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Sunday, 3 April 2005

Newsletter 0023

This issue of CCN is kindly sponsored by




House Full Signs Go Up at Darul Uloom

The lecture series currently being conducted by Prof. Sheik Mohd Zakiyyundeen Sharfi, the Imam and Khateeb of New Jersey, at the Darul Uloom has been well attended on every one of the nights. 

The Darul Uloom and all those responsible for organizing and arranging for these talks are to be thanked and congratulated for giving us Bribanites the opportunity to listen to some very refreshing viewpoints and arguments.

MP3 recordings and videos of the lectures are being made available by the Darul Uloom for a nominal fee.

Prof. Sharfi has also arranged for the printing of copies of the English translation of the Quran for distribution amongst non-Muslims. At around $1.25 a copy you can reserve copies for yourself as well sponsor copies that the Darul Uloom has undertaken to distribute. The aim is to distribute 20 000 of these Qurans locally and your contributions will help with making this Dawah programme a reality. Contact Imam Peer on 0415 710 613 for further details.


You can listen to one of the lectures ("Challenges Facing the Ummah and their Solution") by clicking here (23MB).


If you have missed any of the lectures in the series at the Darul Uloom you can hear Prof Sharfi deliver some of the topics discussed at the Kuraby Masjid after Eisha on 6, 7 and 8 April.


Congratulations to the Newly Weds


Islam Today and Tomorrow: ABC Interview

On Wednesday 30 March the ABC Radio National interviewed Kuraby Masjid's Dr. Mohamad Abdalla.

This is how the interview went:


David Rutledge: While many Australian Muslims may feel distress at the level of Islamophobia in Australian culture, at least one community is taking steps to change public perceptions about Islam. In September 2001, a couple of weeks after the World Trade Center attacks in New York, a mosque in the Brisbane suburb of Kuraby was firebombed and burnt to the ground. It was a particularly virulent expression of anti-Muslim sentiment, but since then, hopes for dialogue and mutual understanding have risen from the ashes of the old mosque.
In 2003, the rebuilt Kuraby mosque was awarded a $30,000 Living in Harmony Community Grant by the Federal Government. The money has gone into turning the mosque into a local education centre. Open days at the mosque have been a big success, as well as interfaith meetings and discussion groups, and the mosque leaders have been getting out into the community and taking the message of moderate Islam on the road.
Last week the mosque hosted a delegation of representatives from the local Lions and Rotary clubs, as well as members of the Queensland Police.
I spoke with Assistant Imam, Mohamad Abdalla.

