Sunday, 16 August 2015


Newsletter 0562


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



Minister Fentiman's community calls

 The CCN Inbox: Letters to the Editor The CCN Food for Thought

Authorities brace for Australian 'patriots' plan mosque protests

 The CCN Classifieds An Ayaat-a-Week

FECCA: Planned mosque protests a threat to social cohesion

What is/was happening in other necks of the woods Events and Functions

Dr Abdalla to speak on Islam at JPC

Around the Muslim World with CCN Islamic Programmes, Education & Services

ICQ plays host to Indonesian visitors

CCN Readers' Book Club

Businesses and Services

Halal certification 'creates more value than it costs'

KB's Culinary Corner

The CCN Date Claimer

Fete brings community together

Kareema's Keep Fit Column

CCN on Facebook

Gold Coast host Police counter-terrorism training

The CCN Chuckle

Useful Links

Islam101 for QPS officers


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Bendigo mosque survives gets green light for planning permit

Citizenship bill attracts just two Queensland submissions

Anti-halal mail flyer wrong on terrorism

Eren 'Mussie' comment term of endearment, says McGuire

Woman tells Melbourne Islamophobia forum 'racism hurts'

The problem with becoming a Muslim

Somali Sisters co-found publishing house in Canada

Jumma Lecture Recordings


Click a link above to go directly to the article. Return to this section by clicking To top at the bottom, left of the article.



"Beautiful day in Toowoomba to celebrate the 10th Language and Cultural festival. Special thanks to the local Afghan community for letting me try some of their food"

Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety and Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Ms Shannon Fentiman MP, paid visits to local community groups during the week, posting photos and comments on her Facebook page.

"Lovely to meet members of Toowoomba's Muslim community and visit the Toowoomba Mosque"


"Great to have so many participants with incredible experience and expertise from Queensland at the national CALD Roundtable on tacking domestic and family violence"


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Fights broke out between Reclaim Australia members and Rally against Racism protesters in Melbourne in April.

Ugly scenes are expected at mosques across the country in October, with neo-Nazis and far-right activists planning co-ordinated protests against Muslim migration and Islam.

The protests, which will create a security nightmare for authorities, are timed to coincide with anti-Islam protests in Canada, parts of Europe, and the United States where demonstrators have been urged to bring guns.

The global protests, planned for October 10, were called by ex-Marine Jon Ritzheimer, who asked Americans to bring guns to the protests.
In Mr Ritzheimer's home state of Arizona, the Council on American and Islamic Relations civil liberties group has reported him to the FBI for his repeated threats against Muslims, according local reports.

In an online call to arms directed at Australians, Mr Ritzheimer called on his allies in the United Patriots Front, the Australian Defence League and Reclaim Australia, and their supporters, to "[do] what's right for humanity".

"You're either with us or against us," he ranted, saying America had let Muslims in and 'now they want to f--- with our way of life'.

"Any mosque that you have in your neighbourhood, that's where your location is to go and protest."

In another video, he pulls out a pistol and shoots a Koran.

In Australia, the call to arms was enthusiastically backed by the United Patriots Front, a fringe splinter group of the Reclaim Australia movement, and others.

The self-styled "great Aussie patriot" Shermon Burgess, organiser of the UPF, told followers in a video that "the whole world is going to rally against Islam", and called on Australians to follow suit.

"It doesn't matter where you are in the country, you find a mosque and you get there. That's how it goes."

Mr Burgess said Australia should ban the building of mosques, and vowed to "keep fighting against your mosques".

Last week, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal upheld a planning permit for a new mosque in Bendigo, after a sustained campaign by anti-Islam activists. The decision has been met with fury by far-right groups online, and plans are under way for a separate protest in Bendigo against the decision in the next fortnight.

Mr Burgess claimed that anti-Islam movements were building worldwide, because western governments and media were not listening.

"No backing down," he vowed. "Let's do it. Let's have our voices be heard, let's rally across the nation, in every goddamn European country on this planet."

One of the American organisers, Heather Briggs, posted a video online that hinted at the violence that could follow the protests.

"You get to these locations, and you f-ckin' do something," she told followers. "It's time to say no. It's time to stand and it's time to run 'em out."

The Australian Federal Police would not comment on security matters, referring inquiries to state police.

A Victoria Police spokeswoman said the force was aware of the protest and would carry out a risk assessment to plan the police's response.

She said every Victorian had the right to feel safe and that while police respected the right of people to express their views, any illegal activity would not be tolerated.

"It is critical that all Victorians are accepting of cultural diversity and respect the right for individuals to practice their faith, pursuing their values, beliefs and interests," she said.

"We ask anyone who witnesses, or is subject to, racism, discrimination or victimisation on the basis of religion, culture or ethnicity, to inform Victoria Police."

NSW Police have been contacted for comment.

Anyone with information about a crime, including those motivated by prejudice, can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Source: The Age (Victoria)


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Press release

The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) and its member organisations across Australia stand strongly in condemnation of planned mosque protests in October.

At FECCA, we are very concerned over the progressively hostile attitudes toward Muslim Australians and other minority groups.

“There can be no tolerance for racism and bigotry. We need to call it what it is, instead of making excuses for racist behaviours under the guise of ‘patriotism,’” FECCA Acting Chair, Eugenia Grammatikakis (pictured) said.

FECCA is troubled by the rise in rallies and racist attacks, which promote feelings of exclusion and fear in the community. The rhetoric maintained by Reclaim Australia and other fringe groups is one completely at odds with Australian values.

Ms Grammatikakis said, “The encouragement of violent protests is alarming and is a threat to the personal security and safety of our culturally, linguistically and religiously diverse communities. These racist groups should be condemned by all in the Australian community as a threat to social cohesion and community harmony.”

In these times of heightened societal angst, FECCA would like to stress the importance of respect, tolerance and social inclusion to build an accepting, cohesive and unified Australia.


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The Unity Club of John Paul College, an independent, co-educational, ecumenical day and boarding school located in the Logan City suburb of Daisy Hill with over 2,500 students has invited Assoc. Prof Mohamad Abdalla to be its guest speaker at its Cultural Forum.


The forums are designed for JPC parents to further their understanding of particular topics in a "welcoming and non-judgemental environment".


The college has seen many Muslim students pass through its corridors of learning over the years, Ms Yassmin Abdel-Magied being one its more notable alumni. 


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The Islamic Council of Queensland hosted an Indonesian delegation around Brisbane and the Mosques and Centres.

Amongst the Mosques visited was the Rochedale Mosque ion Logan Road. The tour ended with an authentic Indonesian dinner at Shalom Indonesia.


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Australian Food and Grocery Council criticises ‘abusive anti-halal calls and mail’ directed at its members by opponents of the scheme


South Australian senator Cory Bernardi initiated a Senate inquiry in May to ‘get to the bottom’ of the halal industry.

Halal certification enables up to $13bn in food exports each year, according to Australia’s peak body for food and drink manufacturers, which has criticised the “abusive anti-halal calls and mail” directed at its members by opponents of the certification scheme.

The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) also questioned claims that halal certification represents a “tax” on business, arguing the religious approval “creates more value than it costs”, in a submission to a Senate inquiry on third-party food certification.

More than 700 submissions have been made to the inquiry, which was initiated by South Australian senator Cory Bernardi in May to “get to the bottom” of the halal industry, which he has previously described as a “racket”.

Among the concerns raised in the submissions is that halal certification is “forced on” retailers; funds terrorism; and is “purely a scam of gigantic proportions”.

But the AFGC has defended the industry, arguing that companies pay halal certification fees because “the net effect [is] beneficial”.

“Put somewhat bluntly, manufacturers will only pay a dollar for a certification if they expect to get more than a dollar back in sales, whether directly or indirectly,” the AFGC said.


