Sunday, 13 April 2014

 Newsletter 0492




"I believe that we are potentially permitting acts that have no place in our wonderfully multicultural communities": Liberal MP Craig Laundy. Photo: Janie Barrett

A Liberal MP has signalled his readiness to cross the floor and vote against the Abbott government if controversial changes to the Racial Discrimination Act proceed in their proposed form.

Craig Laundy, whose electorate of Reid is one of Sydney’s most ethnically diverse, has written to Attorney-General George Brandis to outline his opposition to plans to water down race hate protections.

Mr Laundy has received 3000 individual pieces of correspondence from constituents on the government’s intentions for sections 18C and 18D of the Discrimination Act.

None was in support of Senator Brandis' ‘‘right to be a bigot’’ reforms, which he insisted were in defence of freedom of speech.

‘‘I believe we are potentially permitting acts that have no place in our wonderfully multicultural communities,’’ Mr Laundy said.

When asked whether he was prepared to become the first member of the Abbott government to cross the floor, he said he would vote with his ‘‘community and country’’ as his priorities.

‘‘I brought my integrity to Parliament and I intend to take it with me when I go," he said. "We [as politicians] should always seek to add value for our children, not take value away.

‘‘At the right time I will make a decision [on how to vote] based on what is put in front of me."

Mr Laundy received immediate support from fellow Liberal David Coleman, who held the nearby seat of Banks.

‘‘The Government has released an exposure draft of legislation which attempts to strike the balance between free speech and protection from racial discrimination," he said.

"In my view, the exposure draft does not achieve this balance, and needs to be amended to provide greater protection against racial discrimination. I will be conveying this view to my colleagues.’’

Mr Laundy said his opposition was as personal as it was political after his 14-year-old daughter witnessed her friend being abused in public for wearing an Islamic hijab.

John Alexander, whose seat of Bennelong had as many people who identified as ‘‘Chinese’’ as ‘‘Australian’’, was another Liberal rattled by the fierce public response to removing elements of the act that made it unlawful to "offend, insult or humiliate’’ someone based on their race or ethnicity.

The proposed law would instead offer protection for ‘‘vilification and intimidation’’, with sweeping exemptions provided in 18D.

Mr Alexander, who last week was reported as having considered pushing a petition around the backbench, met with Senator Brandis to express his opposition.

A spokesman for Victorian Liberal Jason Wood confirmed he was opposed to the changes as drafted. Veteran Liberal Philip Ruddock and Aboriginal MP Ken Wyatt had also expressed concern about the direction of the reforms.

Mr Laundy said his opposition was as personal as it was political after his 14-year-old daughter witnessed her friend being abused in public for wearing an Islamic hijab.

‘‘Over the duration of many discussions that I have had on this issue, not a single person has suggested to me that their right to free speech has been restricted by the act in its current form," he said.

"Consequently, I do not believe that the case for such far-reaching and potentially damaging changes has yet been made.’’

The Opposition has begun to capitalise on the heat in marginal electorates. On Wednesday, shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus held a town hall meeting in Dandenong, outer Melbourne, with Hugh de Krester of the Human Rights Law Centre. More meetings are planned in Sydney and Brisbane.

Last week, Senator Matt Thistlethwaite held a press conference in Chinese for Chinese-Australian media to stoke concern.

Twenty Chinese community groups have come together to fight Senator Brandis’ proposal.

Source: Brisbane Times

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Reflections by Prof Shajahan Khan, ISOT president    

As decided by the Islamic Society of Toowoomba the first Jumma prayers were held in the Garden City Mosque on Friday, 4 April 2014. We were planning for this day and put in place all facilities and instructions for months.


The demountable was prepared and placed behind the Mosque building with toilets and ablution facilities. The carpet were brought from United Arab Emirates last month and laid last week. Women ablution facilities were set up inside the large Hall.

To avoid traffic and reduce the parking need we advised Muslims associated to the University of Southern Queensland to use a chartered bus for the travel. A bus was set to leave USQ at 11:50and and another trip at 12:05PM to the Mosque. The return bus was scheduled to leave the Mosque at 12:50pm and 1:15pm.

I had to drive my car to come early to the Mosque to put signs to “Remove Shoes Here”, “Turn Off Phone”, “Ladies Payers Area” etc and make sure that no one takes the shoes inside the demountable to avoid outsides darts and follow up cleaning. There were some Muslims who came before me and opened the Mosque and window doors. Previously, I ask Br Faisal via Br Abdulatif to take some photos of the Mosque and the prayers to preserve the history of the landmark day in the history of Muslims in the city.

It was quite emotional for me to stop praying Jumma in the USQ Islamic Centre which I initiated 15 years ago in 2000, and prayed regular Jumma prayers while I was in Toowoomba.

Last Friday, 28 March was the day when we had the last Jumma prayers in the Centre.


When the portable building was available for potential users within USQ, there were 7 contenders to have it. Finally the decision was taken in favour of the Islamic Centre. My good colleague and friend, Mr Jeff McKenzie was a strong advocate for the project. The building was relocated to its current position from the parking area beside the Q block of USQ.


For me, it was quite emotional to close the Jumma prayers in the Centre. But, like many others, I found it more exciting and satisfying to offer Jumma prayers in a place of worship that has been set up and won by the Muslims of the city. Definitely it was a much preferred and long waited option, but the memory and history of 15 years Jumma prayers in the Centre can’t be erased so easily, if ever.

When I came to the Mosque for the first Jumma prayers I found Mr Mohammad Salahuddin was making the Adhan. As per my Jumma practice I prayed two raqat (units) of Tahiyatul Masjid followed by 4 raqat of Quablul (pre) Jumma sunnah prayers. I thought that the Mosque will not be completely full on the first Jumma and there may be some confusion on the venue/time/parking etc to deter some Muslims to join the prayers on time.

