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Sunday, 6 August 2006

Newsletter 0091

This issue of CCN has been kindly sponsored by

Scaini & Girach

لسلام عليكم

In Pursuit of the Trivial







At the Souths Soccer Club Trivia Competition on Friday night one team was the run away winner.  







Mr. Ahmed Salejee Hassan, father of Khalid Hassan, passed away in Zimbabwe during the week.

We offer our sincere condolences to the Hassan family and make dua that Allah (SWT) grant the marhoom Jannatul Firdous.


Early Air of Spring in Karawatha


At the Islamic School of Brisbane's Spring Fete yesterday (Saturday, 5 August) the largest crowd seen at a similar function turned out in force to support the Fund Raiser.


But what was even more notable was to able to observe the diversity of Muslims from various ethnic, cultural and backgrounds working, playing and socializing together in an atmosphere of harmony and goodwill.


It ever there was evidence needed that communities can co-exist and co-operate for the common good there this event must surely must stand as a beacon for all amongst them.


Often, the success of any function is only as good as the effort and imagination that the people behind them put into it. In this instance the largest share of the credits must go to the men and women of SPAC (the School Parents Advisory Committee) who did a sterling job of mustering the Muslim community together and making the day appear less of a fund raiser and more a great day out for the family.


There was something here for everyone - amusement rides and games for the kids, food from different parts of the world, bargains to be picked up at the auction, and topped, at the end of the day, by a spectacular fireworks display that would have been the envy of Southbank on any New Year's night.



The Quadrangle

Time-out in the Tent

Joint forces put up a united front

The Backroom Boys

Threatening storm clouds

can't dampen the day

Rides and room to run around in

The Crescents of Brisbane Inc. CresCafe

helping raise funds for the School


The Crescents of Brisbane Team signed up 95 more donors at the Fete for its Blood Drive for Saturday 2 September.


Star recruiter and gentle persuader of the day was our Mualima Safia who single-handedly signed up 75 "volunteers" in between her duties at CresCafe, in the process blowing out our Blood Barometer and forcing a revision of our projected target from 150 to 200.




So there's still opportunity enough for you and your family and friends to register online if you haven't already and join in our sausage sizzle and video show and win some fabulous prizes knowing that you are also serving a great cause.


Goodness Gracious You!


From Peter Sellers to Rove MacManus western comics have taken the mickey out of the hapless Indian from the sub-continent.


With India fast gaining potential superpower status it was high time that the tables were finally turned.


See how one Indian succeeds in doing just that at http://media.putfile.com/CricketComedy. Aficionados of the game of cricket will find this video click particularly enjoyable.


Islamic Awareness Week Launch


The official launch of the Queensland Islamic Awareness Week will take place in the presence of senior representatives of Queensland Government, Griffith University and the Islamic Council of Queensland on Friday 18 August in Parliament House.


The launch will feature a key note address by prominent Scholar of Islamic Science Professor George Saliba, Colombia University on the topic "The Islamic Bequest to the Western Scientific Tradition".


This illustrated talk will examine the various scientific practices and theoretical formulations that originated in the Islamic world and were later adopted by the Latin west, and in most cases are still employed in the western world today.


The Islam Awareness Week itself will run from 18 to 27 August and aims to promote a better understanding of Islam to Queenslanders.


Census Australia Day: 8 August


Message from Shahjahan Khan, Vice President, Islamic Council of Queensland:


Government uses census data for many social, economic and political initiatives and planning. For Muslims it is an opportunity to register us accurately to have a fairly good idea about the size of our community so that community leaders and organisations can plan/address our future needs, both locally and nationally.

Please make sure that every Muslim (including visitors and citizens of other countries ) in this country register his/her religion in Question 19 on page 06 of the Census Form.


Public Lecture on the Roots of Modern Science


Professor George Saliba will deliver a public lecture entitled "Rethinking the Roots of Modern Science: The Role of Arabic Manuscripts in European Libraries" at the Queensland College of Art on Tuesday 15 August at 6.00 pm. This is a joint initiative of the United Nations University and the Griffith Islamic Research Unit (GIRU) of Griffith University.

