Sunday, 5 March 2017


Newsletter 0643



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






Muslimah Mind Matters

Births, Marriages, New Migrants and Condolences

The CCN Food for Thought

Toowoomba Church hosts dinner for Muslims

Jumma (Friday) Khutba (Lecture) Recordings

An Ayaat-a-Week

Fake Imams Play As “Muslim Leaders” To Stir Hatred

 The CCN Inbox: Letters to the Editor

Events and Functions

Ousted Islamic leaders wrest back control after AFIC 'coup'

 The CCN Classifieds

Islamic Programmes, Education & Services

Appeal for items for inmates

Around the Muslim World & Muslims Around the World

Businesses and Services

Extremely British Muslims S01E01

CCN Readers' Book Club

The CCN Date Claimer

ICQ Community Discussion Series continues

KB's Culinary Corner

CCN on Facebook

Yassmin speaks her mind

Kareema's Keep Fit Column

Useful Links

Bob Katter call for Trump-like travel ban in Australia

Fitria on Food Appears monthly


Halal certification defamation case settled out of court

Self-Care and Clarity of Mind...a weekly column

Write For Us

'I feel sorry for her': Australia Post boss Ahmed Fahour

The CCN Chuckle


'Huge FAIL' As No Changes To 18C Recommended



Is Australia Racist? exposes shocking insight into bigotry

Click here download menu


Australians aren’t as Islamophobic as we’re led to believe
  In Pictures: Muslim, Aboriginal and outspoken
9 Inspiring Muslim Men Who Ruled 2016
The Female Muslim scientists paving the way
The CCN's "We'll take that as a comment" Column
Back to the Future with CCN


Click a link above to go directly to the article.

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Empowered Muslimahs of Brisbane, Australia gathered to participate in Muslimah Mind Matters - Self-Care and Clarity of Mind Program event, held at IWAQ Hall on 25th Feb, 2017. The Program was designed and facilitated by Princess Lakshman (Sister Iqra), writer, Clarity Coach, and weekly contributor of the CCN Newsletter in the area of Self-Care and Mind Clarity.

For information about future workshops, contact Princess on 0451977786.



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On Tuesday, 28 February, the St Anthon’s Church in Toowoomba invited members of Muslim community for a dinner at the eve of the start of the Lent, a 40 days long fasting journey leading to the Easter. The day is known as the Shrove Tuesday and the food is predominantly pancake and fruits.

"This year the event was special because of the support by the Church for the Garden City Mosque, Toowoomba, especially during the approval process of the rebuilding plan of the burned Mosque by the Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) last year," Prof Shahjahan Khan of the Islamic Society of Toowoomba, told CCN.

The main organiser of the event was Dr Mark Copland who is also a Member of the Parish Committee of the Church. The event was blessed by the Priest of the Church and the Catholic Bishop Robert McGuckin. Councillor Megan O’Hara of the TRC also attended the dinner.

The participants from the Muslim community were led by Imam Abdul Kader. He emphasised the strong bond between St Anthony’s Church and Garden City Mosque because of high level of mutual respect and support.
Professor Shahjahan Khan reminded those present that the good relationship between Christians and Muslims in Toowoomba started in 1994 with Fr Brain Sparksman and it is "getting better and better over time".

The Islamic Society of Toowoomba regularly invites non-Muslims, including members of the St Anthony’s Church, in the Garden City Mosque to iftar during the fasting month of Ramadan.

St Anthony’s Church is only 600m away from the only Mosque in Toowoomba and last year it’s Parish Committee decided to allow Muslims to use over 50 car parking spaces for Friday Jumma prayers.

Bishop Robert McGuckin wrote a strong letter asking the TRC Councillors to lift the inappropriate restrictions of limiting the number of users of the Garden City Mosque. Many other individuals, churches, institutions, faith and cultural groups as well as politicians, including the Federal and State MPs, and local media supported the proposed Mosque development plan leading to the lifting of the initial conditions imposed by TRC on limiting of the daily prayer time and number of worshippers in December 2016.

The Garden City Mosque, the only Mosque in the Toowoomba region for over 2000 Muslims, has received unconditional approval for its development plan from the TRC to rebuild the Mosque that was burned by an arson attack in April 2015.

The Islamic Society of Toowoomba is preparing to receive the Operational Work Permit from the TRC to start the rebuilding work, and "request all Muslims to make duwa, and support the upcoming fundraising appeal to be launched in the near future."



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OnePath Network


In the segment above by Today Tonight Adelaide, two “Imams”, are used as representatives of the Muslim community to make shocking allegations against the Muslim community.

One of the “Imam’s” used in the segment, Mr. Mohammed Tawhidi made the outrageous claim that Muslims in Australia are planning to create an Islamic State within Australia. Despite providing no proof for such a claim, his interview was aired to audiences around the country and went viral over social media.

Little is known about Mr Tawhidi, who claims to be a “Muslim leader” in South Australia. His centre named the “Islamic Association of South Australia” was only set up last year and there is little to no information available about the centre and its attendees.

When One Path Network approached the Australian National Imams Council, ANIC, for comment on the above individual, they stated that Mr Tawhidi was “not recognised as an Imam, Sheikh or Muslim leader”. ANIC is the official representative body of all Imams across Australia and has over 250 members.

The Imams Council of South Australia was also approached for a public comment and they too stated that ” he was not recognised” and “not part of the Islamic leadership in South Australia”.

The other “Imam” used in the segment is known as Mustafa Rashed, and is a known imposter and fraud. He has previously claimed to be the Mufti of Australia, and was exposed by ANIC in 2014 for his fraudulent remarks. He has no known credentials in Islamic Studies and neither does he have a centre in Australia or a following.

We encourage all Australians to always fact-check their information about Islam, especially in this crucial time, where there are many fraudulent actors in society openly willing to damage the public perception of Islam and Muslims.








Source: OnePath Network



ANIC issued a Press Release distancing itself from "Imams" in the Today Tonight programme.



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Islamic leaders kicked out of their positions on a powerful national body have won back control from opponents who seized headquarters and bank accounts in a "coup" last month.


Court victory: Keysar Trad has been reinstalled as president of Australian Federation of Islamic Councils by a court ruling.

The NSW Supreme Court on Friday reinstalled executive members of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils so long as they call fresh elections as soon as possible.

The interim ruling follows weeks of turmoil in the federation, which runs six Islamic schools, administers halal certification and owns $65 million in assets.

On February 11, a group of former members, some of whom were banned or sacked for maladministration, convened a meeting and installed themselves as the executive committee.

The old executive, arguing that meeting was invalid under federation rules, took nine members of the new guard to court.

"This really is a circus coming in, taking control by force and seeking to leverage that [to obtain] a tactical advantage they were never entitled to," counsel for the plaintiffs, Mark Ashurst, SC, said.


