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



Sunday, 4 March 2012

 Newsletter 0382



Imam Shatiri’s Captivating Quran Recitation Enchants Brisbane Muslims

By Falihin Amran, Manager AMYN Islamic Centre and Library HikmahWay Institute

Saturday 25th February was a first for Brisbane!


A packed audience of over four hundred enjoyed the beautiful and soothing recitation of Surah Waqiah by Sheikh Abu Bakr Shatiri (pictured seated left), one of the world’s leading Quran reciters.


Prior to the recitation, the Sheikh entertained the audience with his humble sense of humour and sincere spirituality during a half hour interview conducted by Sheikh Aslam AbuIsmaeel (pictured seated right), the night’s host and Director of Australian Muslim Youth Network (AMYN).


During the interview, Sheikh Shatiri highlighted the need for and a way to develop a pure and sincere heart and it is only such a heart that Allah blesses with the joy of truly enjoying the depths of the meaning and recitation of the Quran.

The Sheikh, whose Quran recitation is a world best seller and available in all leading Quran Applications on Android and AppStore, also travels extensively around the world and is much adored by Muslims of all backgrounds.


The memorable night, filled with an atmosphere of love of the Quran, witnessed also the spirit of brotherhood between people of all backgrounds – South African, Zimbabwean, Arabs, African, Asian and European.


Special thanks from AMYN Islamic Centre and Library to Imam Yusuf Peer, the president of Council of Imams Queensland (CIQ) for attending and welcoming the famous reciter on behalf of Queensland's Muslims.


To view the event on video register a request at www.AMYNweb.com/shatiri.



For more images visit  www.facebook.com/AMYNweb

Australian players cry foul over FIFA hijab ban


Sydney: Assmaah Helal (pictured right) has broken barriers to reach football's elite, but a controversial FIFA ban on Muslim women playing in the hijab means she may never realise her dream of wearing the Australian jersey.

Helal, 25, was introduced to football by her Egyptian-born father when she was just five, and she was determined not to let gender keep her from joining her three brothers on the pitch.

It was no easy task. Members of her Muslim community in western Sydney frowned on the idea of girls playing sport at all, much less a rough and tumble game which was, at that time, still very much a male domain.

"I used to just get told I was a tomboy. In my culture, to play with the guys and to mix with guys was seen as not appropriate," Helal told AFP.

Helal now plays in the Super League, one step below the nation's premier W-League for women, and says representing Australia in national side the Matildas would be her ultimate dream.

But devout Muslim beliefs which see her don the hijab to play every weekend mean, for now, such a dream is out of reach.

FIFA banned players from wearing the Islamic headscarf in 2007, claiming it is unsafe, but Helal has never once experienced or heard of a hijab-related injury and has joined growing calls for the ban to be overturned.


Sport is the field of dreams. If you take away the dream of playing in an Olympics or playing in a World Cup then it will have an effect all the way down the line.



Moya Dodd

"I strongly believe that the ban is just outright discrimination," she said of the headscarf, which she described as "a part of a Muslim woman's identity which cannot be changed".

"At an international and an elite level, sports like taekwondo and rugby allow the headscarf to be worn during the competitive matches, and for the world game, for the universal language that is football, to ban the headscarf... it doesn't make sense."

The Asian Football Confederation is leading the charge for the sport's lawmaking body, the International Football Association Board (IFAB), to lift the ban at its meeting yesterday (3 March).

It has become a pressing issue in the region, with Iran's national women's team forced to withdraw from the West Asia Olympic qualifiers last year and three players dropping out of the Jordanian side due to the ban.

AFC vice-president Moya Dodd said the safety concerns had been "fully addressed" by new designs with a velcro front-seam to prevent strangulation and it was a baseless reason to exclude "hundreds of millions" of Muslim women.

"Football, it's the fastest-growing sport in Asia, and it's important that people can play also knowing that they can compete at the top level," Dodd said.

"Sport is the field of dreams. If you take away the dream of playing in an Olympics or playing in a World Cup then it will have an effect all the way down the line."

Melissa Barbieri (pictured right), captain of the Matildas and one of Australia's best-known female footballers, said she had seen great Muslim players "and it scares me to think they won't be able to play for Australia one day because of religion".

"We already have so many obstacles in the way of getting equal opportunity in the football world, mostly due to stereotypes and lack of knowledge," she said, urging FIFA to see the footballers behind the hijab.

