This week's 350th issue of CCN marks another milestone in its
7 years of uninterrupted weekly publications from its humble beginnings in
2004 when wikis, blogs and
Zuckerberg were only just starting to become fashionable.
CCN's Editor-in-Chief, Mustafa Ally, said that the
newsletter was being read and subscribed to by people from many different
communities in many different countries and has been widely acknowledged by
Muslims and non-Muslims alike as an open window into the activities and
achievements and trials and tribulations of the Muslim community. "In its
own unique way CCN serves as reflections - not only of cultural
idiosyncrasies, but also of the complex human condition and spirit."
CCN wishes to acknowledge the continued interest shown by its
growing subscribers and to thank the readers who continue to send in
contributions and links to stories and articles that have helped enrich and
enhance the content and quality of the publication over the years.
We look forward to the next 350 issues with you, insha'Allah.
the Islamic Society of Lockyer and Somerset
Adapted from a report by
Amar Ali Khan
Seated L to
R: Haji Jemeel Deen, Haji Sultan Deen, Haji
M Yusuf, Imam Tariq Syed, Haji Amar Khan & a
sister from Maldives
At an historical general meeting on 3 July the ‘Islamic
Society of Lockyer and Somerset’ was founded in the Gatton Shire Hall.
The meeting was attended by around 80 people including Imam Tariq
Syed from Ipswich Masjid, Haji Mohammad Yusuf, President of ICQ & Chairman of the
Islamic College of Brisbane, Haji Amar Ali Khan - President and Haji Jemeel
Deen Vice President of the Islamic Society of Ipswich, Haji Sultan Deen, Br
Shaheek Hassan VP ICQ and Haji Hahib Deen.
Among the participants was Ms Regina, a local business woman who has worked
hard in consultation with Haji Jemeel Deen and Amar Ali Khan to help
initiate this historical meeting which was originally scheduled for January
but postponed because of the floods.
The Muslim population in the area are mainly from Sudan,
Pakistan, Indonesia, Bosnia, Turkey and the Maldives.
Amongst the speakers were Mr Ian Rickuss, State MP for the
electorate of Lockyer, who encouraged the community to participate in the
activities of the local community, Mr Mohammed Yusuf and Mr Sultan Deen.
Most of the local community took up financial membership of
the newly constituted body and an interim management committee was
Br Mustapha originally from Bosnia and has been living in the
area for a while was the first person to become a financial member and
committee member of the newly formed Islamic Society of Lockyer and
of Imams QLD condemns abuse of Shari’ah Law
CIQ Press Release
The Council of Imams Queensland (CIQ) condemns the recent
events that have been reported in the national media about the whipping of a
fellow Australian citizen by some misguided ‘Muslims’ under the guise of
upholding the Islamic Shari’ah Law.
The Council would like to clarify that the actions of these individuals do
not represent Islam. Such actions are neither condoned nor tolerated by the
Muslim Community of Australia.
These irresponsible actions demonstrate the ignorance of these individuals
of the most basic principles of Islam.
The Council would like to advise that it is necessary to abide by the
Australian laws at all times. Equally, it discourages the media from
exploiting the incident as an excuse to undermine and distort the image of
the wider peaceful Australian Muslim Community.
Ladies Workshop - The Curly Questions We Are So Often
Asked But Are Challenged To Answer
THE first of a series of ladies' workshops was well attended
last weekend at the Kuraby Mosque.
The Q&A-styled workshop was aimed at equip[ing Muslim women
with the knowledge and appropriate manner in which to answer practically and
accurately the ‘curly questions’ that we are so often asked by non-Muslims.
Prior to the session women from many parts of the Queensland
had responded to the call for questions by emailing them to
Dr Mohamad Abdalla, founding Director of the Griffith University Islamic
Research Unit (GIRU) had the enormous challenge of addressing each of the
questions that included:
• Why do Muslim women wear hijab and others wear nikab?
• Why do some Muslim men beat their wives?
• Why did our beloved Nabi (SAW) marry a minor?
