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Sunday, 4 December 2005

Newsletter 0056

This issue of CCN is kindly sponsored by

 Nandos Underwood



The Kuraby Kids Put on a Show


The Kuraby Madrasah held its annual Jalsa at the MacGregor State School Hall last Sunday. The children acted out several plays while contending with a ferocious downpour that all but drowned out the sound that afternoon.


Principal Ahmad Ghazaleh addressed the audience of mainly parents and their friends, handing out trophies and certificates to the top performing students and bouquets to the hard-working teachers.



ICQ Workshop

More than sixty local community leaders, workers and interested persons attended the Islamic Council of Queensland workshop last Sunday (27 November) at the Darra Mosque to make comment and recommendations on key issues determined by the Government appointed Muslim Reference Group.


The participants identified themselves with particular issues and each group developed a set of proposals.





The topics that were deliberated on were:


Family and community

Education and training of clerical and lay leaders and teachers


Employment and workplace issues

Crisis management




The website of the Reference Group is at

www.immi.gov.au/multicultural/mcrg/index.htm where you can find terms of reference and membership details of the Reference group


A final consolidated report will be prepared and forwarded to the Reference Group.


Muslim Youth Between Agitation and Apathy – What's the Answer? 

Imran Garda was on Islamonline.net recently and responded to several questions on the topic.


You can find both the questions and the answers here.



Imran Garda is a 23-year-old Television Presenter for M-Net Supersport, Africa’s largest cable sports network.

He attended Crawford College and The University of The Witwatersrand.


Apart from his Television work, Imran is a freelance writer and volunteer for charitable organizations. He recently traveled to Bosnia with Islamic Relief to examine the situation there, ten years after the war.


He is married to Salma and lives in Johannesburg, where he is currently trying to beautify his garden, get up earlier in the morning and become a better Muslim.



The Perils and Pleasures of Putting on a Purdah in Perth


A non-Muslim journalist recently wore a purdah and walked the streets of Perth.


You can read all about her experiences here.


Ipswich Mosque Appeal: Deadline Looming Perilously Close

Another gentle reminder of the emergency meeting being held this evening (Sunday 4 December) at 7pm to help find the $160K needed to secure the Mosque by 30 December. You can either donate or offer to loan the Society. Every little bit will help the cause.


Bank Details

Bank: ANZ   Branch: Ipswich

Account Name: Islamic Society of Ipswich Inc.

BSB #: 014-610

Account #: 4995-15045

Paradise Now

Directed by Hani Abu-Assad



“Every day in the newspapers, we hear of suicide attacks. It is such an extreme act that I began to think, like everyone, how could someone do that — what could drive them to it? It made me realise we never hear their story, their side”, said Paradise Now director Hany Abu-Assad.

Abu-Assad’s award-winning film offers an uncompromising, insightful examination of why young Palestinian men and women give their lives to carry out suicide bombings.

Paradise Now follows two would-be suicide bombers, childhood friends Said and Khaled, who are recruited to carry out a “major operation” in Tel Aviv. Things, however, go dramatically wrong and they are separated, leaving each of them alone to deal with their own beliefs and convictions.

The film, which won numerous prizes at the prestigious Berlin International Film Festival, including best European film, the Amnesty International Award and the Audience Prize, is as much about friendship and loyalty as it is a portrait of the illegal Israeli occupation. The film, in contrast to the images we see every day on television and in the media, lays bare the grim and too often concealed reality of Palestinian life under occupation.

Abu-Assad, who co-wrote the film with Bero Bever, succeeds where so much of the world media fails, revealing through Said, Khaled, their families and Suha (the daughter of a well-known resistance fighter), how 38 years of illegal Israeli occupation have dehumanised, humiliated and devastated the lives of ordinary Palestinians.

Lubna Azabal, who plays Suha, adds a depth to the film, offering us a Palestinian voice that is rarely heard in the corporate media.

Filmed almost totally on location in Nablus and Tel Aviv, Abu-Assad brings an unparalleled sense of reality to the film. Originally setting their location in Gaza, Abu-Assad and his crew were forced to relocate to Nablus due to constant Israeli rocket attacks, only to come under attack again in Nablus.
When three men were killed by the Israeli military in the area where they had been filming the previous night, Abu-Assad and his team finally decided to abandon production in Nablus and relocate to Nazareth.

Watching the film, I recognised all too well many of the places filmed in and around Nablus: the checkpoints, the concrete barriers, the apartheid fence, the wooden towers, Balata refugee camp, the bombed-out Moqata (the PLO’s headquarters in Nablus) and the busy streets of Nablus. I also recognised the humour, resilience and steadfastness revealed throughout the film by the “ordinary” Palestinian taxi drivers, students and women, as they went about their daily business, undeterred by Israeli military patrols, roadblocks, gunfire and rocket attacks.

