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......a sometimes self-deprecating and occasional tongue-in-cheek look at ourselves and the world around us ......



Sunday, 8 March 2009

 .Newsletter 0226


News you won't find on CNN!



Queensland Muslim Community Bush Fire Appeal Raises over $10K



The Victoria Bush Fire Appeal reached slightly short of the $12 000 mark yesterday with donations that included contribution from the staff and students of the Australian International Islamic College, the Kuraby and Gold Coast Mosques, Crescents of Brisbane, Hope for Happiness, the Queensland Muslim Welfare Association, Queensland Muslim Times, and many other individuals, organizations and businesses who preferred to remain anonymous.



Pakistan-born novelist Nadeem Aslam in Brisbane this week


There aren't many novelists who'll confess to deciding the direction of their literary career on the toss of a coin.


But Pakistan-born British novelist Nadeem Aslam likes to tell people he did exactly that.


After his award-winning first novel, Season of Rainbirds, he says, he had two novels inside him, bursting to get out: one a story set in Afghanistan, the other about a Pakistani community in an English town.


"The Afghanistan story was important to me, because I would not be here in the West if it weren't for Afghanistan.


I was now living in the West in an immigrant neighbourhood and certain things were happening within that community the Muslims were finding it difficult to fit into the host society and that to me seemed like an urgent matter as well ... and so I tossed a coin and then began writing my immigrant novel, which 11 years later became Maps for Lost Lovers."


Lauded for its prescience as well as for the lyrical way it distilled beauty and sadness on to the page, Maps for Lost Lovers explored the tensions within a working-class Pakistani community in a northern English town in the wake of a double honour killing.


It won him a swag of prizes and a long-listing for the 2004 Booker Prize.


But all during long years writing it, Aslam kept a notebook on events in Afghanistan and immediately it was finished began writing The Wasted Vigil, his much acclaimed recent novel.


The Wasted Vigil (reviewed below in the CCN Readers' Bookclub) is so much more than a catalogue of recent horrors in Afghanistan. It is that rare novel that speaks to the human soul as potently as it does to the global moment. A novel of such visual beauty it brings to mind Ondaatje's The English Patient.


For Aslam, The Wasted Vigil is like his previous books, very much a novel about love. Yet it is also a continuation of previous concerns in that it is an attempt to illuminate what he believes to be "the key battle in the world, perhaps, at the moment, the battle between the moderates and the militants which was going on before 9/11".


He describes 9/11 as "a spectacular manifestation of that thing that was already happening in the world. You might say, that I would still be writing the books I'm writing if 9/11 hadn't happened, because I was articulating something within my own culture and within my own religion, that was already happening quietly.


But now the world knows about it."


He recalls a fundamentalist uncle who, as he described in an essay "God and Me" published in Granta, would wait for his sister, Aslam's mother, with a cane to beat her for attending devotional music for a type of Islam, he points out, "that he did not believe [in], the kind that Saudi Arabia does not support. He appears on the pages of my very first novel, Season of Rainbirds. He takes toys from children's hands and he breaks them and he hands them back, because toys are idols. My uncle used to do that to us, and yet there were other uncles who actually would buy us toys, so I was aware of these tensions, long before the world became aware of it."


He notes, "Thirty years ago, my uncle had links with the same mosque [in Leeds, England] where those boys who blew themselves up on the London Underground later became radicalised."


Aslam was 14 when his family fled persecution by General Zia ul-Haq in 1982 and settled in Huddersfield, North Yorkshire, the model for the town in Maps for Lost Lovers.


His family and their friends were among those who voiced concerns about the long-term consequences of the weapons and money the United States lavished on Islamic fundamentalists at that time, to help defeat the Soviets and shore up Zia's regime.


"Some of them ended up in hospital, some of them ended up in the graveyards, and some of them ended up abroad, so my links with these issues go very deep."


Indeed, one of the things he wanted to explore in writing The Wasted Vigil was "whether it was possible for a superpower to go into a smaller, weaker country, play its geopolitical games, then withdraw and expect there not to be any consequences.


And I hope I proved that, no, you can't. In many ways," he adds, "I wanted to write it because I thought that Afghanistan had been forgotten. Now this sounds like a very strange thing to say, because Afghanistan is in the news every single day.


But it's in the news every day for what it is doing to the rest of the world. So many American soldiers have died there, so many Canadian soldiers, so many NATO soldiers.


