke highly of
the work that Amina does across Scotland,
including the groundbreaking work tackling
violence against women, a problem that
affects all communities.
World café discussion groups gave conference
participants an opportunity to discuss life,
issues and solutions facing Muslim women in
Scotland. Feedback from an electronic poll
covering a range of topics, and the ‘world
café’ discussions will now take forward the
agenda for Muslim women in Scotland.
A Conference participant from Aberdeen said:
“It is so inspirational, meeting Muslim
women from across the country, being able to
share our views and ideas and with all our
needs catered for.”
The highlights of the day included two
inspirational speakers, Saadia Usmani from
Edinburgh, and Rahma Abdulatif from London.
Saadia Usmani, WRVS media head and former
BBC journalist and producer, spoke on “media
madness” explaining how the media works, and
urging participants to be more pro-active in
expressing support for good journalism and
objections to distorted reporting.
Rahma Abdulatif, Counsellor and Parenting
practitioner, gave a challenging
presentation ‘The Next Generation – what is
your role in the process?’ indicating that
we must ensure our parenting is appropriate
to the challenges of contemporary life,
rather than outdated cultural models. Sister
Rahma asked participants to consider and
reflect – what are our goals for living, are
we just existing, living too much in the
past and future, what about the present? She
gave examples of role models for current
Muslim women from among the sahabiyaat, the
female companions of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh),
to remind that worship is about actively
engaging in society, not just sitting on the
Throughout the Conference the work of Amina
was highlighted: countering stereotypes in
schools; development of women’s groups;
advice, counselling and befriending
services; training inputs on providing faith
and culturally sensitive services to
Ann Widdecombe Claims Muslims Treated
Favourably Over Mortgages
UK: In her
Daily Express column, Ann Widdecombe takes
issue with Islamic finance and the
provisions provided therein.
sharia law prohibits the payment of
interest Muslims buy a house, then
sell it on immediately to an
off-shore financial company which
leases it back. As stamp duty is not
payable on properties that are sold
on at once the Treasury is losing
some £40million a year. My concern,
however, is not so much with the
loss to the taxpayer as with the
loss of the simple principle which
states the same law applies to all
Christian registrar swaps shifts
with a colleague to avoid
officiating at a civil
partnership ceremony that is
immediately forbidden and the
Christian is faced with a choice
of job or conscience but a
Muslim can indulge in off-shore
deals to avoid paying the
interest the rest of us have to
pay on our mortgages and the
government blesses the
arrangement. The rest of us pay
interest on our mortgages but
Muslims must be allowed special
off-shore arrangements to avoid
doing so. Some equality. Some
Contrary to the impression given
by Widdecombe, most Muslims
still take out conventional
mortgages, not ‘Halal mortgages’
– not least because Islamic
finance is still a fledgling
There is also an argument on
whether Muslims are left better
or worse off under current
Islamic mortgage conditions. For
instance, with a conventional
mortgage the bank lends you the
money to buy your home and
secures the loan against the
property. The property is
strictly speaking yours, but if
you default on the loan they can
repossess and force a sale to
get their money back. Whatever
is left after this process
remains yours to keep.
With the financing method
employed by, for example, HSBC's
Islamic finance, the assets
remain the property of the bank
until paid off in full. They
then lease it back to you, and
should you default, arguably you
are left with nothing, for you
have neither a capital asset in
your name, nor the protection
offered to tenants, as this is a
fixed term lease.
this article points out,
Islamic mortgages remain more
costly than conventional
mortgages, in which consumers
can take advantage of discounted
variable rate mortgage schemes.
this article from the
Telegraph highlights that the
‘rent’ that a customer pays
works out more expensive over a
25-year period than a mortgage
set at the standard variable
On this subject of stamp duty,
MCB briefing paper produced
for the Mayor of London in
February 2009 informs that due
to the way Islamic home purchase
plans are structured, if the
same method of stamp duty
applied, anyone using such a
model would be unfairly treated
in comparison to an
interest-based model, as they
would pay multiple stamp duty.
“Accordingly, starting with
the elimination of double [stamp
duty] on Islamic mortgages for
individuals in Finance Act 2003,
the Government has been
legislating changes to the tax
system with the long term goal
of a level tax playing field
between conventional finance and
This exemption is just one of a
number of many already in
existence within the tax system,
for example, the use of
non-domicile statuses, so it is
surprising that Widdecombe’s
comments that “my concern,
however, is not so much with the
loss to the taxpayer as with the
loss of the simple principle
which states the same law
applies to all of us”
should focus exclusively on this
tax exemption given to the
Islamic finance system and not
The briefing paper also notes
that the government has been
keen to promote Islamic finance
as part of London’s
“[aspiration to be the world’s
leading financial centre].”
economic growth continues in the
Muslim world, and as a growing
proportion of Muslims seek to
have their financial activities
become Shariah compliant, the
percentage of global financial
assets that are Shariah
compliant is expected to
continue increasing strongly.