“If they pay a dollar and only get 80c worth of value, they will drop the certification.”

A survey of AFGC members found “no single type of certification stands out as being especially costly or hard to obtain”, according to the submission.

It noted that staff at some member companies had been subject to “abusive anti-halal calls and mail” by critics of the Islamic certification.

“Such behaviour should neither be encouraged nor condoned by this inquiry,” the AFGC said.

All certifiers, halal and otherwise, could provide more transparency of their processes, it noted, including of whether “the certification scheme is run not-for-profit or as a commercial venture”.

The AFGC also called on Australian trade negotiators to press foreign markets to streamline their halal requirements, noting some beef exporters were having to obtain multiple halal certifications in Australia to meet different countries’ requirements.

For example, Australia’s largest meat exporter, JBS Australia, spent $2.4m last year obtaining different religious approvals (but generated $3.3b in revenue).

Anti-halal sentiment briefly became prominent last year and is frequently raised by some far-right and Christian parties.

A prominent anti-halal campaigner, Kirralie Smith, and the “Islam-critical” Q Society are being sued for defamation in New South Wales over their claims the Islamic certification industry is corrupt and funds “the push for Sharia law in Australia”.

The Australian Crime Commission, which last year completed an investigation into money laundering in Australia, has said it is “not aware of any direct links” between the industry and violent extremist groups.

The federal agriculture minister, Barnaby Joyce, has warned his colleagues against “picking a fight that we never needed to have” over halal, because of the potential impact on Australian exporters.

“Unless it’s halal certified, we can’t sell it. That means the whole processing line becomes unviable,” Joyce, the deputy leader of the Nationals, said in April.

“If we didn’t have the halal market in beef, that could really affect thousands of meat workers in Australia.”

Tony Abbott has also defended the industry, arguing it is “just part of exporting to the Middle East, and if we want our exports to grow all the time, this is what we need to do, and I think that’s what Australians want”.

Source: The Guardian


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The Australian International Islamic College held its 13th Annual College Fete on Saturday, 8 August.


Each year our Fete is a huge community event and a great opportunity for everyone to come together and celebrate. The variety of stalls and activities throughout the day kept the crowds flowing in. The weather was wonderful and everyone had a great day of fundraising and fun. The college had great success with such great community support and the generosity of the community was noticeable. Our heartfelt thanks goes to all those people who very generously sponsored and donated items to the various stalls.

The money raised will be used to purchase and upgrade the schools resources.

The success of the various stalls was evident and hard work and preparations over the recent weeks really paid off.

There are so many people to thank for such a successful day. A big thank you to Mohammed Arif , the Fete Coordinator, Teachers, Teacher Aides, Office Staff, IT Staff, Library Staff, the Grounds Staff and all Volunteers who assisted in some way to make this day a huge success. We would also like to thank all other stall holders both home and commercial for supporting our school’s fete which added to the great variety of stalls on the day.

Thank you all for your valuable contributions and we look forward to your support next year.


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The Queensland Police Service will reinforce its position in preventing and responding to threats of terrorism and other security with the launch of a counter-terrorism training course developed with external partners including the Islamic Council of Queensland.

The development of the Security and Counter-Terrorism Network will ensure regional police are equipped with the knowledge, intelligence and resources they require as the first point of contact with the community.

“The development of the network ensures the QPS is engaging with and identifying vulnerable communities and stakeholders, gathering and sharing intelligence and strengthening our overall position in this critical environment,” Deputy Commissioner Ross Barnett said.

“Regional police are the key point of contact with the community and external stakeholders for intelligence, investigation and security coordination. It is crucial we support them and provide the assistance they need to fulfil this important role within the network.”

The network will give regional police guidance and assistance through training to enhance their existing knowledge and processes in this area.

The training will be conducted across the State and will commence this week on the Gold Coast. The course will run for four days with content developed in consultation with external partners including the Islamic Council of Queensland.


Source: My


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Hamza Vayani, Majid Khan and Imam Imraan Husain were invited to deliver training to the Queensland Police Service based at the Gold Coast.

The purpose of the training was to provide an Introduction to Islam and educate officers on cultural awareness and the diverse Muslim communities in the region.


The training was launched by the Deputy Commissioner of Police and Mr Ismail Cajee, president of the Islamic Council of Queensland (ICQ), as part of an ICQ initiative.




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Source: Southern Star 12 August 2015


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Bendigo's first mosque is given the go-ahead despite a legal challenge mounted by a group of residents, although further legal challenges look likely.

VICTORIA: Bendigo's first mosque has survived a legal challenge mounted by a group of residents with a Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal decision upholding the proposal's planning permit.

VCAT president Justice Greg Garde and senior member Margaret Baird rejected claims by a group of about 15 people that the development of a mosque on the outskirts of Bendigo would be detrimental to the regional city.

They found that the Australian Islamic Mission's proposal to build a mosque, sports hall and other facilities on Rowena Street in Bendigo East did not present significant social or other impacts to the community and would not unreasonably affect nearby homes.

"There is no evidence of abuse, harassment, intimidation, or loss of wellbeing or social cohesion associated with the operation of the existing places of Islamic worship in Bendigo, or in any other location in Victoria or beyond," the judgment stated.

he objectors' group, led by Bendigo woman Julie Hoskin, had argued the mosque project, which was granted a City of Greater Bendigo planning permit in June, would create noise pollution and traffic congestion.

Material presented during a hearing in late 2014 revealed initial objection letters sent to the council by members of the objectors group, including Ms Hoskin, had also included fears about the impact of sharia law on the community.

One Bendigo East woman had written of fears for her family's safety because "Islam hates Christians".

In June 2014, black balloons were anonymously posted around Bendigo, including on the doors of councillors who had supported the project.

A mysterious email sent to the Bendigo Advertiser had claimed the balloons represented a stand against domestic violence, which its author linked to sharia law and the Islamic community generally.
The objectors last week also lost a bid to have Justice Garde removed from the case after alleging that he was biased against them.

On Thursday, Australian Islamic Mission secretary Dr Seyed Sheriffdeen said the project could now progress to the next stage and added: "The judicial system is not corrupted by racism."

"People inciting hatred, racism using websites and Facebook have no place in Australia, this is a clear message coming out of this tribunal.

"The Australian judicial system looks at the law and that's what happened here."
The Stop the Mosque in Bendigo Facebook page criticising the verdict quickly attracted support from the page's members on Thursday.

"Discusting (sic) the end is coming," one woman wrote, followed by a man, who posted: "throw pigs blood all over the place."

Objectors to the project can appeal the decision at the Court of Appeal.

Bendigo mayor Peter Cox backed VCAT's finding

"As a matter of principle, it is entirely appropriate for a major regional city such as Bendigo, which welcomes all faiths and nationalities, to have a purpose-built mosque."

"In doing so, Council acknowledges this matter has been challenging for some members of the community, but the decision has now been made and it is time for all parties to put their differences aside and move forward in a positive and respectful way," he said.

The judgement was released hours after a council meeting in which Bendigo councillor Elise Chapman refused to apologise over a graphic tweet she sent to a mosque supporter, which related to the practice of female genital mutilation.

On Thursday, the mayor said seven out of nine councillors - including himself - were disappointed Ms Chapman had chosen to appeal a conduct panel ruling compelling her to apologise.




Source: ABC


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Immigration minister Peter Dutton being congratulated by his Coalition colleagues after he introduced the Australian Citizenship Amendment Bill.

For all the controversy surrounding a proposed law that could strip Australians of their citizenship, Queensland could produce only two submissions to a parliamentary inquiry into the legislation.