"If you just see some of these girls' skills you would feel obliged to overturn the ban. It would send a thorough 'Football is the World Game' message," added Barbieri.


If you just see some of these girls' skills you would feel obliged to overturn the ban. It would send a thorough 'Football is the World Game' message.



Melissa Barbieri

Sydney sisters Hiba and Hala Ayache, 24 and 26, have been campaigning for nine years to win acceptance of their all-female "Lakembaroos" football club in the local Muslim community and they see the ban as a slap in the face.

"You're taking it all away, all our hard work," said Hiba, who has played at state representative level and, like Helal, has international dreams.

"We all have the potential, we have the skills to play further. So it's not only the boundaries of our family and the community, it also becomes international now. It's a bit of a burden on us."

Dodd said only that she's "hopeful" of having a fair hearing over the ban at the meeting of IFAB, which comprises four members from FIFA and four from British associations.

"I'd like to see a way enabling women with particular cultural beliefs to participate, rather than see it as ground for exclusion," she said.

"The field should be a field of cultural exchange rather than conflict."

Source: NDTV Sports

Moonshadow - A Musical Fantasy - coming to Melbourne


An enchantingly magical storytale by Yusuf Islam, featuring his music and words as Cat Stevens. This new musical with beloved classics is set to be one of the most exciting and innovative shows of pop musical history.

Moonshadow is a musical fantasy, weaving together exciting new songs with some of the most famous and beloved classics from Cat Stevens' expansive back catalogue. With hits around every corner, such as Father and Son, Wild World, Morning Has Broken, Peace Train, and First Cut is the Deepest, this musical will send audiences out happily singing or whistling along to themselves.

A young boy Stormy, lives in a realm locked in endless night. When he is visited by his mysterious Moonshadow, he is inspired to set off on a quest for the lost land of the sun. Danger lurks around every corner. As Stormy ventures closer and closer to the end of the world, even the moon begins to die…



Army Muslim Insults Outrage Australia


Abusive comments by army soldiers against Muslims, immigrants and women on a Facebook group are sparking a storm of outrage in Australia.

“I am angry, I am disappointed, I am going to do something about it,” Army Chief Lieutenant General David Morrison told reporters on Thursday, March 1, Australia’s Sky News reported.

ABC TV revealed that more than 1,000 former and current army soldiers wrote abusive and racist comments against Muslims, immigrants and women on a Facebook group.

Muslims were described by soldiers as “ragheads”.

There were also comments such as: "What do u do if u see a Muslim limping across your yard? Reload."

Other posts suggested that immigrants are not welcome and that women are filthy whores.

Hundreds of other expletive-riddled comments are un-publishable.

"The targeting of any person on the basis of their gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation is repugnant and contrary to both Defence and Army's values," Morrison said.

The army chief said that an investigation was launched into the racist comments.

We are “already taking steps to determine if any serving members are linked to the offensive comments. Where they have been, I intend to take action to deal with them.”

“Where they have been I intend to take action to deal with them to the extent that our policies and the laws allows,” he said.

Defence Minister Stephen Smith also launched a range of reviews of defence culture to address ongoing concerns about inappropriate conduct.

Muslims, who have been in Australia for more than 200 years, make up 1.7 percent of its 20-million population.

A recent governmental report revealed that Muslims are facing deep-seated Islamophobia and race-based treatment like never before.

Common Behaviour

A former army cadet has described the racist views as very common in the Australian army.

“I’ve heard it before,” Naomi Brookes, a former Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA), told ABC TV.

“Comments like the ones on the Facebook groups aren’t all that unusual.

“And because they are not all that unusual as time goes on they seem less and less obscene. So it feeds back into itself.”

The former cadet quit the academy in disgust with the way a friend who had been raped was treated by her peers.

The Australian army has been hit by a series of allegations of abusive behaviour in recent months.

A review by Australia's human rights commissioner last year found that women in Australia's top military academy faced widespread low-level sexual harassment.


Source: OnIslam

Muslim Aid Australia Online Survey


Support International Women's Day Celebrations in MacGregor TODAY


The hall at the MacGregor State Primary School, McCullough Road, MacGregor (next to Sunnypark Shopping Centre) is the venue for an entertaining afternoon to be held from 2 - 5pm. today (4 March)

There will be ample car parks in the shopping centre s and at the back of the Sunnypark Shopping Centre in the school grounds.