But what the world did to Afghanistan over the past 30 years seems to be news to most people."


But he also wanted to celebrate the beauty of this world, and ascribes the lyricism and intense visual imagery of his writing to his ambitions to become a painter, as well as to his desire to give life to his father's thwarted ambitions to become a poet. Indeed, his father appears in all his novels as the great Pakistani poet Wamaq Saleem.


But Aslam wanted to go a step further than mere lyricism in The Wasted Vigil, where the five rooms of Marcus's half-ruined house symbolise the senses.


"What I was trying to say is that we have been given this instrument called a human body with which to explore the world, and it is a thing of delight here and now, as opposed to living this life in a marginal way or thinking of this life as something marginal and that the real life is waiting for us after death.


My commitment is to the here and now." For Aslam, even non-political writing, is political. "For me it's about feeling a certain responsibility toward the world I live in, and if the darkness is there it must be acknowledged." He believes too that he, like all moderate Muslims, must speak up for a moderate Islam.


"The Taliban said that only one book was allowed and I wanted to have a house in which the books were nailed to the ceiling, so that there is a constant literary rain throughout the novel, so that when the books fall to the ground and the characters pull out the nails there's a hole through them and then they read whatever it is.


I wanted to say that I don't want to live in a world where the Koran is the only book ."


And if the book is painful to read in places, he adds, imagine how difficult these things must have been to live through?


"As Toni Morrison said, 'If they can live it, I can write it', and I would say that if they can live it we can read it. I think as writers and artists we can keep a quiet ledger of the world's faults. I don't know if anyone heeds those warnings but at least on my deathbed," says Aslam,


"I would know that I did all I could in trying to roll back some of the ugliness in the world."





Nadeem Aslam will talk about his books

at Avid Reader Bookshop, West End, on March 10 at 6pm.


Avid Reader is at 193 Boundary St. Tickets cost $5.

RSVP to 3846 4322 or email: books@avidreader.com.au


Algester Meelad Celebrations  


The Islamic Society of Algester will be celebrating the 12th of Rabi-ul-Awwal MEELAD-UN-NABI (SAW) on the 10th of March Tuesday evening after salaatul Eshaa.

The programme will commence at 8:00 pm with Salaatul Eshaa, followed by recitations of Hamd and Na
at and a speech from one of our guest Ulema.

For more information, please contact Ml. M. Nawaaz Ashrafi on 37116097 or Ml. M. Aslam on 0431620629

Rihal Programme  


The Rihla programme is organized by the Deen Intensive Foundation on a yearly basis.


The programme affords students the opportunity to learn directly from scholars such as Shaykh Hamza Yusuf and Imam Zaid Shakir and is usually held in the holy cities of Makkah and Medinah.


This year’s Rihla will be held in Baltimore, Maryland in the United States and an Australian contingent is expected to partake in this programme in joining students from the US, UK and Canada.


Confirmed teachers are:

• Shaykh Abdallah bin Bayyah
• Imam Zaid Shakir
• Shaykh Hamza Yusuf
• Ustadh Yahya Rhodus

Applications are now open at www.deen-intensive.com


Visit the website for more information about the curriculum and travel costs.

For more information, contact Sr. Asme Fahmi at: rihla.australia@gmail.com.


Jimad Khan Record sets for NZ's Biggest Ever Cricket Hit 


Jimad Khan from Wellington set the first ever record for the biggest cricket hit in New Zealand, smashing the ball an amazing 98.27 metres.

Khan who plays cricket for Onslow Cricket Club, is now an official New Zealand Cricket record holder, says he was thrilled to take out the winning title in the State BIG HITS competition.

“Going up against a Jacob Oram and Ian Butler was extremely nerve racking, I just smashed the ball as hard as I could and was stoked to win on the day” he says.

The record was set at the final of State BIG HITS a three-week nationwide search for New Zealand’s biggest hitter. Taking part in the ultimate show-down to make the biggest cricket hit in the country were six members of the public (regional finalists) against Ian Butler from the State Otago Volts, and top BLACKCAP batsman Jacob Oram.

Peter Dwan, New Zealand Cricket Commercial Manager, says the joint venture between New Zealand Cricket and State was not just about setting a record but showcasing the best from cricketers and members of the public all around the country.

“Whether you’re playing cricket competitively, for a club or in the back yard cracking a big hit is always a big adrenalin rush.

“Today’s competition proved there are a lot of Kiwis out there who can really smash a cricket ball and setting a New Zealand Cricket record makes it official” he says.

