Sunday, 17 January 2016


Newsletter 0584

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



Australians mostly tolerant towards Muslims: report

The CCN Weekly News & Views Briefs

The CCN Food for Thought

Should Australia adopt name-blind recruitment policies?

Jumma (Friday) Khutba (Lecture) Recordings

An Ayaat-a-Week

Opponents of Bendigo mosque ordered to pay $55,000

 The CCN Inbox: Letters to the Editor

Events and Functions

Major events surrounding Muslims since 2013

 The CCN Classifieds

Islamic Programmes, Education & Services

Muslim MP ‘interrogated’ at LAX about how she got passport

Around the Muslim World & Muslims Around the World

Businesses and Services

The Gold Coast Mosque comes to the rescue

CCN Readers' Book Club

The CCN Date Claimer

What does it mean to be a moderate Muslim?

KB's Culinary Corner

CCN on Facebook

Ugly row over new mosque in South Hurstville

Kareema's Keep Fit Column

Useful Links

Coping With Hardship || Umm Jamal ud-din

Fitria on Food


The Year of Mercy is a time to learn about Islam

Taufan's Tip on Self Defence Write For Us

The CCN Chuckle


Your IRA needs your

Click on image above to let us know.

Family Movie Night
10 Muslim men who ruled 2015
Nouman Ali Khan - The Man, The Mission and The Media

The world's most beautiful mosques

A letter to a young Muslim on the future of Western Islam

Guide to Muslim musicians: Kierran Petersen's TOP 10

The Muslims who shaped America


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.



People affiliated with the National and Liberal parties have significantly higher levels of Islamophobia than people who affiliate with Labor, the results of a survey reveal.
Most Australians – about 70 per cent – expressed a “very low” level of Islamophobia, but 10 per cent were highly fearful.

Those are the findings of a report from the International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding.

People with higher levels of Islamophobia were those who had not completed year 12, older Australians and people who align with the National and Liberal parties.

"Respondents with political affiliations with the Liberal and Country parties have significantly higher levels of Islamophobia than those with political affiliations with the centre-left Labor Party," the report said.

However, the report said Islamophobia was low across Australia.

“There are pockets of prejudice and anxiety directed towards Muslims, for example among the aged and those facing financial insecurity," the report said.

“But the great majority of Australians in all states and regions are comfortable to live alongside Australian Muslims.”


People who have regular contact with Muslims were less likely to be Islamophobic, as were people who had tolerant attitudes towards migrants.

The report groups the respondents on a scale of least Islamophobic (1) to most Islamophobic (5).

The report also said since the distributions for the statistics below were not random, the results were statistically significant.

There were no significant differences between the attitudes of women and men.

Where a respondent lived did not have a significant impact, the researchers said.

The survey had a sample size of 1000, with populations, genders and political affiliations represented in (roughly) representative proportions. However only four per cent of respondents said they were Greens supporters, while opinion polls reflect a voting intention of more than 10 per cent for the Greens.




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Following recent terror attacks at home and abroad, key figures in the Muslim community are encouraging employers to give young Muslims a chance in the workplace.

Muslim candidates are claiming it’s become increasingly difficult to secure job interviews or progress through the job application process, with some suspecting an element of discrimination based on their Arabic sounding names.

It has been suggested it might be time for Australia to adopt ‘name-blind’ CVs, so hiring managers won’t be able to discount a Muslim candidate, or a candidate of any other ethnicity, on the basis of religion or cultural background.

In an address in Melbourne late last year, Australia Post CEO Ahmed Fahour, revealed the past 18 months had been particularly challenging for Australia’s Muslim community in the wake of increased activity from ISIS in the Middle East and following a number of terrorist attacks committed by Islamic extremists.

Fahour is now urging companies to support trainee schemes targeted specifically at young Muslims, to give them a leg up with employment and provide them with the foundation for a bright future.

Companies in the UK have already adopted a name-blind policy, with Prime Minister David Cameron pledging his support for a pilot program for employers to receive name-blind applications for graduate positions. Companies participating in the program include some of the UK’s biggest employers such as Deloitte, HSBC, the BBC and the NHS.


Ahmed Fahour, CEO of Australia Post

It is hoped the introduction of name-blind recruitment processes will help prevent unconscious bias and ensure that job offers are made on the basis of potential – not ethnicity, religion or gender.

The UK government hopes the change will prevent discrimination against those with ethnic-sounding names, based on stereotypes. So should Australia take the same hard line stance and introduce name-blind recruiting?

Employment Office Managing Director Tudor Marsden-Huggins says it’s a question of whether the existing state and federal legislation governing equal opportunity employment and anti-discrimination are functioning appropriately.

“The laws are in place to prevent any overt workplace discrimination on the basis of gender, ethnicity or religion, but as far as the recruitment process goes, it is very possible for the issue of name bias to fall through the cracks and not be under the same level of scrutiny as the interview stage,” he said.

And the data backs up claims that name-based discrimination, whether it’s unconscious or deliberate, is taking place in Australia.

In a 2010 study conducted by the Australian National University, economists sent out 4000 fake employment applications, which revealed the applicants with Anglo-Saxon names had significantly higher call-back rates. Applicants with Middle Eastern names had the lowest rates.

Marsden-Huggins says eliminating candidates based on their name is not only illegal and unethical, it can also result in wider ramifications for the organisation.

“Census data tells us one in four Australians are born overseas and over 40% of people have at least one overseas-born parent. If employers are eliminating applicants based on names they’re not only discriminating unfairly, but they are also closing themselves off from a wide pool of great candidates,” he said.

Marsden-Huggins says to avoid undue name bias, it is important to include tailored online screening questions before candidates reach the CV assessment stage.

“Using online e-recruitment software, it’s possible to ask candidates to submit answers to a series of tailored screening questions before they upload a personalised CV. This means a hiring manager can assess a candidate’s suitability based solely on their responses, without external factors such as name, ethnicity or gender playing a role.

“For now, Australian organisations have not implemented a name-blind recruitment process, but all employers should be mindful of their obligation not to discriminate based on name and the potential religious or ethnic backgrounds those names infer. You could not only be in contravention of the legislation, you could also be missing out on your next great hire based on a stereotype,” he said.

Source: Employment Office


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OPPONENTS of Bendigo’s first mosque have been dealt a blow after being ordered to pay $55,000 in legal costs.

Last month, Victoria’s top court rejected an application by a 16-strong group, led by Bendigo women Julie Hoskin and Kathleen Howard, for leave to appeal against two ­decisions of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

The Court of Appeal ruled that the grounds of appeal — that VCAT had erred in its ­interpretation of its duties — were not reasonably arguable and had no chance of success.

The court has now awarded $30,000 in costs to the City of Greater Bendigo and $25,000 to the Australian Islamic ­Mission, the group ­behind the proposal to build the mosque.

Should the total sum be ­divided equally, each of the 16 mosque opponents — who also have their own legal ­expenses to meet — now faces a bill of around $3400.

However, that sum is less than the $150,000 the group members said they had been asked to provide as security before the appeal.

In last month’s judgment, the court said most objections expressed fears that granting the permit would lead to more Islamic practices, resulting in cultural change and socially objectionable behaviours.

But the three appeal judges — Chief Justice Marilyn Warren, Justice Robert Osborn and Justice Joseph Santamaria — said that these objections were “overstated”.

“In the absence of any objective, concrete evidence substantiating the adverse social effects the objectors submitted the mosque could have, the Tribunal acted according to law in giving the objectors’ concerns little weight,” the judges said in their ruling. 