The Khutbah (sermon) started on time at 12:20pm. The Imam covered the topic of importance and reward of the setting up this first Mosque in Toowoomba and need for the continuous support to run the Mosque smoothly. From time to time I was overlooking my shoulder to see the number of worshipper inside the Mosque and the vacant space for newly arrival ones. Gradually the whole Mosque was getting filled. I counted every row fitted 30 Musallis (worshippers) and there were 10 rows. So a full capacity Mosque will accommodate 300 males, and the women area could fit about 30 females.

Near the end of the Khutbah, Imam Abdul Kader asked the Muslims sitting inside the Mosque to move forward to make room for the Muslims who were still entering to the Mosque. That was a clear indication that the Mosque was almost full by that time.


To our surprise, we found many Muslims had to pray outside the Mosque on additional carpet. This means that there were at least 350 Muslims prayed first Jumma in the first Mosque in Toowoomba. Clearly the number of worshippers prayed in the Mosque was markedly higher than that used to pray Jumma in the Islamic Centre. Allahu Akbar!!! This is how people expressed the emotion, and some even added that angels of Allah joined the Jumma making the prayers so special and satisfying.

Imam Abdul Kader asked me to find some volunteers to ask for donations after the Jumma outside the entry/exit of the Mosque. We found Br Athif Hameed, Br Shium Reza and Br Firoz Islam along with several others were holding donation boxes and EFPTPOS terminal to receive donations. The Imam encouraged people to donate for the Mosque. I saw different feeling among the Musallis and many contributed to the Mosque in cash or via electronic transfer. At the end I was told that the total collection of the day was $1600. Normally our Jumma collection in the Islamic Centre varies from $300-$500. So it was a significant improvement on the previous Jumma.

Supply of meat after Jumma also moved from the USQ Islamic Centre to the premises of the new Mosque. Br Murad AlKateb organised the meat order and distribution after the Jumma. He also arranged bags of peta bread for sale to the members of the community. Dr Shahid helped selling the breads. All these activities are aimed to help raise fund for the Mosque.

Everyone was overwhelmed by the atmosphere of the Jumma prayers and the high turnabout exceeding all estimates. Some Muslims interpreted with phenomenon is a clear evidence that a Mosque in Toowoomba was absolutely essential for the growing community of Muslims. The Mosque has taken its full load on the first day and will continue to serve the community until the day of doom.

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"Several sailors have had their employment terminated": Vice Admiral Ray Griggs.

Up to six Navy sailors have been sacked or ordered to justify their jobs over racist and anti-Muslim Facebook posts.

But despite suspicions raised by Fairfax Media in January, a formal investigation has found that no sailor belongs to the racist Australian Defence League.

Chief of Navy Ray Griggs said in a statement on Tuesday that the investigation had found that “a number of personnel have … been found to have made inappropriate comment on social media or to have an affiliation with different social media groups that are not consistent with our values”.

“Several sailors have had their employment terminated or have been issued with notices of cause for termination,” Vice Admiral Griggs said.

“Others have received a range of disciplinary punishments or other administrative sanctions.”

It is understood that at least three, and possibly as many as six, sailors have been sacked or ordered to show cause whey they should not be sacked.

Fairfax Media revealed in January that a Navy member working on border protection duties had posted comments on the Facebook page of a friend who claimed to be a member of the Australian Defence League.

The friend had written that asylum-seekers whose boat had sunk were coming to Australia ''to jump on Centrelink and get free government housing''.

The navy member commented: ''I'm about to head out today to deal with these f---ers.''

Vice Admiral Griggs said sailors should be proud to identify themselves as Navy members on social media sites but the job carried “responsibility to act in accordance with our values and behaviours at all times”.

Navy has a strict social media policy that bans personnel from posting offensive material based on “personal traits, attributes, beliefs or practices that exploit, objectify or are derogatory of gender, ethnicity or religion”, Vice Admiral Griggs said.


Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

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Al-Imdaad Foundation’s Sheikh Burhaan Mehtar reports live from the border of Turkey and Syria where 31 aid organisations from 15 different countries have come together to deliver 1000 containers of emergency aid inside ‪‎Syria. This joint campaign was initiated by Turkish Humanitarian NGO, IHH Insani Yardim Vakfi.

Amongst the containers being distributed are flour, rice, water, milk, baby packs and the Help Syria Move Forward mobility aids donated by the Australian Muslim community.

Muslim Aid Australia, Queensland's Muslim Charitable Foundation and the Al-Imdaad Foundation are amongst the local ‪Australian NGOs who have joined forces to help the large numbers of distressed Syrian families.
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"The first ever comedy/action movie of it's kind, A movie by Muslims everyone can enjoy.

A dedicated cop name Mohammed is partnered with a dedicated Muslim name Abdul as part of a plan by the chief of police in order to be re-elected again.


However these two cops stumble on a series of violations made by Islamaphobic cops who prey on Arabs and Sisters in Niqab.


It's up to these two cops to make a decision to be dedicated to Islam or dedicated to their job.


The film stars Omar Regan, Baba Ali, YaztheSpaz, TrueStoryAsa, Joshua Salaam, Junaid Jamshed, Amina Matthews, Freeway, Amir Sulaiman, Quadir Lateef and many more...."

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Message from the Kuraby Madrassah    

As part of this year’s fundraising activities we are planning a Kuraby Masjid Fun Day on the 8th of June at the Islamic School of Brisbane in Karawatha.


We are requesting your support and involvement to make this day a success.

We are calling on all the businesses, individuals and other organisations that call Kuraby Masjid home, to participate in taking a stall on the day.

Would you like to hire a stall to sell you merchandise, such as clothing or kids toys?

Would you like the opportunity to showcase your products, such as home-made crafts?

Are you a community organisation that would like to let the Muslim community know who you are and what you do?

For more information, please call 1300 133 956 or email fetesc@kurabymosque.org.au

This is for our Masjid, our Madrassah and our children’s future.

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By the promoters of the event    

Quran has inspired generations of leaders, scientists, jurists, artists, architects and in fact people from all walks of life.