If passed, the Australian Citizenship Amendment (Allegiance to Australia) Bill 2015, which was introduced to Parliament in June, could see Australians lose their citizenship if they engaged in certain activities, including acts of terrorism.

Even Australian-born citizens who were not dual nationals could be affected by the legislation, if they were eligible, but had not gained dual nationality, with another country.

The bill's introduction sparked a storm of controversy, particularly as its full scope became more apparent.
Parliament's joint committee on intelligence and security has started an inquiry into the Abbott government's new citizenship bill, which attracted 43 submissions, only two of which were from Queensland.

The submissions from the Islamic Council of Queensland and private citizen John Ryan have been made available on the Australian Parliament website.

Both submissions were largely critical of the proposed legislation.

In its submission, the ICQ questioned whether there was a legitimate need for the legislation.

It also said the "definition of terrorism in the public discourse" overlooked the "seriousness of right wing extremism".

"We draw the committee's attention to concerns raised by the New South Wales police department and various academics, such as Dr Anne Aly, in relation to right wing extremism," the ICQ submitted.

"They are unequivocal in their assessment that right-wing extremism is emerging as a great threat to Australia.

"Should this legislation pass, we request the committee to consider making a recommendation which emphasises the need for this legislation to be applicable to right wing extremists."

The ICQ's submission blasted the "political rhetoric" surrounding the bill as divisive and having generated public fear.

It also submitted there was uncertainty surrounding the treatment of Australian citizens who were eligible for, but never held, dual citizenship with another nation.

"Almost all Australians are likely to be eligible for citizenship in a second country given our ancestry," the ICQ submitted.

"Given that they are unlikely to regain citizenship in their second country in the instance that they lose Australian citizenship, they are at risk of being in the same situation as a sole national who may lose their citizenship."

The ICQ also submitted its "strong preference" for the laws not to be retrospective.

"The ability to apply such laws retrospectively causes much anxiety among many innocent people and may lead to discrimination in society," it submitted.

"If a retrospective measure is approved, it should be constrained to a certain number of years and the application of it should be time bound."

Mr Ryan, who made the submission as a "concerned individual", said the bill was aimed at "eroding the rule of law".

He said the bill should be "utterly rejected".

"Losing one's citizenship is a punishment of such magnitude that it should only occur after the completion of a proper court procedure that leads to a conviction," Mr Ryan submitted.

"…The tenor of the bill is that Australia should not take responsibility for its own citizens if they do engage in terrorist activity.

"This has a twofold negative effect namely: if the reason for passing this bill into law is that the interests of Australia, both at home and abroad, need protection then the exact opposite is likely to occur.

"If people engaging in such activities are not punished then the likelihood is they will be emboldened to increase their efforts against Australian interests.

"Secondly, the international relations between Australia and other sovereign states will be compromised."

Among the 43 submissions, there were none from Queensland supporting the bill.

There were supporters for revoking citizenship, however, and among them was the Australian Defence Association.

"Ideally, every traitor would be punished by convicting them in an Australian court," the ADA submitted.

"But where revocation of citizenship is involved making conviction a universal precondition causes insuperable moral and practical difficulties.

"First, you have to be able to capture them and then bring them back to Australia for trial.

"When you cannot, the traitor escapes the consequences of his or her treachery, further treachery is undeterred or not actively countered, every Australian faces increased risks of attack, and the international reputation of Australia as a whole suffers."

The committee has been asked to report back to Federal Parliament on August 21.

Source: Brisbane Times


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Source: Southern Star 12 August 2015



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Collingwood president says he is not sorry for calling Victoria's Sports Minister a "soccer-loving, Turkish-born Mussie" during an AFL meeting in March

The Islamic Council of Victoria has backed Eddie McGuire's use of the term 'Mussie', saying it's casual slang used by Muslims to refer to themselves.

The outspoken TV presenter came under fire on Sunday after it was revealed he had called Victoria's Sports Minister a "soccer-loving, Turkish-born Mussie".

But Islamic Council of Victoria secretary Kuranda Seyit told Fairfax Media the term 'Aussie Mussie' was "a fun way" of breaking down misconceptions about Muslims and making them more acceptable to mainstream Australia.

"I personally don't think that this should be an issue of debate, it's really not a problem," he said.

"We often shorten names, just like Aussie or 'sanga' for sandwich or 'cuppa' for cup of tea."

McGuire made the comment during a brainstorming session at the AFL's general meeting, News Corp reported on Sunday.

The Collingwood president dismissed criticism, telling Channel Nine's Today show on Monday that his Muslim friends saw the word as a "term of endearment".

Sports Minister John Eren told News Corp the remark was a timely reminder that leaders in the community needed to be careful about how they expressed themselves.

But on Monday, he said he did not take offence to the comment.

"I've known Eddie for a long time now ... I personally don't take offence to it," Mr Eren told Fairfax Media.

McGuire told Today he had spoken to his Muslim friends, who considered the label a "term of endearment".

"I checked with them again after the story came out to make sure I wasn't barking up the wrong tree and they laughed," he said.

"They said they couldn't believe it and certainly John has got no issue with it."

McGuire instead claimed the remark was leaked by someone trying to harm his reputation.

"There's certainly some people out there trying to discredit me," he said.

"But you don't worry about things like that. You just get on with it.

Words are cheap. Actions are what counts. That is what we do. We go out and do things [to fight racism] on a daily basis.

"I just found it a non-story to be honest. I'm not even going to worry about it."

It's not the first time McGuire has been accused of offensive remarks.
He said last year the producers of the musical, King Kong, should use footballer and Australian of the Year Adam Goodes to promote it.

The comment came just days after the Swans champion was called an ape by a young girl in a game against Collingwood during the AFL's indigenous-themed round.

Goodes said afterwards he was still prepared to shake McGuire's hand "but from a friend point of view, unfortunately I've lost one there".

McGuire copped flak for the comments on social media.

"What a goose! Or is that a bogan?," Werner & Ursula tweeted.

Source: The Age




We can slap away Eddie McGuire's 'mussie' comment. The real problem is the use of 'footy'


Jessica Rowe slams Eddie McGuire for making her life 'hell' amid 'mussie' drama


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Melbourne Islamophobia forum: A forum in Melbourne heard from a woman who was attacked after the Sydney siege and told to "go back to the Middle East".

Nasrin did not know Martin Place gunman Man Haron Monis but during December's deadly siege the Melbourne IT worker said she felt his actions personally.

"I was returning from work on the train — a lady started pushing me with her bag and she started yelling at me and telling me to go back to the Middle East. I didn't come from the Middle East," the petite and softly spoken mother of three said.

Nasrin is originally from Bangladesh, but has been in Australia since 1991.

She was attacked twice around that time and admitted she was "shaken inside" and lived in fear.

She would sit next to the emergency button on the train just in case she was attacked again.

"Racism hurts", she told a 200-strong crowd at a forum on Islamophobia in the Melbourne suburb of Coburg.

Nasrin wears a black veil that covers half of her face. She organised the awareness forum in part because of her personal experience, and because of the stories she heard of other Muslim women who have been attacked.

Incidents included having their scarves pulled off them, and in one case, a woman had coffee thrown on her.

"From a victim's point of view, Islamophobia is racism," Nasrin said.

"People can say Islam is not a race ... but from a victim's point of view this kind of abuse ... affects our lives, how we go on with our daily lives."

Melbourne's Muslim community is increasingly concerned about anti-Islamic sentiment.
Last month nationalist groups clashed with anti-racist groups in the CBD, some of them calling Islam an evil ideology.

Hatred was directed at Muslims in the town of Bendigo after the council there approved the building of a mosque.

The emergence of radicalised Muslim youths from Melbourne's suburbs also added to heightened suspicion and, in some cases, threats made against local Muslims.