Bring along your tickets if you have pre-purchased them. If not there will be tickets available at the door. Ticket prices are $20 or $50 for a family of two adults and two children.

Please ensure you are on time as the function will begin at 2pm sharp.

You are sure to enjoy yourself with the great entertainment and good food which are all included in the price of the ticket. You could even win a lucky door prize.

At the same time you will be contributing to the purchase of an eye-gaze machine to help a young man who was severely handicapped due to a car accident he was involved in, in October 2000.



The Muslim Women’s National Network Australia, Inc will be holding its Annual General Meeting on Saturday, at 11am, 10 March 2012.

Venue: Mado's Cafe, 63 Auburn Rd, Auburn, SYDNEY, NSW


Details of the meeting are available here.

Syrian Charity Fundraising dinner


Some 10,000 Syrian refugees have fled to Jordan and are desperately in need of help. A charity event is being held on the Gold Coast to raise money to buy supplies in Jordan and to take and send the supplies directly to them.

Click on image to enlarge flyer


TIME: 6.30PM


$10 CHILDREN (under 12 years)*

CONTACT: ANGELA - 0466 983 273 or RACHEL - 0423 015 508 JIBRIEL - 0405 543 009 or AGIM - 0488 066 206

Tickets can be bought through Facebook or by contacting one of the sisters above.
All tickets must be paid for in full by Saturday 10th March.

Children will be supervised upstairs in the madrassa with games, activities, food, etc.

For anyone who can't attend and would like to make a donation, you can use the following account:

Acct name: Melissa Leslie, BSB: 814282, Acct #: 5402631. Please use the reference: SYRIA

Amna is highly commended


On Friday 2 March, the University of Western Sydney (UWS) hosted its annual International Women’s Day celebration and presentation of the UWS Women of the West, and Young Women of the West Awards.


Amongst those recognized was Ms Amna Karra-Hassan who was presented with a Highly Commended Young Woman of the West Award.


Gracious in her acceptance of the award Ms Karra-Hassan told friends: There are so many women who do more work quietly and are so much more deserving. There are many who support me in what I do and this award is a credit to those people who encourage me in everything I do. May our standards and expectations as individuals and a community excel much higher than we believe is achievable."

Amna Karra-Hassan was born and raised in Western Suburbs of Sydney. She is currently studying for her Masters in Islamic Studies with Charles Sturt University (CSU) and the Islamic Sciences Research Academy (ISRA).

Amna is currently employed as a Team Member in the Australian Federal Police Community Liaison Team. Her role with the AFP involves engaging and networking with various communities to educate minority groups about law enforcement in Australia. Some of the successful programs that Amna has coordinated includes, the Community Partnership Program and the Annual AFP Eid Dinner.

Amna is the co-founder of the Auburn Tigers Women’s Aussie Rules football team which was awarded the Mayoral Encouragement Award at the 2011 Sports Award. Amna was able to create an avenue for women, predominantly from the Muslim community and/or culturally and linguistically diverse communities to participate in sport. This initiative has received much media attention and has become a means of interfaith and intercultural dialogue.

At the age of 23, Amna has proven to be a passionate advocate for grass-roots activism in both the youth and community sector. With a strong passion for social reform, Amna is a positive role model and proud ambassador for young people, her community and religion. She works with many members of the community to broaden her understanding, be it theological, social, and political.

Ms Karra-Hassan was the 2011 Youth of the Year in the Mission of Hope's Muslim Achievement Awards.

The CCN Classifieds


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The Heart of Surfers Paradise


Relax in one of the newest and most exciting developments in the heart of Surfers Paradise - Boulevard Tower located at 6 Orchid Ave Surfers Paradise. A stroll away from the beautiful sandy beaches of Surfers Paradise. Walk to Hard Rock Cafe, and enjoy the convenience of shops, supermarkets, restaurants, cafes, boutiques etc right at your doorstep.

Our two bedrooms residences offer luxury in abundance with extensive floor space, convenient open-plan layout, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, separate living and dining areas, fully equipped kitchens and internal laundry. Experience pure tranquillity from your residence with expansive ocean views over the famous Surfers Paradise Beach.


For more information click here.

At the Movies with CCN: A Separation


Winner for Best Foreign Film in this year's Oscar Award Ceremonies, A Separation is a story set around a marital rift—the Separation of the title—but it is in many ways the larger tale of an Iran separated by religion, class and privilege.