Throughout the competition, all hits were measured using technology from Duffill Watts surveyors.

Watch the video footage

Pick your Favourite Features

Getting to the root of the solution  


Suffering from a root canal last week Ms Debbie Dunne headed off to her medical centre in a regional Queensland town to have it fixed but was surprised her dentist Dr. Mohammed didn't charge her.


In return for the consultation he requested she give to those rebuilding their lives following the Victorian bushfires.


Ms Dunne said she happily donated $100. "I thought, what a lovely man. I was very surprised, very pleased."


Note: Names in this story have been changed to protect the modest. 


Muslim pug agrees to drug test


A LIFE-defining chat with Bulldogs star Hazem El Masri has helped inspire controversial Muslim boxer Omar Shaick (pictured right) to resume his career as a pro.

The champion amateur caused a stir in mid-2006 when he elected to accept a two-year ASADA ban rather than expose his genitals for a urine sample, claiming that his religion prevented him from doing so.

Shaick was poised to appeal in the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but suddenly quit boxing in early 2007. He began a plumbing apprenticeship and gave up training altogether, but regained his hunger for the sport when his ban ended last September.

It was then he turned to El Masri for advice on how to resolve religion and the requirements of the World-Anti Doping Authority, which demands that all athletes must submit to drug tests in full view of the sample collector.

"He wanted to know how I go about it and asked me for some advice," El Masri said.

"I told him that the tests are something I have to go through up to five times a year and that our religion is flexible on things that are necessary.

"For example, people can break their fast (for Ramadan) if they are elderly or ill. There's no black and white rules. It's the same for athletes - they don't have to give up their careers for something like this.

"I've found that most testers are understanding. It can be done in a discreet way."

The boxer did not answer calls last night, but trainer Chris McCullen said his charge had overcome his stance against being watched while providing a sample.

"It's still not something he feels comfortable doing, but when the time comes he will," McCullen said.

"Omar was only young at the time and there was a lot of confusion back then."

Shaick will make his return at light-heavyweight over four rounds against Ryan Coppick in Brisbane on 13 March.



Software to help you learn


Al Kawthar Publications in the United States has developed a software called SABA which teaches various aspects of the Quran and teachings within the Quran.


It includes memorization, etiquette, games stories etc. You can check out a demo at www.SABACDS.com.


ANIC Supports Fundraising for Victorian Bushfire Survivors


Executive members of the Australian National Imams Council (ANIC) met at the Ummah Centre in Sydney for a bi-monthly meeting which focused on the Victorian bushfire victims.

The Mufti of Australia, Fehmi Naji El–Imam led an invocation, asking Allah to ease the suffering of the Victorian bushfire survivors, members were requested to work with their communities for fund raising initiatives.

Imam of the Gold Coast Mosque, Imraan Husain said he encouraged the Jum’ah or Friday congregation to give generously, leading to approximately three thousand dollars donated.

‘Supporting the victims of the bushfire in Victoria is not only our duty but privilege’, said Sheikh Imraan Husain.
President of ANIC," Sheikh Moez Nafti said. "Muslims are part of Australian society and are obliged to assist fellow Australians in their time of need."

Numerous Muslim organisations Australia-wide organised fund raising drives after ‘Black Saturday’ but fires still continue to burn throughout Victoria.

Imam Imraan Husain

ANIC Secretary


Stand Up: Muslim-American Comics Come Of Age


ABC 2 TV: 8:30pm Wednesday, 11 Mar 2009


ABC PROMO: A provocative and hilarious look at five Arab-American comedians working the stand-up circuit in the wake of 9-11.

When people of Middle Eastern origin were advised to lay low, these men and women all chose to stand up... and crack jokes.

Each comic is at a different point in their career but they are all striving for the same goal: to break through the typecasting and achieve mainstream comedy success.

Their work environment, however, is far from ideal. From false arrests and death threats to audience walkouts and backstage confrontations, each of the comedians faces challenges from both the mainstream society and the Muslim community.

Loaded with performance footage, this is an inspiring look at what it takes to make people laugh - and have a chuckle yourself - in the face of adversity.

SBS Dateline Tonight  


A Survivor's Tale
Sunday, 8 March, 2009




SBS PROMO: Just three weeks ago, the Defence Department revealed Australian troops were involved in a fire-fight in Afghanistan.

Out of at least six people killed in the battle, five were children.