Dr Abdalla emphasised the important point that in answering questions about
Islam it is not sufficient to simply know the textbook answer but to
1. Addressing people according to their educational level (based on our
beloved Nabi's (SAW) advice 'address people according to their intellectual
2. Understanding the reasoning behind questions (for example, what is behind
asking about the hijab?)
3. Understanding people's backgrounds
4. Understanding the cultural and historical context of the audience (for
example, the western experience with women's rights and the reasons for the
emergence of the feminist movement).
Many ladies attending the workshop were delighted with the
depth and practicality of the information provided by Dr Abdalla.
There are many more questions yet to be addressed. If you
have a burning question that you need an answer to, email us at
Watch this space for details of the next session or send your email address
firstname.lastname@example.org so we can include you on our (WIK) Women in
the Know database.
Batchelors in Iran
Umar and HananBatchelor are now nearly
4 months into their 10-month adventure and sent in this report for CCN
We've just passed through Iran and it has been a
fascinating country full of warmth.
We found an Iranian sport or you can say theatrical
Islam and climate change
Video question to Susan Carland about the applicability of
the Quran to climate change
Ramadan Hamper Drive
IWAQ Press Release
is approaching very fast and with it the opportunity to share in the spirit
of giving during Ramadan and earn countless rewards from Allah.
We are pleased to announce that IWAQ is starting collection of non
perishable goods for packing and distribution for the 2011 Ramadan Hamper
Drive. The hampers are distributed to families and individuals who are from
refugee, humanitarian backgrounds and elderly or people living on their own
who are on limited income.
Non perishable goods include: Flour, sugar, rice, pasta,
(preferably 1kg or 2kg bags), cereal, honey, canned tomato, oil, tea,
coffee, etc. You can also donate money for meat vouchers.
Please call IWAQ Office on 3208 6333 to arrange for
drop off of your contribution.
We are also inviting volunteers to help us pack the hampers.
If you would like to volunteer please call the office on 3208 6333 to
Please ensure that all food items contributed (biscuits etc)
May Allah reward you for your generosity. Ramadan Kareem.
of diverse faiths seek understanding at Bossey
son of Imam Quddoos:
"In coming to
know one another as persons, we will learn
to respect each other."
“Religions as instruments of peace” is the subtitle of a 2011
summer course on “Building an interfaith community”. Twenty-three students
from more than a dozen nations have assembled at the Ecumenical Institute in
Bossey, Switzerland for the course which runs from 4 to 29 July.
One of the early lecturers admitted that many observers today see religions
not as instruments of peace but as reasons for conflict. “Our hands as
religious leaders are not clean,” said Rabbi Richard Marker of the
International Jewish Committee on Inter-religious Consultations.
The experience of too many nations and their governments, he added, “is that
religion is a cause of divisiveness that works against shared values.”
Now in its fifth year, the institute’s summer course on interfaith relations
brings together students of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim traditions for
a time of study, shared experience of one another’s sacred spaces and
reflection on their own cultures, spiritualities and worldviews.
The student body is made up of nine men and fourteen women. Ten are
Christian, seven are Muslim and six are Jewish.
They have come from Latin America, western and eastern Europe, the Middle
East, Asia and Australia. Three are sisters from religious orders in
Colombia, Guatemala and Romania. Three students have come from Israel, and
three are Palestinians.
Danielle Antebi of Israel, whose academic background is in criminology and
international politics, was eager to join the course after her brother’s
positive experience as a student last summer. “He is an archaeologist who
gives presentations on Israel in various places,” she says, “and he wanted
an opportunity to meet people from different countries and hear their
opinions of Israel and of the relationships between people of differing
She concluded that a month at Bossey, overlooking Lake Geneva, would provide
her “a great opportunity to meet and interact with people representing a
number of cultures.”
Mohammed Azhari of Australia, who pursued studies in Islamic teaching and
inter-religious dialogue during his graduate work in Damascus, sees the
course at Bossey as “a brilliant opportunity to come and encounter people of
other faiths. Here, we will begin by building community among ourselves,
hoping that this will be a first step toward some greater achievement.”
