Sunday, 8 January 2017


Newsletter 0635


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



Administrative appeals tribunal rules school was run for profit and backs education department’s decision to withdraw funding

NSW: The Greenacre campus of Malek Fahd Islamic school. The administrative appeals tribunal ruled it had been operating for profit in breach of the Australian Education Act.

Australia’s largest Islamic school should no longer be allowed to receive federal funding, the administrative appeals tribunal has ruled.

It means the school in Sydney’s west may be forced to close.

The tribunal has affirmed the education department’s decision to revoke approval for Malek Fahd Islamic school to receive federal funding after allegations of financial mismanagement.

Simon Birmingham, the federal education minister, has welcomed the ruling, saying the school had been operating for profit in breach of the Australian Education Act.

“Australians rightly expect that every taxpayer dollar committed to school education is genuinely expended on school education,” Birmingham said. “School governance should be of the highest standard and funding should be exclusively used for the education and welfare of students.

“Our attention now turns to working with the students and their families, the teachers and the whole school community about how we best support them through this difficult time.”

The Turnbull government pulled $19m in funding to Malek Fahd in February last year after it was found to be operating as a “for-profit” organisation.

The decision was referred to the administrative appeals tribunal but the tribunal found the school was being run for profit and was not a fit and proper organisation.

Bernard McCabe, the tribunal’s deputy president, said Malek Fahd appeared to be a good school with community support. But contractual relationships with the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils means government funding would continue to leak from the school to the federation.

“The only appropriate course is to affirm the decision [to revoke federal funding],” McCabe wrote in his ruling. “That is a hard outcome for [Malek Fahd] and for the students and community it serves. But the ultimate responsibility must be laid at the door of the previous management of [the school].”

Malek Fahd operates over three campuses in Sydney’s west in Greenacre, Hoxton Park and Beaumont Hills. It has more than 2,500 students enrolled in classes ranging from kindergarten to year 12, and employs a large number of staff.

Between 2012 and 2015, it received more than $76m in financial assistance from the commonwealth, as well as money from the New South Wales government and tuition income from parents.

The commonwealth is its largest source of funding. It is estimated roughly two-thirds of its income in 2014-15 came from the federal government.



Source: The Guardian



School's chairwoman appeals to owners to cut ties

Court matters are currently underway in which the school has been trying to cut ties with AFIC.

A written statement by the school's chairwoman, Miriam Silva, appealed to AFIC to release it from their ownership.

"Our school's future and the welfare of students, teachers and families can immediately be guaranteed if AFIC does the only right thing and turns over the Greenacre campus to Malek Fahd Islamic School," she said.

"The tribunal and the Commonwealth have spelt it out very plainly. It is up to AFIC."

Despite the concerns of the Education Minister and school's chairwoman, AFIC president Keysar Trad denied any responsibility and claimed the school's board was at fault.

"AFIC continues to be the landlord for five other schools that continue to have funding from the minister," he said.

"To turn around and shift the blame to AFIC just shows the level of inability and unfitness of this particular board to run the school."

Mr Trad conceded AFIC was previously "extensively involved" in board member appointment during a period of financial mismanagement, but he said it relinquished such control in March 2016.

'No need for panic by parents or students'

The lawyer for Malek Fahd, Rick Mitry, denied the school continued to operate for profit, and it would be appealing the decision next week.

"It appears that the decision of the AAT laid the blame squarely at the feet of the past board which is unfortunate [as] they didn't address all of the changes made by the current board," he said.

"If the current board hasn't already excised itself from any obligations to AFIC, it certainly was in the process of doing so ... So, I think that those things need to be taken into account."

Mr Mitry said the current board had done everything necessary, including lengthy litigation against AFIC, to comply with all requirements of independence, governance and financial management, and that parents and students should not be worried.

"The board has certainly not switched the lights off, if you like, and they are going about business as usual."
A NSW Department of Education spokesman said nearby schools had the capacity to accommodate additional students should Malek Fahd close.

Chabaan Omran is the father of three children at the school and said parents were "fed up".

He urged AFIC to relinquish its ownership of the land.

"We have full faith in the board. We have full faith in the parents and friends committee," he said.

"But AFIC have got to make the changes required so we as parents can focus on the education of our children."

'Some things stay the same': McCabe

Concerns about Malek Fahd's independence, financial management and governance first came to light in May 2015, when the Federal Education Department initiated a formal review into six schools affiliated with the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC).

The Malek Fahd school successfully applied for a stay on the funding revocation in April 2016 until the matter could be heard before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

The school received more than $76 million in financial assistance from the Commonwealth between 2012 and 2015.

Around two thirds of the school's income comes from Commonwealth funding and the Tribunal's decision means it may now be forced to close, unless it can obtain funding from other sources.

The Tribunal's Deputy President Bernard McCabe acknowledged the school had already implemented a raft of measures to improve its governance and management, but said they did not go far enough.

"While changes have been made, some things stay the same," he said.

"The totality of the material before me suggests MFISL is still being conducted for profit, and that it will continue to be conducted for profit into the foreseeable future."


Source: ABC News



AFIC PRESS RELEASE on AAT Decision regarding funding of Malek Fahd Islamic School (reprinted as submitted)


"It was heartbreaking to receive the news today that the Malek Fahd Islamic School had lost its appeal against the Department of Education Decision to cancel its funding. My heart goes out to all the students and their families. I want to reassure everyone that AFIC will continue to do the right thing by the school." Said Mr. Keysar Trad, president, Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, AFIC.