This week Dateline brings you an exclusive interview with the family of those children, who claim it happened without warning or provocation.

Find out more this Sunday, 8:30pm on Dateline.

Public forum on the Israeli-Palestine Conflict 


A rare opportunity to listen to one of the most respected academics on 'the best prospect for peace' in this region in the Middle East.


Muslim team to debut for Souths Magpies


SHARED values ... Moustafa Allouche, Ramzan Mohammed and

Khodr Baki. Picture: Derek Moore

THE famous Southern Suburbs Magpies will take on a distinctive Muslim flavour in the Brisbane Second Division Rugby League competition.

The club where Queensland State of Origin legend Mal Meninga began his senior career in 1978, has embraced a team made up almost entirely of Muslims who want to play rugby league while observing the traditions of their faith.

Souths chairman Haisam Allouche said some players feared their customs and traditions might look out of place in other dressingrooms and were keen to form their own team.

Allouche, a former Souths and Wynnum-Manly player, said the team was made up largely of players from the now defunct Islamic Rugby League, including his younger brother, Stephen.

"There isn't much difference to any other league side," Allouche said. "It's not as if the players are going to stop mid-match for a prayer, although there will be prayers before and after the match.

"But things like short shorts are not really acceptable for Muslims, so we have had special longer shorts made. And getting naked in the dressing room in front of the other players is also something that is frowned upon."

Souths player Khodr Baki said he felt more comfortable playing league with teammates who understood the requirements of their religion.

Second Division chairman Mick Tierney said his league had no objection to a Muslim team, particularly as the competition had admitted Greek Orthodox and Christian Outreach sides in previous seasons and also featured indigenous sides.

A total of 84 teams from 50 clubs will contest the various grades in Second Division this year.



Lessons on how to 'Take a Chill Pill'  

A.R. Keri writing for CCN


When the phrase ‘anger management’ is mentioned, images of a psychologist on a leather recliner are evoked but at Kingston Park raceway, male Muslims youth were counselled about controlling their anger in accordance with Islamic traditions.

Over 30 young Muslim men attended the ‘Take a Chill Pill’ session hosted by Muslim Youth Services, encouraging the men to imitate how Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) managed his anger.

Imam of Logan Mosque, Ahmed Ghazaleh mentioned the restraint of Prophet Muhammad when he entered Mecca unopposed, endowing amnesty to his tormenters; mercy as an example of anger management.

Another example from the Prophet's life highlighted by Imam Ghazaleh was an incident when a poet defamed him; angering his companions, and the Prophet calmed them down by showing his indifference to the poetry.

Boystown youth worker, Ali Ghafoor also spoke to the boys about the consequences of mismanaged anger.

Muslim Youth services community development officer, Riyad Rahimullah said anger management is part of Islam that could assist the boys with their behaviour at school and encourage them to be inclusive members of society.

Brisbane State High School student, Imraan Omar said he plays competitive sport that can create tension between players and lead to moments when other people’s emotions could affect him.

‘I though this [session] would help me manage my anger if I do get angry on the sports field’, he said.

Imraan Omar said he experienced offensive racist and anti-Muslim comments off the sports field but kept things in perspective by dealing with the situation and not allowing Islam or himself to be disrespected.

‘Other people [should] end up with a good impression of us than a negative one’, he said.

After the presentations, the boys performed Dhur or midday prayers in congregation, followed by lunch.


For the remainder of the day, they raced each other in go carts, hopefully minus the road rage!





UK Policewomen


[CCN Editor] Hot on the heels of The Bill can The Bibi be far behind?


Little Mosque on the Prairie: Season 3 Episode 4


The Ties that Blind 


Part 1




Part 2


Part 3



Around the Muslim World with CCN


Sheikh says ethanol bio fuel use prohibited by Islam

An Islamic scholar in Saudi Arabia said using ethanol or other alcohol-derived fuels in vehicles may be a sin for Muslims.

Sheik Mohamed al-Najimi (pictured left) of the Saudi Islamic Jurisprudence Academy told Saudi newspaper Shams that the prophet Mohammed banned alcohol for all uses -- including buying, selling, carrying and manufacturing, Al-Arabiya reported Friday.

Najimi said Muslims who use biofuel, which is made from fermented plants, in their cars are violating the ban since the substance "is basically made up of alcohol."

The cleric, who said his statements represented only his personal opinion and not an official fatwa, called for further study of the issue by Islamic religious bodies.