Hafez Kassem said he was returning to the role of president even though Keysar Trad was elected unopposed to the role last August.

The new executive changed the locks at the federation's Zetland offices, resumed control of halal certification moneys and opened bank accounts.

Mohammed El-Mouelhy, who pursued anti-halal activist Kirralie Smith for defamation until the case was settled last week, was installed as treasurer.

Agim Garana, previously banned from the organisation and sacked from an Islamic school over financial impropriety, became general manager.

And Hafez Kassem said he was returning to the role of president after taking leave, even though Keysar Trad was elected unopposed to the role last August.

The new leadership passed motions declaring no confidence in Mr Trad and others.


Agim Garana, who had been installed as the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils' general manager following the "coup".

Anthony Cheshire, SC, appearing for several defendants, said the plaintiffs' case was weak and his clients should remain in charge, either on their own or as part of a composite executive.

But Justice Robert McDougall found the plaintiffs' case strong and criticised the other side for choosing a "self-help" remedy by taking over the offices and bank accounts.

"They should have come to court," he said.

The judge also noted that return of control to the plaintiffs might assist the federation in finalising an audit of 3½ years of financial reports, due this month.

Justice McDougall previously labelled the parties' internal bickering as an "absolutely appalling" preoccupation.

"It seems to me that there are far more important things that AFIC can be focusing on, one of which is the rise, fuelled by populist politics and government policies, of anti-Muslim sentiment in this country," he said.

The court ruling was a victory for Mr Trad, who was recently criticised for remarks in a television interview in which he appeared to defend domestic violence as "a last resort".

He later apologised for the "clumsiness" of those remarks, saying "it is never OK to hit a woman".

Outside court on Friday, Mr Trad said: "His honour's decision shows people should respect the rule of law and should not take matters into their own hands."

Mr Garana and Mr El-Mouelhy, also present in court, declined to comment.


Source: Sydney Morning Herald



How to save AFIC from self-destruction
by Professor Shahjahan Khan

The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC), the peak body of all Muslims in Australia, is in its deepest crisis since it came into existence as AFIS in 1963 and later restructured as AFIC in 1976.

Actually, it is at the verge of collapse, if not demise, due to the total failure of its recent leaders, to manage AFIC as the national umbrella organisation of Australian Muslims and its once glorious Islamic schools. The ongoing infighting among its leaders is leading to numerous costly legal battles.

Unprecedented lack of trust among the members and leaders of AFIC and universal despair in the Muslim community are some of the worst makings of its recent leaders.

Incompetency of the leaders, irregularities in the system, allegation of self-interest, corruption and nepotism, failure to comply with government requirements in the schools, nonadherence to its constitution, and rampant removal of executive committee members and inappropriate appointments and reappointments have taken a huge toll on the operation, management and reputation of AFIC.

AFIC has lost all credibility both within the Muslim community and at all levels of government. AFIC cannot regain its lost glory and reputation with the current team of incapable leaders with failed track record.

They had lots of time to reform AFIC, but they had only caused further damage to AFIC and its schools over the years by deliberately stopping the reform process. They are the ones responsible for the failure of AFIC and now it is time for them to go.

Who would have thought that the immediate past President of AFIC, who was forced to resign from his position last year, would forcefully occupy AFIC office in the darkness of night by breaking the locks, only to remove another President, who claims to have been appointed by his predecessor?

I believe AFIC has not failed as yet, but its current leaders have totally failed. AFIC can be reformed and its glory could be revived through new and capable leaders having no link with those who are behind its current mess and destruction.

There are still good qualified people among the grass root ranks of members of AFIC who have been unsuccessfully trying hard to reform AFIC, and are still willing to undertake the task if given the opportunity.

Unfortunately, the current leaders of AFIC with vested interest have, so far, successfully prevented them to take the reform agenda any further.

Some members of AFIC perceived its problems years ago and alerted the leaders repeatedly in the Annual Congresses and attempted to reform AFIC through reviewing its old and out of date Constitution.

To my knowledge three such initiatives led to the formation of AFIC Constitution Review Committee (CRC) in its Federal Congresses during the last 7 years. No surprisingly, none of these Committees were allowed to work under different excuses by the leaders who are determined to keep their control over AFIC no matter what.

Although, I have been involved in moving motions to set up those Committees, I did not want to be a part of it except for the last one established in the 50th Congress of AFIC held in Canberra to make sure that the much needed review is completed.

Once again, AFIC leaders cancelled the third Review Committee in the pretext of ‘politics’ even though the then General Secretary of AFIC was the head of the committee.

During this Congress, I moved a motion to set up AFIC Constitution Review Committee. There was a long debate between the then President of “Muslims NSW” and me. At the end all delegates supported the motion, except one who voted against the motion.

President of AFIC was not happy, he raised the issue cost, and asked the 9 State Council Presidents if they supported the motion, hoping that they would oppose it. Interestingly, every State Council President supported the motion.

The Committee started its preliminary work and made significant progress within a short time, but AFIC leaders declared the Committee invalid as there was an alleged ‘unauthorised’ delegate in the Congress.

Thus, AFIC President disbanded one of the most important committees of AFIC in its history having no regards to the Congress decision at all. If this third CRC was allowed to work, many believe, AFIC would not be in this crisis now.

No amount of changes in the Executive Committee of AFIC including recycling through musical chairs of rampant appointment, sacking and re-appointment from the same cohort by the same leaders would be acceptable to the community, government and its members if the recent AFIC leaders and those associated with them are in control of AFIC.

The whole group of old guards must go to give AFIC a real chance to survive and regain its lost glory.

Attempts to proscription of members who speak out against the wrong doings, intimidation against those who try to reform AFIC, and threat of expulsion of Councils and Societies for not supporting the failed leaders would serve no purpose rather than inflicting further division and disunity among the AFIC members, and potentially wasting more AFIC money in the court proceedings.

As part of the cleaning of AFIC there should be a ‘white paper’ containing the true and factual state of AFIC including its schools, admin system, halal operations, bank accounts, and properties.

Then all the organs of AFIC should be reformed to meet the professional and Islamic standards so that there is no room for nepotism, conflict of interest, financial gain, and full compliance of government regulations with transparency and accountability.

One of the key problems with AFIC is its election system in which only 10 State Council Presidents and AFIC President vote for the election of the AFIC Executive Committee (EC). This is where the numbers game and manipulation start to keep the control of AFIC positions.

I have suggested time and again to introduce voting of nearly 90 member Societies for the election of AFIC leadership positions in order to stop the manipulation.

The provision of re-election on the EC is another problem. The current leaders always try to favour the Council Presidents that are on their side and disfavour or sack those who are not. My suggestion was to abolish re-election.