Mohamad Abdalla: The first Harmony Program that we had, it was an open day mosque, and we had about 800 people come to the mosque, beginning from 10.30 in the morning to about 3.30 in the afternoon, continuously and just walking through the mosque. We would take them in a tour around the mosque, and the response that we had is extremely positive, that people said, ‘We’ve always wanted to come and do this, but we felt that maybe the mosque is a closed door that nobody is allowed to come in. And when people come inside and see the way we worship and that everything is normal, that we are actually human beings after all, they become quite surprised. We’ve had another open day after that, more people came and the same positive response was achieved also.
David Rutledge: You’ve been very active in forging links between the Muslim and the non-Muslim community, educating people about Islam, but to what extent are you a rarity among Muslim leaders in doing that?
Mohamad Abdalla: I think it is uncommon, unfortunately, to find many people having the time and the resources to try to bridge the gap between the Islamic community and the non-Islamic community. And it is unfortunate that we were forced to go and do that after 9/11, we should have been doing that much before. We are Australians, we have been in this country for many, many years, some of us were born here, and so we should have always felt that we are part and parcel of the Australian community and that our faith should not stop us from going out there and explaining to people. It’s not about conversion, it’s not about forcing people into the faith, it is just to create understanding which leads to harmony and leads to a better pluralistic society. So yes, it is rare that you’ll find leaders going out there and speaking to the community. And I think there are reasons for that: 1) Many of our leaders are people who come from overseas, they are imported, and I am against this concept of importing Imams, importing scholars; we should be able to produce our own Australian Muslim Imams and scholars who understand the context of Australia and understand the mentality and the culture of the Australian people. This way they can communicate with them better. So sometimes it’s a language barrier, sometimes it’s not understanding the culture of the other people which prevents these leaders from going out there and trying to explain about Islam.
David Rutledge: Is it also a disinclination to go out into the community where they feel that there’s this sort of background radiation, if you like, of anti-Islam sentiment in the community?
Mohamad Abdalla: Precisely. I mean that’s a factor in itself, and people feel like that. I think maybe the common people amongst the Muslims can use that as an excuse, but the leaders themselves should not make that as an obstacle in their way of going out there and talking to the Australian non-Muslim community. Unless you try it, you won’t know, and then from my own experience, after having spoken to so many non-Islamic Australians, I find it quite amazing, the response of the goodwill and good character of these people, and at the fact that they are ready to listen, they want to listen, they just want somebody to go there and say ‘Listen mate, this is what Islam is about’.
David Rutledge: I recently spoke with Nahid Kabir who published a book last year on Muslims in Australia, and she talked about the feeling of unease that pervades Muslim communities all over Australia. She’s been travelling around the country, and she’s finding many, many stories of suspicion, vilification, sometimes outright abuse. I mean your story in Brisbane is a good news story, but I wonder if you feel that it’s really too soon yet to say that Australian Muslims can begin to go about their business without feeling conspicuous or paranoid.
Mohamad Abdalla: Certainly Muslims have a sense of being uncomfortable. Even I felt it myself. I mean I’ve been here for the last 19 years and the only time I felt I don’t belong any more was the day after 9/11, but I did not allow that to stop me from doing what I have to do, in fact the first day of 9/11 I went to university, dressed the way I dress, and I could feel, I mean you could cut through the atmosphere, you could feel it, but I said to myself, I didn’t do it, I’m not the one who has done that tragedy, I’m not a criminal, therefore I should not allow that to stop me. Yes, there have been many instances where people are abused, there are many instances of racial and religious vilification, but we have to be fair also to the Australian people; there are many cases where they show their goodwill. When the mosque was burnt down, we had a church that came to us and they said, ‘We are ready to give you 30 men to guard your mosque for the next 24 hours.’ We had people come with flowers to the mosque, we had people come wanting to clean the mosque for us. And so while these feelings in the Islamic community are there, my personal advice to the Muslim community is that we should not allow that fear to stop us from interacting with the wider Islamic community. This is the only way we can begin to break the fear of the unknown, we have to explain to people, otherwise we will become aloof, we’ll become exclusivist, and we’ll develop a ghetto mentality, and that is not positive for the Islamic community.

If you would like to read (or better still hear) the full interview go to http://www.abc.net.au/rn/talks/8.30/relrpt/stories/s1334072.htm


Just Passin' Thru

More than 50 friends and family of the Gutta/Omar wedding party arrived in Brisbane during the week. Also visiting from Louis Trichardt is Abed, Sha'ista Khatree's fiancee.

CCN wishes all of them an enjoyable stay here and hope that they leave with some pleasant memories of Brisbane.


A Lovo-ly Feast in Store

The Brisbane Muslim School is holding a fund raising fun night where you can taste the delights of underground lovo cooking. The fun starts at 6.30pm on Saturday 23 April at the Durack campus (724 Blunder Road, Durack). If you have not secured a ticket yet, call Imam Peer on 0415 710 613.


For the uninitiated this, according to authoritative sources, is what it's all about:


A traditional Fijian lovo is an underground barbecue in which an entire meal is cooked over hot rocks while buried in earth. While sampling the food which emerges from the lovo pit is a most enjoyable experience, watching the preparation of a lovo is almost as much fun as the consumption which eventually follows.

The first step in preparing a lovo is heating the rocks which serves as the base for the lovo. Specially selected stones are placed in a hot fire and left to absorb the heat. When the rocks are sufficiently heated, they are pulled from the flames and placed in the bottom of a shallow pit.
Next, chicken, fish and meat are tightly wrapped in a weave of palm fronds or banana leaves before being placed in the bottom of the lovo pit lined with hot rocks.
The entire hole is filled with earth and left to ‘cook’ for anywhere from two to three hours depending on the amount of food. The succulent morsels which emerge are unwrapped and traditionally placed on large banana leaves to cool before the feasting begins.
And what a feast it is. Indulge and enjoy!


This Week on Compass: Tomorrow's Islam

A Compass special which examines whether Western culture can live in harmony with the world of Islam.
Sunday 3 April at 10.10pm -11:10pm



Plans are well underway for CresWalk2005 and all systems are go for Sunday 15 May.