Azhari sees the students asking themselves, “How do people attain peace
through prayer, through their beliefs? In coming to know one another as
persons, we will learn to respect each other. In this way we can move beyond
mere tolerance to appreciation, to acceptance even of what makes us
different. And this is for the best, since it is ignorance that leads to
During the first week of classes, Rabbi Marker was joined in discussing
Judaism by Grand Rabbi Marc Raphaël Guedj, president of the Fondation
Racines et Sources (Roots and Sources Foundation).
Professor Fawzia Al-Ahmawi of the University of Geneva and Hafid Ouardiri,
president of the Ta'aruf (Interknowing) Foundation, are offering their
expertise on Islam, and Christianity is to be interpreted by several staff
members of the World Council of Churches (WCC) as well as by Professor S.
Wesley Ariarajah of Drew University in the United States of America.
The Ecumenical Institute administration is sensitive to the variety of
dietary practices among the students, and spaces for worship have been
arranged appropriate to each of the religious traditions represented.
Founded in 1946, the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey is the international
centre for encounter, dialogue and formation of the WCC. It is related to
the University of Geneva through a covenant agreement with the university’s
autonomous faculty of Protestant theology.
The summer course has been jointly organized by the Ecumenical Institute,
the WCC programme on Inter-religious Dialogue and Cooperation, the Ta'aruf
Foundation and the Fondation Racines et Sources.
Saints bounced bank from the 3 week break and some poor form with a
convincing 5-1 win over Mansfield Black.
It did not take long for the Saints to open the scoring courtesy of a
fantastic shot from the left hand side by Ismail Essof. The early
goal gave Sunnybank the perfect start and the players were looking
A few minutes later Mohsin Sabdia made it 2-0 and the Saints were in
cruise control. Sabdia scored from a similar area to the first goal and
everything was just falling into place for the Saints.
Full match report
From his car catching alight in the Kalahari to getting up
close and personal with big cats, Yusuf Omar spent three weeks
exploring Southern Africa in his VW beach buggy. And he didn’t get the story
he went to write.
the Muslim World with CCN
Prohibiting burqa does not liberate women
The Commissioner for Human Rights at the
Council of Europe, Thomas Hammarberg stated
press release that bans on full-face
veils may alienate women rather than
“It is more likely that such laws – so
obviously targeting the adherents of one
religious faith – would further stigmatise
these women and lead to their alienation
from the majority society. Banning women
dressed in the burqa/niqab from public
institutions like hospitals or government
offices may only result in them avoiding
such places entirely. This is not
The press release cited an Open Society
report which found that of 32 women
interviewed, all of whom wore the face-veil
in France, 30 had been verbally abused and
some also physically assaulted. Such
experiences mean that the women prefer now
to limit time spent outside of their homes.
This demonstrates how such legislation risks
isolating elements of the Muslim community
rather than integrating them.
Hammarberg highlighted that debates on
relatively trivial matters such as the niqab
have sidetracked the debate away from more
“The way the dress of a small number of
women has been portrayed as a key problem
requiring urgent discussion and legislation
is a sad capitulation to the prejudices of
“Much deeper problems of intercultural
tensions and gaps have been sidetracked by
the burqa and niqab discussions. Instead of
encouraging this unfortunate discourse,
political leaders and governments should
take more resolute action against hate
crimes and discrimination against
earlier comments in 2010, he stated that
bans on the niqab and burqa may be an
invasion of individual privacy and
contravene the European Convention of Human
“Two rights in the Convention are
particularly relevant. One is the right to
respect for one’s private life and personal
identity (Article 8). The other is the
freedom to manifest one’s religion or belief
“in worship, teaching, practice and
observance” (Article 9).