After the appeal court ­decision, Ms Hoskin said she would seek further legal advice and vowed to take the matter all the way to the High Court.

The proposal for a mosque has divided Bendigo, leading to several heated protests.

A rally in Melbourne in July saw violent clashes between rival protesters, and protests were also held in Bendigo in August and October.

All three rallies involved Victoria Police running major law and order operations to keep the peace, which involved more than 400 officers and which cost taxpayers about $750,000.

Ms Howard and Ms Hoskin, who is recovering in a wheelchair after a nasty fall outside the Supreme Court last month, could not be reached for comment about the costs order.

Source: Herald Sun


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In November 2013, the first conference around the theme of Government Intervention in the Muslim Community was held in Sydney, Australia. Since then, a series of significant events have taken place that are of concern to Muslims living in Australia. This timeline tracks the notable occurrences, developments, media controversies surrounding matters of concern to the Muslim community over the last two years.

This timeline was presented as part of the Campaign Publication released for the “Innocent Until Proven Muslim?” Conference in late 2015.

December 2013: The Australian Federal Police and NSW police charge two men with an array of foreign-incursion offences – the first such charges to stem from the Syrian conflict.

December 2013: ASIO suddenly cancels the passports of 20 men from across Western Sydney, accusing them of being prepared to ”engage in politically motivated violence” if they were allowed to travel overseas or of having a ”jihadi mentality” making them a threat to national security.

20 January 2014: Scott Morrison says the government could seek to remove the Australian citizenship rights of dual nationals fighting in Syria, along the lines of powers being exercised in the UK.



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Dr Mehreen Faruqi

Dr Mehreen Faruqi, a Greens MP in NSW Parliament took to social media today to criticise security at Los Angeles International airport after she was “interrogated” today.

Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi said she and her husband were subjected to racial profiling at Los Angeles airport when they were asked "how they got" their Australian passports.

Currently visiting the United States on a drug law reform fact-finding trip, which she says is self-funded, Dr Faruqi, who is Australia's first female Muslim MP, tweeted the following this morning after arriving at LAX:



Dr Faruqi told SBS News it was "quite distressing and horrible to be put through an interrogation and questioned about your background".

"I've been an Australian citizen for over two decades," she said.

"You feel really vulnerable and disempowered. But the worst thing is that these intimidating techniques are used on people every day because of their background and where they are from.

"Despite what happened, I'm looking forward to getting on with my trip and meeting with experts, advocates and campaigners in the drug law reform sphere."

In a statement issued on Friday, Dr Faruqi said she and her husband were "asked how 'we got' Australian passports and then about my Pakistani history", which she said pointed to racial profiling.

"It is quite ridiculous, nerve wracking and scary to be treated so suspiciously for no reason and sent off to be interrogated,” she said in the statement.

"There is no excuse for treating people this way.

"I've come to the US to find out more about drugs policy reform and to meet family.

"To be treated with such hostility at Los Angeles airport is the last thing you expect."


Source: SBS


CAIR Seeks DHS Probe of Muslim Australian MP’s Detention, Interrogation at LAX

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today asked the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to investigate an incident in which an Australian Muslim woman who is a member of that nation’s parliament was detained, interrogated and fingerprinted after arrival at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) for a fact-finding trip on drug law reform.

In a letter to DHS about the case of Dr. Mehreen Faruqi’s detention, CAIR Civil rights Department Litigation Director Jenifer Wicks wrote in part:

“Media reports indicate that both she and her husband were grilled about why they were in the United States, their links to Pakistan and how they got Australian passports. They were even asked for additional identification after providing their passports. Dr. Faruqi migrated to Australian in 1992 and has been a citizen of Australia for 22 years. She is a Muslim member of parliament in Australia, in New South Wales, and a member of The Greens party.

“Ms. Faruqi said, ‘I have lived in Australia for 24 years and having raised my family here, it is a real kick in the guts when people treat you like that. Unfortunately this racism and Islamophobia is only going to get worse with the declining level of political debate around Muslims both here in Australia and the United States.’

“These concerns, as well as others raised concerning the denial of visas to a number of British Muslim families, reflect a real and growing perception in the Muslim community that it is being increasingly targeted by DHS officials and that racial profiling of Muslims is being implemented informally. We respectfully request that your office investigate these most recent incidents and ensure that DHS officials do not religiously profile those seeking to enter the United States.”

A copy of CAIR’s letter was sent to the Australian ambassador in Washington, D.C.

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

Source: CAIR


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The Islamic Society of Gold Coast assisted 13 Malaysians left stranded at Gold Coast by providing them temporary accommodation at the Mosque and meals.


The group had allegedly been cheated by their travel agent.

On behalf of the ISGC, committee secretary Haji Hussain Baba also handed each of them cash gift to cover their return expenses.


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JOURNAL ARTICLE: Critical Studies on Terrorism: Adrian Cherneya & Kristina Murphy


The rhetorical use of labels in the war on terror has become an important tactic post 9/11.


One such example is the deployment of the categories of “moderate” and “extremist” within counterterrorism discourse, with Muslims distinguished as either friend or foe based on this dichotomy.


The moderate Muslim label is a relational term, only making sense when it is contrasted with what is seen as non-moderate (i.e., extremism).


Such binary constructs carry a range of implicit assumptions about what is regarded as an acceptable form of Islam and the risks posed by the Islamic religion and Muslim communities.


In this article, we explore the implications of this labelling for Muslim communities.


In particular, we explore the interpretations Muslims themselves accord to the dichotomy of moderate and extremist and consider whether the use of such binary terms is at all helpful as a way of rallying Muslims to the cause of tackling terrorism and radicalisation.


We draw on focus group data collected from Muslims living in Australia to inform our analysis.



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The proposed mosque at South Hurstville has attracted attention from right-wing groups.

SYDNEY: Australia's right-wing anti-Muslim groups have surfed in on the debate about a new mosque planned for South Hurstville, encouraging people who live outside the area to oppose the $3 million development.

Organisations in Queensland and Victoria have been posting on social media against the development dubbed the "mega mosque" proposed for King Georges Road, south of Sydney.

And public supporters of the mosque have reported receiving "text messages of hate campaigns" from people opposed to the development.

Anthony Mundine has said previously problems about a prayer room in South Hurstville were about prejudice not parking.


Anthony Mundine has said previously problems about a prayer room in South Hurstville were about prejudice not parking.

Reclaim Australia, Stop the Mosque in Bendigo, Aussie Angels Against Sharia and other group sites have been pushing an online petition opposing the plans.

On another site named Stop the Mosque, which has more than 9000 followers, there are comments such as "A Mosque is a place that serves as a meeting place for people who are obligated to bring down Australian Democracy, A planning place for those committed to replace the Australian Constitution with Sharia Law, acting on instruction to implement Jihard [sic] to achieve this goal as soon as possible".

On the online petition,Say No to 849 King Georges Road, South Hurstville Mosque, is this comment "the mosque will change our lives and our children's lives. We worked hard to live in this area and now people want to destroy this,"

Kogarah City Council has received more than 900 submissions and spokeswoman said the number is still growing. It is not yet known how many support the mosque.

The public exhibition period for comment on the plans has been extended to the end of February, but lawyers for the applicant have already taken it to the Land and Environment Court because it was not dealt with by council within the required 40 days.

The applicant for the mosque is Nasser Hussein from architectural firm Ghazi Al Ali on behalf of the company MSAR Holdings Pty Ltd, which has authority from the land owners to lodge the application.

The company lists Mohammad Safwan Abdul-Rahman as the sole director and secretary, but he could not be contacted for comment.