'I can't remember a week without a story ... about Islam or Muslims' 

The forum heard that for Muslims much of the national debate and several federal policies — including the war on terror, anti-terrorism legislation including a proposal to strip citizenship — seem to be directed against them, said Doctor Yassir Morsi from the International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding at the University of South Australia.

"It's tied to the asylum seeker debates, tied to immigration debates, tied to what you might say is a sense of what it means to be Australian in a global world, so there's plenty of factors," he said.

He said scrutiny of Australian Muslims began in the wake of the September 11 attacks in the United States in 2001, but escalated in the media and in the political sphere.

"I can't really remember a week without there being story of something or other about Islam or Muslims and their threat," Dr Morsi said.

Nasrin is also concerned about "the media and politicians' publicity of the highly publicised raid cases".

"If you look at those raid cases, as soon as they are on the television, the news, that's when the Muslim women start to get attacked."

She hopes forums like the this one will generate better understanding.

'"I'm not a scary person. I'm very friendly and if you have any questions, come to this type of event, ask the question and learn that we are just normal people like you," Nasrin said.

"There's nothing to be scared of, we can be friends."

Source: ABC


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By Alan Howard


Alan Howard is an operations manager with a Silicon Valley based Fortune 500 company. He works closely with Islamic organizations in Georgia and nationally.

I do not spend a lot of time thinking about being a Muslim. It is so much a part of my life that I just don’t think about it any longer. But it has been a very rocky road, and on some of those rocks I have ended my relationship with Islam – and yet hearing its siren’s call I have returned time and again. In every case where I have become disillusioned and set aside my faith, it was not because of the religion, it was not because I did not believe enough … no, in each case where I walked away from Islam for a period it was because of people. Other Muslims and their behavior and their judgment and their petty nastiness, these things did more to disillusion me as a convert than anything else.

Within the American Islamic experience we have many people that come to the faith curious and eager to learn more about it. A percentage of these people also decide that this religion speaks to their soul in some fashion and decide to convert and make Islam their own. And within that percentage that converts is another percentage that Muslim communities in America never want to talk about and that is the converts that walk right back out or after a brief stay walk out the back door never to be seen again.

And within converts to Islam, including myself, I have met many that came to the faith and at some point walked away – but never actually left the religion. Rather they left the community or mosque but keep their faith to themselves in their homes and associate only minimally with the larger Muslim world.

Abandonment of culture

Within days of saying my Shahadah, I was treated like I had performed some sort of miracle. Everyone came to me and slapped me on the back and shook my hand and said, “Mashallah!” And yet, a week later when I stood in the musalla attempting to figure out how to pray a man came up and yelled at me for not praying correctly. I told him I had just converted and that nobody had shown me how to do this. A which point he simply yelled at me more for not knowing what I was doing! Apparently people in the mosque assumed since I had taken Shahadah that I automatically downloaded the “being a Muslim” app. I was met with shocked disbelief from some at the mosque when I approached them and told them I needed to learn how to be a Muslim. I was “adopted” by an Egyptian man who then explained to me that in order to be a good Muslim I had to be a good Arab. Thus I grew a beard, began wearing a thobe and kufi everywhere, and essentially became someone else. I believe this happens a lot in our mosques – a convert is encouraged to become Arab-like or Desi-like because that is what many immigrant Muslims believe Islam is. When I decided to visit a mosque across town that was formerly part of the Nation of Islam (by then part of Imam WD Muhammad’s movement) I was told that they were unbelievers and that I should be careful because they were not to be trusted. I found them in fact to be among the kindest Muslims in the community.

It took a long time for me to realize that I came from a culture of my own and that I could wear what clothes I wanted and that I could approach my faith from any angle I wanted. When I began dressing in Western clothes again and cut off my beard there were immediately whispers that I was abandoning the faith. For many converts the worst struggle they deal with is their family. Many converts face hostility and derision at home from their parents or extended family for converting, especially if the family has an existing strong faith already. Becoming someone they are not or adopting a culture they are not can irreparably fracture their relationship with their family.

You’re doing it wrong

From the moment I became a Muslim and continuing down to today I have had a long line of men (and I know the women do it too) at the mosques I’ve attended who feel it is their duty to point out that I am doing something wrong in regards to their Madhhab or personal experience. I quickly tired of, “Brother when you were doing your salaat you held your hands in this position, when you really need to hold them in this other way.” Or even worse was the scolding, “Brother, when the Imam mentioned that our lines should be straight for prayer, I noticed your big toe was a full inch further ahead of everyone else’s. This is displeasing to Allah.” This is extremely frustrating for a convert. He or she is trying to learn and do what is best in Islamic practice and to have contradictory information given to them or information based not on actual Islamic understanding but on someone’s lifetime of personal practice that may or may not be correct can be maddening. For me this even manifested itself in Mecca! I was doing Umrah and was in the Haram circling the Kaaba. Before I even arrived I had read a book on what to do and what the rituals were. And yet as I wore my ihram and circled the Kaaba I had brothers repeatedly coming up to me as I tried to pray and physically switch my ihram from one shoulder to the other depending on which shoulder they believed it should be on. After having it switched 4 times I was deeply frustrated. I hope it did not affect my prayers or my Umrah.

This type of correction or teaching is in many cases innocuous, well meaning and harmless. But it can also be very confusing and gives the convert the impression that Muslims themselves have no idea what to do or how to practice their own faith. I even saw a fistfight break out between two brothers who were each trying to correct me in contradictory ways. Both were convinced that their way was correct and then words like “idiot” and “kafir” were thrown around and then they ended up beating each other up right inside the mosque. Nothing will drive a convert away from Islam faster then contradictory information and fighting between Muslims.

Your past

Everyone wants to hear your conversion story. And the juicier and more salacious it is the better it is. When I would tell my conversion story I could almost see the men and women sitting with rapt attention with buckets of popcorn between them like they were watching a movie. Yes, I came to Islam through both a spiritual path but also from a past that included many mistakes and wrong turns. What I found in the Muslim community is that everyone wanted to hear my story, but through hearing my story it became a boogieman. Things Muslims tell their children at night, “Don’t do drugs, you heard what happened to that man at the mosque.” So while I was lauded for having made a break with my past and embracing Islam – the story served as a way to make me an “other” at the same time. Not really fully Muslim because I came from outside and did non-Muslim things.

For some converts the attention they get after they convert can be almost like becoming a rock star. They speak at engagements. They tell their story. They are invited to Islamic conferences. For the first time in their lives many converts feel really loved by a community. But it has a double edge, they want your story they will clap and smile. But when you come to ask if you can marry their son or daughter they will tell you no because of your past.

You were never really a Muslim

For many converts they are forever treated like they are an anomaly or like a curiosity. In America as a white convert I get this a lot from both Muslims and non-Muslims. Non-Muslims say, “How can you be a Muslim? You’re white!” And among some Muslims at mosques they are always suspicious of you. I walked into a largely African-American mosque once and everyone turned and stared at me. I prayed and then stayed to listen to the lecture that a scholar was giving. Afterwards I was asked repeatedly how long I had been a Muslim and did I work for the FBI/CIA/insert any governmental agency! I always wonder at what point I actually get to just be a Muslim. How many years does it take before the community accepts me?
I am sure that African-American converts at largely Arab or Desi mosques have experienced this in some fashion too. I in no way want to make it about race, but only to point out my experience with this. But at the end of the day our mosques have a race problem, one that goes unacknowledged. I will write on that another day. When you alienate someone it makes him or her less likely to come back and contributes to their leaving.