AFIC had relinquished control of the Malek Fahd Islamic School to its own board in March 2016, that board then appointed Ms. Miriam Silva as part of a three person interim board and has not interfered with the management of the school at all since then." Said Mr. Trad.

"I have read with dismay, the statement from the interim school Chair Ms. Miriam Silva shifting the blame on AFIC. This is grossly unfair, maybe in contempt of court and bears very little relation to the reality of the government's position on the funding." Said Mr. Trad.

"The AFIC established Malek Fahd Islamic School in the eighties with its own funds. AFIC continued to build, nurture and subsidise Malek Fahd Islamic School (as it has with its five other schools) for over a decade (charging nominal rent for more than ten years) until the school was in a position to cover its expenses and make a surplus and eventually reach the top ten schools in NSW." Said Mr. Trad

"The Minister of Education's legal counsel submitted before the AAT that the current directors of the school board were not fit and proper under section 78(2)(b) for failing to separate, identify and record Commonwealth financial assistance. She added that there is a need to have correct accounting standards to determine whether the Commonwealth money is being correctly applied under the Act whereby the funding is not utilized for litigation purposes or building and improvements, and to show that the school is acting not-for-profit. And


"In reference to Ms Silva's re-examination, the Minister's legal counsel, stated that Ms Silva did not understand the relief that is being sought by her lawyers in the Supreme Court proceedings against AFIC. Ms Williams submitted that "it is critical that a director of a school understands legal advice provided giving their fiduciary obligations to the school".

"The previous Malek Fahd Board appointed Ms. Silva and two other individuals as an interim board with the mandate to advertise senior school positions and school board positions, the interim board instead chose to become the permanent board and commenced proceedings against the Minister for Education and against AFIC" matter brought by the Malek Fahd Board against AFIC."

It is clear that the board of Malek Fahd Islamic School had failed to satisfy the minister of education of their fitness to run a school such as Malek Fahd Islamic School. The latest newsletter from the school board calling on AFIC to hand over ownership of school land to a board that does not satisfy the requirements of the Education Act is an attempt to take ownership of community property without proper justification. This call is a sub-judice call that prejudices the matter brought by the Malek Fahd Board against AFIC." Said Mr. Trad

AFIC has attempted on several occasions to meet with Ms. Silva and reconcile outstanding matters to assist the school in meeting its requirements under the Education ACT. However, Ms. Silva cancelled each of three appointments opting to commence proceedings in the Supreme Court instead. The only way to save Malek Fahd Islamic School is for the board to satisfy the requirements of the Education Act. The first step in this process was made by AFIC in March 2016 when it relinquished all control over Malek Fahd to the board. Since
then, the Board had failed to meet the remaining requirements." Said Mr. Trad

"This latest statement by Malek Fahd Islamic School is clearly a blatant attempt by the interim chairperson Ms. Miriam Silva to shift the blame whilst failing to address the board's inability to manage school affairs in accordance with the Education Act. AFIC's paramount concern remains the education, welfare and future of the youth. AFIC again affirms its willingness to work with the Minister of Education and the school Board to resolve all outstanding issues to allow the school to function properly as a one of the leading educational institutions in the country". Said Mr. Trad.



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Two federal government MPs, Cory Bernardi and George Christensen, will attend a dinner to help an anti-Islam organisation fund a defamation case.

The two Liberal Party politicians will attend the Q Society's function in Melbourne next month, with Senator Bernardi listed to give a speech.

The organisation's website says all proceeds of the dinner will go towards the legal expenses of the Q Society and two individuals in a Supreme Court defamation action initiated by Mohamed El-Mouehly of the Halal Certification Authority.


Source: 9News



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by Zia Ahmad


The Centre for Islamic Sciences and Civilisation (CISAC) at Charles Sturt University in partnership with Islamic Science & Research Academy (ISRA) held its fourth, yearly graduation presentation on Saturday 10 December at Old Government House, Parramatta Park in Sydney.

Twice more than last year, a record 46 successful graduates received their Diplomas, Associate Degrees, Bachelor Degrees, Graduate Diploma and Master Degrees and Graduate Certificates conferred by Professor Tony Downs, Deputy Vice Chancellor, CSU and presented by Professor Lesley White, Executive Dean, Faculty of Arts, CSU.

Out of 18 graduates who were awarded Master of Islamic Studies, a number of females passed with distinction while only one male candidate Mohammad Wardak passed with distinction.

The invited keynote speaker at this year’s graduation was Dr Ghena Krayem, Senior Lecturer at the Sydney Law School, The University of Sydney.

A high achieving Muslim women in hijab, she talked of her personal experience in breaking one glass ceiling after another and admitted that she still needs to do so on a continuing basis.

“When I mentioned during my Western Sydney public school years, that I wanted to be a lawyer, my teachers laughed at me and said no one from this school can get into law”. Dr Krayem said.

She said that with her Islamic motivation to seek knowledge, strength to aim high, great family support and opportunity to excel, she is here today.

However, she admitted that in today’s climate of Islamophobia, she occasionally has to deal with negative comments and had to persevere. She related how recently one academic at the University said to her “your presence in this institution is contradictory to Australian values”, that did offend her.

Her advice to the graduating students was that you have just climbed one mountain and this is just the beginning of your journey, you need to climb many more mountains with perseverance for your sake and for the sake of those around you.