With the “war on terror” in full swing, Paradise Now brings into context a historical and material understanding of why suicide bombings happen. The mainstream corporate media, which rarely mentions the word “occupation” in relation to Palestine, Iraq or Afghanistan, all too often presents suicide bombings in a vacuum and as the irrational act of a deranged Islamic fundamentalist. However, as University of Chicago academic Robert Pape notes, what 95% of suicide bombers have in common is not religion but their opposition to imperialism and occupation.

According to Pape’s study Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism, of the 462 suicide bombings carried out since 1980, half were by secular bombers and there is little evidence that they “hate Western values or hate being immersed in Western society”. Instead, what they have in common, says Pape, is that “they are deeply angered by military policies, especially combat troops on territory they prize and that they believe they have no other means to change those policies”.

It is this anger and resignation that Abu-Assad brings to the screen through Kahled and Said, but he also brings hope for justice and a way to change the dynamics of resistance and occupation through the character of Suha. Paradise Now is a film that should not be missed by anyone interested in understanding the realities of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Source: http://www.greenleft.org.au/back/2005/645/645p26.htm


Getting Googled is a Dead Giveaway

(Please note, any references in this piece, to persons living or dead, is entirely intentional)



Once upon a time, a very long, long time ago Imraan Casoojee and Riaz Razak met in high school and became close friends. They eventually got married to Safia and Shireen respectively but retained their friendship as couples, with the wives also becoming close friends. Both couples bought homes and settled in the same area, then the wives saw bigger homes and they moved away from each other. As time moved on, the couples drifted away, first from neighbourhoods, and finally continents, eventually losing touch with each other.

The Casoojees had moved to Brisbane and the Razaks migrated to Virginia in the USA.


During several severe bouts of nostalgia reminiscing and longing for the "good times we had in Zoo Lake eating steak sandwiches and masala chips together, neh!" all four engaged various traditional ways of trying to get find each other - friends of friends, Dun and Bradstreet, Prisons, Mental Institutions, Scotland Yard and Interpol (to name just a few).


Then one day the Razaks did a Google on Safia and Imraan. This brought up Safia’s name in a CCN article and Imraan’s name and email address on the Crescents of Brisbane website. The couples have re-established contact and Riaz and Shireen are  now planning to visit their friends in Brisbane soon.  


Now we could have ended the story with ....... 'and they lived happily ever after'. But the sole purpose of relating this anecdote (other than a self-serving attempt to plug another of the myriad benefits of getting a mention in CCN and CoB) is this: Don't think you can escape the clutches of your friends and/or your enemies by migrating. Some time or the other your name is going to get on a website and you WILL be found out - whether you like it or not!


Why not Google your name and see what comes up. You might be more famous than you think!


Not Getting the Full Picture?

Some CCN readers might have had difficulty viewing certain images in some of our CCN issues, particularly the animated slide shows. This is because these images require that you have the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) turned on (or downloaded and installed, if it is not already on your computer).



If you do not see the slide show above then you should make sure that you have the JVM enabled by following these simple steps:


1. Go to Tools in Internet Explorer, and then to Internet Options

2. Click on the Advanced tab

3. Scroll down to Microsoft VM and make sure that the box with "JIT compiler for virtual machine enabled (requires restart)" is checked.

4. Restart your machine and try viewing this newsletter again.


If this does not cure the problem then you will need to download and install the JVM.


Should you need any further help in this regard please email theteam@crescentsofbrisbane.org.


At The Movies

Red Dust (showing at the Schonell)


This powerful drama is set against the backdrop of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings, one of the most significant instruments created to heal the wounds of apartheid to help close the most painful chapter in the country's history.

Police officer Dirk Hendricks (Bartlett) files an amnesty application for Alex Mpondo (Ejiofor), a member of the South African Parliament who can't remember the torture he once endured as a captive political activist. South African-born attorney Sarah Barcant (Swank), meanwhile, returns to her homeland to represent Mpondo, as well as Steve Sizela, Mpondo's friend who arrested along with him and never heard from again.

Red Dust is adapted from the novel by Gillian Slovo, whose mother Ruth First was killed by a letter-bomb, and whose communist father Joe was imprisoned as an anti-apartheid activist. Gillian, with her brother and sister, was sent to live in England after her mother's death. Later, she had the experience of watching her mother's murderer admit to the crime and receive amnesty at the hearings.

Read the reviews at


and at



The CCN Corner for Smarty Pants

The winner of the CCN0055 Competition and the Nandos Broadbeach Fiesta voucher is

........wait for it.......

........................................................RAZIA VAHED.........................................


The answer to the question "What is Nelson Mandela's Xhosa name and what does it mean?" is Rolihlahla which literally means "the one who troubles".


Thank you to all those of you who had a go at the question.


This week's competition should find favour with all you card players (and rumour has it that there are more than a few pretty dedicated ones out there).


Which King in the pack is different from all the other Kings, and in what respect?


First correct entry randomly drawn from the CCN Inbox wins a Nandos Broadbeach Fiesta voucher.


Send your answer to theteam@crescentsofbrisbane.org.


Entries close midnight Friday 9 December.



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