Mosque infighting

Even when a convert finds a good mosque or good community and settles in and is happy trouble may come. Depending on the structure of the administration of the mosque, I have seen very good mosques self-destruct. American mosques have imploded due to conflicts over hiring Imams, whether the Imam is the head of the mosque, where money is allocated, who handles the money, if there are religious classes who decides what is taught, etc. We face a real crisis with our mosques because the people who in many cases run them or administrate them have had no formal training in parliamentary procedure, debate rules, financial bookkeeping, etc. For converts it can appear to be like watching keystone kops with everyone running around yelling and slamming into each other. And in many cases members of the community with experience in these areas are discounted or not invited to be in the administration.

Converts will be frustrated and despondent if the mosque they have come to love and to attend on a regular basis descends into anarchy, name calling, and in some extreme cases legal action. I have seen converts walk away from their mosques (if not their faith) over this and never return.

So I have laid out some various things that I have seen cause problems for converts and in some cases lead to them leaving Islam altogether. How do we counter this? Well in some of the above cases it is as simple as, “don’t do it”. If you are tempted to correct every Muslim you see because you think they are doing something very minor wrong, maybe you need to channel those energies into something else. Islam will not fall apart tomorrow because someone makes their prayers with their hands by their waist as opposed to their chest. When you meet a convert don’t immediately ask for their conversion story, get to know them as an individual and my guess is that at some point in the friendship they will tell it themselves in an organic way.

But there are some very specific things that mosques can and should do. One is to work out either within their mosque or by teaming up with others who share your mission a curriculum for teaching new converts the basics of Islam. How to pray, help them memorize a few surahs, perhaps even have a class for their family (parents, wives, husbands, etc.) that tells them what Islam is in a way that makes them understand the journey that their loved one has taken. The class need not be cumbersome and does not need to go into massive detail – the convert once they are comfortable with daily practice can take more advanced classes later.

Another thing a mosque can do is investing a little money in sending their board members (if they have a board) or administrators to some sort of leadership training. So they can learn debate, voting procedures, how to do consensus building. I realize that many mosques have very tiny budgets but this one thing could actually save many mosques from conflict later down the road.

During the course of the time I have been a Muslim I have walked away from mosques and even from Islam on 3 occasions. In each of those occasions I walked away not because of Islam, but because of Muslims. And I came back in each case because I remembered or God helped me to remember that the reason I became Muslim was because Islam spoke to my soul. It was a beautiful song that resonated with my being. I did not convert for Muslims or to impress anyone about my faith, I did it for myself, my inner self. And that brings me back home to Islam every time.

If we want to embrace our converts and do more then simply say, “Mashallah!” and “Allahu Akbar” when they convert, we need to see our own faults and work to correct them and also work to fix the issues that hamper the inclusion of converts into our mosques and communities. If we are one Ummah as we claim, then we have a lot of work to do and we should do it to help others.


Source: Muslim Observer


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Event promotion: The NMC Brisbane Team



Have you ever wanted to mentor a new Muslim but didn't know where to start? Then this is the program for you. New Muslim Care Brisbane would like to invite you to attend our first Muslim Buddy Training Program coming up next week inshaAllah.

Date: Sunday 23rd August.
Time: 9:30am - 3:30pm.
Venue: Islamic Women's Assoc Qld Offices
11 Watland St, Springwood. Street parking available.

You must register online to attend this training program by clicking the link below or visit our New Muslim Care Brisbane Facebook page.

So what does it mean to become a Muslim Buddy?
You will be trained by NMC to provide a practical and proven method of mentoring support for New Muslims. This will enable you to facilitate and guide New Muslims on an individual level on the basics of how to live life as a Muslim. This program is to ensure that you are able to engage with new Muslims that you come into contact with effectively and contribute confidently to their personal development.

We look forward to seeing you at this important training program inshaAllah and working with you in providing important services to the new Muslims of Brisbane.


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Muslim Link interviewed Ilhan Ibrahim, who, along with her two sisters Hodan Ibrahim and Ayan Ibrahim, have co-founded Qurtuba Publishing House.

2. How did you come up with the idea for Qurtuba Publishing House?

It’s an interesting story. It was about a year before the idea for Qurtuba Publishing House arose, I attended an event run by two wonderful ladies called “Owning Our History”. This event was a panel discussion dedicated to inspire young Muslim woman to pursue positive changes in themselves and their communities.


At the end of the event, they gave everyone a piece of paper, and asked us to write one goal that we promise to accomplish within one month’s time.


I remember writing “Start changing our narrative”-and by ‘our’ I meant the Muslim narrative. The reason I mention this event is to acknowledge that such initiatives can have a lasting impact on its attendees, especially its younger audience. I cannot say what it was exactly that sparked a passion to work in media that night, however this goes to show that the power and influence of such events should not be underestimated.

My sisters and I have always had a passion to serve and support social growth and productivity in Muslim communities. As Muslims, we are facing challenging times.


All over the globe, Muslims are suffering from social polarization, economic decline, and political turmoil.


Mainstream media has immensely contributed to the negative portrayal of Muslims, creating a narrative that is neither factual nor representative of the global Muslim community.


These challenges are increasing daily, and it is becoming exceedingly difficult for Muslims to reconcile what Islam teaches and the dynamic context of our world today. As any Muslim, we felt that we had a social and religious obligation to counter these growing challenges.

One night, we were discussing how awesome it would be to have an accessible resource for Muslims that focused on discussing relevant issues that Western Muslims are facing. Although there are many resources for Muslims out there, we felt there was a void between the acquisition of knowledge and implementation of knowledge in Muslim communities.


We thought about creating a platform for Muslims that not only produced insightful publications, but to provide Muslims with practical tools to be able to develop solutions to the various issues Muslims are faced with. Ideas started blooming as we let our imagination run wild.


We spent the rest of our night brainstorming and building upon this new idea, and by the end of the night, Qurtuba Publishing House was born.

NEXT WEEK IN CCN: 3. Why did you choose the name Qurtuba?


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Friday khutbah (sermon)








Friday khutbah (sermon)

DATE: 14 August 2015

TOPIC: “What are the ingredients to success”

IMAM: Mufti Junaid Akbar










Friday khutbah (sermon)



IMAM: Muhammad Uzair Akbar is away overseas



Friday khutbah (sermon)

DATE: 14 August 2015

TOPIC: "The 10 Fundamentals of Tawheed"

IMAM: Akram Buksh





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Assalamu aleikum


Dear Editor

Re the ALA party and those who are against sharia law. What really is Sharia Law? Let me cite an example. This past week on the news has been the Bronwyn Bishop abuse of funds story, and it does not stop there. There are other names coming out that may have abused funds. Sharia Law is totally against the abuse of money that belongs to the people.


During the era of Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) the leaders were given a basic salary. Not exorbitant like what they get today and there were no perks included. Also when they retired they did not get perks till they passed on. Reason being that they were appointed to serve the people and they were accountable for it. At the end of the month if they had money left over that they received from the treasury, they returned it back.

Today, our leaders get an exorbitant salary, get perks whilst in office and after they are fired from their job they get lifelong perks. The leaders enjoy a good life whilst the people suffer. According to Sharia law the people should have a good life and the leaders do not get any extra preferences.

And they object to Sharia Law.

Live & Let Live


Mathematical ionpiration: Where algebra got its name


With a history stretching back more than 2,000 years, the Uzbekistani city of Khiva is a bustling oasis packed full of exquisite architecture from its Silk Road heyday.


Central Asia was a world centre of learning for centuries, and Khiva was no exception.


Abū ‘Abdallāh Muḥammad ibn Mūsā Al-Khwārizm, a Persian scholar born around 780, is sometimes called the “grandfather of computer science” and is credited with popularising the use of the decimal point.