Trouble erupted last year when the plans were submitted for the development showing the mosque would have three levels of underground parking and two levels above ground, including two prayer rooms for a total of 78 worshippers and two classrooms to accommodate 45 people.

Worshippers have been gathering at another private home in South Hurstville for Friday prayers, but that property too has had troubled history with the council temporarily closing it in 2012 because of complaints about parking and noise.

At the time Anthony Mundine, the former footballer and world boxing champion who used the prayer room, believed the problem was prejudice, not parking.

He told Fairfax Media his mother lived next door in the big wide street where every house had off-street parking, so was "baffled" by the objections. He believed it was just an excuse to shut down the mosque.

But online community opinion is evenly split with petitions opposing and as well as in favour of the mosque attracting almost 5000 supporters each.

The "Kogarah Council: Yes to the South Hurstville Mosque" petition on includes comments from Leila Khaled, who says she is a local resident, arguing it is important for the mosque to go ahead so local Muslim residents have the freedom to practice their religion in their own neighbourhood.

"It will reach out to youth and teach them how Islam is a religion of peace. This needs to be done before the current political radicalisation narrative negatively affects them. It will have open days to reach out and welcome the wider community. This is an opportunity to build bridges, ease concerns, and address misconceptions."

Another comment posted by from Tarik Hussein noted the double standards regarding other developments such as a church built in a residential street with no car park with no objections. He also multiple pubs clubs in the area offering topless waitresses and attracted police attention because of fights, intoxication, drugs, and gambling – "Yet this behaviour seems to be more socially acceptable & encouraged than a place of worship for Muslims".

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald


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 This lecture gives practical guidelines on how to face trials and tribulations. Umm Jamal ud-din is a lecturer at different Mosques and centres in Sydney, Australia.


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Viewpoint in the National Catholic Reporter


Muslim pilgrims pray atop Mount Mercy on the plains of Arafat Oct. 3, 2014, during the annual Hajj pilgrimage, near the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (

Dec. 8 marks the opening of the Jubilee of Mercy, a yearlong celebration of God's compassion. Pope Francis, who has made mercy the motto of his papacy, hopes that this year will be "a true moment of encounter with the mercy of God." One way Catholics can become better acquainted with this divine mercy is by more deliberately encountering another religion that takes God's mercy as its central focus: Islam.

Faced with news media images of violence and black flags in the Middle East, the last thing many Catholics might associate with Islam is mercy. Aside from knowing about Muslims' frequent prayer and Ramadan fast, most are unaware of Muslim religious practices, let alone their beliefs about God. But written at the beginning of every chapter of the Quran but one, and recited by Muslims at the start of every meal, prayer and task, is the invocation Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim, which can be translated "In the name of God, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful."

In his papal bull announcing the jubilee, Francis referenced both Islam's and Judaism's emphases on God's mercy, writing, "There is an aspect of mercy that goes beyond the confines of the Church." He urged Catholics to use the Year of Mercy as an opportunity to learn about Islam and other religions to "eliminate every form of close-mindedness and disrespect ... violence and discrimination."

Like a parent

As Francis has described in homilies throughout his papacy, God's mercy isn't simply pity or forgiveness after we've done wrong. Rather, mercy is God's overarching disposition toward creation, a parental love that extends to all. This is also true in Islam.

Muslims don't refer to God as "Father," but the parent-like nature of God in Islam becomes clear when we examine the Arabic roots of the word for mercy: rahmah. This word -- and the names for God al-Rahman (the Entirely Merciful) and al-Rahim (the Especially Merciful) -- comes from rahm, the Arabic word for a mother's womb. The Prophet Muhammad compared God's rahmah to that of a nurturing mother.

In the Quran, God identifies rahmah -- which Muslims also translate into English as graciousness, compassion and loving kindness -- as his chief attribute, and says that the name al-Rahman is but a synonym of Allah, the Arabic word for God. In a famous hadith, or saying of the prophet, Muhammad tells his followers that God has more mercy toward his servants than a mother does toward her child.

For both Christians and Muslims, God's mercy is also characterized by infinite patience and a constant reaching out to wayward humanity.


A wall shows the 99 names and attributes of Allah in the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Francis frequently cites Jesus' parable of the prodigal son, or what the pope calls the story of the "merciful father." In the parable, a young man runs away from his family, abandoning his elderly father and living a life of selfishness. After he squanders his money, he returns ashamed to his family home.

As the Bible tells it, "While [the son] was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him."

An oft-cited saying of Muhammad echoes this picture of God. He said, "God says: When a servant of mine draws nearer to me by the length of a hand, I draw toward him an arm's length; and when he draws near to me an arm's length, I draw near to him the distance of a wingspan; and if he comes to me walking, I go to him running."

The motherly quality of God's mercy in Islam also speaks to God's creation and sustaining of the universe. All things have been created by God, who, as the spiritual master Ibn Arabi put it, "mercified" the universe into being.

God's infinite compassion (Quran 7:156) embraces the whole world (as a mother's womb), and his attributes are partially made manifest in his creatures, particularly humans.

This universal and constantly flowing mercy of God is also paired with what scholars of Islam have called God's particular or secondary mercy, which is bestowed in response to humans' efforts to live as God wants. This special mercy (ultimately achieved in salvation at the end of life) is not guaranteed, since humans are free to turn away from God's universal care.

Still, like a patient parent, God constantly offers mercy, which, as Muhammad described, always "prevails over" his wrath.

Model of mercy

Muslims also believe God's mercy was expressed through messengers who conveyed his revelation to humanity. These messengers include many figures that are familiar to Christians, such as Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, of whom God says in the Quran, "We have not sent you [Muhammad] but as a mercy for the universe" (Quran 21:107).

For Muslims, Muhammad is the model of merciful living. They look to his example of rahmah toward animals, the elderly, his grandchildren and everyone he met as a blueprint for their own lives, striving to emulate his caring nature and to be a mercy to their own universe.

"CelebrateMercy," an online educational initiative started by American Muslims, strives to share the life and legacy of the Muhammad not just with Muslims but with those who have only countered negative stereotypes about Islam and its prophet.

In learning about the centrality of mercy in Islam, Catholics can become more cognizant of the emphasis of mercy in our own tradition, finding resonances to the Islamic notion in passages like this one, in Isaiah: "Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you."

This Year of Mercy is a time for Catholics to re-encounter God's rahmah through our own Scriptures and tradition, but also through the religion of our Muslim brothers and sisters. What we will discover is that, even with our doctrinal differences, Muslims and Christians share a core belief in a God who approaches all of creation with the loving kindness of a parent.

Perhaps then, we'll find ourselves beginning each prayer, each task and each meal with an invocation of God's mercy on our lips.

[Jordan Denari is a research fellow at Georgetown University's Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, where she works for the Bridge Initiative, a research project on Islamophobia.]

Source: National Catholic Reporter



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Your IRA needs your (REPEAT)



Do you have a passion to help those in need around the world? Have you always wanted to volunteer and get involved in the community?

Well now you can, become a part of the Islamic Relief Australia family in Brisbane and volunteer with us!

Come along to our volunteer information session to find out more.

WHEN: Saturday 23rd January
TIME: 10am – 12pm
VENUE: 9/3374 Pacific Highway, Springwood, QLD 4127

Reserve your seat by texting 0468 363 786 with your full name. All ages welcome!


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MVSLIM's list of Muslims who achieved great things in 2015.

2. Ahmed Mohammed



2015 was also the year that a young boy got arrested for his talent. I’m talking about ‘Ahmed with the clock’, or Ahmed Mohammed. He got arrested at MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas for bringing a clock to school.There was a widespread public reaction that included allegations of racial profiling and Islamophobia.