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Community News

Now serving in Queensland.

Unit 4, 3 Fermont Rd., Underwood 4119, Qld.

Call 1300 663 729.



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THIS WEEK: The Linda Sarsour Show | From MAS ICNA 2016 Conference



Linda Sarsour is a racial justice and civil rights activist and every Islamophobe’s worst nightmare.



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In recent years, Islam has been thrust into world spotlight for a number of reasons – starting with 9/11 and ISIS to anti-refugee sentiments in Europe and a certain US Presidential candidate’s anti-Muslim campaigns. In this hullabaloo, we have forgotten that some of the coolest famous people we look up to – from Muhammad Ali to Zayn Malik and Aziz Ansari – are all Muslims. Would you believe it if we told you there were many more Muslims in the celeb world?


This week's celebrity

Mos Def


Rapper-producer Busta Rhymes announced in 2007 that he was a Muslim. Interestingly, he has been also been rumored to be part of a member of the Nation of Gods and Earths, a branch of the Nation of Islam. Busta has stated that he lives his life ‘by Islam’, but how strict a follower he may be is up for debate. The recording artist has written verses with the word ‘Qur’an’ in them, which is not allowed in Islam.



Source: Cyber Breeze


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Op-Eds; Commentaries & Blogs


A memo to the president-elect about the people he fears. BY LAWRENCE PINTAK

An Idiot’s Guide to Islam in America 


Islam hates us.” That was a recurring theme of your campaign, Mr. President-elect.

And who can blame you? After all, your top advisors on Muslim affairs — Ann Coulter, Frank Gaffney, and Walid Phares — are card-carrying Islamophobes. Your incoming national security advisor, retired Army Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, wants Muslim leaders to “declare their Islamic ideology sick,” and your special advisor, Steve Bannon, has been accused of using his Breitbart News Daily radio show to instigate “fear and loathing of Muslims in America.”

But now that you’ve announced it’s time for America to “bind the wounds of division,” it might be useful for you to learn a little bit more about one of the most alienated segments of the nation you now lead: American citizens who also happen to be Muslims.

I get that you’re worried about what you call “radical Islamic terrorism.” I’ve been reporting on extremists who claim to represent Islam since I covered the first anti-American suicide bombings in Beirut in the early 1980s, so I share your concern. I’ve seen friends die and others waste away in captivity at their hands. And I’ve come awfully close to being a victim myself a few times. But I’ve also learned that Muslims come in many colors — literally and figuratively — and my doctorate in Islamic studies helped me understand that the religion itself is interpreted in many different ways. In fact, America’s 3.3 million Muslims, the other 1 percent, are developing their own take on what it means to follow Islam.

The jihadis are already rejoicing at your election because — their words here, not mine — it “reveals the true mentality of the Americans and their racism toward Muslims and Arabs and everything.” But what do they know?

When Bill O’Reilly asked you whether you thought American Muslims fear you, you replied, “I hope not. I want to straighten things out.”

So, in a similar spirit of good tidings, this memo about how good ol’ American values are influencing Islam in the United States might help make that whole straightening out go a little easier. Since it’s not likely that much beyond references to Islam as “a cancer” is going to make it into your briefing papers anytime soon, I thought I’d toss this out into the webosphere in the hope that you might trip across it late some night while prowling the net.

(It’s OK to just read the stuff in bold print.)


An “Americanized” Islam does not necessarily mean a “liberal” Islam, but the reality is that most of this new generation of Islamic preachers are moving away from what Middle East scholar Vali Nasr describes as Saudi Arabia’s “very legalistic … very austere” and “very black-and-white” approach to Islam.

Yet drill below the broad agreement over the need for cultural adaptation and you quickly come up against the question of what constitutes reform and what amounts to heresy.

“Mainstream traditionalists, by and large, are not going to be willing to explicitly discard commandments that have been agreed upon historically, commandments that are essentially etched in what we would call textual stone,” explains Qadhi, who counts himself among the traditionalists. He draws red lines around issues like premarital sex, women leading prayers, and homosexual acts, although, regarding the latter, he adds, “We’ve essentially permitted and humanized the feelings, and we have forbidden the actions on them.”

Omid Safi represents the self-styled “progressive” wing of American Islam. He quotes Bishop Desmond Tutu’s line that “I will not worship a homophobic God,” calling it “powerful” and “truth-telling.”

Somewhere in the middle is Magid, whom anti-Muslim campaigners call “Obama’s sharia czar” for his role as a White House advisor. He chuckles proudly as he recalls telling Muslim parents that they need to give their teenagers space “as long as the girl doesn’t get pregnant,” which leads to horrified reactions.

“I say you need to deal with the situation with an American context,” Magid says he told the parents. “Religion is not about you feeling good. The social manifestation of Islam has to be completely American.”

Like so many who trained under the Saudis, Magid says he initially adopted their ultraconservative Salafi, or Wahhabi, ideology. “I don’t call myself Salafi anymore. I call myself orthodox,” he says, smiling. “Even the Salafis in America evolve.”


An American accent does not automatically mean someone is a good person.



Source: Foreign Policy

When he invited me, it clicked. I realized this was the time. I knew it was the truth, and I had to make a decision.

I Planned to Destroy Islam, I Became Muslim

Shariffa Carlos amazing Journey to Islam

The story of how I reverted to Islam is a story of plans.

I made plans; the group I was with made plans, and Allah made plans. And Allah is the Best of Planners.