Many years ago, I suggested to separate AFIC school business from AFIC as a community organisation, but the leaders did not pay any attention. If this was done then most likely AFIC would not lose its hard-built Schools.

Another suggestion was to run AFIC businesses including Halal certification with employed specialists so that AFIC EC could effectively engage with the community matters and protect the interest of the Ummah, rather than preoccupied with its businesses.

Australian Muslims, like rest of other fellow Australians, are hardworking and deserve respect to live with dignity. We have no right to put them down by failing to stand for them, and misrepresenting them at this difficult time locally and globally.

All recent leaders of AFIC should agree to retire and hand over AFIC to a team of sincere members who have the qualification, skill, track record and community trust and respect to create a better inclusive and respectful AFIC to serve the Australian Muslim community.

It would be foolish to believe that people who have destroyed AFIC could fix it regardless of the level of renewed rhetoric and promises.

Grass root members of the Muslim community, especially the younger generation need to demand and proactively work out a roadmap to not only save but rebuild Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC), the umbrella body of Muslim Australians.

Source: Australasian Muslim Times



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The Muslim Charitable Foundation (MCF) has received a request for the following items to be supplied to prison inmates.

Qurans - Arabic with English Translation.
Prayer mat (Musaallah) and Prayer Cap.

You can either donate these items or sponsor a Prayer Mat and Prayer Cap for $10.00.

Contact Fawzia Batty 0405 035 786 or Faisel Essof 0402 575 410



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Extremely British Muslims S01E01 All the Single Muslims (March 3, 2017)




An intimate look at British Muslim life, with privileged access to Birmingham Central Mosque and the lives of the individuals it serves



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The theme of the second part in the series is: Women In Islam - Is it really a misogynistic religion?

More about the Community Discussion Series:

The ICQ community discussion series is an volunteer initiative being launched to facilitate and promote discussion between Muslim and Non-Muslim Australians on a community level. In an environment of fear, hostility and misinformation, ICQ believes grass-root community engagement is vital for members of different cultural, faith and ethnic groups to discuss differences and build understanding.

Each event will focus on an important and controversial issue relevant to Australian Muslims; Our aim is to generate discussion and a sharing of experiences between people of radically different backgrounds, faith groups, cultures and nationalities in a respectful manner. Disagreement is not only tolerated but encouraged as it is through diverse perspectives that our society can become stronger.


Sunday, March 26 at 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM Islamic College Of Brisbane

Click here for more details



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by Manarul Islam


Yassmin Abdel-Magied with her book “Yassmin’s Story”


Fresh from her highly publicised debate with Jacqui Lambie on ABC’s Q&A, inspirational community activist Yassmin Abdel-Magied, made her way south to share her thoughts with Canberra’s community.

Yassmin, 26 is an Australian Muslim engineer of Sudanese-Egyptian background and an author, TV and radio presenter and a community activist on multiculturalism promoting diversity and inclusion in society.

As part of the YWCA She Leads In-Conversation series, Ms Abdel-Magied was the focus of the question/answer/discussion event held at the University of Canberra’s Ann Harding Centre on 22 February.

Facilitated by Dr Alice Williamson, co-host of the ABC podcast, Dear Science, the discussion covered a range of subjects, which included questions from the audience.

Asked about her view about how to address bias, Yassmin drew parallels in her own industry with how work, health and safety has over time been culturally ingrained in the workforce and the same cultural change needs to occur from the top down with regards to discrimination and bias.

Yassmin also made the point about intersectional bias, that is when more than one aspect of your life affected by discrimination, for, as an example, a black woman, and how it isn’t enough to address one type of bias at a time but all bias in parallel.

On paying respect to the Ngunawal people, she said, “We always pay respect to the custodians of the land but . . . think of every great civilisation you have ever heard of – the Aztecs, the Greeks . . . the First Nation of this land are all older than them . . . and that’s something we should really be proud of and appreciate.”

On why she chose to be an engineer, she answered, “Making things and designing solutions to problems and having a tangible thing at the end of the day is so satisfying.”

She constantly referred to her own parents for inspiring her and also supporting her through some of the recent tough times.

On working on an offshore rig as a woman, she said, “I thought it was something I would do for just a little while . . . initially I saw it as an adventure . . . different rules operate on rig life. Half the time its figuring it out as literally there is no other woman around.”

On her ability to communicate across different groups, she explained, “The one things that is universal . . . is the power of the story. By making it individual . . . to broaden your ingroup is through empathy. Empathy is through human connections, friendship, getting to know each other beyond the surface as human beings.”

During the event in Canberra Yassmin gave away signed copies of her book Yassmin’s Story, Who Do You Think I Am, her account of different perspectives about growing up in Australia.




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QUEENSLAND MP Bob Katter has been shouted down in Question Time to cries of ‘shame’ after calling on the government to introduce a Trump-style travel ban in the wake of the arrest of a NSW man on ‘terrorism offences’ yesterday.

Mr Katter also cited comments from the President of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils condoning domestic violence as a ‘last resort’ while calling for a ban.

“Will the minister listen to his own backbench and the United States and ban visas from North Africa and the countries between Greece and India, exempting of course persecuted minorities, namely Sikhs, Jews and Christians?” Mr Katter asked.

Labor MPs shouted ‘shame’ as he finished the question.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton responded he could not comment on the Young case but said the majority of Australia’s Islamic community were hard working people ‘doing the right thing’.

“Where the 1 per cent are doing the wrong thing or people who would seek to do harm to our country, we will come down on them hard,” Mr Dutton said.

“We have done that in the past and will continue to do that into the future.

We are working with intelligence agencies and Governments around the world to make sure we can identify threats here and overseas and we will stamp out ISIL, we will stamp out those people that would seek to do us harm.

“We won’t change our migration program because we have one of the best border protection systems in the world. It has been acknowledged by many countries. We have dealt with threats as they present at our border. We have stopped boats and we have stopped threats at our border. We won’t step back from the tough decisions we have made because they are in our national interest.”

The Courier Mail



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Kirralie Smith speaks at a Q Society fundraiser for her legal battle on February 9

A Supreme Court defamation case brought by halal certifier Mohamed El-Mouelhy against the far-right Q Society has been settled out of court, with the organisation, its board members and politician Kirralie Smith making an apology.

Mr El-Mouelhy, chairman of the Halal Certification Authority, brought defamation action against the Q Society and Ms Smith in early 2015, over two YouTube videos she presented on halal certification.

Ms Smith, who was a senate candidate for the Australian Liberty Alliance at the last federal election, is the face of the anti-halal campaign "Halal Choices".

Mr El-Mouelhy alleged the videos - both of which named him - portrayed him as "part of a conspiracy to destroy Western civilisation from within".