Many people showed their support, like Mark Zuckerberg, Obama and many others. Even the hashtag #IstandWithAhmed was trending for days.

NEXT WEEK: 3. Hasan Minhaj



Source: MVSLI


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Nouman Ali Khan, well known Islamic scholar and teacher was in Kuwait for the first time to present a lecture at the Masjid Al Kabir organized by the Indian Muslim Association. Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan as he is referred to is renowned for his strong command of Arabic, deep understanding of the Holy Quran and engaging lectures. He is also the CEO and founder of Bayyinah Institute in the US.

Nita Bhatkar Chogle caught up with Ustadh Noman during his whirlwind visit to the Middle East, especially for The Times Kuwait, to find out more about the man, his mission and his unique method of outreach through modern media.


The Mission

What is Ustadh Noman’s overarching message to Muslim youth and all Muslims in general?

To this he quotes an Ayah (verse) from Surah Al Baqarah, “Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear.” (Quran 2:286)

He explains it saying, “One of the meanings of this Ayah is that Allah did not burden any single person except with their own potential. There are many different meanings of this Ayah but one of them is that my big burden in life is my own potential. What it means is (that) Allah’s rules are easy, that is not a load. The real load in my life is - am I living up to my potential?”

And this is what he would like to communicate to the Muslim youth. He drives them to live their full potential and not settle for mediocrity. “Ask yourself did you honestly make the most of your day? Did you honestly say what you wanted to say in the best way that you could have said it? I don’t expect perfection. I know I am not perfect. But what I expect is a constant desire for improvement.

For Muslims all around the world he has several messages, mainly driven by thoughts about what is happening currently in the Muslim world and particularly about religious discourse. These drive his messaging.

Ustad Noman says, “I feel that the conversation about Islam is skewed – that’s what I personally feel. There are good scholars, good resources and good books but overwhelmingly what is being heard in the Ummah (community) about Islam is skewed. How is it skewed? On the one hand it is a literal reading of the text without any due diligence. So you don’t look at history, the context and or even look at the depth of the language itself. It is a very surface level translation with no depth and then drastic conclusions are made without diving into this depth. That then presents a very ugly picture of Islam that is itself a disservice to Islam. So Islam is being disserved in some cases by people who are quoting it. That is one problem.”

The other problem he says are people who call themselves traditional. There are many who are incredible he says, but there are also a good number of them unfortunately, who do not represent the depth, breadth, vastness or sophistication of the tradition itself. Also people who call themselves traditional are not even open to discussions or conversation and don’t have any idea of the history.

“So between people who take things literally and people who pretend to be traditional the average Muslim is caught - who do you listen to? The literalist who makes it sound crazy or to the traditionalist who makes it sound close minded. It’s not thought provoking.” highlights Ustadh Nouman. When you look at the spectrum, due to the lack of intelligent discourse on Islam, you feel maybe this is all Islam has to offer, and this he feels eventually turns people off religion all together.

Raised without a heavy dose of religion in a middle class Pakistani family, he considers himself to be in the middle, a moderate.

So what is the solution? “To me, we have to reclaim the text, reclaim the tradition and present it intelligently. This needs to happen. I think studying Islam is important but how you study it, what thought process you have and having a lot of knowledge is glorified. Anyone who has a lot of knowledge is perceived to understand Islam better. I don’t agree with that. Having the lot of knowledge is the same as having a lot of information. Having information, processing information and using information are three different things. Just because someone has a lot of information doesn’t say much about their ability to process it properly. Processing is like an intellectual thing. You have to engage what you know and really think about it.”

There is a lot of emphasis on the collection of data but no emphasis on processing, he feels. And that is often the case with Islamic studies. You have people that are memorizing what people have previously said but there is no discussion on why they said it.

Ustad Nouman firmly believes that students of Islam should be encouraged to ask questions unlike the trend of not questioning the teacher as is common practice in religious schools. He quotes the Arabic saying “In al sualu nisf al alm” which means, asking questions is half of knowledge.

On the creation of Adam, even the Angels who never disobey Allah, asked a question and didn’t get into trouble, explains Ustad Nouman. “If angels can ask a question why can’t I ask my teacher? This is a sign of intellectual stagnation. If you don’t ask question and remove your doubts and if you are not satisfied you should be able to say it. I am not convinced. I need more. If you don’t do that you don’t reach real faith. That’s my message – learn you religion. Learn your faith but learn it with an open mind. Ask questions. Learn to ask questions. Learn to create the discourse if it’s not around you.”

So what is his mission? “I want to influence change at a very high level. I want to be able through my research team myself I want to pick up top talent in the world. I don’t want to just give lectures. I want to make files documentaries, movies cartoons talk shows. Where is the Muslim John Stewart? I want to make one. I want to beat Oprah at her game because that is where influence lies.” explains Ustad Nouman.

And that is my cue to quiz him on Bayyinah Institute that operates with a mission to enrich individuals, families and institutions by making Arabic and Qur’anic studies accessible to the world. “Bayyinah is a continual though process. What I thought when we started is not what I am thinking now.” explains Ustad Nouman.

How Bayyinah started is a very interesting story. Ustad Noman studied computer information technology and got an offer to work as a design director for a technology company in New Jersey when he was in his senior year of college. He took the job but soon after suffered the effects of the dot com crash. Being one of the newcomers, he was one of the first to be laid off. He continued to be jobless for about six months. Interestingly this was the same period in which he got married to his long time fiancé on the insistence of her parents which was quite unusual!

After he lost his job he also lost interest in the tech industry. The constant need to be updated with the latest technologies was a full time effort and he wasn’t keen on constantly reinventing himself to just get a paycheck at the end of the month. He wanted something more.

His experience teaching Arabic was something he really enjoyed and he decided to experiment with an Arabic class in his community. Starting with 30 – 40 people in the local Masjid, his student numbers increased to about 100 in a few months and soon people started requesting out of town classes.

That is when he used his tech background to put a website together. Surprisingly enough, with no Google and no advertising people still found him! And he started going from one community to another presenting his lectures and teaching Arabic. He could have kept going but he realized that this needed to be institutionalized properly. And that is how Bayyinah was born.

His primary objective with Bayyinah was to do something he loved as a career and to do something that served the community. “I don’t want to do this because I want to make money I want to do something because I love. If I make a living for my family on the way well and good but I really want to do what I love.” he explains.

NEXT WEEK: The Media



Source: THE TIMES Kuwait


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The world's most beautiful mosques (CONTINUED FROM LAST WEEK)




Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey
Majestic, magnificent and utterly beguiling, the Blue Mosque has six needle-like minarets that form an essential part of Istanbul’s skyline, and is an unmissable part of any break to the city. Terry Richardson, Telegraph Travel’s Istanbul expert, describes how the “interior gleams with the famous blue Iznik tiles from which its name derives.” It was built under the reign of the Ottoman ruler Ahmed I between 1609 and 1616, and is now open to non-worshippers every day outside of prayer times.

Source: Telegraph UK


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Opinion by Haroon Moghul, Senior Correspondent, Religion Dispatches


No turning back now

We have failed you.

While jihadist movements continue to expand their reach, anti-Muslim bigotry is becoming more and more mainstream. Both narratives mean to deny the possibility of meaningful coexistence. Which is the identity and the reality of thirty million of us.

Thirty million Western Muslims, spread out across Europe (excluding Russia), the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. But though we had every reason to speak out, we have barely begun to come together.