Modern breakthroughs and discoveries bring many blessings but they also present moral challenges. Quran continues to inspire millions today as it did for centuries before.


Quranic Inspirations, the Cradle of Heroes & Civilisations, the 4th annual Islamic Conference, aims to connect today’s Muslims with the spirit of past glorious multi-faceted achievements and proverbial character of Quranic-Inspired heroes from the past!


The four-hour conference brings together local, interstate and international Muslim scholars as well as inspiring multi-media presentations on various aspects of Quranic Inspirations.


Topics of videos and panel discussions include: elucidation of how we know today that Quran was preserved authentically, reasons why we believe in Quran to be a miraculous book of guidance from God, and ways to study and memorise it.


The panel will bring together the collective wisdom of participating local and international scholars on Quranic Inspirations to overcome modern challenges, inspirations to shine in our most intimate and rewarding relationships such as marriage and Islamic modern parenting.

The Conference is on Saturday 26th April from 12:15pm to 4:15pm in Brisbane at University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus, Steele Building (#3); and the next day the event is repeated in Perth.


To encourage maximum audience participation, competitions will be held on the day and highly cherished prizes, such as the latest iPad Air, will be given to the quiz winners at the event inshaAllah.


Please see the conference details at our beautiful www.QuranicInspirations.com website, few light hearted humorous video trailers as they are released over the next two weeks at www.YouTube.com/QuranicInspirations and we will see you at the exciting, inspiring and yet FREE entry event with free dinner after it inshaAllah!



Quranic Inspirations Conference Trailer


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iQraa Islamic Centre is the newest bookstore in Brisbane, Australia and offers a variety of goods and services.


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A new generation of young, modern Muslims are carving out new ways to entertain themselves, yet remain loyal to their faith. By Omar Shahid


Maher Zain is a fast-rising star of the Islamic entertainment industry

We’ve all heard of Hollywood and Bollywood. Some of you may have even heard of Lollywood (the Pakistani version) and Nollywood (the Nigerian version).


But what about Halalywood? No? Well, as of 2014, you probably will. American actor and comedian Omar Regan, who has appeared in films such as Rush Hour 2, has set out to create a halal-certified film industry for Muslims.

“There are 1 billion Muslims around the world and there is nobody catering for us and our stories. So I left Hollywood and I’m going Halalywood!” Regan says in a video encouraging people to donate to his Kickstarter project.

“Here is our mission: we are going to provide halal entertainment, that’s entertainment we [Muslims] can relate to. Secondly, we want to re-educate the masses about Muslims and Islam. Thirdly, it will provide a platform for young Muslim writers, actors and directors, where they can go and get their stories made and they won’t be turned away,” he says.


Regan is set to release his first movie American Sharia, a comedy/action film about rogue government officials using Islamophobia to maintain power, later this year. However, the up and coming Islamic Film Industry is just one of the many new and emerging scenes being created.

Reacting to the world they see around them, a new generation of young, modern Muslims are carving out new ways to entertain themselves – yet remain loyal to their faith. This new generation is showing that Islam and entertainment can go hand in hand. Along the way, they are shattering stereotypes about what it means to be Muslim in today’s world.

Of course, many of these emerging subcultures have been criticised by conservative Muslims as “unIslamic” for swerving away from traditional and accepted forms of entertainment. One such example is the Islamic Music Industry: launched ten years ago and although growing in approval by many Muslims, it is still attacked because of the use of musical instruments, which some see as haram.

Awakening Records, a UK-based publishing house and record label founded in 2000, saw that Muslims were craving an alternative to the mainstream music industry. Instead of the sexually explicit, violent and misogynistic lyrics in many mainstream songs, Awakening decided to provide a modern, faith-driven alternative.

Poster for American Sharia, coming soon to a theatre near you.

Their first signing was the British-Azeri singer Sami Yusuf, who in 2003 shot to stardom with his debut album Al Mu’allim. Yusuf’s success was so extraordinary and sudden, it caught Awakening by surprise – he was soon labelled “Islam’s biggest rockstar” by Time magazine in 2006.

But after a famous fallout with Awakening in 2008, Yusuf, 33, later left the record label. Today, he is still among the most popular Islamic musicians in the world as he continues to produce Muslim-friendly music. Yusuf’s departure, however, gave rise to another star. Maher Zain, 32, coming from the mainstream music scene and working with the likes of Lady Gaga, had a change of heart in 2007. He fully embraced his Islamic faith and soon signed to Awakening.

Today, with two multi-platinum albums under his belt, along with Yusuf he has catapulted Islamic music into millions of Muslim houses worldwide.

As Islamic music continues to grow, it is slowly being introduced to non-Muslims, too. Yusuf has self-coined a genre called Spiritique, which he says is more spiritual than religious and hopes for it to transcend race and religion. Similarly, Saif Adam, an increasingly popular UK-born Muslim artist, aims to produce music for Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

Many Muslims are also flocking to music that is often termed “conscious hip-hop”, or political hip-hop. While this type of music is not Islamic per se, the fight against oppression and the promotion of social justice is at its core. This genre is also used as a medium to support and bring attention to certain causes, whether Palestine or Syria. This, again, is seen as a better alternative to “the mainstream”.

Comedy, like music, also has the ability to transcend religion. In the US, the American-Palestinian Muslim comedian Yousef Erakat, who launched the YouTube channel FouseyTube in 2011, has well over 150 million views for his comedy sketches. His videos range from light-hearted religious content such as funny things Muslims do while praying, to playing pranks on the public, to tackling serious social issues like homelessness and bullying.


Meanwhile in the UK, 28-year-old Humza Arshad’s YouTube series Diary of a Badman, which began in 2010, has also made him into something of an Internet celebrity. Arshad’s videos satirise British Asian culture by chronicling a fictionalised version of himself and his relationships with friends and family.