He stated that limitations on such
legislation may be implemented “in the
interests of public safety, for the
protection of public order, health or
morals, or for the protection of the rights
and freedoms of others.” However, those
arguing for bans on the burqa and niqab have
not managed to demonstrate any of these, and
the fact that very small numbers of women
wear such attire makes arguments for bans
He also argued that there is no way to prove
that women who wear it are any more
oppressed than other women, and that
“Those who have been interviewed in the
media have presented a diversity of
religious, political and personal arguments
for their decision to dress themselves as
Hammarberg argued that many arguments for
bans on the niqab and burqa are “clearly
Islamophobic” because they focus on
what is perceived as Muslim dress. He
emphasises the need to discuss these issues
openly, “However, attempts should be
made to broaden the discourse to cover
essential matters, including how to promote
understanding of different religions,
cultures and customs. Pluralism and
multiculturalism are essential European
values and should so remain.”
Hammarberg’s comments come as
Belgium prepares to enforce a ban on the
burqa from this Saturday the 23rd July.
Individuals contravening the ban will face a
€137.50 fine and up to 7 days in prison. It
is estimated that just 270 people wear a
full-face veil in Belgium.
Belgium will be the second European country
to enforce such legislation after
France, who enforced its ban from 11
Museum to stage exhibition dedicated to hajj
Collection will include historic and
contemporary objects that 'journey to the
heart' of Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca
The British Museum is to
stage a major exhibition dedicated to the
hajj, the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca.
Hajj: journey to the heart of Islam will
bring together historic and contemporary
objects – including manuscripts, textiles,
archaeological items and photography – to
explore the experience and importance of the
The exhibition, opening in January, will
also feature the work of contemporary Saudi
artists such as
Ahmed Mater, who has created an
installation with magnets and iron filings
to symbolise hundreds of thousands of
pilgrims circumambulating the Ka'bah, the
black granite cube in Mecca thought to be
built by Abraham and his son Ishmael. There
will also be work by
Shadia Alem, one of two artists who
represented Saudi Arabia for its debut at
the Venice Biennale earlier this year while
sound cones in the Reading Room will convey
a sense of being in Mecca by transmitting
the labbaik, the prayer recited by pilgrims
as they carry out their rituals.
The museum's director, Neil Macgregor, who
announced details of the show on Tuesday ,
said it would enable a global audience to
deepen their understanding of the
significance and history of the hajj.
"It is special in being the only aspect of
Islam which non-Muslims cannot take part in.
It is not merely a spiritual phenomenon, it
has become a cultural phenomenon. The museum
has always sought to present a connection
between faith and society. It [the hajj] is
a phenomenon that needs to be better
understood than it is. It has become very
clear to us that we've been looking to put
on exhibitions about things people want to
know about – such as Iran and Afghanistan –
and questions people want to explore."
one of the
in the world
Macgregor called the
organisation of the hajj "one of the great
administrative achievements in the world"
and said the exhibition would show the
logistics behind the pilgrimage, which
annually attracts up to four million people
to the holy sites of Mecca.
In addition to the rare objects on display,
drawn from private and public collections,
there will be more prosaic items such as a
ticket for a Thomas Cook hajj ship, which
used to operate services across the Indian
Ocean, a hajj proxy certificate, issued to
those who are unable to perform the
pilgrimage and have asked friends or family
to perform it on their behalf, and pilgrims'
Venetia Porter, the curator for the
exhibition, said: "The exhibition is about a
journey and life-changing experience, a
journey that has one purpose only – to reach
the heart of Islam. We want people to
understand what this experience has meant."
Although the preparation and rituals behind
the pilgrimage have remained largely
unchanged for 1,400 years, Mecca itself is
evolving at a dizzying pace.
is about a
that has one
– to reach
the heart of
Last month, in Jeddah, Saudi
officials unveiled a £16bn development plan
for the city, increasing its pilgrim
capacity, strengthening its transport links
and overhauling its appearance.
The government's commission for tourism and
antiquities said revenue from tourism in
2010 would reach $17.6bn, then almost double
again by 2015.
A $6bn, 276-mile rail link will connect
Mecca with Medina, the home and burial place
of Muhammad, while a multi-billion-dollar
upgrade will increase the capacity of Medina
airport from three million to 12 million
passengers a year.