Erdogan Rides Wave of Popularity in Muslim World

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stormed off stage at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, earning him praise throughout the Islamic world. Is Ankara moving away from its Western course in favor of courting Muslim nations?


There are roles that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan commands with flying colors. There is the Erdogan who is filled with concern for his people, a man who plays the role of the forgiving father. This Erdogan recently visited a repentant barber who had been sentenced to death for blasphemy in Saudi Arabia and was eventually pardoned. The prime minister picked up the man's young son and gave him a toy car.

And then there is the Erdogan who plays the protective brother. He is a man who takes his people by the hand and gives it new direction in difficult times. That was the Erdogan who flew to Germany last year after nine Turkish immigrants had died in a house fire in the southern city of Ludwigshafen. Speaking to 18,000 Turks in Cologne, Erdogan warned them against "assimilation," calling it a "crime against humanity."

Read the rest.....



Indonesia holds yoga festival despite Muslim fatwa

JAKARTA (AFP) - An eight-day international yoga festival opened Tuesday on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali despite a fatwa against the exercise from the country's top Muslim body.


Organisers said seminars and workshops would help introduce yoga to a wider audience and rejected the clerics' concerns that some forms of the popular exercise were a threat to Islam.


"The festival has a universal value. It doesn't belong to any religious teachings," International Bali-India Yoga Festival spokeswoman Susi Andrini told AFP.


Yoga, an ancient Indian aid to meditation dating back thousands of years, is a popular form of physical exercise and stress relief in Indonesia.


But the Indonesian Council of Ulemas, the top religious body in the mainly Muslim country, issued a fatwa in January banning Indonesian Muslims from all forms of yoga that involve Hindu religious rituals such as chanting mantras.


It said performing yoga purely for the physical benefits was however acceptable.

Read the rest.....



Muslim bride 'tricked' into marriage as Family Court rules it void

A MUSLIM woman tricked into an arranged marriage presided over by her local imam has had it annulled by the Family Court of Australia.

She thought she was signing paperwork in preparation for the ceremony but, because her culture does not allow her to talk to men other than her family, she couldn't ask questions.

Her brother said he thought things were not right but the family's strict Muslim culture meant their father and the imam could not be wrong.

He said he was asked to be a witness and told he was signing an engagement certificate - although the document was headed certificate of marriage.

"We are a traditional patriarchal family and it would not be appropriate for me to question my father or the imam," the brother told the court.

Read the rest.....



Hijablogging in Vogue


Hijablogging: Just another global trend taking the blogosphere by storm.


All around the world, women who opt to wear hijab (the Islamic head covering) are also opting to blog about their experiences, as well as veiled fashion, lifestyle, experience, and the political and religious issues surrounding it.

The Hijablog is leading the movement. Based in Norway, the woman behind the blog writes about everything from political issues (such as the recent debate surrounding hijab-clad women joining the Norwegian police force) to Islamic wedding fashion in Malaysia.


In one recent post, the blogger profiled Indonesian designer of Islamic fashion Itang Yunasz.

Read the rest.....



Forced habit

US: On Monday, the House Judiciary Committee approved a proposal that would prohibit people from wearing anything on their heads in their driver's license photo.

Committee Chairman Rex Duncan, R-Sand Springs, took another legislator's bill (that was designed to deal with a completely different issue) and persuaded the committee to put in his ban on eyeglasses, scarves or other head wear in driver's license pictures — with no exception for things worn for religious reasons.

Duncan said the proposal started with a recent Norman incident in which a Muslim woman got into a dispute with the tag agent over a driver's license picture involving her hijab — a traditional head scarf worn by Muslim women. The tag agency wanted her to push the scarf past her hairline, which she felt violated her religious practices.

Later, the Department of Public Safety accommodated the woman in accord with the agency's previous policy and took a new picture with her hijab at her hairline.

The situation was resolved amicably: The department got an identifying picture; the woman got to maintain her religious practices and obtain a driver's license.

The situation didn't need legislation, but Duncan acted anyway.

How's this for an unintended consequence: We're sorry, Sister Mary, but if you want a driver's license, you'll have to take off your habit.

Duncan's proposal pushes the bounds of constitutionality and would, no doubt, get the state engaged in a long, embarrassing and costly legal battle.




Meet 'Unseen America'

US: The faces of Muslims are framed in an art exhibition at Reitz Union that offers a window into their lives and culture.