However, one of the most interesting subcultures to have emerged recently is the makeup and hijab fashionista trend. A cursory glance on YouTube typing in the words “hijab tutorial” will expose a whole new world where many young Muslim women will go to learn how to wear different styles of hijabs, apply make up and wear fashion accessories. One of the most popular names in this scene is YazTheSpaz – a hijab, fashion and makeup stylist – who is also set to appear in American Sharia.

Last year, we also saw female Islamic fashion reach new heights – whether it was the Indonesia Islamic Fashion Fair or the Hijab Fashion Week in London. While this April, Aquila Style will host the Pearl Daisy Asia Tour 2014, which will celebrate the best in fashion and arts.

Humza Arshad at one of his calmer moments

And who could forget Mipsterz? The video, released late last year to a barrage of controversy, showed a group of young Muslim women on skateboards, in high heels, wearing the hijab to the beat of Jay Z’s Somewhere in America. However, not all the feedback was negative. Noor, one of the women featured in the video, said she received positive feedback from people who once thought the hijab was “oppressive” and “disempowering”.

But what are behind these trends? And why are Muslims now reasserting their faith in new, innovative and creative ways?

The obvious is the advent and widespread use of social media, which has made these forms of entertainment possible. Then there’s 9/11 and the constant media coverage that ensued – impacting the way Muslims are perceived and perceive themselves. Many young Muslims across the world, growing up in a profoundly different time to their parents, are interpreting and exerting their religion in new ways. This perhaps explains why it’s young Muslims who are spearheading most of these trends. You could even say a young Muslim revolt is taking shape.

As many societies seemingly turn away from religious values, Muslims are doing all they can to provide their co-religionists with their own niche – one that is cool, modern and, for the most part, Islam-friendly.

Source: Aquila Style

Omar Shahid is a freelance journalist specialising in religious affairs. He has written for The Times, Guardian, Independent and the New Statesman. Follow him on his blog or Twitter @omar_shahid.

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Need some help with finding a local plumber, beauty salon, creche etc.


Why not send your question in a message to Nanna Knows on Facebook and let our community give you some suggestions?


Questions will be posted anonymously if requested.


Like the Nanna Knows Facebook Page and keep in touch with the community by sharing your knowledge and experiences.


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Saeed Anwar, former Pakistani opening batsman and occasional slow left arm orthodox bowler who played international cricket between 1989 and 2003 is visiting Masjid Taqwa Bald Hills on Tuesday 15 April and Wednesday 16 April 2014 and give talks after Esha salah.
Esha salah with Jamaat is prayed at 7:30 pm.

All local brothers and sisters are welcome to attend.

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House Wanted


Sister who works full time looking for 2bdrm in Underwood area under $340. Need lock up garage.  Also interested in sharing with another working sister who can pay $250-$300 a week.  Please contact Ayesha at ayesha_lea@yahoo.com.au


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The Hayek family $3.2bn ($3.4bn) Switzerland (Lebanon)          

If you’re a fan of ultra-expansive watches, then your hobby is likely to be lining the pockets of the Hayek family, who run by far the world’s largest watchmaking company.


Sales at Swatch are predicted to come in at over $9bn for the first time this year.


The firm is led by chairwoman Nayla and CEO Nick (pictured), who took over the publicly traded firm after the recent death of their father, Nicolas.


And, if their latest move pays off, it looks like the group’s revenues could be about to get even larger.


Aside from sales of its own brands, which include Longines, Tissot, Omega and Breguet, Swatch also devotes significant investment to mechanical movements and components, which it has until now sold off to rival manufacturers.


This year, Swatch spent $1bn buying the Harry Winston brand, which it plans to use to get even greater access into markets like the US and China.


NEXT WEEK: Another from the rich list next week

Source: ArabianBusiness

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By Basma Sayedi    

To commemorate Women’s History Month, we collected photos of Muslim American women.


We’ve compiled thirty-two images. One for each day of March, plus another because no one month can contain the awesomeness of Muslim Women.

These images show the status and the importance of Muslim women in our society. Muslim women are liberated, educated, and play the most important roles in our society.

Update: The purpose and intent of this article is not to showcase the ethnic and racial diversity of Muslimahs. No one article can do that. We meant to express the diversity of the roles Muslimahs play in society and to begin to re-frame how they are thought about. Going forward we will make sure to be all inclusive.


(2) Ameena Mirza Qazi - Attorney and Civil Rights Advocate



Another from the collection in next week's CCN.

Source: Trivial Room: Your eye into Muslim Australia  

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Dear CCN Readers


Assalam alaikum,

I wondered if anyone is interested in raising money for the poor children and families of Syria.

We are very fortunate to live here, yet not much support has been done.

I have many friends and family here who would all go to a fundraising event or dinner etc to raise funds.

I am more than happy to throw in my support and free time to make it happen. If it takes off and there is vast interest and support from the community, maybe we could all do this once a month...as a regular event, rather than a one off.

The children and men and women of Syria NEED OUR HELP!!!

There are alot of families out here in Brisbane and the like that search for somewhere to go and eat out as a family, maybe by creating a meal for these families, perhaps an auction at the end of the night, some entertainment for the children...this will be a hit...and imagine helping out our fellow brothers and sisters in a desperate situation in Syria who have all been abandoned by every country in the world.

I am available after 5pm Monday to Thursday, and anytime Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

I am a mother to 4 girls, but will do what I can to make this happen!!!

Please let me know if you are at all interested...thank you for your time.

Assalam alaikum,
(Name withheld)


[Editor] If you are interested in working on this initiative with our writer, please email ccn@crescentsofbrisbane.org and we will put you in touch with her.


Brandeis Cancels Plan to Give Honorary Degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Critic of Islam


US: Facing growing criticism, Brandeis University said Tuesday that it had reversed course and would not award an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a campaigner for women’s rights and a fierce critic of Islam, who has called the religion “a destructive, nihilistic cult of death.”

