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Sunday, 5 November 2006

Newsletter 0104

This week's CCN is sponsored by

لسلام عليكم

EidFest2006 and the Bittersweet Deluge


The heavens finally opened up in Brisbane yesterday, and the week long predicted rains came down with a welcome vengeance.


But, for the stallholders and the visitors to Eidfest, it was a case of not knowing whether to laugh or to cry.


Most, however, adopted a philosophical attitude to the intermittent torrential downpours as they slipped and slid in the puddles to make as much of the refreshingly wet day as they could.


Brushing aside risk to life, limb and the undisguised wrath of the camera-shy and camera-sensitive, CCN's intrepid  Man-on-the Mussallah donned a makeshift waterproof coat, resigned himself to spending the day in soggy socks and shoes and went out in search of the images that would best tell the story of the day.       


Who said this?


"Pretoria has been made by the White mind for the White man. We are not obliged even the least to try to prove to anybody and to the Blacks that we are superior people. We have demonstrated that to the Blacks in a thousand and one ways. The Republic of South Africa that we know of today has not been created by wishful thinking. We have created it at the expense of intelligence, sweat and blood. Were they Afrikaners who tried to eliminate the Australian Aborigines? Are they Afrikaners who discriminate against Blacks and call them Nigge*rs in the States? Were they Afrikaners who started the slave trade? Where is the Black man appreciated? England discriminates against its Black and their "Sus" law is out to discipline the Blacks. Canada, France, Russia, and Japan all play their discrimination too."


Click here to find out.


The All-American Blonde Blue-Eyed Girl-Next-Door



Angela Colin

CCN's Personality of the Month: Sheikh Ahmed Abu Ghazaleh


Ahmed Abu Ghazaleh has become a virtual household name amongst residents of Brisbane having made appearances at many of the major functions held recently in and around the city.


Many have had the distinct privilege of hearing his songs and poetry at the recent Al-Nisa and MBN launches as well as at his appearance as the star attraction at the Fund Raiser for the victims of the Lebanese and Palestinian conflicts.


But other than being inspired by his lyrics and melodious voice, how much do we know of the man behind the duff. CCN's Man-on-the-Mussalaah sought out the good Sheikh and posed to him a number of probing questions to find out more about his achievements, ambitions and vision for his fellow countrymen.


[MotM] Brother Ahmed, what is your country of origin?

[AAG] Palestinian descent born in Syria and lived in Jordan


[MotM] What was life like in your country of origin?

[AAG] Very socially and community active.  Close family ties.


[MotM] How long have you been in Australia?

[AAG] 5 years


[MotM] What made you come to Australia?

[AAG] My marriage to Naseema Mustapha made me come to Australia and the great lifestyle and opportunities this wonderful country has to offer.


[MotM]Tell us about your family?

[AAG] I have three brothers who all live at home with my mum.  One of them is married with 2 beautiful children.  I am the eldest and the only one who has moved out of the Middle East.  I have many half-brothers and sisters.


[MotM] What is your occupation, who do you work for and describe your role here?

[AAG] I have a few roles. I am the Principal of Kuraby Madrasah, my role involves administration, supervision of teaching, adult education, Islamic syllabus development, managing finance, Public Relations and behaviour management. I am often invited locally and internationally to deliver lectures on Islamic topics. I am regularly invited as a Khateeb to deliver Khutbas at various Mosques. I offer adult education classes through the Rochedale Mosque.

I have been involved in the Madrasah Teachers Diploma as a lecturer teaching the subjects of Psychology, Methodology, Fiqh, Tajweed (the art of recitation), Islamic Mannerisms. I am a professional Islamic singer who has mastered the art of Arabic Maqamaat which includes seven different tunes.  I have three CDs on Nasheed and Qiraáh and am currently compiling my next CD. I have represented at a number of Multicultural and Interfaith Forums and Symposiums in Brisbane and the Gold Coast. I have been invited as a Speaker and Artist at the 2006 Woodford Folk Festival representing Islamic faith and culture.


[MotM] How did you come by this job, and what qualifications/training did you need to secure your job?