When we are talked about, it’s either as a problem (terrorism) to be solved, or as the solution (counter-terrorism) to the problem we’re held responsible for. We have little to no relevance outside national security.

And because we do not seem to matter, we might begin to feel as if we do not exist.

I will not excuse myself by saying that we could not have known how bad it would have gotten, or that the forces arrayed against our narratives were too entrenched. I will not soften the blow, either, by hoping it is always darkest before dawn. Because it may get darker.

God does not change the condition of a people until they change themselves. I ask myself how we have gotten to this juncture. I reflect on what I could have done differently. If my life’s experiences can be of any benefit, even as a cautionary tale, then I offer them.

What follows is neither exhaustive nor conclusive, but an outline for what you can do, and what I think you must do, to reverse this state of affairs, to help build the kinds of communities our history and heritage promises we can.

Part I covers our relations to the wider world; Part II concerns our own communities and identities.

Part I: All allies, foreign and domestic (continued from CCN583)

3. Eurabia’s outermost boundary

You will hear some speak loudly of Islamic unity, and condemn you when your actions do not support their idea of solidarity. But here is the painful truth: Many of your political choices will be hard choices. They will not have easy answers. It is natural to want to see Bosnia and Albania in the EU.

But Ukraine is a Western country most of whose citizens, including its Muslim minorities, want into Europe, too. You have a moral obligation to consider Ukraine’s right to European Union membership, and to appreciate that they want what we have. But Russia, which has a substantial, growing Muslim population, believes otherwise.
Russia is a Western country, too. But their Western identity is not the same as your own. Identity involves culture, worldview, but also and critically, political circumstance. The levels of integration that develop between the hugely diverse communities of the Muslim West will never extend equally to Russia. The West actively tries to accelerate integration.

That integration shapes you.

Egyptian, Saudi, Iranian, and Turkish religious bodies have long competed to build influence across the Muslim world. In your lifetime, Western Muslim institutions will begin to project their religious, cultural and social soft power across the rest of the ummah as well. But while Russia and other nations may welcome the receipt of some of our ideas, they will draw the line at our enthusiasm for democracy.

They may even spurn you for it. That doesn’t mean ignoring the Muslim-majority world, or the world. Accept what you can do, and what you cannot.

NEXT WEEK IN CCN:   Fairly balanced

Source: QUARTZ


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4. "Can I Kick It?" A Tribe Called Quest (1999)


Okay, technically not all of the members of 'A Tribe Called Quest' are Muslim, but two of them are (Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad) so they're on my list. Try and stop me.

Can they be a thing again already? I miss them.


NEXT WEEK: 5. "High Noon," The Kominas (2010)

Source: PRI


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Donald Trump wants Muslims banned from entering the US – but without them the country would be a much poorer place

Donald Trump with legendary boxer and Muslim, Muhammad Ali.

What have Muslims ever done for America? If your sole source of information were Donald Trump, you’d think that the answer was not much – apart from murdering its citizens and trying to destroy its values. The Republican presidential hopeful has called for a halt to Muslims entering the US until American authorities “can figure out” Muslim attitudes to the US in the wake of last week’s killings in San Bernardino. If only, you might well think, Scotland had had the same thought about Trump before he was allowed in to blight Aberdeenshire with another of his golf resorts.

What Trump doesn’t seem to grasp is his own country’s history, and how many American achievements worth celebrating are the work of the kind of people – Muslims – he wants to keep out.

Here, then, is a guide to some of the things Muslims have done for the US. It’s not an exhaustive list – but it’s still more impressive than what Trump has done for his homeland.

Giving hip-hop its greatest MC

Yasiin Bey

For many music fans of the 80s and 90s, hip-hop was the first, thrilling, exposure to Muslim culture and the religion of Islam. After the early days of breakdancing and braggadocio, it found room for a spiritual and religious element. The range of Muslim rappers spans the obvious – Yasiin Bey (the Artist Formerly Known As Mos Def) – and the superficially unlikely – T-Pain, taking in such luminaries as Nas, Andre 3000, Lupe Fiasco, Ice Cube and Busta Rhymes.

The expression of Muslim belief through hip-hop has frequently been mediated through fringe groups such as the Nation of Islam and the Five-Percent Nation, and the language they use has bled into the rap argot. A lot of this is down to Rakim, perhaps the first and most prominent Muslim rapper to speak openly about his faith. As one half of Eric B & Rakim, the man known to his mum as William Griffin – but to fans as Rakim Allah – dropped frequent allusions to Muslim religion and culture into songs that quickly propelled him to the top of the MC list. While artists such as Jay-Z and the Notorious BIG went on to wider fame and bigger sales, Rakim is still regarded in many quarters as the greatest rapper in history. His unique flow and gravitas helped to usher in the brilliant “Afrocentric” era of hip-hop in the late 80s, and allowed more Muslims to profess their faith on record.

Established classic rap albums like KMD’s Mr Hood (1991) and Brand Nubian’s One for All (1990) were made possible by this strain of Muslim influence. There’s an often jarring disconnect between songs about dealing dope and love of Allah on releases by such influential artists as Scarface and the Jacka, and modern mainstream hip-hop is markedly less vocal about Islam. But perhaps that’s because its deep, important impact on the music and culture is so long-standing and obvious that it no longer needs saying out loud. Andrew Emery

NEXT WEEK: Inventing the ice-cream cone

Source: The Guardian


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Al-Mustapha Institute of Brisbane

Enrol Now - Only 4 Places Left in Islamic Studies


Day: Every Saturday, starting 30 January 2016
Time: 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Duration: 1 year course with holidays aligned with school holidays and time off during Ramadan
Subjects: Islamic Law (Fiqh), Hadith, Tafseer & Islamic History
Location: 39 Bushmills Court, Hillcrest
Cost: $400
Lecturer: As-Shaykh Mohammad Ibrahim As-Shami

The course in Islamic studies is open to brothers and sisters. For more information or an enrolment form please visit our website or email





Amanah Institute’s Annual Orientation/Enrolment Afternoon

A message for all parents looking for high quality Islamic education for their children…

Don’t miss the Amanah Institute’s (formerly the Kuraby Madrassah) annual parent orientation/enrolment afternoon: Thursday 28th of January from 4.00 – pm to 6.00 pm.

Interest in the ‘Amanah approach’ continues to grow and numbers are limited.

Attendance at the enrolment/orientation afternoon is a condition of enrolment and compulsory for parents wishing to enrol or re-enrol their children in 2016.

The programs at Amanah are designed to be contextual and relevant. Feedback from young people and their parents is extremely positive!

Amanah caters for students 5 years of age through to 19 years of age.

* We are expanding our program further in 2016 offering classes 2 days/week for busy high school students from grade 8 through to 12.







3 bedroom House in Kuraby for rent! 2 bathrooms, DLUG with shade sail for extra covered parking on driveway. A/c in living area, main bedroom and garage, alarm system and solar power installed.


Walking distance from mosque, school, bus and train station.


Available early Feb 2016. Rent $445 p.w. Call 0439786653 for more details.


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Friday khutbah (sermon)

DATE: 15 January 2016

TOPIC"Indicators of the Love of Allah SWT"

IMAM: Akram Buksh 








Friday khutbah (sermon)

DATE: 15 January 2016

TOPIC"Engaging in Society"

IMAM: Mohammed Azhari














Friday khutbah (sermon)

DATE: 15 January 2016

TOPIC: “Are we religious Jerks?"

IMAM: Mufti Junaid Akbar




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Landmark Settlement in Challenge to NYPD Surveillance of New York Muslims: What You Need to Know


Imam Hamid Hassan Raza, the lead plaintiff in Raza v. City of New York.