An upper-middle class couple seek to separate because Simin (the beautiful Leila Hatami), the wife, wishes to leave Iran for better opportunities for their teenaged daughter Termeh (played with moving intelligence by Sarina Farhadi, writer/director Asghar Farhadi’s daughter).


Her husband Nader (Peyman Moaadi) insists on staying in Tehran to care for his aged father, who suffers multiple health problems, including dementia.


This utterly absorbing film makes us root for every character, particularly the two girls, one young and one on the cusp of adulthood, who see and understand much more than they should. Asghar Farhadi’s amazingly rich screenplay has the density and moral complexity of a Tolstoy novel and the performances of the phenomenal cast only multiply its depth and emotion.

A Separation‘s two hours fly by, but its sensitivity and humanity stay with you.


Both Margaret and David of ABC1's At the Movies gave the movie 5 stars


It is currently showing at Palace Centro and Dendy Portside.

In pictures: The History of the Hajj


Over the next few weeks, CCN will post images from a new exhibition at the British Museum in London that traces the history of the Hajj:


This 19th century water bottle, made of Chinese porcelain, contains ZamZam water from the well in Mecca used by millions of pilgrims every year.

The World's Most Influential Muslims in 2011


There are over 1.6 billion Muslims in the world today, making up approximately 23% of the world's population, or more than one-fifth of mankind.


The Muslim500 publication is part of an annual series that provides a window into the movers and shakers of the Muslim world. It gives valuable insight into the different ways that Muslims impact the world, and also shows the diversity of how people are living as Muslims today.

The 2011 Muslim500 lists the world's most influential Muslims who have impacted on their community, or on behalf of their community. Influence is: any person who has the power (be it cultural, ideological, financial, political or otherwise) to make a change that will have a significant impact on the Muslim World. The impact can be either positive or negative. The influence can be of a religious scholar directly addressing Muslims and influencing their beliefs, ideas and behaviour, or it can be of a ruler shaping the socio-economic factors within which people live their lives, or of artists forming popular culture.

Over the coming weeks, CCN will publish a personality selected from the list:


No. 10

H.E. Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hussein Sistani
Marja of the Hawza, Najaf, Iraq


Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Husseini Sistani is the prime marja, or spiritual reference for Ithna’Ashari‘a (Twelver) Shi‘a Muslims. He is the leading sheikh of the Hawza Seminary in Najaf, Iraq and the preeminent Shi‘a cleric globally. Sistani is one of the most respected of the marjaiyya—the highest position of authority in the Usuli school of Twelver Shi‘a fiqh.


Preeminent Shi‘a Cleric and Marja Taqlid
Sistani’s influence in the Twelver Shi‘a sect stems from his scholarly lineage and education, which have enabled him to reach the status of marja taqlid—the highest status in the Usuli branch of Twelver Shi‘a Islam. Marja taqlid means literally one who is worthy of being imitated— placing Sistani in a position of great authority over Twelver Shi‘a Muslims. There are currently only 29 marjas worldwide. Sistani is descended from a family of religious scholars, and was educated in the leading institutions in Iran. He later went to Najaf, Iraq to study under the Grand Ayatollah Abu Al Qasim Al Khoei. On Khoei’s death in 1992, Sistani took over as grand ayatollah, inheriting Al Khoei’s following. He soon rose to become the leading cleric in Iraq.  With the recent opening of Iraqi shrines to Iranian tourists, Sistani is gaining a following outside of Iraq.

Financial Influence
Sistani also has very significant financial clout due to his position as marja. As a marja his followers give him a religious tax (khums, Arabic for one fifth). The redistribution of this tax for the common good is one of the key roles of a marja. Much of this remittance is redistributed through the Al Khoei Foundation— the largest Twelver Shi‘a development organization in the world that maintains a network of educational and humanitarian establishments for both Shi‘a and non-Shi‘a Muslims.


Quietist Influence
Significantly, Sistani is against the idea of Velayat-e Faqih, suggesting Shi‘a clerics should not get involved in politics. Paradoxically this approach has afforded him very strong influence as a religious leader unsullied by politics.

This became clear after the Iraq invasion when Sistani issued a legal ruling (fatwa) calling on the clergy to guide Iraq’s populace, and later during the 2005 elections when he issued a ruling telling Shi‘a women that they were religiously obliged to vote.