George Saliba, is professor of Arabic and Islamic Science at Columbia University, He studies the development of scientific ideas from late antiquity till early modern times, with a special focus on the various planetary theories that were developed within the Islamic civilization and the impact of such theories on early European astronomy. His most recent research deals with the latest findings regarding the transmission of astronomical and mathematical ideas from the Islamic world to Renaissance Europe during the late fifteenth century and throughout the sixteenth.

RSVP to Susan Lockwood-Lee (s.lockwood-lee@griffith.edu.au) or tel: 3735 3563 or online at www.griffith.edu.au/centre/kceljag/giru by Tuesday 9 August.


The CCN Cut 'n Paste Column: Muslims Craft Their Own Video Games

Rhonda Roumani, Christian Science Monitor

Inside the frosted glass doors of Afkar Media, located in Damascus's newly-built free-zone, software developers are trying to rebuild a civilization inside a video game. Set to be released in September, "Al-Quraysh" is a strategy game that tells the story of the first 100 years of Islam's history from the viewpoint of four different nations - Bedouins, Arabs, Persians, and Romans.

One can choose to command any of the armies of the four nations or lead the army of the main character, Khaled Ibn Waleed, a Muslim warrior who defeated the Roman and Persian empires and never lost a battle. Or one can play the role of the Bedouin sheikh, who must earn the respect of his tribe. The player has the task of building and protecting trade routes and water sources, building armies, conducting battles, and freeing slaves.

It's just one of several new games produced in the Middle East with the idea that video games, like other media, play a role in shaping young minds and impacting self-esteem. The makers hope "Al-Quraysh," named after the prophet Muhammad's tribe, will help to correct the image of Islam, alleviate tensions with the West, and stoke pride among young Muslims.

"Al-Quraysh is going to help people in the West better understand the people who are living in the East," says Radwan Kasmiya, an avid gamer and the executive manager of Afkar Media. "We want to show that this civilization was a sort of practical and almost heavenly civilization."

The game also holds lessons for Muslims, says Mr. Kasmiya.

"I get very embarrassed by the way we are showing our civilization," says Kasmiya. "There were rational laws that were governing Muslims at that time. This allowed this civilization to last for a long time and to accept the other civilizations that they came in touch with. It was not a conservative or sectarian civilization. But people have stopped taking the ideas behind the laws, and are taking the laws themselves. They do not understand the essence of the laws."

Afkar Media has already produced two games, both dealing with the plight of the Palestinian people. One game released last year, "Under Siege," was born out of frustration with the prevalance of Arabs and Muslims portrayed as terrorists in Western video games. The creators
of the game say the story line counteracts the biases in some Western games by showing the Palestinian struggle from an Arab vantage point and creating Arab and Muslim characters who are fighting in self-defense.

In the first scene of "Under Siege," Baruch Goldstein, the Israeli settler who killed 27 worshipers in a Hebron mosque in 1994, snickers as he sneaks up to the mosque where two boys, Maen and Ahmed, are among those praying inside. Goldstein enters the mosque and starts shooting into the prostrated crowd.

As chaos ensues, Ahmed must disarm Goldstein and turn to fight Israeli soldiers. Killing civilians - Israeli or Arab - will make him lose his stamina. Maen is armed with a slingshot and must help the ambulance, which is being blocked by Israeli forces, reach the mosque.

Critics say the game merely inverts stereotypes - replacing extremist caricatures of Muslims with extremist caricatures of Jews, like that of Baruch Goldstein, and using the violent "shooter" format common to many video games.

But by giving young Muslims and Arabs the chance to see themselves in "the good guy" roles, Kasmiya hopes the games will bolster self-esteem among the region's children.

"Most video games on the market are anti-Arab and anti-Islam," says Kasmiya. "Arab gamers are playing games that attack their culture, their beliefs, and their way of life. The youth who are playing the foreign games are feeling guilt. On the outside they look like they don't care, but inside they do care. But we also don't want to do something about Arabs killing Westerners."

Both "Al-Quraysh" and "Under Siege," which cost roughly $100,000 to make, have been funded and released by Dar al-Fiqr, a publishing house that distributes a wide range of conservative to liberal voices on topics related to Islam. An estimated 100,000 copies of "Under Siege" have been distributed around the Arab world.