“We cannot overlook that certain of her past statements are inconsistent with Brandeis University’s core values,” the university said in a statement released eight days after it had announced that Ms. Hirsi Ali and four other people would be honoured at its commencement on May 18.

The university said that the president of Brandeis, Frederick M. Lawrence, discussed the matter with Ms. Hirsi Ali on Tuesday, and that she “is welcome to join us on campus in the future to engage in a dialogue.” Universities consider it important to make a distinction between inviting a speaker who may air unpopular or provocative views that the institution does not endorse, and awarding an honorary degree, which is more akin to affirming the body of a recipient’s work.

Attempts to reach Ms. Hirsi Ali late Tuesday by email and telephone were unsuccessful.


At first, it was bloggers who noted and criticized the plan to honor Ms. Hirsi Ali, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Within a few days, a Brandeis student started an online petition against the decision at Change.org, drawing thousands of signatures. The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil rights and advocacy group, took note, contacting its members though email and social media, and urging them to complain to the university.

On Tuesday, a student newspaper, The Justice, reported on the controversy, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations sent a letter to Dr. Lawrence, referring to Ms. Hirsi Ali as a “notorious Islamophobe.”

“She is one of the worst of the worst of the Islam haters in America, not only in America but worldwide,” Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the group, said in an interview on Tuesday. “I don’t assign any ill will to Brandeis. I think they just kind of got fooled a little bit.”

In its statement, Brandeis said, “For all concerned, we regret that we were not aware of” Ms. Hirsi Ali’s record of anti-Islam statements, though those comments have been fairly widely publicized.

“You would think that someone at Brandeis would have learned to use Google,” said Rashid Khalidi, a professor of Arab studies at Columbia University, who said he thought Brandeis had arrived at the right position: not awarding a degree, but welcoming Ms. Hirsi Ali to speak.

Having drawn fire for inviting Ms. Hirsi Ali, Brandeis may now take criticism from other camps, whether for disavowing Ms. Hirsi Ali’s views, or for giving in to Muslim activists.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali has called Islam “a destructive, nihilistic cult of death.” 

Even some of Ms. Hirsi Ali’s critics say they understand her hostility to Islam, given her experiences, though they think she goes too far. A native of Somalia, she has written and spoken extensively of her experience as a Muslim girl in East Africa, including undergoing genital cutting, a practice she has vigorously opposed, and her family’s attempts to force her to marry a man against her wishes.

She moved to the Netherlands as a young woman, and she was later elected to the Dutch Parliament. She wrote the screenplay for “Submission,” a 2004 film critical of the treatment of Muslim women. Shortly after its release, the director, Theo van Gogh, was murdered on an Amsterdam street by a radical Islamist, who pinned to the victim’s body a threat to kill Ms. Hirsi Ali as well.

“She has her very real personal story, she has her views, and she’s free to say what she’d like to say,” said Maya Berry, executive director of the Arab American Institute, an advocacy group. “But for an institution like Brandeis to choose to honor someone like this is really disappointing.”

In 2007, Ms. Hirsi Ali gave an interview to The London Evening Standard that was, by her own telling, the most unvarnished public expression of her views to that point, including the “cult of death” comment. She advocated the closing of Islamic schools in the West and said that “violence is inherent in Islam” and that “Islam is the new fascism.”

Later that year, in an interview with the publication Reason, she said, “I think that we are at war with Islam,” and said it must be defeated. “It’s very difficult to even talk about peace now,” she said. “They’re not interested in peace.”

Western leaders like George W. Bush and Tony Blair were striking a very different tone, insisting that they were at war with terrorist factions, not Islam as a whole.

Brandeis said last week that it intended to confer honorary degrees on five recipients, including Ms. Hirsi Ali. One of the recipients is Jill Abramson, the executive editor of The New York Times.

Source: The New York Times


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‘Embracing Islam does not mean giving up one’s cultural identity’ 

PETALING JAYA: Malaysians must be reminded that Islam is a religion that transcends ethnic boundaries and converting to Islam does not mean letting go of one’s cultural identity.

1Malaysia Foundation chairman Dr Chandra Muzaffar said the only exceptions would be certain elements within a culture that contradicted the Muslim faith, for example worshiping deities or consumption of non-halal food and drinks.

Chandra’s comments were made following a reported call by Former Court of Appeals Judge Datuk Mohd Nor Abdullah on March 31 that Muslim converts in Malaysia should be accorded with special rights as provided under the Federal Constitution for Malays and Bumiputeras.

Mohd Nor, who described the Muslim converts as “Special Malays” created by the Federal Constitution, said the special rights include opportunities to purchase Malay reserve lands and Amanah Saham Bumiputera shares as well as to enjoy the 30 per cent Bumiputera entry quota into public institutions of higher learning.

Chandra was asked to comment on whether such a move would worsen existing concerns by non-Muslim families, particularly among the older generations, that allowing their children to convert to Islam would be akin to “losing” the family culture.

“Becoming a Muslim does not mean you should stop loving or accepting your parents.

“The Prophet Muhammad SAW himself never stopped from loving his uncle Abu Talib ibn Abdul Mutalib (who died as a non-Muslim),” Chandra told theantdaily.

Chandra said rather than advocating for Muslim converts to be accorded with Malay rights through Article 153, more emphasis should be given on the “real thinking” behind the special provision.

“The real thinking behind Article 153 is linked to justice (and) to rectify injustices through the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s role to protect the special rights of Malay-Bumiputeras and also the legitimate interests of all other communities,” he said.

Chandra, however, conceded that there was “no issue” against Muslim converts from being recognised as Malays through Article 153 of the Federal Constitution, as proposed by Mohd Nor.