When I was a teenager, I came to the attention of a group of people with a very sinister agenda. They were and probably still are a loose association of individuals who work in government positions but have a special agenda — to destroy Islam. It is not a governmental group that I am aware of, they simply use their positions in the US government to advance their cause.

One member of this group approached me because he saw that I was articulate, motivated and very much the women’s rights advocate. He told me that if I studied International Relations with an emphasis in the Middle East, he would guarantee me a job at the American Embassy in Egypt. He wanted me to eventually go there to use my position in the country to talk to Muslim women and encourage the fledgling women’s rights movement.

I thought this was a great idea. I had seen the Muslim women on TV; I knew they were a poor oppressed group, and I wanted to lead them to the light of 20th century freedom.

With this intention, I went to college and began my education. I studied Quran, hadith and Islamic history. I also studied the ways I could use this information. I learned how to twist the words to say what I wanted them to say. It was a valuable tool.

Once I started learning, however, I began to be intrigued by this message. It made sense. That was very scary. Therefore, in order to counteract this effect, I began to take classes in Christianity. I chose to take classes with this one professor on campus because he had a good reputation and he had a Ph.D. in Theology from Harvard University. I felt I was in good hands. I was, but not for the reasons I thought. It turns out that this professor was a Unitarian Christian. He did not believe in the trinity or the divinity of Jesus. In actuality, he believed that Jesus was a prophet. 




Social media has lit up with mixed reactions to the Uzzie Dab






Muslim Man Dabs After Massacring 11 Pakistanis On Live Television


A Muslim-Australian man has massacred eleven high-profile Pakistanis in the centre of Sydney, it has been confirmed.

The man, an Australian citizen who was also born in Pakistan, took up to three hours slowly murdering the victims with the help of several other non-Muslims. The entire ordeal was broadcast live on Channel Nine.

Australian sports broadcaster Mark Taylor, who witnessed the massacre, said it was a very impressive effort.

“He was really knocking them”

“Slice, slice, slice. He really proved himself with the aggression”




EDITOR: Wikipedia defines the ‘dab’ as “a dance move in which the dancer simultaneously drops the head while raising an arm and the elbow in a gesture that has been noted to resemble sneezing” with its origins traced back to the Atlanta hip-hop scene.


A seventeenth-century illustration for Rumi’s epic poem “Masnavi.” Rumi is often called a mystic, a saint, an enlightened man. He is less frequently described as a Muslim.







By Rozina Ali

A couple of years ago, when Coldplay’s Chris Martin was going through a divorce from the actress Gwyneth Paltrow and feeling down, a friend gave him a book to lift his spirits. It was a collection of poetry by Jalaluddin Rumi, the thirteenth-century Persian poet, translated by Coleman Barks. “It kind of changed my life,” Martin said later, in an interview. A track from Coldplay’s most recent album features Barks reciting one of the poems: “This being human is a guest house / Every morning a new arrival / A joy, a depression, a meanness, / some momentary awareness comes / as an unexpected visitor.”

Rumi has helped the spiritual journeys of other celebrities—Madonna, Tilda Swinton—some of whom similarly incorporated his work into theirs. Aphorisms attributed to Rumi circulate daily on social media, offering motivation. “If you are irritated by every rub, how will you ever get polished,” one of them goes. Or, “Every moment I shape my destiny with a chisel. I am a carpenter of my own soul.” Barks’s translations, in particular, are shared widely on the Internet; they are also the ones that line American bookstore shelves and are recited at weddings. Rumi is often described as the best-selling poet in the United States. He is typically referred to as a mystic, a saint, a Sufi, an enlightened man. Curiously, however, although he was a lifelong scholar of the Koran and Islam, he is less frequently described as a Muslim.

The words that Martin featured on his album come from Rumi’s “Masnavi,” a six-book epic poem that he wrote toward the end of his life. Its fifty thousand lines are mostly in Persian, but they are riddled with Arabic excerpts from Muslim scripture; the book frequently alludes to Koranic anecdotes that offer moral lessons. (The work, which some scholars consider unfinished, has been nicknamed the Persian Koran.) Fatemeh Keshavarz, a professor of Persian studies at the University of Maryland, told me that Rumi probably had the Koran memorized, given how often he drew from it in his poetry. Rumi himself described the “Masnavi” as “the roots of the roots of the roots of religion”—meaning Islam—“and the explainer of the Koran.” And yet little trace of the religion exists in the translations that sell so well in the United States. “The Rumi that people love is very beautiful in English, and the price you pay is to cut the culture and religion,” Jawid Mojaddedi, a scholar of early Sufism at Rutgers, told me recently.

Rumi was born in the early thirteenth century, in what is now Afghanistan. He later settled in Konya, in present-day Turkey, with his family. His father was a preacher and religious scholar, and he introduced Rumi to Sufism. Rumi continued his theological education in Syria, where he studied the more traditional legal codes of Sunni Islam, and later returned to Konya as a seminary teacher. It was there that he met an elder traveller, Shams-i-Tabriz, who became his mentor. The nature of the intimate friendship between the two is much debated, but Shams, everyone agrees, had a lasting influence on Rumi’s religious practice and his poetry. In a new biography of Rumi, “Rumi’s Secret,” Brad Gooch describes how Shams pushed Rumi to question his scriptural education, debating Koranic passages with him and emphasizing the idea of devotion as finding oneness with God. Rumi would come to blend the intuitive love for God that he found in Sufism with the legal codes of Sunni Islam and the mystical thought he learned from Shams.