In fact, the word “algebra” comes from his algebraic mathematical treatise, called Hisab al-Jabr w'al-muqabala (The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing).


His legacy can be seen in the statue erected outside the West Gate. (Credit: Phillippa Stewart)


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India's Muslim women fight to end triple talaq law that yields instant divorce

Nishat Hussain, left, with colleagues and clients at her office of Muslim women’s rights group BMMA in Jaipur, India.

INDIA: India's Muslim women fight to end triple talaq law that yields instant divorce
Every time Nishat Hussain gets into a fight with religious leaders about women’s rights under Islam, she hits the same wall. They say the rules governing women are sanctioned by scripture and therefore cannot be altered. She says they are sanctioned by custom and most certainly can be.

Hussain finds this divide most frustrating when she is defending divorced women who come to her office near the overcrowded ironmonger’s bazaar in Jaipur. These women have experienced triple talaq, under which a Muslim man can repeat the word “talaq” three times and his wife stands divorced. No questions, no reasons. All objections overruled.

On an overcast but muggy day, with the endless honking and hum of the pink city’s insanely congested roads in the background, Rani Khan, 25, sits in Hussain’s office with her daughter, Zeinab, four, on her lap.

For years, she claims, her unemployed husband demanded that she get money from her parents to finance his drinking. “He used to threaten to kill Zeinab if I refused,” claimed Khan.

“Then one day, he shouted talaq three times and forced me out of the house.” She now lives with her father, who is paralysed, her mother, six sisters and Zeinab, making a living from fabric painting.

When desperate women like Khan rush to local clerics for justice, they are told that instant divorce is permitted under Islamic law. Their next port of call is the office of the Muslim women’s rights group the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (Indian Muslim women’s welfare movement or BMMA). Hussain heads the Jaipur office and is well known locally for her work with poor, vulnerable women and efforts to reform aspects of Islam.

Since it was set up in 2007, the BMMA has been campaigning for a ban on triple talaq, calling it a travesty of divorce as envisaged in the Qur’an, where the word has to be pronounced on three separate occasions spread over three months and must be accompanied by efforts at reconciliation.

Try telling that to men like Nooran Nisa’s husband, who divorced her four months after their marriage. “All Muslim women are haunted by this word,” Nisa said. “During fights, I used to argue back but if it got too heated, I stopped because I was frightened my husband might say talaq.”

Nisa, 35, was never to hear those words, but after kicking her out of the house, her husband sent her a letter with talaq written in it three times, she claims.

When her husband threw Jahan Ara, 40, out of the house a year ago, after 15 years of marriage, he kept their three children. He has not yet divorced her. “I’ve inherited some property so that’s why he hasn’t divorced me. He’s got his eyes on it,” she claimed at the BMMA offices.

In India, which has a Muslim minority, Muslim men have sent triple talaq by text, email, Facebook, Skype and WhatsApp. The reasons vary from not liking the wife’s dyed hair to her cooking.

At a civil court, Nisa was told by a judge that the instant divorce was valid as it was permitted to Muslim men under Muslim personal law, or the sharia.

Hussain and her colleagues across India have failed to persuade their community to ban triple talaq. But recently they received a boost: a government committee set up in 2013 to look into women’s status has recommended that the government should outlaw it.

In its report (pdf), released last month, it says the custom “makes wives extremely vulnerable and insecure regarding their marital status”.

The recommendation has been sent to the ministry of women and child development, which will hold consultations with civic and religious groups before a final decision is taken.

Hussain says that, had her husband been alive, he would have supported the ban. “He was a feminist. He totally supported my efforts to protect Muslim women against abuse,” she said.

Muslim scholars such as Professor Tahir Mahmood, an internationally recognised expert on sharia law, will also support a ban. He recently told Scroll, an Indian news website,that “ignorance, obstinacy, blind belief in religion and morbid religiosity are undoubtedly the factors” responsible for triple talaq being allowed in India.

“Why should India be sticking to this seventh-century law?” he said.

The reason is because India does not have a uniform civil code that applies to all Indians. Instead, each religious community is allowed to have its own laws governing marriage and divorce and consequently Muslims are allowed to follow sharia.

A government ban on triple talaq will be opposed by clerics and conservative organisations, such as the powerful All India Muslim Personal Law Board. The board, aware of how women’s lives are destroyed by triple talaq, is trying to impose restrictions on its use by suggesting that efforts at reconciliation must be mandatory. It is also toying with the idea of a heavy fine for men who indulge in it.

But spokesman Mohammed Abdul Rahim Qureshi said the board could not support a government ban. “For one, we don’t want the government to interfere in matters of Muslim personal law and for another, triple talaq is permitted under the hadith [the prophet Muhammad’s sayings],” he said.

That kind of remark makes Hussain, an otherwise calm, soft-spoken woman, furious. “For the women I see in my office – hardworking women, good wives and good mothers – this is just plain and simple cruelty.”

Source: The Guardian


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Adventurer Omar Samra reaches 7-summits, space and hearts


EGYPT: Only a tiny fraction of people can say they’ve literally been on top of the world. Omar Samra can say more. Much more.

Omar, 36, is the first Egyptian to climb Mount Everest, the 7-Summits and ski to both Poles. He is the Founder of Wild Guanabana, an adventure travel company, a motivational speaker, toy runner and future astronaut.

His passion for exploration sparked unexpectedly while on a summer camp in Switzerland. “I was only 16 and I went to climb a mountain. It was the first time I’d seen snow, I fell in love,” he shares.

“It was during that trip I decided that one day I would like to be able to climb Mount Everest. It was something I only managed to achieve 12 years later. I had a bit of a hiatus. I was living with my parents and was a student going to university. I couldn’t fulfill my dreams of traveling and going on adventures until I graduated and got a job in London. I was at the age of 21 or 22.”

After graduating from the American University in Cairo with a BA in Economics, Omar flew to London to pursue a successful career in finance. Though “everything went as planned” and his social life flourished, something felt wrong.

The MuslimObserver

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Q: Dear Kareema, I’ve injured my knee a while ago but it is on the mend and I’ve been advised by my doctor to get back into exercising. Is it ok for me to use the treadmill?

Yes it is.


Providing you keep the incline and speed low to start off with, and just walk for now until you feel comfortable enough to take it into a jog. Focus on strengthening your muscles around the knee as well by cycling, swimming, etc.

Other strengthening exercises for the legs can include calf raises, hamstring curls, squats, lunges, etc.

Be sure to have good technique while doing your exercises to aid in speeding up the recovery process.






My Health and Fitness

Tel: 0404 844 786


Need an answer to a fitness related matter?

Send your question to Kareema at

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


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

The CCN Read of the Week



Across a violent divide: reclaiming jihad from extremists

The spread of Islamic militarism and the threat posed by Islamic State in the Middle East sparks an endless and circular debate.

Muslims need to acknowledge and loudly condemn the violence being waged in the name of Islam, say Western political leaders, notably Tony Abbott. Islam is a peaceful religion and Islamic State has nothing to do with us, comes the indignant reply from Muslims, who grow ever more weary at being expected to condemn the terrorism they abhor.

It is a polarised conversation that ultimately goes nowhere. To probe deeper — to question the construction of religion and to analyse faith, today and through the ages — is akin to walking through a field of landmines.

Brisbane-based author Dave Andrews is ready for the challenge. The devout Christian has just published a book, provocatively titled The Jihad of Jesus, which asks Muslims and Christians to examine their religion in practice, and to acknowledge the violence that lies at the heart of the construction of religion throughout history.

The atrocities committed in the name of religion are undeniable. They stretch from the Christian holy wars that began towards the end of the Roman Empire, and continue through history right up to the present-day threat of Islamic extremism. But there is a process of minimisation at play that must be acknowledged, Andrews argues. It’s an almost unconscious discounting, or a shifting of emphasis, that seeks to justify or underplay the violence that has been waged during holy wars for centuries.