The Ant Daily


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How My Stay in Morocco Changed My Views of Islam & Muslims 

By Ann K Smith - Ksar el Kebir, Morocco



MOROCCO: If we choose to bite off on the idea, juicy, delicious apples might provide insight about how most people are not as different from each other as many would have us believe. The birth of this idea came in January 2013, sitting in a hotel room in Rabat, Morocco. Eating my first Moroccan apple, richly lime green and sweetly tart, I had another first – a live Islamic call to prayer sounded from a nearby mosque. While the Moroccan apple was a reminder of my home in Florida, U.S.A., the loud chanting was not. As a stranger to the sound, it was like a tormented ghost wailing over a bad microphone, as if trying to communicate from a different world. It was eerie to me although I could not identify exactly why. In the past year, I have heard calls to prayer five times a day. Each time I heard one, the sound became less and less strange and at some point, it became comforting. One day I will leave this African Kingdom and the once eerie sound will be a positive, nostalgic memory. But years ago, living the busy life of a lawyer, I would not have imagined hearing or relating to these sounds at all.

I did not choose to live in Morocco, but, the Peace Corps assigned me here to serve for the years 2013-2015. Before coming, I knew little about the Kingdom other than its world-wide reputation for wonderfully spicy food, camels, snake charmers and fine rugs. My pre-departure research informed me that Moroccans were mostly Muslim, in fact, 99%. I am not. So, with those facts in hand, I knew my new situation would be strange. And indeed, I found my new culture fully, completely and inextricably tied to Islam. There is no separation between “church and state.” Most national holidays are religious ones. Islamic study is required in all schools and Islam is the main basis for the country’s laws. Women in Morocco who cover their hair and dress modestly, more often than not, do it to respect the faith. The five-daily calls to prayer emanate from mosques in all corners of any village, city or metropolis so that they can be heard by all.


One day I was asked by a Moroccan if I would become Muslim. I felt immediately defensive. But, I learned in due time that Muslims simply want all people to share their own joy – to them, Islam is the best religion. This thinking is not at all unlike the feelings of many who have other religious beliefs and wish to share them. As it turns out, evangelistic behaviour is actually contrary to the teachings of Islam. Muslims generally believe that religion, like most everything else, is solely as a result of God’s will. A person could not possibly become Muslim from the prodding of any human being. And although I am not a Muslim, I have not been told that I will go to hell nor have I been criticized. I have been told that people of Islam are supposed to respect other’s beliefs. But how could this possibly be true? These are Muslims, and we have been told time and time again that evil plots against Americans such as 9-11 were driven by their religion. Those people who have committed such hate against us told us without equivocation that Islam required them to kill us, didn’t they?


Morocco World News

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Middle East Job Opportunities   



SAUDI ARABIA: The country is pursuing a number of major rail/transit projects and is welcoming expressions of interest for a number of positions.


Click here for more details.


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


This week CCN recommends


First Thing First :

For Inquiring Minds and Young Hearts



 Khalid Baig




This book is a collection of more than 80 popular articles published over a 9 year period in the "First Thing First" column of monthly Impact International (London, England).


The articles discuss a broad range of topics and issues confronting Muslims today in both their individual as well as collective lives, ranging from Islamic beliefs and practices to politics, women, and modernity.


Written in lucid English, the highly engaging articles aim at providing reflection, exposition, inspiration, and intellectual stimulation.

The author takes the reader on an intellectual journey to find answers for the problems facing Muslims today at all levels.


Taking into consideration current social, cultural, and political discussions, he demonstrates how the solution lies in returning to Islamic principles—as valid and necessary today as they were fourteen centuries ago.

His brilliant articulation of Islamic perspectives as well as clarification of thorny topics makes the book a must read for young adults, parents and teachers—Muslim and non-Muslim alike.


It deserves to be widely circulated and read by both Muslims and non-Muslims alike. -- Mumtaz Ahmad, Ph.D Professor of Political Science - Hampton University - Hampton, VA

Its message is universal and inclusive. First Things First encourages readers to think straight and to think for themselves. -- Muhammad Hashir Faruqi, Editor, Impact International - London, England

About the Author

An engineer by profession, Khalid Baig has been writing on Islam and current affairs since 1986. He is editor of Albalagh E-Journal as well as a regular contributor to Impact International. He resides in Southern California.


Source: Amazon


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


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KB says:  One of the many delights at the recent brunch in aid of Multiple-Sclerosis (MS) was this gourmet sandwich by Shamima Nathie who had the loaf of bread cut up horizontally, layering the filling on top and then rolling it into a Swiss roll and slicing them as in the photo below.

Gourmet Chicken and Walnut Sandwiches




500g chicken breast with skin off
¼ cup of peppercorns
¼ cup of mayonnaise
¼ cup sour cream
¼ cup chopped walnuts
1 tab chopped cranberries
Salt and crushed pepper to taste


1. Poach the chicken in a pot of water with the peppercorns and cook until done.
2. Remove the peppercorns.
3. When cool, shred the chicken using your fingertips.
4. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix well.
5. Your sandwich filling could be placed on a bed of lettuce on your choice of bread.

You could use any filling of your choice, remove some of the ingredients and add grated carrots cucumbers, shredded lettuce etc, and use the same technique in assembling your sandwiches.


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.


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Q: Dear Kareema, I've been told by my chiropractor that I need to do some exercises to open up through the muscles of my upper chest as I am very tight through that region. Can you suggest a few exercises I can do?

A: Yoga will be very beneficial for you. Especially when it comes to the poses to strengthen your back as you'll find that this encourages you to pull your shoulders back to open your chest and really feel the stretch.

Using Weights is a good option too, try the bent over row and dead lift. Again, these will not only strengthen your back, it will open up and strengthen the opposing muscles as well.

The weights machines at the gym shows exactly which muscles you target when using it so enlist the help of a staff member if you're not sure and go for it.




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.


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Joosubuddin and Halimmudin are two mental patients who escape from their asylum and make it to the roof.


"We don't have a ladder to get to the next building," says Joosubuddin


"No matter..' says Halimmudin. "I've got this torch... I'll shine the light across and then you walk on the light...."


"Are you insane?" says Joosubuddin, "I know you'll switch it off halfway." 