The New Yorker







Muslims must engage with mass media

by Abdul Malik Mujahid


I will never forget this conversation.

An award-winning writer was working for a top American newspaper. I don’t remember why I ended up giving her a ride, but I remember that she kept asking me why Muslims don’t respond to media coverage. She said that each time she wrote a positive story about Muslims, her paper received hundreds of emails, letters, and calls in protest while receiving hardly any appreciation. Her bosses didn’t like that, and it was counted against her.

She was eventually let go from that publication.

nother award-winning journalist, with no relation to the writer mentioned above, and working in a separate paper, told me exactly the same and was also eventually let go.

Muslims, like all Americans, love to hate the media.

Americans’ trust in mass media “to report the news fully, accurately and fairly” has dropped to its lowest level, at 32%, in Gallup polling history.

But the media’s work has real consequences for Muslims. According to the last survey available, the approval rating of Muslims stands at 17%. When the survey asked Americans why they have a low opinion of Muslims, they pointed to the media.

The media has allowed Islamophobia to go mainstream. And although Americans don’t trust the media, television, radio, and newspaper publications (both print and online) are still major sources of news, with 57% saying television is their main source of news.

So if you’re worried about the bullying of Muslim children increasing by 660%, and 20% of bullies being teachers, you need to look no further than the media.

The media can play a positive role. After 9/11, the approval rating of Muslims went up as high as 59% as the media made a serious effort to be positive about Islam and Muslims.

This can happen again, but it will require work. It will require us to try and influence the media by developing relationship with the human beings working in the media.

But don’t delegate this to some organization. Organizations will do their work, but the media is too massive and too omnipresent to be a task delegated to a couple of staffers or even volunteers.

Each Muslim needs to take personal charge of this work, and each masjid needs to focus on at least one media outlet.

Here is what you can do personally:

1. Can you or your family adopt one media outlet? Consider, for example, Channel 7.
2. Whenever you’re watching Channel 7 (and try to watch it regularly, so you get a feel for their work), keep an eye on their representations of Muslims, civil rights issues, climate issues, etc.
3. Whether the content is good or bad, make a note of it with the date & time, as well as the reporter’s or producer’s name.
4. Send them appreciative messages about what you like, and send them feedback about what you dislike.
5. Twitter is the best way to connect with them, although good old letters to the editor are still very influential.
6. Try to understand their personal likes and dislikes through their Facebook newsfeed.
7. Personalize your communication to specific individuals instead of addressing the company in general.
8. Pitch an idea: Don’t just be reactive, suggest ideas! LinkedIn is very useful since you can search media professionals and develop a feel about the stories they might be working on already. That can help you pitch an idea to them.
9. Please keep a detail record of your communications. It will help to be very helpful information.

Helping your masjid and organization:

1. Get your masjid or your organization to write formally to them. Organizational input is taken seriously by the media.
2. You can organize a meeting between key members of your Islamic center and the editorial board of that media organization.
3. One of the menu item on your website should be “Press” or “Media.” It should list your spokesperson or media contact to facilitate media contacting you for your perspective.
4. Organize a media workshop at your masjid.

Remember that the media is made up of humans, and relationships matter a great deal. You can influence them. Reporters appreciate it when you get to know who they are and what they care about.

I am aware of several success stories when individual Muslims have been able to win over the heart and mind of human beings in media.

However, sabr–or patience–is the key. Change will not happen overnight. Relationships take time.

The consequences of bad media coverage for Muslims are high. Don’t expect some organization to handle media relations for you. You and I, as responsible citizens, must personally engage in this work as well.




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Why American TV needs a Muslim Modern Family



Writer Reza Aslan thinks a Muslim Will and Grace could truly change American perceptions of Islam. Growing up Muslim in America, Reza Aslan recalls, was like being Martian. “I used to tell people I was Mexican. It was very important that we kept the whole Muslim-Iranian thing on the down-low.”

Now, as a best-selling author, religious scholar, and commentator, Aslan has appeared on numerous primetime shows and networks over the past decade, such as The Daily Show, Anderson Cooper 360, Hardball, and Fox News. After a string of increasingly frustrating and misguided interviews where Aslan had to “tap down his astonishment,” he started to rethink his strategy.

“After about 10 years of being cable-news’ favorite Muslim, I’ve come to the realization that I don’t think it’s doing any good … bigotry is not a result of ignorance, it’s a result of fear. Fear is impervious to data,” says Aslan.

Aslan has set out to fight Islamophobia with stories told through pop culture, particularly film and television.

“Stories have the power to break through the walls that separate us into different ethnicities, different cultures, nationalities, races, and religions. They hit us at the human level.”







Sümeyye Erdoğan Bayraktar | 15th Annual MAS-ICNA Convention





Sümeyye Erdoğan Bayraktar, guest of honor from the Republic of Turkey, and Vice Chair of KADEM (Women and Democracy Association), addressed the 15th Annual MAS-ICNA Convention at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago, IL on Monday, December 26th, 2016. Her session was entitled: “Overcoming Challenges Facing the Ummah: The Turkish Experience."