Ali Sistani has used his position of quietist authority to wield influence also as a peacemaker in the turbulent post-invasion Iraq.

At a time when Sistani was losing support to Sheikh Muqtada Al Sadr, he showed his sway by arranging a lasting deal between Sadr and US forces at the Imam Ali Shrine in Najaf in 2005—a deal that secured the Shrine and
pushed for an American retreat.

Sistani was vocal about encouraging Iraqis to participate in the 2010 parliamentary elections. He strongly condemned the Baghdad church attack in October 2010 and also advised Iraqi security forces to take more responsibility for the protection of Iraqi citizens.


The Arab Spring
Ayatollah Sistani has continuously supported the Arab Spring in other countries.




Do not refer to the Sunnis as our other brothers, but refer to them as ‘Us’

Ayatollah Sistani

The Inbox


Assalamu alaikum CCN readers,
As you all know, I shall be attending a Leadership Conference in New York this year.

In June/July I received a lovely idea from a reader: he suggested that I let you know on a regular basis my total funds and funds needed. So here it is:
Total available funds: $2 350
Funds still needed: $4 860
As you can see, I am well on my way, but I would appreciate any help offered.
Ameera Mahomed-Ismail

Dear CCN Editor


Aslaam alikum


Please tell all our Muslim brothers who travel or are moving to our area in Hervey Bay, Queensland we have Jumma prayers at 1.15pm and Tuesday esha prayers at 8pm at the Boys Scout Hall at Andrews Street Piabla.


The contact persons are Dr.Rana 0401565660 and Dr.Mahomed 0414735005


Imran Habib

Dear CCN Editor


I am writing to you to enquire as to whether you have any contacts in your community that may be able to assist one of our Iraqi students.


We have had this student with us doing his EAP courses before starting his PhD in Faculty of Engineering this semester.


Unfortunately this student has had some very bad news in relation to his four year old son.


The boy has been diagnosed with cancer and will require at least six months of treatment in the Royal Children’s Hospital in Brisbane.


Unfortunately the family are not entitled to any subsidised accommodation whilst they are in Brisbane and this has put extreme pressure on them.


They were already undergoing financial pressures before this occurred. Currently they are staying in emergency funded accommodation near the hospital but this runs out next week and the Social Worker advised me yesterday that she is looking into hopefully getting a community member to assist with providing short term accommodation. This may happen but until it is confirmed the family are extremely worried. They have rental accommodation here in Toowoomba that they are also paying for and their other 6 year old son is currently staying with one of our Saudi students and his family.

If there is anything at all that you could suggest we would be very grateful.

Kind regards


Naomi Noble
Careers Counsellor
Open Access College
Faculty of Arts
University of Southern Queensland
Ph: +61 7 4631 2603
Email: noble@usq.edu.au

Around the Muslim World with CCN


Hollywood snubs Muslim Stone

US: Sean Stone, son of controversial director Oliver Stone, converted to Islam in Iran last week and says he’s already experiencing a Hollywood backlash.

The ceremony was held in Isfahan, where he is researching a documentary. He now goes by the name of Sean Christopher Ali Stone.

He told Page Six: “I’ve already experienced the reverse of anti-Semitism, having people within the film industry express a reluctance to work with me now that I have said a simple prayer, ‘There is no God but God, and Mohammed is his messenger.’ I am sure I have [bleeped] off some powerful people.”


Speaking over dinner at Barrio 47, Sean told us, “Having read the Koran and having been around the Islamic culture, especially in Iran, I do believe that Mohammed is a prophet of the same god worshipped by other religions.

“I am of a Jewish bloodline, a baptized Christian who accepts Christ’s teachings, the Jewish Old Testament and the Holy Koran. I believe there is one God, whether called Allah or Jehovah or whatever you wish to name him. He creates all peoples and religions. I consider myself a Jewish Christian Muslim.

“What I am trying to do is open up a dialogue about religion. There is such Islamophobia in the West. Islam is not a religion of violence any more than Judaism or Christianity is.”

He said his dad welcomed the move.

“My dad said, ‘Allah be with you.’ My father understands that I am trying to bridge certain gaps and bring about peace.”

But he has been shocked by the reaction from others. Sean, about to release his horror movie “Graystone,” said, “I didn’t realize I would be so vilified. It is almost like I am a criminal for having accepted Islam. I didn’t realize Islamophobia was that deep. People have speculated that I have done this because I am from a spoiled family or that I am lost and trying to find myself. That is ridiculous.