The matter was set to be heard in the Supreme Court in March.

However, the parties had a lengthy meeting on Monday where they decided to settle. This was announced to the media by the Halal Certification Authority on Monday night.

The settlement document was signed by Mr El-Mouelhy, Ms Smith, the Q Society, and its board members Debbie Robinson, Peter Callaghan and Ralf Schumann.

In the settlement, the parties say they had no intention to defame each other.

"Today the parties in these proceedings have settled their legal dispute and intend to move forward without engaging in further disputation," the settlement says.

"None of the parties, in expressing their views, had any intention to defame the other and each regrets that occurring.

"Mr El-Mouelhy has lived in Australia since 1975 and became an Australia citizen in 1981. He is a frequent and substantial contributor to Muslim and non-Muslim charities, including donations to specific projects for the protection of the poor and disadvantaged.

"The Q Society, its board members and Kirralie Smith did not intend to suggest that the profits of Mr El-Mouelhy's halal certification business were in any way improperly used. The Q Society, its board members and Kirralie Smith apologise to Mr El-Mouelhy for the hurt caused to him as a result of the publications, the subject of the proceedings.

"In light of the above apology Mr El-Mouelhy withdraws the comments he made about the Q Society, its board members and Kirralie Smith in response to their publications."

Contacted by Fairfax Media on Monday evening, Ms Smith confirmed the matter had settled. She was unable to provide further comment.

Mr El-Mouelhy said now the legal action was over, it was time to focus on the heart of the matter - that halal certification is a reputable process which creates jobs in Australia.

"This is the past now, I have forgiven them, and they will have to put that [settlement] notice on their websites and Facebook pages for a whole year in a prominent place," Mr El-Mouelhy said.

"Let's talk about the issue, why we're there in the first place. Giving money to terrorists? We've never given money to terrorists. We're watched like hawks by the police, by ASIO. They see every financial thing that is going out of the country.

"I personally didn't want to settle. I wanted to go to the nth degree. If you read the page, they have apologised. I didn't apologise for anything."

The Q Society held controversial $150-a-head fundraisers - one in Sydney and one in Melbourne - earlier this month to raise money for the legal battle.

The Age



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Outgoing Australia Post managing director Ahmed Fahour has lashed out at One Nation leader Pauline Hanson for her "ill-informed" and "hurtful" comments about his Islamic faith at his final appearance before Senate estimates hearings.

Mr Fahour and Australia Post chairman John Stanhope fielded many questions on Tuesday about Mr Fahour's controversial $5.6 million salary and why Australia Post tried to keep it secret.

Senator Hanson was one of the loudest critics of Mr Fahour's salary and reacted gleefully to his announcement last week that he would resign, saying the news was "fantastic".

"I'm still on the floor of Parliament, you're unemployed, let's hope you're not going to get in the queues for employment," she said in a Facebook message.

Ms Hanson later said: "I do have a problem with his religion if he's actually a fundamentalist and follows the Koran to the letter, which I think denigrates women."

Under questioning from Greens leader Richard Di Natale, Mr Fahour said Senator Hanson's comments were "ill-informed" and that his faith was a private matter.

"I felt really sad for the Senator that she would descend to that level of commentary," he said.

Mr Fahour, who was born in Lebanon, said her comments were "quite hurtful" to his wife and four children.

"We came here legitimately, we assimilated, and we love being in this country," he said.

"I love this country so much.

"I feel sorry for Senator Hanson that she feels the need to say those things about someone whose 100 per cent objective is to do the right thing for the country . . . It's with a very heavy heart I hear those comments and think how sad it is."

Mr Fahour contrasted Senator Hanson with the other "honorable, decent and caring" senators from all parties who had questioned him over the years at Senate hearings.

Neither Ms Hanson nor any other One Nation senators have attended Tuesday's hearings to ask questions of Mr Fahour.

When announcing his resignation last week, Mr Fahour took a swipe at Senator Hanson by saying Australia Post was a considerably more complex business to run than a fish and chip shop.

The Sydney Morning Herald



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This week the Committee set up to water down race hate speech has found no basis to recommend any changes to Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.

Conservatives had hoped to wind back the Racial Discrimination Act.

Australia's conservative politicians and commentators have been obsessed with section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act for months now, which makes it an offence to do something which could "offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate" someone based on their "race, colour or national or ethnic origin" (for more explanation, see this clear and simple guide). Criticisms of the provision include that it could stifle free speech.


The campaign kicked into high gear after the case of Queensland university students who were accused of discrimination by a university staff member after allegedly making comments about an indigenous-only computer lab. That case was eventually thrown out of court, but other cases such as against controversial cartoonist Bill Leak, and a concerted campaign by conservative newspapers and television programs, ensured the 18c issue stayed in the headlines.

Despite the enormous campaign, it was revealed on Tuesday that just 71 complaints under 18c were made in the last year -- just over one per week.

A parliamentary committee of 13 MPs and senators have been examining freedom of speech in Australia since late last year, including whether the Racial Discrimination Act " imposes unreasonable restrictions upon freedom of speech, and in particular whether, and if so how, [sections] 18C and 18D should be reformed." On Tuesday, the report was released in parliament, and to the disappointment of conservatives, there was not an explicit call to reform or abolish 18c.

Instead, the committee merely said it had "received evidence about a number of proposals" and listed a "range of proposals that had the support of at least one member of the committee", the first of which was "no change" to 18c.

The Huffington Post



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Is Australia Racist? Man has outburst at women wearing a niqab. #FU2Racism

"Where's your f---ing face? What are you hiding from? ........

These questions were among the abuse caught on shocking hidden-camera footage of a random hate-filled attack on a young Muslim woman by herself in a shopping centre.

A 50-something white male is seen launching into an angry tirade of abuse against the woman, in a prime example of the extent of the bigotry and hate endured by the Muslim community on a daily basis.

Research has found that a staggering 77 per cent of Muslim women in Australia have experienced racism on public transport or in the street.

The hidden-camera footage is one of many incidents featured in Is Australia Racist?, which aired Sunday night and is an hour-long documentary exposing the random, everyday bigotry and racism endured by ethnic groups across the nation.

The documentary kicks off SBS's Face Up To Racism week, which features a series of special programming putting the spotlight on prejudice in Australia today.

The woman in this incident is targeted because she's wearing a niqab – a veil which covers the head and face but not the eyes – in an attack triggered only by the fact she had the misfortune to happen to cross paths with the abusive man.

Unbeknown to her abuser, however, she's a volunteer for the documentary, which follows a number of people of different ethnicities with hidden cameras to reveal the ugly truth of racism on the streets.

It's the experience of the Muslim woman, Afghan refugee Rahila Haidary, that is the most shocking example in the program and a blunt insight into the vitriolic levels of Islamophobia in current society.