Born in a world that restricted her rights, Sümeyye Erdoğan Bayraktar tells her inspiring tale of escaping exclusion, discrimination, and oppression of her religion. She narrates the tumultuous era of the hijab ban preventing her from studying in her home country and her difficult decision to choose her religion over her education in Turkey. Her choice to remain firm with her religion is a lesson that all Muslims should look up to, and it was her steadfastness, and that of the citizens of Turkey, that resulted in Allah opening the doors of opportunity for her and the subsequent doors of victory for Turkey and Islam. Her choice to combat the colonization of the minds of the former oppressive regimes and stand in solidarity with the marginalized citizen of Turkey is an example the entire Muslim world can be proud of.

The opinions expressed herein by the guest speakers at the MAS-ICNA Convention are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Muslim American Society (MAS) or the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA).







Short Naseeha | Accepted Deed






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Friday khutbah (sermon)

DATE: 6 January 2017

TOPIC"Helping people"

IMAM: Uzair Akbar


Play the recording  




Friday khutbah (sermon)

DATE: 6 January 2017

TOPIC"Deconstructing & Reconstructing Unity of the Ummah: What is My Role?"

IMAM: Shiekh Mohammed Azhari









Friday khutbah (sermon)

DATE: 6 January 2017

TOPIC"Good conduct at an early age"

IMAM: Ahmad Naffaa








Friday khutbah (sermon)

DATE: 6 January 2017


Click here for the latest Kuthba recordings






Friday khutbah (sermon)

DATE: 6 January 2017

Click here for the latest Kuthba recordings





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Leicester City star Riyad Mahrez named African Footballer of the Year


Leicester City's Algerian midfielder Riyad Mahrez kisses the English Premier League trophy.

ENGLAND: Riyad Mahrez has become the first Algerian to be named African footballer of the year since the present-day awards began in 1992.

The 25-year-old beat 2015 winner Patrick-Emerick Aubameyang of Gabon and Senegal striker Sadio Mane. He received his award at Thursday's ceremony in Abuja, Nigeria.
Mahrez was a key player as English underdog Leicester City won the Premier League title for the first time in its history in 2015-16, defying 5,000-1 odds.
The Foxes have struggled to repeat that success domestically this season, but Mahrez has helped the team reach the last 16 of the Champions League in its debut appearance in Europe's top club competition.
He is the first north African to win the award since Morocco's Mustapha Hadji in 1998.

Two Algerians won the prize when it was run by France Football magazine -- from 1970-94, with joint awards in the latter three overlapping years. Rabah Madjer triumphed in 1987, and Lakhdar Belloumi did so six years earlier. 




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Janet Jackson Islam rumours: The reality of being a Muslim convert


There is speculation Janet Jackson is converting to Islam

QATAR: Janet Jackson and her Qatari husband Wissam Al Mana have just become parents to a baby boy. The good news has made headlines across the world, particularly given Jackson's age of 50 years, but it has also been accompanied with speculation that the singer has secretly converted to Islam.

Photographs have emerged of her covering up her head (albeit in an Adidas poncho) with what appears to be an Islamic veil underneath. She has ended concerts telling fans 'Inshallah', which translates to 'If Allah wills it', and many have noticed she has recently been covering up more of her flesh on stage.

Neither Jackson nor Al Mana, 42, have commented on her faith - and any possible change - but religious conversions after marriage are common.

The Telegraph UK


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Ilhan Omar's swearing-in ceremony


State Rep. Ilhan Omar, center, takes the oath of office as the 2017 Legislature convened Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017, in St. Paul, Minn.


US: On Tuesday, Ilhan Omar made history in the United States in more ways than one when she was sworn into the Minnesota House of Representatives: She became the first female Muslim and Somali-American legislator.

Omar, who serves House District 60B in Minnesota, held the Quran during her swearing-in ceremony, becoming the second person to do so after Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim U.S. congressman and contender for DNC chairmanship.

One photo, in particular, shows just how powerful this moment was and exactly why representation matters in the political system today. In this photo, Omar is seen standing tall — donning colorful accessories and her bright orange hijab — among a sea of white faces. This is a historic sight that doesn't come too frequently for young women of color and Muslim Americans, especially in politics.

Several Twitter users celebrated Omar's ceremony with pride:




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Saudi women now work at airports



Saudi women have now become an integral part of the airport staff

JEDDAH – Saudi women are now in the front rows of airports guiding passengers. This became possible after years of they asking those interested in the development of women’s work to widen the scope and include them in all sectors that need a female cadre for customer services.
The move is in line with “Vision 2030” that includes a dramatic outline for the development of women’s work.

To know about their experience, Al-Madinah daily met with a group of female employees who work in this field.

Asrar Mushee said: “I am proud of being one of the first Saudi girls in a new field entirely for women in the aviation industry, and specifically in the airport.

“It is a challenge to prove our capabilities and to prove to the community and the whole world that we are capable of success and innovation in all areas when we have the opportunity, and from my experience I can say: It is distinctive since we serve passengers, visitors and make them feel satisfied with what we are giving them.”

Mai Farhat says: “I thank the company for giving us a chance to attend this high-level work and intensive training, especially since this is a great achievement to prove skills and capabilities of the Saudi girl.”

Abrar Saidi said: “We thank God and then Arabia Gulf Air, which embraced this idea.”

Samer Abdul Salam Al-Majali, CEO of Arabia Gulf Air, says: “The company has a headstart in employing women, which includes 10 employees working under the name of “airport movement employee” and we are working to raise the number to 21 at the end of March 2017.

He said the company entrusted several tasks to female employees that were reserved for men in the past such as data input and passengers information verification, boarding passengers and providing services to first-class passengers, families and people with special needs.