“I don’t care if I get criticized. If I can open up a debate about religion and create some understanding, then it is worth it.”

Source: New York Post


Beauty and Belief Exhibition - the arts of Islamic culture


Arabic-inscripted bowl is made of tortoise shell and inlaid in ivory

UTAH, USA: This exhibit offers access to Islamic culture, providing ‘a view from within’ by project director, Tunisian born Dr. Sabiha Al Khemir. As an introduction to the arts of Islamic culture, this exhibition aims to bridge differences and inspire insight through beauty. To address the question, “What makes Islamic Art, Islamic?” Dr. Al Khemir creates a show that combines historical and geographic background with succeeding sections of calligraphy, figurative imagery and pattern.


This is the story of art created in the societies fostered by Islam, a journey through Islamic culture from the 7th century onward. The exhibition makes a point of touching on the present day and includes works by contemporary artists. The exhibition uniquely draws from collections across the United States as well as many other countries such Kuwait, Great Britain, France, Denmark, Morocco, and Italy.


It features over 250 objects, from 40 lenders, from nine countries in Europe and the Middle East. For some of the works of art this will be the first time they are featured in the United States. Among the noteworthy pieces are masterworks from the al-Sabah Collection at Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyya in Kuwait, unique manuscripts from the Royal Library in Morocco and works from collections across the United States.


Beauty & Belief Museum



Using the Legacy of Muslim Women Leaders to Empower

Op-ed by Engy Abdelkader


Muslim women are steeped in stubborn stereotypes as meek, oppressed and in need of rescue.


Recurring images beamed into our homes and phones from abroad of Muslim women being denied access to education, the ability to drive or even the right to cast a vote or run for political office only serve to reinforce such widely held misconceptions; examples of empowered Muslim women (particularly those donning the hijab) living here or overseas seldom enjoy the same quality air time. As such, our views remain skewed on the subject.

Further, such pervasive generalizations about Islam's inherent oppression of Muslim women are not only offensive but ultimately also unhelpful to the female subjects they purport to describe. This is because secular Western feminist notions, often viewed as the cure-all remedy for alleged misogynistic practices in the Muslim world, are frequently met with suspicion and rejected by Muslim men and women alike. They may view such ideas as unwanted foreign intrusions into their domestic, religious and family affairs.

Where Islam continues to hold political, social and religious currency in society, the human rights agenda can be effectively advanced through re-education initiatives regarding "proper" Muslim women roles through a new yet sound Islamic jurisprudential lens.

Specifically, Muslims can further the human rights agenda by re-examining the lives of the very first Muslim women who lived during Islam's formative period as more than historical figures but as modern Islamic models to be emulated today. Indeed, these women embody viable political, social and financial models with modern applicability.

This point cannot be overstated.

While many Muslims around the world learn about such Muslim women in grade school, their relevance to contemporary time is frequently overlooked. Yet, by learning about and celebrating their examples, men and women can better understand and build upon notions of "proper" Muslim women roles while using a culturally authentic paradigm.
Indeed, Islam can empower women as is evidenced by numerous instances of religiously observant


Muslim women who strive towards and achieve professional, financial and social success in accordance with their understanding of religious strictures. As for those Muslim women who are deprived of similar opportunities, Islamic law can be used to empower them.

Consider, for example, Aisha bint Abu Bakr who was a female scholar of great eminence and a voice of authority in Islamic jurisprudence almost 1500 years ago. By way of background, Aisha was the daughter of Abu Bakr, one of the Prophet Muhammad's closest companions, one of the first converts to Islam and the first to assume leadership as Caliph over the Muslim community following the Prophet Muhammad's death. During her marriage to the Prophet Muhammad, the couple developed a close relationship and it was in Aisha's arms that the Prophet Muhammad died in 632 CE.

This is to say that Aisha bint Abu Bakr is accorded a highly deferential status in Sunni Islam.


Huffpost Culture


Afghan children dream of musical future 


Sayed Elham sits at the piano lost in Chopin as he dreams of becoming Afghanistan’s first famous concert pianist and one of the original graduates of the country’s only musical academy.

Inspired by his singer father, the 14-year-old hopeful practices for five hours each day to emulate his musical heroes: from famed 1970s Afghan singer Ahmad Zahir, to American heavy metal band System Of A Down.