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Verily that which you are promised is true; and verily Judgment and Justice must indeed come to pass.
Surah Az-Zariyat 51:5-6


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Be like the flower that gives its fragrance,

to even the hand that crushes it. 



~ Ali ibn Abi Talib 


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Notice Board


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Events and Functions

Indonesian 2014 Day 2014 13 APRIL Quranic Inspirations Quiz 20 APRIL Algester Fundraising Dinner 25 APRIL Quranic Inspirations 26 APRIL AIIC 12th Annual Quran Recitation Competition 29 & 30 APRIL Rotary Fun Night 30 APRIL Cr. Kim Marx's Karawatha family Fun Day 4 MAY MBN Network Meeting 7 MAY Orphan Home Project 10 MAY AIIC Family Fun Night 24 MAY MWCSS Fund Raiser Dinner 31 MAY Kuraby Mosque FAMILY FUN DAY 2 JUNE Muslimah Night Bazaar 14 JUNE Sister Haifaa Ladies Retreat 2014 13 to 15 JUNE AMARAH Eid Fund Raising Dinner 2 AUGUST


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Islamic Programmes, Education & Services

6-WEEK ISLAM101 Starts 7 APRIL AIF & Muslim Aid AU Donation for Syrian Refugees Weekly Halaqa STARTS 22 FEBRUARY Maths, English, Chemistry tutor Easy Way Tuition Sheikh Junaid Thorne Lecture Series 2-4 MAY Seerah Programme starts 11 January Seerah Programme starts 11 January Arabic- Qur'an Classes
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1 Stop Pizza Seedat Accounting United Hearts Family Day Care Scheme Pty Ltd AUTOCAD 2013 TUITION Archi n Eng Sora LM Sept low VarRate Flyer LM Sept13 FixRate Flyer Inwear Fashions Eid Specials Apparel by Aliyah Tel: 0438840467 Apparel by Aliyah AGAIN Continental Halal Meats Gold Coast Sewing Dial A Local Doctor Fathima Abdoola Flyer Shailly Hair Beauty Peeled Prawns LOVE UR BODY Baby Care Solutions Wasimah Brisbane CassonIT Solutions Computer Repairs Al-Khitan Circumcisions Watang Man-oushi Lebanese Foods Lil Umah Pari Collection Achar Pari Collection Michael's Oriental Birthday Promo ACCES Services REMOVALS Dial a Doctor Bulk Billing Dr in your home Function Room Page 1 Function Room Page 2 Shariff's Computer Services Ayesha's Samoosa Strips Angelz Dental Care Sunkids Sunkids Maximize  Accountants Officetek Alarms Mona Vie AK Surtie Centre for Easy Language Learning Arabic Paradise Convenience Autocad 2012 Training Baalbak Mediterranean Restaurant Low Price Pharmacy KURABY Bismillah Repairs and Maintenance
New mobile no. 0468 342 127 Brisbane Diagnostics Hummys Automotive Services Boulevard Tower Residence Accommodation Calamvale Physiotherapy & Sport Injury Clinic Kuraby Mosque Hire Carpetlifesavers Indoor Folding Mats Rejuven8 Body & Beauty Personal Wellness Coach Shameema's Silk Scarves efxshop Samoosa Pastry Shakira Kolia Driving School Tutoring Fathima Adat QLD Islamic Book Service Gabriel Hair Studio Henna Fatima Ismail Junaid Ally Properties REMAX Muslima Chick Kimaya International Quick Stick Name labels Ladies Only Personal Training Lilys Fashion Excelanz Migration Services Hussana love ur body T ax Returns 2012 Muslim Directory NAZIMA HANSA REMAX Marketing Coop Group Pizza Lane Pappa Roti Ummah Store Elite FX Web Design


"If it's not here ....it's not happening!"l)

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





(Click on link)





13 April


Indonesia 2014 Day: My Beautiful Indonesia

University of QLD Indonesian Student Assoc. (UQISA)

University of QLD, St Lucia

0413 440 451

12pm to 5.30pm

25 April


Algester Mosque: Building Fund Raiser Dinner

Islamic Society of Algester

Islamic College of Brisbane, KARAWATHA

0403 286 305


26 April


Quranic Inspirations

Quranic Inspirations

BLD 3, Lecture Theatre 206, UQ St Lucia Campus

0406 106 452

1pm to 5pm

29/30 April

Tues & Wed

12th Annual Quran Recitation Competition

Australian International Islamic College

724 Blunder Rd, DURACK

3372 1400


30 April


Rotary Fun Night

Rotary Club of Archerfield

Michael's Oriental Restaurant

0400 162 163

6pm for 7pm

2 May


Sh Muhammed Junaid Thorne: The Straight Path



Gold Coast Mosque

0425 811 150

5.30pm to 6.30pm

3 May


Sh Muhammed Junaid Thorne: Millatu-Ibrahim



Kingston Butter Factory

0425 811 150

6.30pm to 9pm

7 May


MBN Networking Meeting

Muslim Business Network (MBN)

The Conference Centre, Brisbane Technology Park

0439 786 653


10 May


The Orphan Project

One Solid Ummah

Islamic College of Brisbane, KARAWATHA

0468 488 326


24 May


Family Fun Night

Australian International Islamic College

724 Blunder Rd, DURACK

3372 1400


25 May



Lailatul Mehraj (27th Rajab 1435)

31 May


Sisters' House Fund Raiser Dinner

Sisters' House

Michael's Oriental Restaurant

0407 164 721


8 June



International Food Festival hosted by Kuraby Mosque

Kuraby Mosque

Islamic College of Brisbane

0401 959 295

10am to 8pm

13-15 June


Sister Haifaa Ladies Retreat 2014 | Living the Sunnah


Savannah Hotel, GOLD COAST

0422 237 861

All weekend

14 June


Muslimah Night Bazaar


45 Acacia Rd, KARAWATHA

0405 816 102

6.30pm to 10.30pm

14 June



Lailatul Bhahraat (Nisf of Sha’baan 1435)