“This brings us face to face with the life and death question, at the very heart of the matter, that we desperately need to answer,” Andrews says in his book, launched this week.

“Are the atrocities that are done in the name of Christianity or Islam true indicators of the nature of Christianity or Islam, or not?

“If the answer to this question is that these atrocities are not a true indicator but mere aberrations, then we have nothing to fear from the continued expansion of Christianity or Islam. But if the answer to this question is, as I suspect, that these cruelties are true indicators — and inevitable consequences — of the way we have constructed our religions, then we have everything to fear from Christianity or Islam in the coming millennium.”

It is a thesis that cuts to the heart of the present debate raging around the extent to which Islam must confront the extremism waged in its name. But for Andrews, who has lived years of his adult life in the Middle East and South Asia, responsibility cuts both ways. Holy wars were being waged by Christians for centuries before the present flashpoint in religious warfare in Iraq and Syria, and overall, he concludes, “in the conflicts between Christians and Muslims, there have been more devastating wars among Christian states fighting each other than between Christian and Muslim states; and predominantly Christian states have killed more Jews and Muslims than predominantly Muslim states have killed Christians or Jews.”


Dave Andrews and Dr. Nora Amath

It is a macabre balance sheet, but it’s all part of a process of introspection that Andrews says is critical if there is to be a lasting peace, in which Christians and Muslims can join together in a non-violent struggle for justice.

The author’s determination to broker peace began at home in the suburbs of Brisbane in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US in 2001. Andrews had lived for many years in Afghanistan during the 1970s and 80s and on his return to Australia he undertook voluntary work helping to settle Afghan refugees here. He had a large number of Muslim friends. Andrews was appalled by the scale of the 9/11 atrocity but was also deeply disturbed by the political response that culminated in the invasion of Iraq.

“I never expected that we’d need to engage in this dialogue across such a chasm of division and suspicion,” Andrews tells The Australian. “After 9/11 we were defined as against each other, as Christians and Muslims, and then the major challenge was to build bridges across the chasm.”

When Andrews first sought out Nora Amath, a Muslim woman active in the organisation Australian Muslim Advocates for the Rights of All Humanity, the graduate of a sociology doctorate was burned out. She assumed that like so many other devout Christians who used interfaith dialogue as a smokescreen to recruit Muslims to their own cause, Andrews was just another evangelist Christian.

“From about 2002 until about 2007 I was doing, I guess, what you’d almost call a one-woman campaign to go out there, meet people and confront prejudice,” Amath says.

“I just decided I’m going to put myself out there and answer any questions. But by 2007 I was pretty jarred by the whole experience. There were some wonderful moments of understanding and openness and grace from people, but at the same time there were quite a lot of incidents of bigotry that I just couldn’t break down. I said, ‘I can’t keep doing this.’ It was just really taking a toll on me.

“It was very frustrating being constantly expected to condemn terrorism. These people don’t represent me, why did I have to condemn something that I’m not really a part of? It’s exhausting. And I just decided I wasn’t going to do any more. I was just so disillusioned, ­really, by the whole process.”

So Amath initially rebuffed Andrews, who was keen to develop relationships with Muslims as part of his quest to establish a common ethic among religious traditions that could be used to counter violence waged in the name of God, or Allah.

“Some of my worst experiences of bigotry came from Christians who simply wanted to bash Islam, have a debate, and then convert me to Christianity,” Amath says. “I just thought, this is just going to be another evangelist. I really wasn’t interested.”

Eventually, Amath relented and met Andrews, and so began a series of conversations that have culminated in The Jihad of Jesus. “Reading The Jihad of Jesus was like walking down memory lane,” Amath writes in her preface to the book. “Dave embodies that ‘Australian soul’ which will better facilitate harmonious coexistence and understanding in our multi-religious, multicultural society.”

Andrews’s thesis is built on a concept of jihad that can be embraced by Muslims and Christians, jointly committed to a “radical, practical, non-violent struggle” to defeat extremism. “At the moment jihad is a byword for terror,” Andrews says. “So when people think of jihad they think of atrocities.

“But if you go back to the Koran, the word jihad is not the word for war. The word for war in the Koran is qital. The word jihad actually means struggle. The overwhelming emphasis of the word jihad in the Koran is non-violence. If you take that as a Koranic framework for jihad it just shows that everything that most of these jihadists are involved with is totally unacceptable in Koranic terms.

“So rather than taking the anti-jihad stand, which won’t succeed because jihad is such an important view in the Koran, we’re saying let’s reclaim it from the extremists, reframe it as a nonviolent struggle for justice; and if both Christians and Muslims believe Jesus is the Mesih or the Messiah, which they do, let’s look at Jesus as a role model for non-violent jihad and see whether, in fact, rather than see Jesus as a poster boy to legitimate crusading against Muslims, we see Jesus as a Messiah who can bring Muslims and Christians togeth­er, to work together non-­violently.”

But achieving common ground it is not as simple as condemning violence, Andrews says.

It involves a critical reflection of the way religions have been constructed.

In 1978, a professor of anthropology based at Fuller Theological Seminary in California, Paul Hiebert, raised the alarm at the dangerous implications of what he defined as “bounded set” religion in an essay, Conversion, Culture and Cognitive Categories . Fixed ideas of orthodoxy or behaviour define religion via boundaries that theologian Robert Brinsmead has said draw “lines of demarcation through the human race”.

“I think in order to understand the violence of religion we have to understand that it’s a way of defining religion as a closed set, where you’ve got people who are in the right, people who are in the wrong,” Andrews says.

“Therefore the people who believe they are right feel they have the responsibility to impose their views on others non-violently, or if necessary, violently.

“And you can see examples of Christians and Muslims who operate like that. However, there is, within both traditions, an open-set mindset that doesn’t think that it’s got a monopoly on God, or a franchise on the truth, and includes the other in a way that is empathic and respectful and doesn’t lead to violence but instead leads to non-violent resolution of conflicts.”

There is much common ground in the Abrahamic faiths, Amath says. “I remember I was at a speaking engagement with Dave and somebody asked me about Jesus, and if I believed in Jesus,” she says. “I said emphatically yes, of course, as Muslims we have to believe in Jesus. He is one of the revered prophets, and in fact he is mentioned more times in the Koran than Mohamed is mentioned. And so he does play a pivotal role in the basis of Islam.

“And so as Muslims, it’s obligatory for us to believe in him, to believe in his life. We have the same understanding of the immaculate conception of Jesus from the Lady Mary, and in fact the Lady Mary has a passage devoted to her. And so these are two very revered figures in Islamic history. And so of course Muslims need to believe in Jesus, that’s part of their creed.

“However, I would say probably in the past three years, through my conversations with Dave, I realised I really didn’t know enough about Jesus.

“And so over these years I’ve learnt more and more, and as a practising Muslim I can now say yes, Jesus is an embodiment of non-violent struggle, and that’s an example I can follow.”

Andrews and Amath are hopeful that conversations across faiths can unfold throughout the community in the same way their own friendship has evolved. But the challenge of navigating such terrain is difficult amid a highly charged political environment.

“There’s a thousand years of conflict between our communities,” Andrews says. “So you’ve got this strong paranoia and this great underlying fear of one another that has erupted again since 9/11 in explicit and graphic and catastrophic ways. We have this incredible fear of one another, and it’s trying to reach out to the other that we are frightened of. That is the challenge.”