The man is seen approaching Haidary, telling her, "You're in my face like that", before launching into an intimidating attack.

"You're in our country because we helped save you from where you came from, from where you've been persecuted and you wear things like that," he shouts.

She responds by asking what should she do, to which he says she should dress like other Australians and become part of the culture.

She asks how Australians dress, to which the man explodes with rage at his lone, diminutive female target.

"They dress with a f---ing face," he says, gesticulating angrily. "Where's your f---ing face? What are you hiding from? .......?"

It's a confronting scene as the man, who is much taller than Haidary, continues his verbal abuse.

"Your f---ing ........? You know ........," he tells her.

It's at this point that two women passers-by stop and realise what's happening and start to move in to intervene. The man storms off, adding "f--- off"as he goes.

The whole incident is little more than 40 seconds but its impact highlights the damage that can be done in just a matter of moments.

Haidary, who doesn't usually wear a niqab, is visibly shaken by the experience.

"It's shocking to see that sort of hate," she says. "I can't imagine how those women who dress up like that would get along every day."

It is clear the man did not know he was being filmed. Legally, it's permitted to film people without their permission provided it's in a public space where there is no reasonable expectation of privacy.

An SBS spokesman said: "All filming featured in Is Australia Racist? was captured in public spaces and all relevant filming laws have been adhered to, along with SBS's own Codes of Practice, in the making of the documentary.

"The program shines a light on racism and prejudice in Australia today through a series of social experiments capturing racism and the reactions of people witnessing it, through the eyes of those who experience it."

Out of all the poisonous threads of racism featured in the program, Islamophobia appears to be top of the list in current times. The program notes that in 1998, 3 per cent of the population had negative views towards Muslims, now that proportion is 32 per cent.

Worse, as seen in the on-screen incident, the bullying targets women, with 77 per cent of Muslim women in Australia experiencing bigotry in a public place.

The program, presented by Ray Martin, is centred around a survey on racism and prejudice undertaken by SBS and Western Sydney University.

Of the 6000 people questioned, it found that one in five people have experienced racism in the past 12 months, with 35 per cent of those surveyed saying they had experienced racism on public transport or on the street.

There are glimmers of hope, however. On many occasions, the hidden footage shows bystanders instinctively intervening when volunteers are targeted in hate attacks.

There's also evidence that the younger generation have much greater support for cultural diversity.

"There are things to be done," says Martin at the show's conclusion. "But it's not all gloomy."

The Face Up To Racism Week continues on SBS until March 5.


Source: Sydney Morning Herald



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In a survey conducted in late 2015 and early 2016, Riaz Hassan, Emeritus Professor at Flinders University and Director for International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding, University of South Australia, used a battery of questions to ascertain Australians’ attitudes towards Muslims and Islam.


It is the first study that explored the multidimensionality of Islamophobia in Australia.

The resulting nuanced and comprehensive profile of Islamophobia in Australia actually showed few Australians are truly afraid of those of Muslim faith.

What is Islamophobia?

A 1997 report described Islamophobia as a shorthand way of referring to dread or hatred of Islam and unfounded prejudice and hostility towards Islam and Muslims. This included practical consequences of hostility such as discrimination and exclusion of Muslims from mainstream political and social affairs.

In 2011, influential political scientist Erik Bleich defined Islamophobia as “indiscriminate negative attitudes or emotions directed at Islam or Muslims”.

Indiscriminate and negative attitudes and emotions encompass a wide range. This includes aversion, jealousy, suspicion, disdain, anxiety, rejection, contempt, fear, disgust, anger and hostility. They also cover the “phobic” dimension, which implies a persistent and irrational fear of a specific object, activity or situation which is excessive and unreasonable.

Multidimensionality makes Islamophobia a graded phenomenon with levels ranging low to high. Islamophobia scales have been developed to measure its prevalence in society.

How Islamophobic are Australians?

The scale we used to measure Islamophobia consisted of seven statements. These were:

Just to be safe it is important to stay away from places where Muslims could be.

I would feel comfortable speaking with a Muslim.

I would support any policy that will stop the building of a new mosque.

If I could, I would avoid contact with Muslims.

I would live in a place where there are Muslims.

Muslims should be allowed to work in places where many Australians gather such as airports.

If possible, I would avoid going to places where Muslims would be.


The Conversation



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A compelling photo series that explores the Muslim faith in Indigenous Australia, visually breaking down preconceived ideas and showing a rich and diverse section of Australian culture

The National Census reported that 1,140 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians identify as Muslim. This figure has grown significantly in the last 15 years, almost doubling that of what was recorded in 2001. While Muslim conversion and identification is growing in Indigenous communities, there is already a long standing history with Islam.

Dating as far back as the early 1700s, influences came from Asian neighbours who worked, traded and socialised with First Nations’ people; Afghan and Indian cameleers in Central Australia, Malay pearl divers in the Torres Strait and Cape York Peninsula, and Indonesian fisherman in the Top End.

More recently, Indigenous people have become drawn to Islam independently, interested in its guiding principles, spiritual beliefs and the cultural parallels between the faith and traditional Aboriginal culture. However, each journey is as diverse as the people themselves.

In an 2012 interview boxing great, Anthony Mundine was asked about the portrayal of him in the media, to which he replied, “I’m three things that you shouldn’t be in this society, and that’s Muslim, Aboriginal and outspoken.”

Reflecting on Mundine’s powerful words and the preconceptions of minority groups, we consider national identity. NITV would like to thank the participants, those who are who are dedicated to their faith and simultaneously committed to keeping culture strong, for inviting us into their homes and sharing their stories with us.


Shaymaa, a Noongar woman, is a decedent of the camaleers, with her mother’s family name being ‘Abdullah’. Shaymaa began her journey with Islam before researching her family history, having many close Muslim friends and being drawn to its values and the supportive Islamic community around her.




Source: SBS




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With 11 February declared the international day for women in science, its a chance to celebrate the contributions of Muslim scientists.


Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) has said: “Seeking knowledge is a mandate for every Muslim (male and female).”


These women have embodied this and shown the world what it means to be an active achiever and mover of the world in which we live.


CCN brings you one of these scientists each week from different parts of the world.


Iran: Anousheh Ansari


Ansari immigrated to the US as a teenager; she immersed herself in education, earning a BSc in Electronics and Computer Engineering from George Mason University, followed by a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from George Washington University. She captured headlines on 18th September 2006 for being the first female private space explorer. She also earned a place in history as the fourth private explorer to visit space and the first astronaut of Iranian descent.