This is a sponsored and highly subsidized event. If you want to secure a spot for your business on the CresWalk T-Shirt this year please e-mail your theteam@crescentsofbrisbane.org for details. Last year many potential sponsors missed out - so get in early and promote your business through a highly sought after collector's item.


Don't forget the CresFit4Life breakfast morning at Kangaroo Point next week after the 7.30am walk. Bring along a (healthy) breakfast and join in the fun.


Biography of our Prophet (PBUH)

The Darul Uloom Islamic Academy of Brisbane invites all to participate in the Seeratul Rasool on Sunday 24 April between 11am and 2pm at their Durack campus (724 Blunder Road, Durack)


By George! Who's the bloke beside our Bilal?


(click to enlarge)

Tips for New Migrants

We continue this week with advice for newly arrived migrants to Brisbane or anyone planning to settle in our fair city at some future date. This week we tackle the subject of job searching:


  • If you were coming on a skills visa, you most probably would want to begin to look for a job.
  • You may not have a computer available to you immediately on arrival.  So prepare a resume before you come, and preferably have a copy on disk.  However, you may have to adjust the resume depending on the job applications.  But having something on hand will make it easier to produce another.
  • Become a member of the local library.
  • The local libraries have free Internet Access.  One has to book usage time in advance.  You can also update your resume using the library facilities.  However printing will be at your cost.
  • For job availabilities see HELPFUL WEBSITES under the Courier Mail.  This is a newspaper that comes out everyday but the Saturday paper is more helpful.  It will give one a view on job availabilities.
  • Maybe you could actually apply for a job being advertised before arriving in Australia?


If you have an questions on this aspect of the advice please e-mail your CCN theteam@crescentsofbrisbane.org.


Source: CCN Reader (who wishes to remain anonymous)

A Word From This Week’s Sponsor



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TO: theteam@crescentsofbrisbane.org


Subject: Thanks to the Brisbane Folks

Asalaamu Alaikum.

Zohra and I would like to thank the Brisbane community for making our three year stay here a very enjoyable and memorable one. It will be a very sad day when we leave for South Africa, leaving so many wonderful people who became part of my family. Once again thanks to one & all. Please remember us in your duas as we will remember you, inshaAllah.

                                                                                               Wasalaam.  Dawood & Zohra Solwa


[Editor] The three years between containers has certainly flown. But the Solwas will always be remembered for their contributions to and participation in nearly every facet of our Brisbane community life. On behalf of everyone who has been associated with the Solwas (and who hasn't!), we wish to extend to them our best wishes for the future.  


Subject: Feedback

Assalamu Alaikum W. W.
I think you are doing a splendid job of keeping the community informed of current affairs and news, and I do look forward to each issue.
I, personally congratulate you all, for your time, and your efforts.
Not a whinge, but just an observation, that the community does consist of more than south/southern Africans. I know that 'the others' are a slack lot and do not do much, to help each other, or to provide info.
I find the current format a bit annoying to read, having to scroll across the page, every line. I am not as computer efficient as some, so I am probably doing something wrong. If there is a way to condense it to the width of an A4 page width, that would make it easier. Appreciate feedback.

                                                                                                     Wasalaam, Hj.Sultan M. Deen

  1. We are trying to build up our database of subscribers and take every opportunity to encourage people from all the different communities to join. In this way we will be able to get news from a wider audience and include them in CCN. At the moment the large majority of our subscribers come from Southern Africa. If you could use your influence to help us spread the word about the Crescents web site and CCN that could help accelerate the process. Also, if you have any news/leads that you would like us to include please e-mail them to us.
  2. Are you viewing the CCN newsletter with the history window open on the left hand side of the page? If so then you should close this window because it will cause the main page to be squeezed in. We have checked it on a few monitors and it seems to fit well inside the screen without any need for horizontal scrolling.


Write For Us

The best ideas and the best feedback come from our community of readers. If you have a topic or opinion that you want to write about or want seen covered or any news item that you think might be of benefit to the Crescents Community please e-mail your theteam@crescentsofbrisbane.org.

Share your thoughts, feelings and ambitions for our community through CCN.


If there is someone you know who would like to subscribe to CCN please encourage them to send an e-mail to your theteam@crescentsofbrisbane.org with the words “Subscribe Me” in the subject line.


Articles and opinions appearing in this newsletter do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Crescents of Brisbane team, CCN, its Editors or its Sponsors.

Someone who knows the cure for people suffering from depreciation.