He stressed that the company has worked on choosing the right employees and providing them with intensive training so they can be equipped to address the difficulties that they will face as the first group of women in the field.

“The company is keen on empowering female employees,” he added.

The Saudi Gazette


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This week's CCN Book-of-the-Week


 Victoria And Abdul: The True Story Of The Queens' Closest Confidant

Shrabani Basu



The tall, handsome Abdul Karim was just twenty-four years old when he arrived in England from Agra to wait at tables during Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee.


An assistant clerk at Agra Central Jail, he suddenly found himself a personal attendant to the Empress of India herself. Within a year, he was established as a powerful figure at court, becoming the queen's teacher, or Munshi, and instructing her in Urdu and Indian affairs.


Devastated by the death of John Brown, her Scottish gillie, the queen had at last found his replacement. But her intense and controversial relationship with the Munshi led to a near-revolt in the royal household.


"Victoria & Abdul" examines how a young Indian Muslim came to play a central role at the heart of the Empire, and his influence over the queen at a time when independence movements in the sub-continent were growing in force. Yet, at its heart, it is a tender love story between an ordinary Indian and his elderly queen, a relationship that survived the best attempts to destroy it. 




"Always read something

that will make you look good

if you die in the middle of it."       


- P.J. O’Rourke


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

Then simply email the title and author to

CCN's Bookshelf

City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi
A Fine Balance
The Leadership of Muhammad
Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History, Updated Edition, With a New Preface
The God of Small Things
The Kite Runner
The Punishment of Gaza
Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson
Leaving Microsoft to Change the World: An Entrepreneur’s Odyssey to Educate the World’s Children
The Da Vinci Code
The Power of One
Muslim Women and Sports in the Malay World: The Crossroads of Modernity and Faith
Palestine Peace Not Apartheid
The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East
The Road to Mecca
Long Walk to Freedom
Come Be My Light: The Private Writings of the Saint of Calcutta

CCN's favourite books »


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KB says: This is one of the tastiest banana breads I made for tea which my family and friends enjoyed, its really worth that little effort instead of a store bought one. 

Classic Banana Bread


• 90g unsalted butter, softened
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 cup (220g) firmly packed brown sugar
• 2 eggs (large)
• 1 cup mashed bananas
• 1 cup (150g) plain flour
• 1 cup (150g) self-raising flour
• ½ cup walnuts
• ¼ cup shredded or desiccated coconut


1.Preheat oven to 180c/160c Fan Forced
2.Beat butter, vanilla extract and sugar in a small bowl until light and fluffy.
3.Beat in eggs one at a time and stir in Banana, then sifted flours.
4.Fold in the walnuts and coconut into the mix. Spread mixture into a loaf pan and sprinkle with walnuts
5.Cover pan with foil, and bake for 40 mins.
6.Uncover and bake for a further 30 mins. Test if ready by inserting a knife into the centre and it should come up clean. Stand for 5 mins and cool on wire rack.
7.Optional Glaze - In the last 5 mins of baking, quickly heat up the 2 teaspoons of jam in the microwave for 10 secs until melted. (If not, use 5 sec intervals until jam has melted). Spread melted jam over the top of the bread and return to oven for the last 5 mins.
8.Slice when cooled, and keep in an air tight container.
9.You can toast the banana bread to re-heat it when eating.

Note: When cooled, individual wrap each piece in clingwrap for a quick on the go snack. Substitute ½ quantity of sugar with honey for an even tastier alternative.

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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How to sneak some exercise into your day

• Stay off the couch on your days off – get on your exercise bike if you’re staying in, or grab a skipping rope and get moving to get your heart rate up

• Power up your chores – scrub the tub a little harder. Try walking and hanging the washing a little faster for a cardio boost

• Walk the mail or message – take a walk over to your co-worker if it does not have to be emailed. You’ll be amazed at how many extra steps you end up taking

• Bike to work – If possible get on your bike and enjoy the fresh air before hitting the office


• Take a walk whenever possible – With daylight saving here, many of us are home before dark. Take a quick walk after dinner if there is time and be sure to keep your liquids up

• Going shopping? – Park further away from entrance than you normally would and use the stairs

• Meeting up with a mate? – Try a walking meeting…
• Stretch after every workout and even at your desk every so often




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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First timers, Jallalaludin and Kurummudin,  find themselves in a pool hall and decide to give the game a go. 


They play for 3 hours without sinking a single ball.


Jallalaludin asks Kurummudin: "Do you wanna cheat?"


Kurummudin replies: "Why what do you have in mind?"


Jallalaludin answers: "Let's remove the triangle!"

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An Ayaat-a-Week





We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents: in pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth. The carrying of the (child) to his weaning is (a period of) thirty months. At length, when he reaches the age of full strength and attains forty years, he says “O my Lord! grant me that I may be grateful for Your favour which You have bestowed upon me, and upon both my parents, and that I may work righteousness such as You may approve; and be gracious to me in respect of my offspring. Truly have I turned to You and truly I do bow (to You) in Islam.”

~ Surah Al-Ahqaf 46:15


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"The greatest freedom that I've gained is the fact

I don't have to worry about tomorrow

because I am what I've done today.” 


~ Anon


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

Notice Board



Click on thumbnail to enlarge



Events and Functions


CI Prof Gillian Triggs 9 FEBRUARY AU Islamic Peace Conference Melbourne 11 12 MARCH


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Islamic Programmes, Education & Services


Youth activities for primary school aged children (both boys and girls) are being organized on behalf of Sisters House Services.