King AbdulAziz International airport in
Jeddah will also expand – accommodating 30
million travellers by 2012 to 80 million
when finished – and the total number of
visitors to Mecca and Medina could rise to
almost 17 million by 2025.
Stewart dismantles Herman Cain's anti-mosque
(Cain's segment starts at
about 1:00 and goes to about 4.00)
State Senator Posts Anti-Muslim 'Joke' on
Mosque expansion to cater to 500,000 more
new minarets are being added to Makkah's
Haram Mosque as part of a huge expansion
The construction of the new King Abdullah
Gate is also progressing well.
The two new minarets will form part of the
giant gate located on the northern side of
There will be a total of 11 minarets once
construction work is complete, Gulf News has
learnt from sources close to the General
Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy
So far, nearly 25 per cent of the expansion
work has been completed. The expansion,
which will change the face of the Haram
area, was ordered by King Abdullah Bin Abdul
Aziz in January 2008.
It will facilitate the accommodation of an
additional 500,000 worshippers by creating
more prayer space in the northern and
northwestern parts of the mosque.
With the new expansion that will cover an
area of 370,000 square metres, the mosque
will have the total capacity to accommodate
more than 1.2 million worshippers at a time.
On a tour of the construction site, Gulf
News saw that construction work on the
basement area was almost complete. With the
help of advanced equipment, including giant
cranes and forklifts, thousands of workers
as well as engineers and technicians were
seen working round-the-clock on the project.
According to the sources, one of the new
minarets will be ready by the time Ramadan
starts on August 1.
The demolition of rocky mountainous areas
near the Jabal Al Kaaba zone is under way as
part of measures to allow construction work
on the new border area of the expanded
The sources told Gulf News that the
expansion project will be a separate entity,
and it will be linked to the main structure
of the Haram Mosque through four giant
bridges. Worshippers can enter the
circumambulation area (Mataf) of the Kaaba
through the northern courtyards.
Dr Mohammad Bin Nasser Al Khozaim, deputy
head of the General Presidency for the
Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, said that
construction work on the pattern of the same
architectural design of the Haram Mosque is
"More than 300,000 [square metres] will be
added to the holy mosque on the northern
side," Dr Al Khozaim said.
"There will also be supporting services and
high-tech facilities such as those for
drinking Zamzam water, the disposal of
garbage, security monitoring, sunshade on
the courtyards and the like. There will be
bridges and escalators to facilitate [the]
smooth flow of pilgrims to and from the
mosque complex," he said.
The argument seems
straightforward: if we have scientifically
proven standards for animal welfare that we
believe in, we should stick to those
standards. And indeed, it would be a simple
argument if the people affected by the ban
were a random mix of a wide variety of the
The problem with the outright
ban is that the only people affected are
religious minorities: in the Dutch case, one
million Dutch Muslims and 40,000 Jews. This
makes it easy to claim that anti-minority
sentiments are the hidden reason for the
legislation. When far right anti-Islamic
parties like Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party
strongly support the ban, it’s easy to
believe that the motivation may not always
be just to protect animal welfare.
Our society is becoming
increasingly secular, with the mainstream
regarding religious faith as unproven and
therefore unsupportable: the atheistic
viewpoint dominates. How far do we want this
to continue? Do we want to live in a state
where people are jailed for their religious
So what’s the answer here?
How can we protect animal welfare without
being seen to persecute religious
The fine print of yesterday’s
Dutch vote may contain the answer to this
dilemma: there’s a clause that will allow
Jewish and Islamic groups who can prove that
animals do not suffer more during ritual
killing than in an ordinary slaughterhouse
to continue to apply for permits for
Most meat production for the
Islamic market is already pre-stunned
anyway; electrical stunning is used in over
80 per cent of halal slaughter. And it’s
been claimed that when it’s done properly,
the production of kosher meat does not need
to involve any additional suffering for the
animal. If those supporting ritual slaughter
can demonstrate that their specific methods
are humane, then they will be allowed to
attaching a clipping out of my local newspaper.