Source: The Australian



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

Then simply email the title and author to


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: Known for its light texture and rich flavor, chiffon cake isn't difficult to make, but it does require a little attention to detail.
1. Eggs must be at room temperature, to left out of the fridge for at least 30mins.
2. Do not beat after the addition of the dry ingredients, gently fold it in.
3. Make sure that the pan is greased and the oven pre-heated.

Chocolate Chiffon Cake


4 eggs separated
125 ml water
85ml oil
250ml castor sugar
300ml flour
75 ml cocoa
10ml baking powder 


1.Beat Egg whites, water and vanilla until foamy.
2. Add the oil then the yolks and then add the sugar slowly and beat well.
3. Sift in flour, cocoa and baking powder and gently fold in.
4. Place mixture in a well-greased chiffon baking pan (a tube pan)
5. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180degrees and bake for approx. 25mins.
6. When cool decorate with chocolate ganache and fresh cream (optional)

Do you have a recipe to share with CCN readers?

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

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The owner of the company where Jallalludin worked pulled up in his brand new BMW one morning.


Jallalludin: Wow! That's a really nice car, boss!


Boss: Let me tell you something, Brother Jallalludin, if you set goals, work hard, and act determined......I can get an even better one next year.

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To the righteous (when) it is said, "What is it that your Lord has revealed?" They say "All that is good." To those who do good, there is good in this world, and the Home of the Hereafter is even better and excellent indeed is the Home of the righteous.
~ Surah Al-Nahl 16:30


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We do not remember days....


we remember moments.

~ Cesare Pavese



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Notice Board


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Events and Functions

BMW Golf Challenge 16 AUGUST AMNY Fiqh of Marriage 16 AUGUST Redbank Centre Fund Raiser 22 AUGUST AMANAH INSTITUTE Fund Raiser 12 SEPTEMBER Rahma Mercy Australia Dinner 12 SEPTEMBER AMYN futsal 13 SEPTEMBER Muslimah Night Bazaar 4 SEPTEMBER

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Islamic Programmes, Education & Services

Slacks Creek Madressah Slacks Creek Mosque Activities Marriage celebrant - Imam Akram iHelp About Us High School Subjects Tutoring Sisters House Beuty of a Muslimah Youth Group NMC Islam 101 Course MCF Beauty of a Muslimah
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Businesses and Services


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

To claim your date for your event email





(Click on link)





16 August


The BMW Challenge

The Continental Club

Palmer Colonial Golf Club

 0434 193 801


22 August


Redbank Community Centre Fund Raising Dinner

Musjiid Ul Huda

Islamic College of Brisbane, KARAWATHA

0431 201 164


23 August


Muslim Buddy Training Program

New Muslim Care

IWAQ, 11 Watland St, Springwood

0431 747 356

9.30am to 3.30pm

29 August


Unity Cup 2015


Acacia Ridge Futsal Centre

0431 800 414

8am onwards

4 September



Muslimah Night Bazaar

Umm Abdullah

45 Acacia Rd, KARAWATHA

0405 816 102

4pm to 9 pm

12 September


Amanah Institute Fundraising Dinner

Amanah Institute

Michael's Oriental Restaurant

0403 009 003


12 September




Nasheed & Fund Raising Dinner

Rahma Mercy Australia

Islamic College of Brisbane, KARAWATHA

0418 738 432


13 September


AMYN CUP Indoor 5-a-Side Futsal

Australian Muslim Youth Network (AMYN)

Logan Metro Sports Centre

0414 156 900

9am to 6pm

24 September


Eidul Adha 1436 (10th Zilhijja 1436)

26 September



Eidfest @ Dreamworld


0418 722 353


3 October


Eid Lunch

Australian International Islamic College

Blunder Rd, DURACK

3372 1400


11 October




Crescents of Brisbane

Orleigh Park, WEST END

0402 026 786

8am -12pm

17 & 18 October

Sat & Sun

Course: The 99 Names of Allah with Sh Muiz Bukhary

Al Kauthar Brisbane

Griffith University, Nathan Campus

0438 698 328

All daysa

15 October


Muharram 1437 – Islamic New Year 1437 (1st Muharram 1437)



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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 Al-Mustapha Institute of Brisbane 

39 Bushmills Court, Hillcrest Qld 4118

Zikr - every Thursday 7pm, families welcome
Hifz & Quran Reading Classes (for brothers and sisters) - Tuesday 5:00 - 7:00pm & Thursday 5:30 - 7:00pm
Madressa (for children) - Wednesday & Friday 4:30 - 6:30pm
Salawat Majlis - second Saturday of every month.  Starting at Mughrib, families welcome
Islamic Studies (for sisters) - one year course.  Saturday 10:30 - 2:30pm. Enrolments for 2016 now available
Ilm-e-Deen Degree Courses (for brothers) - Three full-time and part-time nationally accredited courses.  Enrolments now available for 2016.
For further information please phone 07) 3809 4600 or email 


Algester Mosque


Zikrullah program every Thursday night after Esha


For more details, contact: Maulana Nawaaz: 0401576084



On Going Activities


1. Daily Hadeeth reading From Riyadusaliheen, After Fajar and after esha .
2. After school Madrassah for children Mon-Thu 5pm to 7pm

3. Adult Quran classes (Males) Monday and Tuesday after esha for an hour.
4. Community engagement program every second Saturday of the Month, interstate and overseas speakers, starts after margib, Dinner served after esha, First program begins on the 15 August.

5. Monthly Qiyamulail program every 1st Friday of the month starts after esha.
6. Fortnight Sunday Breakfast program. After Fajar, short Tafseer followed by breakfast.
7. Weekly Tafseer by Imam Uzair after esha followed by dinner. Starts from 26 August.


For all activities beside Adult Quran classes sisters and children are welcome.

For further info call the Secretary on 0413669987






Lutwyche Mosque

Weekly classes with Imam Yahya


Monday: Junior Class

Tuesday: Junior Arabic

Friday: Adult Quran Class


For more information call 0470 671 109

Holland Park Mosque


All programs are conducted by Imam Uzair Akbar





Tafseer Program

Basics of Islam

Tafseer Program





after Maghrib Salat


Brisbane Northside Muslimahs Support Group

To help sisters on the northside of Brisbane to connect with their local sisters.

We will endeavour to have regular meetings, either for a lesson/discussion on

Islam, or for social events.

Please contact :

Ayesha on 0409 875 137 or at


Facebook :



Weekly program at Masjid Taqwa, Bald Hills


Monday Tafseer – Juz Amma*
Tuesday Arabic Grammer/Tafseer Quran (URDU)
Wednesday Reading & Reciting Quran (Adult class)
Thursday Tafseer Quran (URDU)
Friday Tafseer Quran (URDU)

All the above programs are after Isha salah
All are welcome! See you at the Masjid – The place to be!

Please note that the Tafseer gets recorded and uploaded on to our website as an mp3 file, so that you can download and listen at anytime.
Visit our website at:


Queensland Police Service/Muslim Community Consultative Group


Meeting Dates & Times

Time: 7.00pm sharp

Date: TBA

Venue: Islamic College of Brisbane - 45 Acacia Road Karawatha


Light refreshments will be available.




For more information and RSVP:

Sergeant Jim Bellos at



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post comments on our Wall

start up a Discussion thread

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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 (Malek Fahd Islamic School, Sydney, NSW) (Islamic College of Brisbane, QLD) (Islamic College of South Australia, SA) (Langford Islamic College, Perth, WA) (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

National Zakat Foundation (NZF)


Islamic Finance  & Investments

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

Qld Muslims Volunteers

Islamic Shia Council of Queensland

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) : Masjid Taqwa

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

Lockyer Valley Islamic Association


Celebrating Muslim cultures

AYIA Foundation


Slackscreek Mosque

Mosque and Community Centre

If you would like a link to your website email


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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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