It is called the Young Muslims Club. (Previously called the Young Amirs Club but changed to include girls in the activities and not just boys).


There's no cost to be a member of the club. There are monthly activities doing different fun social and educational activities in usually in the Kuraby-Logan area or sometimes all around Brisbane.


Weekly activities take place in the school holidays.


All activities are run by professional organisations.


Parents only have to pay the cost of the activity if their child wants to participate, which is usually $15-20 (cost price is charged only because this is a not for profit club).


Parents are welcome to stay with the kids while they participate.


Everyone is welcome to join in with the activities. Older and younger siblings are welcome to join. For most activities the minimum age is 3.




Parent info session, student assessments, registration will be held

on 28th January 2017 (Saturday)

from 10.30am  - 12.30pm in the Madrassa Hall



Al Firdaus College Al Firdaus College Young Muslims Club Student Tuition Slacks Creek Hire Shajarah Islamic Education Shajarah Islamic Education Holland Park Mosque Hall Hire Marriage celebrant - Imam Akram High School Subjects Tutoring


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Businesses and Services




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Why choose #Renegade?

▪ GMO & Hormone free
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ORDER TODAY: Visit our website




See ALL our advertising/sponsorship options

here or email us


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

To claim your date for your event email





(Click on link)





9 February



Prof Gillian Triggs: Challenging Times for Human Rights


Crescent Institute Brisbane

BDO Brisbane, CBD

0407 458 011

6pm for 6.30pm start

4/11/18 February


Short Course: Essence of Islam (New Muslims & Non-Muslims)

Brisbane Muslim Fellowship

Interfaith & Cultural Dialogue Centre, Griffith University, Nathan

0468 948 222

Feb 4 – 9:30am to 3:30pm
Feb 11 – 10:00am to 3:30pm
Feb 18 – 10:00am to 2pm

19 February


Seminar on Islam and Environmental Stewardship



0413 067 160

Morning (TBA)

11 & 12 March

Sat & Sun

AU Islamic Peace Conference

Buranda Mosque

Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre

0425 886 949

Register here

All day

25 April




30 April


ICB Annual Fete


Islamic College of Brisbane, KARAWATHA

0402 794 253


12 May




28 May




23 June




26 June




2 September




22 September







1. All Islamic Event dates given above are supplied by the Council of Imams QLD (CIQ) and are provided as a guide and 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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29 January






Masjid As Sunnah



8 January





Nuria Khataam
Date: Every last Wednesday of the month
Time: After Esha Salaat
Venue: Algester Mosque
Contact: Yahya
Ph: 0403338040





Sisters Support Services -  On going Activities


Tafsir Class – By Umm Bilal. Held every Tuesday at 10am - Kuraby area


Halaqah – By Um Bilal. Held every Thursday & Saturday at 10am

( Saturdays  at Runcorn location)


Arabic classes – Taught by Umm Bilal Wednesdays  1 – 2pm Kuraby Masjid

Tuesdays  1 – 2pm  Kuraby area (after Tafsir Class)


Sisters Support Social Group -  1st Wednesday of every Month  - Kuraby Location


YOUTH GROUP- -   Muslimah Girls Youth Group for 10+ Girls

School Holiday Activites  -   Contact : Aliyah 0438840467

Amir Boys Club for Primary School Boys – MONTHLY & HOLIDAY ACTIVITES

Contact :  Farah 0432026375


We also run a volunteers group to assist Muslim women with food rosters and home visits for sisters who need support or are isolated.  We refer Sisters in need for counselling, accommodation, financial assistance and other relevant services.

To join our volunteer group or for any other details for activates please call the numbers below…

Aliyah :  0438840467                   Khadijah:   0449268375

Farah:    0432026375                   Iman :   0449610386



Al-Mustapha Institute of Brisbane 

39 Bushmills Court, Hillcrest Qld 4118

• Zikr - every Thursday 7pm, families welcome
• Hifz, Quran Reading & Madressa - Wednesday & Friday 4:30 - 6:30pm, brothers, sisters and children
• New Muslims Program - last Thursday of every month, 6:30 - 8:30pm
• Salawat Majlis - first Saturday of every month. Starting at Mughrib, families welcome
• Islamic Studies - one year course, Saturday 10:00 - 2:00 pm, brothers and sisters
• Ilm-e-Deen, Alims Degree Course - Three full-time and part-time nationally accredited courses, brothers

For further information:
Phone 07) 3809 4600



Quran Reading Class For Ladies (Beginners or Advanced)

Every Saturday 2 - 4pm
Lady Teacher



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


Click on images to enlarge











Queensland Police Service/Muslim Community Consultative Group


Minutes from the QPS/Muslim Community Reference Group meeting held on
Monday 24 October 2016 at the Islamic College of Brisbane [ICB] are available here.

Next Meeting

Time: 7pm Date: TBA
Venue: Islamic College of Brisbane - 45 Acacia Road Karawatha

Light refreshments will be available. ALL WELCOME


For more information and RSVP:

Sergeant Jim Bellos at



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Catch Crescents Community News on


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post comments on our Wall

start up a Discussion thread

become a Fan


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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

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)

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 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

iCare QLD (formerly AYIA Foundation) -


Slacks Creek 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 CCN Team, 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 CCN


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