US: A settlement in our challenge to NYPD surveillance of New York Muslims was announced today, heralding new safeguards to protect against bias-based and unjustified investigations of Muslim and other minority communities.

The settlement was announced in Raza v. City of New York, a lawsuit on behalf of three New York Muslims, two mosques, and a Muslim non-profit organization, who alleged they were swept up in the NYPD’s dragnet surveillance of Muslims. The ACLU, the New York Civil Liberties Union, and the CLEAR project at CUNY School of Law filed the suit in 2013. The law firm of Morrison & Foerster LLP joined the litigation team soon after. The lawsuit charged that the NYPD mapped Muslim communities and their institutions, sent officers and informants into mosques to monitor innocent religious leaders and congregants, and used other invasive means to spy on Muslims.

The settlement, which is subject to court approval, imposes a number of important safeguards to ensure the NYPD’s investigative practices are in line with the protections of the Constitution. These include a robust anti-religious-discrimination policy, safeguards to constrain intrusive investigatory practices, a limitation on the use of undercover officers and informants, and — critically — the appointment of an outside civilian representative to ensure all safeguards are followed and enforced.

This settlement is a win for New York Muslims and for all New Yorkers, who have a right to be free from discriminatory police surveillance and to practice their religion without stigma or fear. It’s also a win for the rest of the country as it marks the first time that any meaningful safeguards have been imposed to prevent discriminatory surveillance of American Muslim communities. At a time of rampant anti-Muslim hysteria and discrimination nationwide, this settlement sends a forceful message throughout the country, demonstrating that law enforcement can and must do its job without resorting to discriminatory practices.

What did the lawsuit challenge?




CAIR calls on Trump to apologize to Muslim woman ejected from rally


USA: A leading Muslim advocacy group is calling for Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump to apologize after a Muslim woman was ejected from his rally in South Carolina on Friday night.

“The image of a Muslim woman being abused and ejected from a political rally sends a chilling message to American Muslims and to all those who value our nation’s traditions of religious diversity and civic participation,” said Nihad Awad, the executive director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), in a statement.

“Donald Trump should issue a public apology to the Muslim woman kicked out of his rally and make a clear statement that American Muslims are welcome as fellow citizens and as participants in the nation’s political process,” Nihad added.

A Muslim woman was escorted out of Trump’s rally after she stood up in silent protest as the billionaire suggested Syrian refugees fleeing a civil war were associated with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Awad in December acknowledged a "sense of anxiety" in the Muslim community after Trump called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States.


The Hill


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Regulation allowing for Islamic Friday prayers to affect millions of Turkish workers


TURKEY: Working practices are often a source of strife between management and workers but a new Turkish government move on Friday breaks is set to affect around three million public servants across the country.

Staff breaks became a particularly hot topic this week as a government circular promised to regulate noon breaks at public institutions to allow for Islamic Friday prayers.

"We have prepared a draft circular letter to arrange working hours on Friday so as not to hamper freedom of worship," Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said on Tuesday in a meeting in the Turkish parliament.

He said the arrangement would mean no disruption to full-time work and would help build stronger brotherhood in the country.

The regulation, expected to come into effect in the following weeks, will apply to over three million civil servants.

One of them is a high-school teacher who complains that the current one-hour noon break is "definitely not enough".

Halit Altındağ, 42, who lives in the central Konya province, says he has to "have lunch, go to the nearest mosque, do the ablutions [a must for Islamic prayer], perform the Friday prayers and relax -- all in an hour".

"Sometimes we have to attend afternoon classes without having lunch if we prioritize the prayers," he says.

"It is a bit more difficult for the teachers," Altındağ admits, when comparing himself to other civil servants.

"Their managers might be tolerant when they are a bit late, but if a teacher is late, it means tens of students are wasting their time."

He suggests that the Friday noon break "should be no less than one and a half hours".

Stating that he also worked in Istanbul for 12 years, he says he worked with some headmasters and colleagues which were not tolerant about colleagues carrying out their religious duties.

"It should not be under the initiative of your chiefs or managers. There should be a legal regulation," he says.

Veysel Atasagun, 55, an officer in one of Istanbul's courts, agrees with Altındag saying Friday breaks should be made longer -- "One and a half hours at least," -- he suggests.

He is usually late back to work on Fridays: "I am lucky that my managers are tolerant of my being a bit late following the Friday prayer. However, a number people in this country have had to work at prayer times."

He says he would prefer Fridays and Saturdays off instead of Saturdays and Sundays.

"We live in a Muslim country; we have yearly feasts Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha and Fridays are our weekly festivals, [times] when I feel great spiritual joy."

Friday was the official weekend holiday under a law introduced on Jan. 2, 1924, just before the abolition of the Caliphate the same year.

Before that, there was no defined weekend for officials living in the Ottoman Empire. The overall tendency was to have a day off on Fridays for Muslims, on Saturday for Jews and on Sunday for Christians -- holy days for each religion.

However, only 11 years after Friday was officially recognized as the weekend, it was changed to Sunday with a new act on national holidays. The new law, introduced on May 27, 1935, was only one of the reforms made as part of the secularization process of the new Turkey.

Starting in the early 1920s -- after the Ottoman Empire collapsed and Turkey was declared a republic -- numerous social, political and economic reforms were passed with the aim of transforming Turkey into a modern country.

Although the new law was intended to develop the trade relations with Western countries, not everybody was happy.

Those who supported the reforms by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the leader of new Turkey, welcomed the Sunday weekend but many others were uneasy, fearing it would be an impediment to Friday praying.

However, for the teacher Altındag, "working on Fridays is not an obstacle."

"Islam does not tell us to take a holiday on Fridays," he says, recalling the verses in the Quran, in the part of Surah Al-Jum'uah:

"O you who have believed, when [the adhan] is called for the prayer on the day of Jum'uah [Friday], then proceed to the remembrance of Allah and leave trade. That is better for you, if you only knew.

"And when the prayer has been concluded, disperse within the land and seek from the bounty of Allah, and remember Allah often that you may succeed." (Saheeh International translation)

Altındag says the Friday observance is "only coming together and praying and greeting each other at noon time, a kind of socializing with your brothers as in the weddings".

Today, Friday is an official holiday in certain Muslim countries including Iran, Algeria, Qatar and Afghanistan.

Turkey, with over 95 percent of the population being registered as Muslim, has had Sundays as the official weekend for 80 years. For public institutions, Saturday has been also part of the weekend since May 30, 1974.

Now, with the new regulation, civil servants will have enough time to carry out their religious duties at noon even if they are not off on Fridays.

Both men and women -- although religiously only men are required to do the communal Friday praying -- would break at noon before the prayer time and would restart their shift afterwards.

The new regulation will not set a fixed break time period across Turkey because of the praying time differences in every province.

Today, Jan. 8, 2015, for instance, the Friday prayer is at 12.03 in the capital Ankara but it is at 11.18 in the easternmost province of Iğdır and at 12.28 in the westernmost province of Çanakkale.

Source: Daily Sabah


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French mosques open their doors to non-Muslims to quell stereotypes ignited by recent jihadist attacks


Visitors speak with Muslims at the Ajaccio's mosque, which was attacked on December 25, 2015 on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica

FRANCE: Hundreds of mosques and Islamic prayer rooms across France have opened their doors to encourage visits by non-Muslims in a country shaken by recent jihadist attacks.