29 June


1st of Ramadhan 1435



Lailatul Qadr (Night of Power)

28 July


End of Ramadhan 1435

29 July



2 August


Eid Fund Raising Dinner for Palestine


Michael's Oriental Restaurant

0422 349 786


16 August


Eidfest 2014


Rocklea Showgrounds

0418 722 353

All day

5 October



25 October


1st Muharram 1436 (Islamic New Year)

3 November


Day of Aashooraa (10th day of Muharram)



Prophet’s Birthday 12th Rabi-ul Awwal 1436



1. All Islamic Event dates given above are tentative and subject to the sighting of the moon.

2. The Islamic date changes to the next day starting in the evenings after maghrib. Therefore, except for Lailatul Mehraj, Lailatul Bhahraat and Lailatul Qadr – these dates refer to the commencement of the event starting in the evening of the corresponding day.


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Bald Hills Mosque Weekly Tafseer


The weekly program schedule is as follows:
Mondays: Tafseer
Wednesdays: Tafseer
The above lessons will start at 7:30 pm and will go for approximately 1/2 an hour each day. All brothers and sisters are welcome.


Queensland Police Service/Muslim Community Consultative Group


Meeting Dates & Times


Thursday 22 May 2014 Mt Gravatt Police Station, 2132 Logan Road, Upper Mt Gravatt

Thursday 21 August 2014 Mt Gravatt Police Station, 2132 Logan Road, Upper Mt Gravatt

Thursday 20 November 2014 Mt Gravatt Police Station, 2132 Logan Road, Upper Mt Gravatt

Commencing at 7.00pm (Times may change throughout the year pending salat)



For more information and RSVP:

Sergeant Jim Bellos at Bellos.Dimitrios@police.qld.gov.au



Tafsir & Islamic History Classes

VENUE: Al-Mustapha Institute of Brisbane, 39 Bushmills Court, Hillcrest

Every Monday & Wednesday
7pm - 8:15pm

All Brothers & Sisters are welcome.

For further information please contact Moulana Noor 0432 712 546.



06/04 : 04/05 : 01/06 : 06/07 : 03/08 : 07/09 : 05/10 : 02/11 : 07/12


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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

MUSLIMS AUSTRALIA / Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC) Islamic Schools, Halal Services and a whole lot more...

AFIC Schools

      www.mfis.com.au (Malek Fahd Islamic School, Sydney, NSW)
      www.icb.qld.edu.au (Islamic College of Brisbane, QLD)
      www.icosa.sa.edu.au (Islamic College of South Australia, SA)
      www.afic-lic.com.au (Langford Islamic College, Perth, WA)
      www.islamicschoolofcanberra.act.edu.au (Islamic College of Canberra, ACT)

Karratha Muslims (Muslims in Western Australia)

Islam TV

Recording of lectures and events in and around Queensland

Muslim Directory Australia

Carers Queensland

Free service for multicultural clients who are carers, elderly and people with disabilities

Brisbane Muslim Burial Society (BMBS)

Muslim Charitable Foundation (MCF)

Coordinated collection & distribution of: Zakaah, Lillah, Sadaqah, Fitrana, Unwanted interest

Islamic Medical Association of Queensland (IMAQ)

Network of Muslim healthcare professionals

Al-Imdaad Foundation (Australia)

Australian Muslim Youth Network (AMYN)
Find out about the latest events, outings, fun-days, soccer tournaments, BBQs organised by AMYN. Network with other young Muslims on the AMYN Forum

Islamic Council of Queensland (ICQ)  

Umbrella body representing various Mosques and Societies in Queensland

Current list of businesses certified halal by ICQ  7 August 2011

Islamic Friendship Association of Australia

Blog of the Association's activities

United Muslims of Brisbane

Crescents of Brisbane's CRESCAFE (Facebook)

Muslim Women's eNewsletter

Sultana’s Dream is a not-for-profit e-magazine that aims to provide a forum for the opinions of Australian Muslim women

Islamic Solutions

Articles and Audio recordings

IQRA Academy Institute of Islamic Studies

Online streaming of Islamic lectures

Islamic Relief Australia

Gold Coast Mosque

 Incorporating Islamic Society of Gold Coast Inc.

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)

Kotku Mosque - Dubbo NSW

Islamic Society of Algester

Jamiatul Ulama Western Australia

Body of Muslim Theologians (Ulama, Religious Scholars)

Islamic Women's Association of Queensland (IWAQ)

Community based, not-for-profit organisation providing Settlement, Aged Care, disability, social activities and employment opportunities.

Federation of Australian Muslim Students & Youth (FAMSY)

Queensland Intercultural Society (QIS)

GIRU – Griffith Islamic Research Unit

          Qld Stories link or YouTube link

Gold Coast Halal Certification Services (GCHCS)

Muslim Aid Australia

Serving Humanity

Human Appeal International Australia  Always with you on the road to goodness

Al-Mustapha Institute of Brisbane  

Preserving the Past, Educating the Present to Create the Future

Islamic Society of Darra

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Muslim Reverts Network

Supporting new Muslims

Muslim Funeral Services (MFS)

 Funeral Directors & Funeral Fund Managers for the Brisbane and Gold Coast communities

Islamic Society of Bald Hills (ISBH)

Tafseers and Jumma Khubahs uploaded every week.

Muslim Community & Qld floods

How the community helped out during the 2010 QLD floods

The CCN Young Muslim Writers Award (Facebook)

The Queensland Muslim Historical Society  (Facebook)

Muslim Women's National Network of Australia, Inc (MWNNA)

Peak body representing a network of Muslim women's organisations and individuals throughout Australia

Sultana's Dream

Online magazine subscribe@sultanasdream.com.au

Lockyer Valley Islamic Association


Celebrating Muslim cultures

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 libellous, 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.


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