I thought you may like to pass this onto sisters who
would be willing to provide their opinion to the
editor of this newspaper as she is looking for
feedback from the local Muslim women.
Jazak Allah khayr.
I have tried researching whether it is permissible
to keep a pet cat and to leash him in/up when not
Many of the Islamic sites or
discussion boards give very contradictory
Therefore I would like to make sure
it is permissible Islamically.
Any information on this topic would
be greatly appreciated.
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Call Mohammed on 0410977161
tweeting on twitter!
ISLAM TV this week
If you are unable to view Islam
TV here open this CCN newsletter in Firefox or
Pointing the finger : Islam and
Muslims in the British media
Julian Petley, Robin
since 9/11, Muslims and Islam have dominated the
headlines in the UK. With one leading newspaper
describing the Muslim community as a troublesome
minority, the media has often been accused of hostility.
In this illuminating study, several leading commentators
examine the phenomenon of Islamophobia and ask how to
tackle it. Charting recent media controversies and
including interviews from Muslim journalists, this is a
captivating insight into how Muslims are depicted in the
The "call" amounted to a quote from a UKIP MEP, merely
restating that party's long-standing policy, and a
mention of a private member's bill tabled by a Tory MP a
year ago (which
attracted no support).
In other words, the only "call" came from the paper
itself. By Express standards when reporting on matters
Muslim, this was a minor indiscretion.
Consider these gems: Hogwash: Now the PC brigade bans
piggy banks in case they upset Muslims (no
they didn't); Christmas is banned: it offends
it wasn't); Now Christ is banned (no
These examples are taken from a book that was published
this week, Pointing the Finger: Islam and Muslims in the
British Media*, edited by Julian Petley and Robin
It is a timely and important book, as another author who
has written widely on the same subject, Elizabeth Poole,
There are terrific contributions from several media
academics and a key chapter - "Keeping your integrity -
and your job: voices from the newsroom" - was written by
The Guardian columnist Hugh Muir and fellow journalist
Few topics are as controversial as the media treatment
of Muslims, and too few journalists take it seriously.
They should, because they are responsible for the
stories people retell.
It is press-generated myths about Islam that fuel
misunderstandings and feed prejudice, and thus bedevil
like to see the cover of your favourite book on our book
CCN's Editor-in-Chief continues with
his survival recipes by putting together a healthy
dessert that also happens to satisfy a very sweet tooth
and best all of required no cooking, heating, boiling or
PS: If any reader can explain why the
balls gradually flattened out in the tray our
Editor-in-Chief would be most grateful.
Honey (not quite!) Balls
2 cups (700g) honey
2 cups (340g) tahini (hulled)
½ cup dry roasted almonds (roughly copped)
roasted sesame seeds
1. Mix honey and tahini
together in a bowl until it gets to a smooth
2. Stir in the chopped
3. Roll the mixture into little balls, and
give them one roll in the roasted sesame
Dear Kareema, I love going for my early morning jog and
then short workout. I tend to perspire a lot during
exercise though, does this mean I’m unfit or doing too
A: No, not at all. In fact, perspiring is a sign
that your body is coping more efficiently with the
It has nothing to do with being unfit or
doing too much at once.
A fitter woman may get signs of
perspiration sooner – although sometimes that
perspiration may be milder than that of a woman who is
at a lower level of fitness and pushing herself to a
Just be sure to keep up your water intake (lots of
little sips along the way) to stay hydrated, and allow a
few minutes to stretch after every workout.
PappaRoti Warrigal Square will be
running a Ramadan promotion in conjunction with
the holy month of Ramadan from August 1st. We
will be offering the Ramadan Combo Specials
which is a crispy bun with a Malaysian specialty
Please take this opportunity to break fast with
the Ramadan Combo Specials.
Junaid Ally Properties
laptops, bags, accessories, digital cameras,
monitors, notebooks, printers,
toners/cartridges, software and much much more.
All the best brands at the lowest possible
prices. Visit us today
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