Dubbed "a brotherly cup of tea", local mosques are handing out hot drinks and pastries, offering guided visits, holding debates and calligraphy workshops, and even inviting people to attend one of the five daily prayers.

Organised by the country's leading Muslim body, the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM), it aims to stimulate dialogue about Islam and create a greater sense of "national cohesion"

The weekend-long invitation comes a year after 17 people were killed in jihadist attacks in Paris targeting satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket.

"The objective is to create a space where people can be together and meet normal Muslim worshippers and all of our fellow citizens," CFCM president Anouar Kbibech said.

The idea is to use the anniversary of the January 7-9 attacks to "highlight the real values of Islam, to set straight the cliches about links to violence and terrorism," he said, describing the venture as a "gesture of openness".

"Instead of dwelling on these tragic acts, it seemed more useful and important to celebrate 'the spirit of January 11'," he said, referring to the date last year when millions of people took to the streets in a mass show of solidarity.

Following further attacks in November, in which jihadists killed 130 people, France declared a state of emergency which has seen police staging around 20 raids on Muslim places of worship.

Interior minister praises initiative

In a small prayer hall in Ajaccio on the French island of Corsica, which was attacked on Christmas day, Jean-Francois, in his sixties, took up the invitation to visit.

"If someone holds out their hand, I accept it and I shake it," he said, while drinking a cup of tea.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve accepted an invitation to visit a mosque near Paris, and hailed the initiative.

France needs, more than ever, "the engagement of all Muslims in France", he said, while warning that "the self-proclaimed preachers of hate" in mosques would be dealt with severely.

Although not all of France's 2,500 mosques and places of worship are taking part, the most important ones are, including the Grand Mosque of Paris.

The event comes after a year which saw a surge in anti-Muslim acts in France, some of which targeted places of worship, although the number was much lower after the November bloodshed than after the January attacks.

France's five million Muslims often complain of discrimination, notably on the employment front.

Source: ABC


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Government deradicalisation plan will brand Muslims with beards as terrorists, say academics


UK: The Government’s flagship counter-radicalisation strategy leads Muslims who grow beards to be labelled as terrorists and could be used to clamp down on anti-austerity and environmental campaigners, hundreds of academics have claimed in an open letter to The Independent.

Wide-ranging powers brought in this month under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act force teachers, social workers, prison officers and NHS managers to report signs of radicalisation.

Those suspected of extremism will be sent on deradicalisation programmes, while the whole system is to be policed by Government inspectors.
But the new law has been criticised as a direct assault on freedom of speech and a move towards a police state.

In an unprecedented intervention, 280 academics, lawyers and public figures claim the controversial law will make Britain less safe as it will force radical political discussion underground.

Among the leading academics who want the Government to rethink the strategy are Karen Armstrong, one of the country’s most prominent writers on religion, and Baroness Ruth Lister, emeritus professor of social policy at Loughborough University.


The Independent

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First woman to lead Friday prayers in UK


UK: A Canadian author will become the first Muslim-born woman to lead a mixed-gender British congregation through Friday prayers tomorrow in a highly controversial move that will attempt to spark a debate about the role of female leadership within Islam.

Raheel Raza, a rights activist and Toronto-based author, has been asked to lead prayers and deliver the khutbah at a small prayer session in Oxford.

She has been invited by Dr Taj Hargey, a self-described imam who preaches an ultra-liberal interpretation of Islam which includes, among other things, that men and women should be allowed to pray together and that female imams should lead mixed congregations in prayer.

Three of the four mainstream schools of Sunni Islam allow women to lead exclusively female congregations for prayer, but the overwhelming majority of Muslim jurists are opposed to the notion of their presiding over mixed congregations outside the home.

Raza, 60, is part of a small but growing group of Muslim feminists who have tried to challenge the mindset that has traditionally excluded women from leadership roles within the mosque. They argue that nowhere in the Koran are female imams expressly forbidden. Instead scholars rely on the hadiths (the words and sayings of the Prophet Mohamed) to exclude women – although Muslim feminists and some progressive scholars argue that even these are not clear enough to say with confidence that women are altogether banned.

Ms Raza received death threats after leading a mixed-gender prayer congregation in Toronto five years ago.

"It was a very profound experience," Ms Raza said yesterday in a telephone conversation from her home in Toronto. "It's not about taking the job of an imam. It's about reminding the Muslim community that 50 per cent of its adherents are women who are equal to men. Women are equally observant, practising Muslims who deserve to be heard."

Ms Raza's appearance in Oxford is a repeat of a similar prayer session in 2008 which was led by Amina Wadud, an American-born convert and Muslim feminist. But this is the first time a Muslim-born woman will lead a mixed prayer service in Britain.

Ms Wadud's prayers were attended by a small congregation of less than 40 who were heckled on their way in to prayers by protesters, largely by fully veiled Muslim women. Once inside the prayer hall, meanwhile, they were comprehensively outnumbered by journalists.

But Dr Hargey, a divisive figure within British Islam who runs the Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford, said his congregation had since grown and attracted new followers.

"For Friday prayers we now receive about 100 people, twice that for Eid prayers and important occasions," he said. "I am expecting about 200 people to attend this Friday's prayers."

In recent years there has been a growing demand from Muslim women to be included and represented at their mosques. Earlier this week Faith Matters, a conflict resolution think-tank funded by the Government and private benefactors, released a list of 100 women-friendly mosques. The number of female Muslim scholars, meanwhile, often referred to as imamahs, are also on the rise.

Ms Raza, who is due to fly into Britain this morning, said she was aware that she would be preaching to the converted tomorrow. "But it's about opening one heart, one mind at a time," she added.




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Q: Dear Kareema, I need to do a whole body reshape and tone as I have let myself
go during the holidays. Please help.

A: Short sharp bursts of explosive moves is good for a cardio kick. It will ‘shape-up’
the whole body and leave you feeling energised. Try moves like mountain-climbers,
jump squats, switch-lunges, etc. These will engage all major muscle groups and help
with re-shaping.

Strength exercises using your body weight will speed up the toning / re-shaping process.
Include static lunges, wall squats, push-ups, tricep-dips, etc.

Couple the above with a protein rich diet and you’re well on your way to a healthier,
Stronger, more toned body. Remember your liquids too.






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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Fitria Sari

Accredited Practising Dietician & Nutritionist

To book appointments -
Ph: 3341 2333 (Underwood)
Ph: 3299 5596 (Springwood)
M: 0406 279 591

How to Achieve your 2016 Health Goals: Part 2

As mentioned last week, a SMART goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.

In order to achieve, for example, a 20kg weight loss, we need to set a smaller goal such as increasing exercise. However, we can make this a SMART goal by rephrasing the goal as follows: "To go for walks for 30 mins, 3 times a week for 2 weeks". This goal is specific in action (walking), measurable in duration (30 mins 3x a week), attainable and realistic (short and easy exercise to start), and timely (for 2 weeks).

Once you've achieved this goal, you can set another goal that builds from this by either increasing duration to 7 days/week, or increasing intensity to jogging instead of walking.

When writing a SMART goal to improve eating habits, first think of what action you want to start doing. This can be as simple as eating more vegetables. Then you can specify amounts (such as 4 serves of veggies), frequency (5 days/week) and duration (for 1 month).

It is best to set 3-5 SMART goals to start with; write them down, tick off once it is done so you can feel a sense of accomplishment, and then set more SMART goals throughout the year. Before you know it, you will be well on your way to achieving your overall goal.


Need an answer to a nutrition related matter?

Send your question to Fitria at

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


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When spoken to by a suspicious stranger, reply in a language the stranger doesn’t understand and keep on moving.