“I hope to inspire everyone—especially young people, women, and young girls all over the world, and in Middle Eastern countries that do not provide women with the same opportunities as men—to not give up their dreams and to pursue them. It may seem impossible to them at times. But I believe they can realize their dreams if they keep it in their hearts, nurture it, and look for opportunities and make those opportunities happen. Looking back at my life, I’m hoping that I could give them a positive example how that could happen.”


Source: The Muslim Vibe


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We can all agree that 2016 was a tough year, but these Muslim men made it a little bit better. We compiled a list of the individuals that inspired us this year.


Hamdi Ulukaya

Hamdi Ulukaya is a businessman who founded Chobani, the number one selling strained Greek-style yoghurt in the United States. He took a risk in purchasing an outdated yoghurt factory in upstate New York in 2005, a region that was renowned for its dairy industry. With no prior experience in the business, he has created a yoghurt empire, with factories in several states. It was valued at $1 billion in annual sales in less than five years after its launch. In 2016, Ulukaya announced that he would be giving 10% shares of the company to his employees. 



Source: MVSLIM



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Op-Eds; Commentaries & Blogs


Tariq Ramadan: ‘I really think that as a Muslim, when I see things that are done in my name, as in Saudi Arabia, I have to speak out.’

Tariq Ramadan: ‘Muslims need to reform their minds’ 


The academic believes Islam and the west shouldn’t be at odds, but was banned from the US and slated in the Sun. Isis hates him, too – so why is he still dogged by controversy?

Tariq Ramadan knows all about travel bans. After all, he was never meant to end up here, in a pebbledash semi in north-west London. In 2004, he was on his way to the US, having been offered the role of professor of Islamic studies at the University of Notre Dame, in Indiana. Suddenly, nine days before his flight, a house already rented, kids enrolled in school, his visa was revoked.

The reasons given were vague at first, but eventually came down to the fact he supported a charity the Bush administration labelled a fundraiser for Hamas. They argued Ramadan should have known about the links. How could he, he said, when the donations were made before the blacklisting – in other words, before the US government itself knew? He believes, instead, that he was singled out for his opposition to the war in Iraq.

In 2010, Hillary Clinton, as secretary of state, revoked the revocation, but by that time, Ramadan had been embraced by St Antony’s College, Oxford. Ramadan has no regrets. “I’m very happy that they prevented me from going. I’m much better off here,” he says, in gently accented English (he grew up in Geneva, speaking French and Arabic). Commuting to Oxford, he has made Metroland his home. In the States, he says, “I don’t think it’s a political atmosphere where you are free to speak. People are scared.”

It’s probably just as well he feels that way: the Trump administration won’t be rolling out the welcome mat. As well as its plans for a new executive order designed to prevent millions of Muslims from entering the country, it’s considering designating the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation. That poses a problem for Ramadan, as it was his grandfather, Hassan al-Banna, who founded the movement.

This family connection has given rise to a lot of innuendo over the years. Some of his detractors believe that Ramadan himself is a walking Brotherhood front: smooth-talking, but with a forked tongue. His calls for peace and dialogue apparently mask a secret agenda to Islamise Europe. I can’t find any reason to disbelieve Ramadan when he says he’s not a member of the organisation. He has been open in books and talks about his approach – to remain faithful to the tenets of Islam, but resolutely to participate in western society – and it seems unnecessary to invoke a shadowy puppet-master.     



The Giardian


The Five Ways Donald Trump Is Wrong About Islam
The White House’s approach to the world’s second largest religion isn’t just bigoted – it’s a strategic disaster. BY STEPHEN M. WALT

As a public service, therefore, I offer the Top Five Reasons Steve Bannon is Dead Wrong About the “Islamic Threat.”

2. Islam Is, in Fact, Deeply Divided. From time immemorial, threat inflators like Bannon & Co. have portrayed adversaries as part of some grand unified coalition. Remember the “communist monolith” or the “axis of evil?” Today, fearmongers use phrases like “Islamofascism” or “radical Islam” to imply that our enemies form a tightly integrated and centrally directed movement working tirelessly to bring us to our knees.

But in reality, the Islamic world is more disunited today than at any time in recent memory. It is divided among many different states, of course, and many of those states (e.g., Iran and Saudi Arabia, or Turkey and Syria) don’t get along. There are vast geographic and cultural differences between Indonesia and countries like Yemen or Morocco or Saudi Arabia. There’s also the core division between the Sunnis and the Shiites, not to mention a number of other minor schisms between various Islamic offshoots. And let’s not forget the sometimes-bitter rivalries within the jihadi movement itself, both across the globe and within particular countries. Just look at all the radical groups who hate the Islamic State, and all the jihadis whom the Islamic State regards as heretics because they don’t embrace its full ideology.

These divisions do not mean extremists pose no danger at all, of course, but Bannon’s specter of a rising Islamic tide that threatens to overwhelm us is pure fantasy. Instead of treating all of Islam as a threat — which might eventually unite more of them against us — the smart move is to play “divide-and-conquer.” But that means recognizing that the danger we face is not a hostile “civilization” or an entire religion, but rather just a small number of extremists who are unrepresentative of the larger cultural category (and opposed by most of it). To beat them, we want the rest of the Muslim world on our side.

NEXT WEEK IN CCN: 3: Terrorism Is Just Not That Big a Threat. Really.


Source: Foreign Policy

Susan Carland is a lecturer and deputy director of the National Centre for Australian Studies, Monash University. Her book Fighting Hislam will be published in May.




Julie Zemiro's Home Delivery

ABC, Wednesday 8 Mar 2017, 8:01pm



Julia Zemiro travels around Australia to take some of her favourite people down memory lane. Julia is joined on the road this week by academic and media commentator Susan Carland to coincide with International Women's Day.




Yassmin Abdel-Magied and the Australian crucible
By Susan Carland

The most horrifying test for witches during the Middle Ages was the swimming trials. Women were tied up and thrown into lakes or rivers by people believing that the “sacred water of Baptisme”, as James I of England wrote in 1597, would reject them if they were practitioners of the dark arts.

If they floated, they were found to be witches and were executed. If they sank, their innocence was proved – but they also generally drowned.

While it was probably unpopular with the victims, the societies enforcing it could feel satisfied that, no matter the outcome, their test rid them of any individuals they did not like or trust, and did a brilliant job of keeping people in line.

And so it was in the past two weeks that a Salem-esque furore descended upon Australia and surrounded Yassmin Abdel-Magied.

In The Australian alone, there have been 26 editorials and opinion pieces, and four front pages and exclusives. As I write, the choleric exchange on ABC-TV’s Q&A with Senator Jacqui Lambie has led to 10 consecutive days of coverage. Every major news site in the country, and some internationally, has run at least one piece on the unfolding drama – 184 at last count.