University of Florida students Mohamed-Eslam Mohamed, Asaad Musba, Charissa Dawn Scott and Hena Waseem and UF graduate Muhsin Aziz Ahmad were asked to take pictures that documented Muslim life from a part of Unseen America.

"Unseen America" is a national photography project originally started in New York to show the lives of immigrant workers. Then the project expanded to include people and groups misrepresented, ignored or stereotyped by mass society.

Liz Gottlieb, coordinator of the Unseen America project in Gainesville, was inspired to choose Muslim life as the topic after talk of President Barack Obama being a Muslim became a hot campaign issue.

"People took being called a Muslim as an insult ... and that's a lot of what I'm trying to turn around with this, that being Muslim is no different than being just another human being."

Charissa Dawn Scott, 19, in photo project.

Musba was born in India and thinks the project was a "wonderful opportunity for me to portray my misunderstood religion and people to everyone." The 24-year-old is a graduate student studying electrical engineering. In his series of photos, he snapped the president of the Islam on Campus organization praying and taking a walk. Another striking photo features his cousin's wedding in Detroit. A colorfully beaded, ruby red sari is draped around her joyful face. She is holding a colorful bouquet with her hand, covered in traditional henna painting.

Waseem, a 21-year-old neurobiological sciences student, graduates this semester and is pre-med bound. As an American Pakistani, she chose identity as the theme of her photos, which included portraits of herself and her friends.

Ahmad recently graduated with a degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition. This past summer he visited his family in Pakistan for the first time in 15 years. His photos include sweet and happy family moments taken in Pakistan and his hometown of Panama City.

Mohamed, 28, also showed Muslim family and culture. The husband and soon-to-be father has lived in Riyadh, Saudia Arabia, and Cairo, Egypt. In one photo, there's a group of Muslim men hanging out at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens during the celebration of Eid, the Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan.

"I wanted to take pictures that when people see them they see a different point of view for Muslim life that they would not normally see in the mainstream media," said Mohamed, who is receiving his doctorate in pharmacy.

Scott, 19, is a converted Muslim. She grew up in a "deep South Mississippi family" and was raised Southern Baptist. At 17, she took Islam as her religion. Two captivating close-up portraits of Scott's face are the heart of her pieces. With her wide eyes, she stares intensely as her eyes peer through the opening of her black niquab, which covers the head, neck and lower part of face. She is majoring in political science and linguistics.

"People don't know about Islam. They don't know who Muslims really are and what type of things they do on a day-to-day basis," wrote Scott in the bio accompanying her photos. "The project gives insight to anyone who is interested in the perspectives of Muslim students living in the West."



CCN Reader's Discussion Forum

CCN Readers' Book Club: You are what you read!


If you are suffering 'withdrawal symptoms' after The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns then....


This week




  The Wasted Vigil

Nadeem Aslam



A novel—at once lyrical and blistering—about war in our time, told through the lives of five people who come together in post-9/11 Afghanistan.

It tells of a group of disparate people whose paths cross in the Afghanistan town of Usha. Lara is a Russian woman looking for her brother, missing in the Soviet occupation and, unknown to her, a rapist. David is a former American spy and veteran of Vietnam and Afghanistan who harbours grief and secrets of his own. Casa is a young Afghan orphan raised by the Taliban to be a zealous jihadist, but who passes himself off as a labourer to avoid the scrutiny of James, an American whose vigilantism mirrors that of the Taliban. They seek shelter in the half-ruined home of Marcus, an elderly British doctor and perfumier, who has lost his hand, his locally born wife and his daughter to the violence engulfing the country. But he refuses to give up his search for his missing grandson, Bizhad, named with the sad double resonance of history and hope that colours the novel after the great Afghanistan-born painter of Islam's golden age. Marcus's scarred house is like an open invitation into the past and present of Afghanistan, as if it were another character in the novel. Nailed to its ceiling are a myriad books, the collection of two lifetimes, that Marcus's wife Qatrina, also a doctor, had nailed to the ceiling as she lost her sanity in the face of the horrors visited on her country. Daubed on its walls is a thick layer of mud to hide its hand- painted murals many of lovers from the Taliban. In its garden lie the ruins of Marcus's once thriving perfume factory, which in turn houses a giant, half-buried Buddha's head, a poignant reminder of the country's ancient past. Rich in metaphor and symbolism, it is a cannily layered novel that manages to convey centuries of history in a single moment; a novel as much about the abiding power of love and beauty as it is about ugliness and the many faces of brutality. (Source)

In mesmerizing prose, Nadeem Aslam reveals the complex ties—of love and desperation, pain and salvation, madness and clarity—that bind the characters. And through their stories he creates a timely and achingly intimate portrait of the “continuation of wars” that shapes our world.