[AAG] I'm a qualified Islamic Studies Teacher.  I have completed courses in Management and Psychology. I've furthered my studies with prominent Sheikhs from Syria, Iraq, Palestine and Egypt in various disciplines of Islamic Studies. My father Sheikh Hazim Abu Ghazaleh is an Islamic Scholar and an author of many books. He is the Head of an Islamic Institution and a Spiritual Leader who has a large following in different parts of the world.  He is one of my main teachers.


[MotM] Which community organizations do you/did you belong to?

[AAG] Darul Uloom Academy of Brisbane; Islamic College of Brisbane; Gold Coast Masjid; Kuraby Madrasah; Algester Islamic Society; Rochedale Mosque; Logan Mosque


[MotM] What is/was your role with them?

[AAG] Darul Uloom - Arabic language and Tajweed Tutor, Secretarial duties; Islamic College of Brisbane - Islamic Studies Teacher and Syllabus Coordinator; Gold Coast Masjid - Fulltime Khateeb for three months and ongoing Guest Khateeb; Kuraby Madrasah - Principal and Adult Education; Algester Islamic Society - Guest Khateeb, Reciter, Lecturer; Rochedale Mosque - Reciter, Lecturer; Logan Mosque - Reciter, Lecturer


[MotM] What do you consider your achievements and the highlights with them?

[AAG] Development of Islamic Studies as a well-liked academic subject at the Islamic College of Brisbane. My students achieving the Overall Winner at the Queensland Quraan Competitions two years in a row; the development and production of my CDs; Participation in the International Quraan Competition representing Jordan in Malaysia; Personal invitations to present Nasheed and Qiraáh to various countries including Nigeria, the Sudan, New Zealand, Fiji Islands, South Africa, Botswana, Iraq, Syria and of course within Jordan; Invitations to present Islamic Lectures, Nasheed and Quraan Recitals at various significant mosques in South Africa and Botswana.


[MotM] What do you think about living in Australia?

[AAG] I think that I am very fortunate to be able to live here.  Australia offers a rich and diverse lifestyle with beauty that constantly reminds me of my Creator. It is a land that represents the spirit of Islamic teachings in many ways including democracy, human rights, social security for the underprivileged, education for all, freedom of religious practice and speech. Australian soil is incredibly fertile for Da'wah and the opportunities are huge for Muslims to excel.


[MotM] What advice would you give to potential migrants?

[AAG] Know your strengths and promote yourself.  Be optimistic.


[MotM] What advice would you give to your fellow citizens?

[AAG] Be grateful for the privileges you have and the peaceful environment in which you live.


[MotM] What pastimes, hobbies and/or sport do you enjoy playing or watching?

[AAG] I enjoy playing and watching soccer.  Enjoy watching Tennis and Basketball. I'm a nature enthusiast and enjoy the outdoors. I appreciate listening to other artists in Quráan Recitation and Nasheed. I cherish family time.


[MotM] What is your favourite food?

[AAG] Hmmm my favourite Arab food that I've grown up with is Makloubah - a rice dish with chicken. Since I'm married to an Indian that cooks well and allowed my tastebuds to develop further - my favourite Indian food is Curry. I really enjoy Thai food.


[MotM] What is your favourite book?

[AAG] Men Around The Messenger


[MotM] Is there anything else you would like to tell us about yourself?

[AAG] My wishes for the future: I would really like to see Muslims overlook minor differences with other Muslims and seek the similarities and avoid preconceived judgments and ideas - to allow for unity. As Muslims we must excel at what we do and LIVE our beliefs.  We must try to understand the spirit of Islam and share it with others.

"Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around!"


[MotM] Thank you for giving us an insight into so many aspects of your life and ambitions. We wish you well for the future, inshaAllah


Babysitter Wanted for AMMF


Crescents of Brisbane is co-ordinating the services of a babysitter during the Allah Made Me Funny show on 23rd November. As most of the community will be out-on-the-town, there are some couples who are finding it difficult to attend the show because there will no one to look over their children.