Yassmin has had screenshots taken of her Facebook exchanges and stories written about them. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has been forced to weigh in. A former prime minister has shared his views and parliamentary question time has debated what happened. Petitions with thousands of signatures have circulated in both support and condemnation. On Twitter, the usual bottom-dwellers have fed on the sludge and regurgitated worse of their own. Even Solange Knowles, the American pop star, has chimed in.

And to what do we owe this reaction? The scale would suggest Yassmin outed herself on the program as a paedophile or a North Korean spy.

It was nothing even close to that.

Yassmin’s crime was to say that she found Islam feminist. She also said she believed sharia taught adherence to the laws of the land, that culture and faith were often conflated, that killing gay people was against her religion, and that she’d travelled the world telling people how much she loved Australia.

The response in certain parts of the press was a frenzied, paranoid witch-hunt that saw culpability everywhere. When no evidence of guilt was present, it was created. This was beyond mere reporting or disagreement with her opinions. The Murdoch media in particular was out to annihilate Yassmin – a trial by ordeal, a water test. During a time of wars, famines, terror attacks and the most controversial United States president in history, Yassmin is being treated by the media here as Public Enemy No. 1.

One article on the front page of The Australian was entirely about a Facebook exchange with a member of Hizb ut-Tahrir. The exchange contained little more than a member of Hizb ut-Tahrir criticising her performance on Q&A, and Yassmin asking him what he thought she could have done better. This was published in a scurrilous attempt to try to conflate Yassmin’s opinions with Hizb ut-Tahrir’s, or present her as somehow aligned with them. Her DFAT trip around the Middle East to promote Australia’s culture, and no doubt present a modern, feminist image of a Muslim woman to locals in the region, was condemned as a waste of taxpayers’ money, and worse.

Such attacks are initially confusing – isn’t this progressive, feminist form of Islam what we want Muslims in repressive countries to be exposed to? By any measure, Yassmin is the kind of Muslim that people from across the political spectrum claim to want in Australia: “modern”, “moderate”, ‘feminist”, “patriotic”, “tolerant”, “liberal”. She’s a mechanical engineer and won Queensland Young Australian of the Year. She sits on the board of an anti-family violence organisation and is the gender ambassador for a bank, for goodness sake. She fits so well the description of the kind of Muslim Australian politicians and the media have been demanding for so long it would be laughable if she weren’t so authentic.

So why the vicious, excessive response?

That she dared to claim a personal coherence between Islam and feminism was the tipping point. By doing so, Yassmin strayed into a territory outlets such as the News Corp papers would not concede. Women’s rights are theirs, and the subject has no place being bandied about by uppity Muslim women. Feminism is something the West beneficently imposes on Muslims, never something that can be indigenously theirs, and certainly never in a form that isn’t Western, liberal and secular. To them, the only way a Muslim can be a feminist is to view Islam with the same unwavering misogyny-goggles they do.

That many other male and female Muslims around the globe have made a similar claim – that Islam is a feminist religion to them – is either irrelevant or unknown to Yassmin’s detractors. And it is convenient to dismiss all those Muslims as confused or deluded with references to the unarguably appalling treatment of Muslim women in certain Muslim-majority countries.

An opportune argument, however, is not always accurate. The different treatment of women in Morocco or Indonesia – the latter the world’s most populous Muslim nation – compared with that in Saudi Arabia and Iran, despite all these nations claiming some degree of inspiration from Islamic law, demonstrates that the way sharia is interpreted and implemented is by no means uniform.

The simplistic arguments arrayed against Yassmin dangerously erase all other political, cultural and historical factors in the way a country defines and applies its laws to women. Muslim women around the world use Islam to fight the sexism they experience, and have done so since the earliest days of Islam. Records from more than a thousand years ago show Muslim women challenging with men their sexist treatment, and using Koranic verses and prophetic statements for their argument. This happens to this day. It is not new, and it is not a Western import. To say so is not in any way a denial of the grim reality many Muslim women face – indeed, it’s an affirmation. But that affirmation includes Muslim women choosing different ways to fight their oppression. And some choose religion as their tool. This may be unpalatable to some in the West, but shockingly enough for them, Westerners do not have the monopoly on fighting sexism.

If a Saudi cleric defines sharia rulings relating to women in one way, and a Muslim feminist theologian with decades of scholarship defines them in another, completely opposite way, why is the former given more authority in the Western estimation than the latter? As Yassmin tried to articulate in the choppy Q&A bunfight, there is a woeful lack of knowledge about what sharia actually is, how it manifests in a Muslim’s life, and how it was formed and reformed. And for all the non-Muslims merrily weighing in about sharia being imposed in Australia, there isn’t much evidence for their expertise or even rudimentary knowledge. If someone cannot name the five pillars of Islam without Googling it, how much insight can they really offer on what sharia is and isn’t?

For all the cries of wanting “moderate”, as opposed to “fundamentalist” or “radical”, Muslims to speak up and dominate the presentation and definition of Islam in Australia, the situation of Yassmin has shown there are those in Australia who don’t actually want either type of Muslim, and never did. Their response to Yassmin – which isn’t just a rejection of her opinions, but a full-scale assault on her existence – is indicative of far more than just their feelings towards her. It finally puts into full technicolour display the truth of their feelings towards Muslims: that the only acceptable Muslim is a non-Muslim.

This is why so many across the political spectrum fall over themselves to embrace Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a woman who has called Islam “a destructive, nihilistic cult of death” and “the new fascism”, and has said the West is “at war with Islam”. Not terrorism or radical Islam – Islam, period. Ayaan is an avowed apostate. By her own declaration, she is not a Muslim. And yet she is probably the most popular “Muslim” to many in Australia. That an ex-Muslim who travels the world telling people how dreadful Islam is can be the only acceptable kind of Muslim reveals exactly why Yassmin received the response she did.

It doesn’t matter how moderate or modern or feminist or liberal or patriotic one is – if they are also proudly Muslim, they are a problem. Their opinions will be lacerated with the attention normally reserved for society’s worst. Their Muslim-ness is the insurmountable problem, so when they remind us they genuinely have an adherence to their faith, especially in relation to an area as socially flammable as feminism, they will be turned on with the force of a thousand suns.

The outrageously disproportionate treatment of Yassmin is a warning to such people: keep your head down, or we will destroy you. This is beyond merely staying in line. As this saga has shown us, the lines will always be shifted. The politics of this are brutal, the media’s campaign unrelenting. A person’s life is bludgeoned to make a point and the point is this: you can speak, but we will make the consequences so pernicious you will wish you hadn’t. And we will make any who come after you reconsider even opening their mouths.

So often we hear the same bleating refrain, “Where are the moderate Muslims?” After the past fortnight, the answer is apparent.

You just threw her, and every other Australian Muslim, in the water. Moderate or fundamentalist, sink or float, the outcome is the same. And that was always the plan.    