Hasan Salem, a director at Dar al-Fiqr, hopes "Al-Quraysh" will promote a more "modern" Islam.

"People believe that only their heritage will help this nation," says Mr. Salem. "We believe that this nation needs a new vision, new people, new blood to study, read, and then think about Islam. We believe in this line, not the old line that only reads old books and believes in the past."

But Dar al-Fiqr and Afkar Media's toughest challenge may be getting serious gamers to play.

Weak copyright laws in the region limit a company's ability to profit from such games, which sell for about $10 a copy.

And games like "Al-Quraysh" must compete with the sophisticated graphics and game plots of a multibillion-dollar gaming industry.

Mohamad Hamzeh, a 26-year-old gamer, says he bought "Under Siege," but that he would not play it instead of other popular games like "World of Warcraft" or "Counterstrike" because he says the plot lines are not convincing.

"We do want to put Arabs in games and show that we have a civilization, we respect other people, and that we are not aggressors," says Mr. Hamzeh, who develops video games himself. "But it's hard to really get into a game like 'Under Siege.' When you are in 2005 and you find a game that was released in 1995 that was much more advanced, it is not good. You must feel the challenge in the game. They are paying so much attention to the political and religious part, they are not concentrating on the technical parts of the game."

Source: http://csmonitor.com/2006/0605/p07s02-wome.html

Your Kodak Moment can Earn you Cash


You only have two weeks to get your entries in for the 2006 Premier's Multicultural Photographic Awards. This is an opportunity for you to share your amazing story about our multicultural State through photography.


Download the details.

Food for thought


A Mosque goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to Mosque.

"I've gone for 30 years now," he wrote, "and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 Lectures. But for the life of me, I can't remember a single one of them. So, I think I'm wasting my time and the Imams are wasting theirs by giving Lectures at all."

This started a real controversy in the "Letters to the Editor" column, much to the delight of the editor. It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher.

"I've been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this: They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to Mosque for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!"

Goss, Golf and the Gold Coast



The perennial Fund Raiser at the Gold Coast Mosque BBQ stuck to its tried and tested formula that served the Mosque committee well in the past.



A Word From This Week's Sponsor

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The CCN Date Claimer


Date Day Event Organizer Venue Contact Time
12 August Saturday Peace Rally: Stop the War in Lebanon Various Queens Park, cnr George & Elizabeth 0422349785 12noon
15 August Tuesday Public Lecture: Prof. George Saliba, Rethinking the Roots of Modern Science: The Role of Arabic Manuscripts in European Libraries Griffith Islamic Research Unit (GIRU) Queensland College of Art, 226 Grey Street, South Bank 3735 3563 6pm-8pm
18 August Friday Islamic Awareness Week Website Parliament House George St     
19 August Saturday Islamic Awareness Week Website Gold Coast Mosque Open Day    
20 August Sunday Islamic Awareness Week Website Kurany Mosque Open Day    
22 August Tuesday Islamic Awareness Week Website QUT Awareness Day    
23 August Wednesday Islamic Awareness Week Website Griffith Uni Awareness Day    
24 August Thursday MBN Launch MBN Parliament House George St  0402032506 6pm
24 August Thursday Islamic Awareness Week Website UQ Awareness Day    
2 September Saturday Crescents Blood Drive '06 Crescents of Brisbane Kuraby Community Hall 0402026786 from 10am
5 September Tuesday Toowoomba Bus Trip Outing IWAQ Toowoomba 3299 2838  8am-4.30pm
24 September (provisional) Sunday Ramadaan start        
24 October (provisional) Tuesday Eid-ul-Fitr        
4 November Saturday Eidfest  Eidfest Mt Gravatt Showgrounds 0402819197 from 9am
23 November Thursday Allah Made Me Funny: The Official Muslim Comedy Tour featuring Azar Uthman & Preacher Moss Crescents of Brisbane The Main Auditorium, Brisbane City Hall 0402026786 7pm
15 December Friday Russell Peters Qld. Performing Arts Council Building S05, Lecture Room 2.04 136246 8pm
31 December (provisional) Sunday Eid-ul-Adha        



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