If for some reason you are unable to attend the show yourself and would like to earn a bit of extra cash on the side as a babysitter, please email theteam@crescentsofbrisbane.


Yusuf Islam to perform at Nobel Peace Prize Concert



OSLO, Norway The former Cat Stevens, now known as Yusuf Islam, will be among the performers at this year's Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, promoters said.

The concert honors each year's Nobel Peace laureates, which for 2006 are Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh and the Grameen Bank he founded to help people rise above poverty with small loans to start businesses. This year's concert will be hosted by actresses Sharon Stone and Anjelica Huston.

The former Cat Stevens, who changed his name when he converted to Islam in the late 1970s, will join such performers as R&B star Lionel Richie; 18-year-old music star Rihanna; the British pop band Simply Red; American country singer Wynonna; American opera singer Renee Fleming; and Mexican singer and actress Paulina Rubio.

The London-born Islam had a string of hit songs in the 1960s and '70s, including "Moon Shadow" and "Peace Train" before converting to Islam and withdrawing from the music industry. Later this year, he is due to release his first new album in 28 years.

"There were 100 reasons for leaving the music industry back in 1979, not least because I had found what I was looking for spiritually," said Islam, now a peace activist, in a statement issued late Monday. " Today there are perhaps one 101 good reasons why I feel right making music and singing about life in this fragile world again."

In 2004, Islam was barred from entering the United States, after U.S. security officials said his name was on list of banned people. However, he has also received awards and honors for his peace and humanitarian aid efforts, including the 2003 Man of Peace award decided by a committee of Nobel Peace Prize laureates.

The concerts are always held on Dec. 11, the day after the year's Nobel peace prize awards ceremony in Oslo.

Source: http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2006/10/31/europe/EU_GEN_Norway_Nobel_Peace_Concert.php


Now you can Ogle your Google a little longer......


........ by customizing your Google home page.


Why let all that white space go to waste when you can view the Brisbane weather forecast each time you go do a Google, or update your sticky notes and to do list, use an online dictionary, see the time and date, and even get Quran Guidance of the Day.


Simply go to http://www.google.com/ig to set up your Google page.



Apologies to all you computer savvy folks out there for whom this is all old hat!


The CCN Centre Link


Queensland Transport is looking to recruit trainees in the following areas:

  •   Administration

  •   Customer Service Centres

  •   Information Technology


People from non-English speaking backgrounds interested in such a traineeship should send in their resumes to Nina Cleary, A/Human Resources Officer.


Contact details:

Human Resources Branch Ground Floor, Spring Hill Office Complex

477 Boundary St, Spring Hill 4001

Ph: (07) 3834 8018



Training in Anti-Racism


The Centre for Multicultural Pastoral Care and the Centre for Multicultural & Community Development, University of the Sunshine Coast are conducting training programmes on CONFRONTING RACISM and ANTI-RACISM TRAINING FOR WORKERS.


The training will be held on Tuesday 28 - Wednesday 29 November 2006 at the Centre for Multicultural Pastoral Care in Paddington.

Places are limited so you will need to confirm your attendance as soon as possible. Contact Katherine Moriarty, Project Officer for the Centre for Multicultural Pastoral Care.

Contact details:

333 Given Terrace, Paddington

PO Box 112, Paddington Qld 4064

Phone: 07 3876 3294 or 07 5459 4804

Fax: 07 3369 3094

Mobile: 0437 180 724

Email: confrontingracism@yahoo.com.au

Website: www.multiculturalcare.org.au


Quiz to get you up to speed


How much do you know about Australian history.

Test your knowledge.


Who Was Who ........ in the EidFest Zoo


Our Man-on-the-Mussallah wondered around the Showgrounds of Mt Gravatt yesterday and struck up conversations with a number of interesting people.


MotM's first encounter of the day was with the delightful and rather articulate Lina Abdul Wahab, Executive Editor of the recently launched Islamic Lifestyle Magazine (ILM).


Ms Wahab, who made the trip from Malaysia especially for the Show, explained to our equally irrepressible MotM that Islamic Lifestyle was designed to bring "captions of lifestyles" of the Muslim world covering everything from human interest stories to science and technology from an Islamic perspective.