Replying in a different language is better than not replying at all: No reply leads to repeated attempts of the “test line,” perhaps with closing the distance.


An incomprehensible reply confuses first and then makes strangers understand that they can’t communicate with you.

No communication → No compliance

Click here for contact and registration details for Southside Academy of COMBAT


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The CCN Book-of-the-Week



Monday 29 February 2016
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
In store at Avid Reader Bookshop
Register until 29 February 2016 6:00 PM

Join Yassmin Abdel-Magied for the Brisbane launch of her memoir Yassmin's Story.

At 21, Yassmin found herself working on a remote Australian oil and gas rig; she was the only woman and certainly the only Sudanese-Egyptian-Australian background Muslim woman.


With her hijab quickly christened a 'tea cosy' there could not be a more unlikely place on earth for a young Muslim woman to want to be.


This is the story of how she got there, where she is going, and how she wants the world to change.

Born in the Sudan, Yassmin and her parents moved to Brisbane when she was two, and she has been tackling barriers ever since.


At 16 she founded Youth Without Borders, an organisation focused on helping young people to work for positive change in their communities.


In 2007 she was named Young Australian Muslim of the Year and in 2010 Young Queenslander of the Year.


In 2011 Yassmin graduated with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (First Class Honours) and in 2012 she was named Young Leader of the Year in the Australian Financial Review and Westpac's inaugural 100 Women of Influence Awards as well as an InStyle cultural leader and a Marie Claire woman of the future.

Yassmin has now been awarded Youth of the Year in the Australian Muslim Achievement Awards.


"Frank, fearless, funny, articulate and inspiring, Yassmin Abdul-Magied is a dynamo, a young Muslim dynamo offering a bracing breath of fresh air - and hope.At 21, Yassmin found herself working on a remote Australian oil and gas rig; she was the only woman and certainly the only Sudanese-Egyptian-Australian-with-some-Turkish-and-Moroccan-background Muslim woman. With her hijab quickly christened a 'tea cosy' there could not be a more unlikely place on earth for a young Muslim woman to want to be.


This is the story of how she got there, where she is going, and how she wants the world to change. Born in the Sudan, Yassmin and her parents moved to Brisbane when she was two, and she has been tackling barriers ever since. At 16 she founded Youth Without Borders, an organisation focused on helping young people to work for positive change in their communities. In 2007 she was named Young Australian Muslim of the Year and in 2010 Young Queenslander of the Year. In 2011 Yassmin graduated with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (First Class Honours) and in 2012 she was named Young Leader of the Year in the Australian Financial Review and Westpac's inaugural 100 Women of Influence"


You can pre-order the book here.



"One who does not read is no better than one who cannot read."

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

Then simply email the title and author to


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: With school starting soon here are some excellent tips from the Fresh for Kids website to add a bit of excitement to your kids lunchbox.

The important take away from this is that you ensure that you include a range of fresh fruit and vegetables and vary the food daily so kids don’t become bored. 

Back to school lunchbox ideas


Top tips for a healthy lunch box
• Always include fresh fruit and vegetables. Vary the selection to keep it interesting.
• Offer a variety of whole grain breads, rolls, pita bread and flat breads.
• Use avocado as a spread instead of butter or margarine.
• Use reduced fat dairy foods. Cheese and yoghurt are ideal.
• Kids need a serve of protein at lunchtime. Ensure you include lean meat, egg, peanut butter, chickpeas or tuna.
• Add a chilled bottle of water and limit juice.

Keep it fresh - packing the lunchbox
It’s important to keep food in the lunch box cold to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria.

Pack the school lunch in an insulated lunch box and include a small freezer brick or freeze a bottle of water and pop it into the lunchbox to keep food cool.

Helpful tips for adding fresh fruit and vegetables to lunch boxes

• Kids like fresh fruit cut and ready to eat. Fruit salad is the ideal lunch box solution; it’s colourful, easy to eat and bursting with vitamins.

• Offer different seasonal fruits each day for a change in flavour, colour and texture.
• Freeze fruits in the summer or for sport days. Simply pop the frozen fruit into a small sealable plastic bag or airtight container.
• If including whole fruit in the lunchbox, select fruit that is a suitable size for a child to easily hold in their hand and eat (this is particularly important for younger children).
• Peel and slice or cut fruit if possible and choose seedless varieties of grapes, watermelon and Imperial mandarins.
• If you’re added tomato to sandwiches, place the tomato between fillings and not directly onto the bread. This prevents the bread becoming soggy.
• When using avocado, mash or drizzle with a little lemon or lime juice to prevent the avocado from discolouring.
• Mild tasting and crunchy lettuce varieties like Iceberg and Oak leaf and Lebanese cucumbers are ideal for kids.
• Add leftover (or cook extra) roast pumpkin or sweet potato to sandwiches, wraps and roll fillings. Naturally sweet and loaded with beneficial antioxidants, roast vegetables team well with a range of fillings.
• Make salads or salad sandwich fillings interesting by using a range of vegetables like grated carrot, snow pea sprouts, lettuce or rocket or baby spinach, sliced celery, tomatoes, avocado and cucumber.
• Use a vegetable peeler to slice cucumber into thin ribbons for sandwich fillings.



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

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A BBC reporter was doing a story on gender roles in Afghanistan.

She noted that women customarily walked a few metres behind their husbands.

Impressed she approached one of the Afghani women and said, "This is marvellous! What a nice gesture of respect to a husband. Is there any specific reason to this custom?"

The lady whispered, "Land mines"


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An Ayaat-a-Week






O you who believe! Persevere in patience and constancy; vie in such perseverance; strengthen each other; and fear Allah; that you may prosper.
 ~ Surah Al-Imran 3:200


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It is not enough to be busy.

So are the ants.

The question is: What are we busy about? 

~ Henry David Thoreau


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I searched for God and found only myself. I searched for myself and found only God.

Notice Board



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

To claim your date for your event email





(Click on link)





30 January


Islamic Trivia Night

Islamic Society of Algester

Springwood Community Centre (53-57 Cinderella Drive, Springwood)

0421 593 785


7 February


TCC Competition

The Continental Club

Gainsborough Greens Golf Club

0404 280 582


19 & 20 March

Sat & Sun

The Spiritual Zone
Sh Abdul Wahab Saleem

Al Kauthar Brisbane

Griffith University NATHAN

0438 698 328

All day

3 May


Lailatul Mehraj (27th Rajab 1437)

15 May



Crescents of Brisbane

Orleigh Park, WEST END

0402 026 786


14 & 15 May

Sat & Sun

The Forgotten Jewels
Sh Daood Butt

Al Kauthar Brisbane

Griffith University NATHAN

0438 698 328

All day

27 May


Nisf Sha'ban 1437 / Laylat al-Bara'at (15th Sha'ban 1437)

6 June


1st Ramadan 1437

1 July


Laylat al-Qadr - Night of Power 1436 (27th Ramadan 1437)

6 July


Eid al-Fitr 1437 (1st Shawwal 1437)

9 July


ICQ Eid Festival

Islamic Council of QLD (ICQ)




20 & 21 August

Sat & Sun

The Divine Light
Sh Wasim Kempson

Al Kauthar Brisbane

Griffith University NATHAN

0438 698 328

All day

12 September


Eid al-Adha 1437 (10th Zilhijja 1437)

3 October


Muharram 1438 – Islamic New Year 1438

(1st Muharram 1438)



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 - first 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 



Quran Reading Class For Ladies (Beginners or Advanced)

Every Saturday 2 - 4pm
Lady Teacher


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, besides 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


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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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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