Where such Islamic finance is
conducted internationally, the
Government would like it to pass
benefits the growth of this
sector would bring, especially
at a time when government is
looking to a private sector-led
recovery, is ignored by Ann
Tax laws are not the same as
equality laws. When she talks of
“Christian [being] faced
with a choice of job or
conscience” Muslims face
the same dilemma in such a
situation. The tax system is a
matter of fairness and such
financing allows Muslims living
in Britain, who may have been
previously excluded from the
financial system because of
their religious objections to
finance to, among other things,
finance their homes.
September 11 the term Islamophobia has entered common
parlance across the globe.
Widely used but diversely and
inconsistently defined and deployed, Islamophobia
remains hotly disputed and frequently disavowed both as
word and concept.
To its supporters it names a defining
feature of our times and is an important tool to
highlight injustices faced by and specific to Muslims,
but its effectiveness is weakened by lack of agreed
meaning and of clarity in relation to such terms as
racism and orientalism.
To its detractors Islamophobia is either
a fundamentally flawed category or, worse, a
communitarian fig leaf behind which backward social
practices and totalitarian political ambitions are
covered up. The backdrop to these debates and more
generally to the mobilizations and contestations, to
which they give expression, is a succession of moral
panics centred on the figure of the Muslim.
Adopting a global perspective this
collection is conceptually framed in terms of four
arenas which provide the four distinct contexts for the
problematization of Muslim identity, and the ways in
which Islamophobia may be deployed. Drawing on diverse
fields of disciplinary and geographical expertise twenty
six contributors address the question of Islamophobia in
a series of interventions which range from large and
sustained arguments to illustrations of particular
themes across these contexts:
'Muslimistan' (broadly the OIC member
countries); states in which Muslims either form a
minority or hold a socio-economically subaltern position
but in which the Muslim minority cannot be easily
dismissed as recent arrivals (such as India, Russia and
China as well as Thailand); lands in which Muslims are
represented as newly arrived immigrants (Western
plutocracies), and the regions in which the Muslim
presence is minimal or virtual and the problematization
of Muslim identity is vicarious.
Rejecting both uncritical transhistorical
uses of the term Islamophobia and no less uncritical
dismissals of the term the collection navigates a course
in betwixt and between these two extremes pioneering a
path to a series of investigations of Islamophobia that
are predicated in the articulation of Muslim agency as
its necessary ground.
like to see the cover of your favourite book on our book
KB SAYS:This easy battered
lamb chops recipe is appropriate for any occasion. I am
going to make it again next week on the return of my
wandering travelling spouse to remind him of what home
cooking is all about!
1 kg lamb chops
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp salt
2 tsp green chillies
1 tsp crushed jeeru (cummin)
1 tsp lemon pepper
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup self raising flour
½ cup finely grated potato
1 beaten egg,
½ cup water
Salt and pepper
½ tsp red chilli powder
Marinate chops with spices and lemon juice
for at least an hour.
Braise the chops and cook
on low heat until tender.
Combine the self raising
flour, potato, egg and add the water to make
Season with spices.
Dip each chop in batter
and fry in shallow oil until light gold.
Q: Dear Kareema, I have really
weak arms and shoulders. I constantly do exercises with
weights so I can become stronger. Is there anything else
I can do to gain strength through my upper limbs?
A: Keep up the weight-training, but increase your
weights every couple of weeks (or do more reps if you
need to stay with the same weights).
Push-ups is a great exercise to strengthen the
shoulders, start on your knees and work your way onto
your toes. Using your own body weight will really
challenge the shoulders and arms and you'll notice
results much quicker.
If you like the water, then swimming or
aqua-aerobics will be good to build strength through
your upper body as well.
Try the rowing machine - it's great for
upper and lower body, so you'll not only strengthen your
shoulders and arms, your legs will get a challenging
Lastly, one of my favourite challenges
for the upper body - boxing!
Your arms will be stronger and toned in
no time (providing you stick to you're workout regime).
Mix and match your workouts and try not to concentrate
on upper body only - all over body workouts will see you
getting fitter faster!
All questions sent in are published here anonymously
and without any references to the author of the
The CCN Chuckle
Jallalludin's wife collapses and he phones for
Abdullah IV ibn Al Hussein Abdul-Aziz Al Fayez
"Ya elahi Ya
elahi, if I drag her to Asif Street can you pick
her up there?"
Keeping on the straight
path.... (Courtesy of Joburg Muslims)
Once, Jaaved Bhai
was attending a lecture by an Imaam Saab, so the
Imaam was saying how in the Quraan you will find
answers to everything, and that Islam has the
solution to everything.
Jaaved Bhai jumped up and with a look of triumph
in his eyes said, Imam, I need to know how to
make Chicken Biryaani, Kebabs and freshly
squeezed orange juice. How do I get that in the
Ahh, that’s easy, counters the Imaam Saab, just
open up the Quraan, you will find the answer in
Surah Nahl, 16:43, where it says at the very
end: “Fas aloo ahla dhikri in kuntum laa
ta'lamoon: “If ye realise this not, ask of those
who possess the Message”. So, follow the Quraan,
go to some catering school and learn how to
Needless to say, the look of utter disbelief on
Jaaved Bhai’s face was priceless!!!
Click on image to enlarge
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