Echoing the words of her Chief Editor, Ms Wahab added that the magazine promised to lead the reader "through a tunnel of knowledge, a web of interests and a spectrum of opinions on the various aspects of the Muslim world".


When told that the next issue would carry the theme Islam Down Under, our MotM, impatient to read the synopsis of the articles at http://www.islamiclifestyles.net, beat a hasty retreat to the sanctity of the Crescents Coffee Club to sign onto the Internet from his Atom and tuck into his third steak pie for the day.


About This Week's Sponsor of CCN                                                                         

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The CCN Tipster: Making the most of your money


Everyone needs a little bit of help here and there. Each week CCN will provide you with a tip sheet on how to save money courtesy of http://www.simplesavings.com.au.


This week we have Tricks for the Supermarket.

There are tips for buying in bulk, comparison shopping, doing your homework, watching the scanner, getting rainchecks, buying online, when to shop, reduced goods, impulse shopping, the corner shop and being flexible.


Saving with groceries


The Inbox



Sadly Aadila, Mohammed, Yusrah and I are returning to Durban, South Africa after a wonderful four years in Brisbane. By the time you read this we will be back in Parlock recovering from jet lag and getting used to the old lifestyle again.


We want to thank the Brisbane community for their friendship and support during our time there and to say that we will miss everyone sorely. In many ways Brisbane has been home-from-home for us having simply left one extended family for another.


We will continue to rely on CCN to keep us informed of the great life and the fantastic people we have left behind.


Salaams to all,

Yusuf Solwa and Family


Assalamu Alaikum,
I would like to draw your attention to the 'Pizza style' sandwich recipe, in your current news letter, please read the contents, as it states one should use HAM, must have been an oversight in your proof reading.



[Editor] Thank you Aisha for drawing our attention to the oversight. We have it on good authority that SALAMI would do just as well.

Being a living, dynamic content newsletter, CCN0103 has been amended accordingly to restore its halal status.



The CCN Cover (Up) Story


In CCN last week it was Barbie in a Burqah. This week it's the turn of the dummy...



Muslim Woman Accepts Peace Prize



The Secretary General of Amnesty International, Irene Khan, was in Australia to accept the Sydney Peace Prize.

Ms Khan, formerly with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, was once a refugee herself, fleeing Bangladesh for Northern Ireland.

She's the first woman, the first Asian and the first Muslim to hold the position of Amnesty International Secretary General.


Background to Ms Khan.


Interview on ABC Radio.


CCN News Teasers from around the Muslim World


Click on the title for more.


Somalis learn to follow the law

Fear of a good lashing or having one's head shaved is keeping drivers in Somalia's capital on the straight and narrow. A few months ago, Mogadishu's chaotic roads were ruled by red-eyed, open-shirted militia, speeding along in their technicals - the open vehicles with anti-aircraft guns mounted on the back - weaving from one side to the other to avoid the potholes. Today, one of the world's most dangerous cities has been tamed: law-abiding men and women motor along without a gun at their side, keeping steadily to the speed limit, and not daring to swerve ......
Source: BBC News


Bin Mahfouz Libel Rulings Boost Saudi Confidence
UK and Swiss court decisions asserting that banker Khalid Bin Mahfouz was libeled by authors who accused him of funneling money to Al-Qaeda in a 2001 book have restored confidence of Saudi businessmen in European justice.
Khalid Bin Mahfouz received an unqualified apology and substantial damages from Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie who alleged in their book, “The Forbidden Truth,” that he had funded Al-Qaeda. The book is now set to be withdrawn ......
Source: Arab News


Crossing the Atlantic with a Koran in hand
When I walked into Washington's Dulles International Airport with two suitcases and a ticket to Paris, I was satisfied that I looked like a Muslim woman. A hijab left only the oval of my face exposed - my blond hair...
Source: International Herald Tribune