“...I like Chopin — because it has a lot of feeling,” he says, swinging his red school rucksack onto the floor as he takes to the ivories again to play a typical Afghan folk song filled with bittersweet emotion.

The Afghanistan National Institute of Music, revived with the fall of the Taliban who banned the playing of instruments under their strict interpretation of Islamic law, has operated for two years at its current site in west Kabul.



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Op-Ed by Safet Avdich (for Bosnian Readers) Op-Ed





Latest issue


DISCLAIMER: CCN publishes articles in good faith and takes no responsibility for the contents supplied by its writers. Any complaints regarding any articles should be sent by email to ccn@crescentsofbrisbane.org for us to act on.

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

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

The CCN Bookshelf

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

KB's Culinary Corner



KB says:  This is one dish I serve at least once a fortnight at home. One cup of cooked mugniedaar or yellow split peas contain 16g of protein, according to the World's Healthiest Foods. They say that also helps stabilize the level of sugar in the blood, which may benefit sufferers of hypoglycemia, insulin resistance and diabetes. I have it because its just plain delicious especially with hot freshly baked brown roti.


PS: The spinach is just my personal innovation to a very traditional dish and I am not sure its one our moms would have taken kindly to.


Mugniedaar (yellow split peas) with Spinach




Step-by-Step Guide

1. Heat 2 Tab coconut oil/ghee.
2. Add 1 large sliced onion and allow it to soften (5mins)
3. Add ½ tsp of cumin and ½ tsp methi (fenugreek) seeds and cook for a minute.
4. Add and sauté the following spices for 2 minutes.
            a. 2 tsp red ginger and garlic mix (see below for recipe)
            b. 1 tsp red chilli powder
            c. 1 tsp crushed cumin and 1tsp crushed coriander (dhana /jeeru mix)
5. Then add the following altogether:
            a. ½ red or green peppers sliced or a bit of both.
            b. 1 cup of chopped English spinach
            c. 1 cup of diced tomato
            d. 1 cup of Mugniedaar which has been washed.
            e. 1 tsp salt
            f. 1 cup water
6. Give it a good mix and cook on low heat until lentils are soft, you may need to add more water if the mixture has dried out and the lentils are not soft.
7. Sprinkle with chopped coriander and serve hot with roti.

Ginger and Garlic Mix

1 cup fresh ginger
2 cups fresh garlic
1 cup ground red chillies
1 tab salt
1 tsp turmeric powder

Grind all the above to form a paste and refrigerate


Do you have a recipe to share with CCN readers?

Send in your favourite recipe to me at kbcooks@crescentsofbrisbane.org and be my "guest chef" for the week.


Kareema's Keep Fit Column




Want to feel good about your body as you age? THEN KEEP UP THE EXERCISE!

Studies show that being physically active makes you feel more satisfied with your body as you age.


We tend to switch our focus from how we look to how well our bodies work/function, which in turn reduces the symptoms of depression.

Furthermore, being physically active can also reduce the risk of chronic disease.








My Health and Fitness

Tel: 0404 844 786


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.

Flightstar Fozi's Travel Tips





Q: Dear Flightstar Fozi,  we are thinking of taking a trip to Singapore and travelling by train to Penang. Have you got any suggestions?



A: The problem with the train is it has lots of stops and takes about 12 hours.


The coaches have become more popular on this route.


The buses take about nine hours and are faster and more comfortable.


Or you could fly from Singapore to Penang which will take 1.5 hours and costs about $180-$200.

However, having done the train trip between Singapore and Bangkok via Penang some years ago, I would recommend taking the rail option as it is a great trip through the middle of Malaysia with wonderful Jungle scenery.


If you have funds you should consider the luxurious Eastern & Oriental Express. 



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The CCN Chuckle


Mula Nasruddin took his son to the new dentist in town.


The dentist had quickly acquired a reputation of being the 'Painless' dentist.


However it didn't take Nasruddin Jr to dispute his claim.

"He's a fake!" Nasruddin Jr told his friends. "He's not painless at all. When he stuck his finger in my mouth I bit him - and he screamed worse than a baby!"


Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of life's longing for itself.

They come through you, but not from you.
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may house their bodies, but not souls.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The Archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,

and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;

for even as He loves the arrow that flies,

so He loves also the bow that is stable.

                                                    Khalil Gibran


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