In its radiant language, its depth of feeling, and its unflinching drama, The Wasted Vigil is a luminous work of fiction.





Would you like to see the cover of your favourite book on our book shelves below?

Then simply email the title and author to thebookclub@crescentsofbrisbane.org


Double click a book cover to find out what others think of the book


CCN has set up an online Book Club at Shelfari to connect with CCN book readers at:


Using the book club you can see what books fellow CCN readers have on their shelves, what they are reading and even what they, and others, think of them.

The CCN Readers' Book Club

Kareema's Keep Fit Column





Q: Dear Kareema, my baby is almost 12 months old and I'm really struggling to get back to my 'old self'. What is it that I can do to get back into exercising and taking care of myself a little too?



A: Take some time out of your daily routine to focus on YOURSELF.


It's important to get out of your head and into your body.

Train 'in the moment', do what feels good at the time because that's really what it's all about. If you don't enjoy
your workout, chances are you're going to cut it short.

Everyday should be a little different when it comes to your workout routine, this way you're sure to see results
quicker and your muscles will constantly be challenged!

Start with some short walks (30mins if possible), then gradually alter your routine, including more cardio and strength sessions.


It's not easy to take time out when you have little ones, but it's not impossible!





My Health and Fitness

Tel: 0404 844 786

(Accredited Member of Fitness Queensland)


Need an answer to a fitness related matter? Send your question to Kareema at  fitness@crescentsofbrisbane.org.

All questions sent in are published here anonymously and without any references to the author of the question.


KB's Culinary Corner


  Chicken Stir Fry



150 g Chicken fillet cut into strips
1 Tbls Olive Oil
½ tsp ginger
1 Tbls Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbls Soy Sauce
1 Tbls Nandos peri peri sauce
2 Tbls Sweet Chilli Sauce
½ tsp crushed pepper
1 Onion finely sliced
1 red pepper made into juliennes
1 green pepper made into juliennes
1 Carrot made into juliennes
4 mushrooms sliced
60g Whole-wheat spaghetti cooked until al dente
Juice of ½ a lemon
Salt to taste


Heat a wok with olive oil, sauté the ginger, add chicken, lemon juice and salt, stir fry on moderately high heat for 2 mins and then remove the chicken from the pan.


In the juices and oil remaining, add onion and all remaining vegetables stir frying quickly under high heat, cook for approximately 3mins, return the chicken to the wok, add all the sauces with exception of the soy sauce.


Mix the soy sauce with 1tsp corn flour and then add to the mixture.

Lastly add spaghetti and add more sauces if desired.

Serve hot.

Do you have a recipe to share with CCN readers?
Send in your favourite recipe to ccn@crescentsofbrisbane.org and be our "guest chef" for the week.


The CCN Chuckle



A lost Mula Nasruddin, desperate for water, was plodding through the Saharan desert when he saw something far off in the distance.


Hoping to find water, he hurried toward the object, only to find a little old man at a small stand selling ties.

Mula Nasruddin asked the man, "Do you have water?"

The man replied, "I have no water. Would you like to buy a tie? They are only 50 Geneih."



Mula Nasruddin shouted, "Infidel! I do not need an overpriced tie. I need water! I should spit on you with contempt, but I must find water first."

"OK," said the man, "it does not matter that you do not want to buy a tie and that you hate me. I will show you that I am bigger than that. If you continue over that hill to the east for about two miles, you will find a lovely restaurant. It has all the ice cold water you need. Salaam to you."

Muttering, Mula Nasruddin staggered away over the hill.


Several hours later he staggered back.

"Your brother won't let me in without a tie."