Opinion: Muslim dress enriches America
In his article on Nov. 25 'Toss the burqa, join the world,' Mr. Speaker wrote, 'Here's to Jack Straw and the advancement of rational ideas!' Obviously Mr. Speaker's article about Muslim women was not based on...
Source: The Collegian


Fear Cuts Giving by U.S. Muslims
By the end of Ramadan last year, Najah Bazzy remembers having more than $10,000 in cash donations to distribute to the needy, and a vast auditorium ringed with tables groaning with enough free food for 400 poor families...
Source: New York Times


Teen Mentor Bridges Gap Between Islam, iPods
As a Muslim youth leader in the post-9/11 world, he juggles issues foreign to his Christian and secular counterparts. He has twice met with the FBI — not because there were problems but to pre-empt any...

Source: Houston Chronicle


EGYPT: Lifting the Veil of Taboo on HIV/AIDS
Souad never suspected how much her life was about to change when she was summoned four years ago by the Ministry of Health and Population to test for HIV/AIDS. There she was told that her husband had been tested...


How Muslims can be Western, too
For a soft-spoken, mild-mannered man, Tariq Ramadan stirs up a remarkable amount of controversy. In his own Muslim community, the Islamic philosopher-activist...
Source: Christian Science Monitor


Leaders Require Parental Approval in Marriage
Islamic leaders Monday banned youthful Somalis from marrying without the consent of their parents, saying such unions violate Islam. 'It is against the teaching...'
Source: Associated Press


Women's veils under debate
The increasing popularity of the full Muslim face veil has set off an emotional dispute in the Arab world over whether the covering is required by Islam for modesty...


FL: Bush condemns couple's anti-Muslim remarks
Gov. Jeb Bush on Wednesday strongly condemned a Hernando County commissioner and his wife for calling Islam a 'hateful, frightening religion.' 'There is no room for bigotry and hatred in the state of Florida,' said Alia...
Source: SP Times


UK: Veiled Muslim stopped from boarding Bus
A Muslim woman was prevented from getting on a bus in Greater Manchester because she would not remove her veil. The 22-year-old Manchester University student from Oldham says other passengers laughed when the...
Source: Manchester Evening News


A Christian`s first visit to a mosque
I sat in the parking lot staring toward the open door of the mosque. I wanted to wait for the last possible minute before going in, just fulfill my assignment and get out. I figured the less time I spend inside the less likely the...
Source: United Press International


Addressing British Muslims, Khatami urges respect
Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami has called for a 'new paradigm' in world affairs based on mutual respect, in an address to British Muslims in London...
Source: AFP



The CCN Chuckle


The phone bill was exceptionally high and Mulla Nasruddin called up a family meeting.


Mulla Nasruddin: People this is unacceptable. You have to limit the use of the phone. I do not use this phone, I use the one at the office.

Mother Nasruddin: Same here, I hardly use this home telephone as I use my work telephone.

Son: Me too, I never use the home phone. I always use my company mobile.


Domestic worker: So what is the problem? We all use our work telephones.



Shamelessly adapted from www.radioislam.co.za


The CCN Date Claimer


Date Day Event Organizer Venue Contact Time
18 November Saturday Brisbane Muslim School FETE   BMS 724 Blunder Road, Durack 3372 1400 10.30am to 2.30pm
23 November Thursday Forum Discussion: Mysticism in Religion Sunshine Coast Interfaith Network Lecture Theatre 4, University of the Sunshine Coast ajhasemi@hotmail.com 10am to 12 noon
23 November Thursday Allah Made Me Funny: The Official Muslim Comedy Tour featuring Azar Uthman & Preacher Moss Crescents of Brisbane Inc.               with                        Arasta Productions The Main Auditorium, Brisbane City Hall 0402026786 7pm
15 December Friday Russell Peters Qld. Performing Arts Council Concert Hall 136246 7pm
31 December (provisional) Sunday Eid-ul-Adha        


Email theteam@crescentsofbrisbane.org to claim a date for your event.


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



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 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 Editor or its Sponsors, particularly if they eventually turn out to be libelous, unfounded, objectionable, obnoxious, offensive, slanderous and/or downright distasteful.