Notice Board


Click on image to enlarge


Harmony Day

Fund Raiser

(new date)

Victoria Bush Fire Appeal

ECCQ Election Forum

Indoor Soccer Tournament

ICoB Springfete

IWAQ Swimming


Short Course for Reverts


Public Forum: Israeli-Palestine Conflict

Islamic Classes for Teenagers

AMAL Muslim Helpline



The CCN Date Claimer







(Click on link)





10 March



Birthday of Prophet Mohammed (SAW)

14 March


Spa Day for Women: Fund Raiser

Fa'izah Batchelor

Napper Rd. Parkwood, Gold Coast

0404 713 624

10am to 10pm

15 March


Al-Amyn 7-a-side-cup

Sunnah Inspirations

Rochedale State High School, Priestdale St. ROCHEDALE

0424 022 088

9am to 5pm

16 March


Public Lecture: Prof Jeff Halper on Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Just Peace Queensland and Labor 4A Just Palestine

Undumbi Room, Level 5
Queensland Parliament House

0413 874 008

6pm to 8pm

21 March


Fiji Flood Disaster: Dinner

Darra Mosque

Darra Mosque

0418 722 353


29 March


Harmony Day Fund Raiser Dinner: Milperra High School

Crescents of Brisbane and  Kuraby Lions

Michael's Restaurant

0402 026 786


5 April


MY Indoor Soccer Tournament


OZ Sports Springwood, 3269 Logan Rd, Underwood

0432 271 601

8.30am to 4.30pm

2 May



Islamic College of Brisbane

ICOB, Karawatha

0402 794 253

11am to 7pm

17 May



Crescents of Brisbane

Orleigh Park, West End

0402 026 786

7am to 1pm

19 July



Lailatul Me'raj

6 August



Lailatul Baraat

22 August



Start of Ramadhan

16 September



Lailatul Qadr

19 September



End of Ramadhan

20 September




26 September


MBN Eid Dinner

Muslim Business Network

RNA Showground



3 October


QPS/EECQ Cup: 2009 Qld Multicultural football tournament



0438 114 619

9am to 5pm

3 October


Eid Dinner

Islamic Society of Darra

Darra Mosque, 219 Douglas St, Oxley

0418 757 157


4 October







0438 114 619

9am to 5pm

10 October



Eidfest Committee

Mt Gravatt Showgrounds

0418 722 353

All day

24 October


Breast Cancer Awareness

Crescents of Brisbane


0404 296 297


27 November




18 December



Islamic New Year


To claim your date for your event email ccn@crescentsofbrisbane.org.




This week's ladies taleem will be held on Thursday between 11:00am and 12:00pm at the home of Aisha Goder, 14 Persse Villas Runcorn .


Call 0401422592  for more information.


Sunnah Inspirations


Contact: 0408 270 421

University of Queensland,
323 Hawken Drive, St. Lucia

Every Monday

Event: Weekly Learning Circle: Sharh Riyad-us-Saliheen (An Explanation of 'Gardens of the Righteous'

Venue: Prayer Room, University of Queensland

Time: 6.45pm to 7.30pm


Every Friday

Subject: Fiqh Made Easy

Venue: Room E215 Building 1 (Forgan Smith), University of Queensland

Time: 6.30pm to 7.35pm

Every Friday

Subject: Tafseer al Qur'an (Explanation of the Qur'an)

Venue: Room E215 Building 1 (Forgan Smith), University of Queensland

Time: 7.45pm to 9pm


Sunnah Inspirations is a non-profit organisation to cater for Muslim social support and supplying information to Muslims and non-Muslims.  They have been doing various activities around Australia, and have organised Da'wah information stalls at various universities in Brisbane.  More info can be found on their website above.


CCN @ Facebook


Catch Crescents Community News at


Please feel free to post an entry on our Wall, start up a Discussion thread and/or become a Fan.


Useful Links


Crescents Community News (CCN) Readers' Forum

     Discussion Forum & Social Network for CCN Readers

Queensland Muslim Historical Society Inc.

     Promoting the study and awareness of the rich history of the Muslims of Queensland


Young Muslims of Queensland

     Social network for young Muslims of Brisbane


Sunnah Inspirations

     Providing information about Islam - its beliefs, culture, practices, dispelling misconceptions


Kuraby Mosque


Holland Park Mosque



    Provide young Muslim women in Queensland with support and opportunities to express themselves


Gold Coast Mosque


South African National Halaal Authority (SANHA)


Muslim Womens' Convert Support Group (MWCSG)

     Network of Muslim women converts from the Brisbane and Gold Coast areas of Queensland.


Australian International Islamic College (Durack)



If you would like a link to your website email ccn@crescentsofbrisbane.org.


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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.


It is the usual policy of CCN to include from time to time, notices of events that some readers may find interesting or relevant. Such notices are often posted as received. Including such messages or providing the details of such events does not necessarily imply endorsement of the contents of these events by either CCN or Crescents of Brisbane Inc.