The Saturday Paper


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Beaconsfield Anglican church welcomes Muslim community, offers land for mosque

ABC News 



When Imam Faizel Chothia was looking for a place where local Muslims could hold a prayer meeting, St Paul's Anglican Church in Perth's south, opened its doors.
Now, the Reverend Humphries has offered the land next door to build a mosque.


Keep reading









A first this year for Muslims at the Oscars



With his win for portraying a drug dealer with a father's heart in "Moonlight," Mahershala Ali became the first Muslim to take home an acting Oscar. Ali, 43, won in the best supporting actor category.

He discussed his 1999 conversion to Islam earlier this year on the radio show "Fresh Air," describing to host Terry Gross his visit to a Philadelphia mosque with his future wife.

"And I just had such a strong reaction to the prayer," he said. "I felt really grounded at that time, and so to be in this prayer and the imam is doing the prayer in Arabic, and I don't understand a word of Arabic, but I just remember these tears just coming down my face, and it just really connecting to my spirit."

Ali has roots in multiple faiths. His mother was a Pentecostal Christian who gave him a biblical Hebrew birth name, Mahershalalhashbaz. He attended a Catholic college before converting to Islam.







Tae-Kwon-do Queen

Game On 








Fake Trump video on Kaaba goes viral
Arab News



Trump points out at the 'huge' crowed that attended his inaugural ceremony captured in a photo

A fake video of Donald Trump has gone viral on social media. The clip shows Trump admiring a massive congregation gathered around Kaaba in Makkah - which has actually been doctored.

According to the Arab News, the original picture of the crowd at Trump's inauguration has been doctored in the video - showing him opining on the January 20 event. Trump points out at the 'huge' crowed that attended his inaugural ceremony captured in a photo.

"One thing this shows is how far over they go here, look how far this is, it goes all the way down, all the way down. Nobody sees that, you don't see that. but when you look at this tremendous sea of life - I call it sea of love - it's really something special, that all these people traveled from all parts of the country, maybe the world." Trump can be seen saying while pointing at the picture in the video.






Nazeem Hussain in the Jungle








Should Lindsay Lohan Be Allowed To Be Muslim? Russell Brand The Trews (E408)
Russell Brand



In today's Trews Brand looks at Lindsay Lohan's recent appearance on Good Morning Britain and how she was quizzed about her faith.







It is the usual policy of CCN to include notices of events, video links and articles that some readers may find interesting or relevant. Such notices are often posted as received.

Including such messages/links or providing the details of such events does not necessarily imply endorsement by CCN of the contents therein.


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To know the future just look to the past


Iran's Crown Prince Abbas Mirza, c.1820.


The Islamic world did liberalise – but then came the first world war

It seems vital to recall that hopeful century when the lands of Islam engaged lustily with modernity

In fact, rarely has there been a better time to test the belief — widespread in the Trump White House, among Europe’s rising populists, and the Kremlin — that Islamic society is incapable of reforming because it hates progress. Wouldn’t it be awkward if proof were adduced to show that, on the contrary, for long periods in their recent history the central and most influential lands of Islam, having been confronted by dynamic western modernity, embraced that modernity in spades and only lapsed into Islamist recalcitrance after the first world war obliterated them physically and the victorious allies tried to subjugate them politically? But this is what happened in Turkey, Egypt and Iran during the ‘long’ 19th century until 1914.


Now, amid the beastliness of Isis and its fellow travellers, and the tendency of a growing number of westerners to demonise not Islamism or the terrorists but Islam tout court, it seems vital to recall that hopeful century when the lands of Islam engaged lustily with modernity in the hope that something of it can be recaptured — as, indeed, it briefly looked as though it might during the Arab Spring. The alternative is to perpetuate the self-fulfilling consensus around which the Isis ideologues and our own populists unite: a story of inevitable conflict and alienation based on a historical fallacy.



The Spectator



More Indigenous Australians are converting to Islam. But it is more than a political gesture. Unknown to many is the long history between Aboriginal people and Islamic culture and religion.

Comment: Indigenous Australia's long history with Islam

Peta Stephenson is the author of Islam Dreaming. This article was originally published on 14 December 2011, by The Conversation.

Muslim conversion is growing in Indigenous communities.

In the 2001 national census, 641 Indigenous people identified as Muslim. By the 2006 census the number had climbed by more than 60% to 1014 people.

This rise in conversions among Indigenous Australians may seem to be a political gesture. But unknown to many is the long history between Aboriginal people and Islamic culture and religion.

Three centuries of history

Indigenous and Muslim communities have traded, socialised and intermarried in Australia for three centuries.

From the early 1700s, Muslim fishermen from Indonesia made annual voyages to the north and northwestern Australian coast in search of sea slugs (trepang). The trade that developed included material goods, but the visitors also left a lasting religious legacy.

Recent research confirms the existence of Islamic motifs in some north Australian Aboriginal mythology and ritual.

In mortuary ceremonies conducted by communities in Galiwinku on Elcho Island today, there is reference to Dreaming figure Walitha'walitha, an adaptation of the Arabic phrase Allah ta’ala (God, the exalted).

NEXT WEEK IN CCN: A culture in common 

Source: SBS

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Friday khutbah (sermon)

DATE: 3 March 2017

TOPIC"Be sociable"  

IMAM: Uzair Akbar


Play the recording  






Friday khutbah (sermon)

DATE: 3 March 2017

TOPIC"Appreciate your Emaan"

IMAM: Akram Buksh









Friday khutbah (sermon)

DATE: 3 March 2017


IMAM: Mossad Issa



Watch and listen here








Friday khutbah (sermon)

DATE: 3 March 2017

TOPIC: "Du'aa"

IMAM: Ustaadh Zohayr Rahman








Friday khutbah (sermon)

DATE: 3 March 2017





Click here for the past Kuthba recordings






Friday khutbah (sermon)

DATE: 3 March 2017

TOPIC"The importance of tolerance in Islam"

IMAM: Mufti Naeem Ali



Click here for the past Kuthba recordings





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New baggage rules at Dubai airport from March 8, 2017


DUBAI: Passengers who show up at the airport with non-compliant baggage will have to repack in boxes for a fee

The new rules will come into effect on March 8, 2017.

What are they?

No irregular shaped bags
No oversized bags
No round bags
All bags should have a flat surface

"Dubai International provides some of the most sophisticated baggage systems in the world," said Ali Angizeh, Vice President of Terminal Operations at Dubai International.

"However, even the most technologically advanced systems can be disrupted by irregular shaped or oversized bags. Bags that are round or do not have a flat surface of any kind are by far the largest source of baggage jams.

"These jams can shut down sections of our system, delay baggage delivery to the aircraft and inconvenience our customers," he said.

According to the rules, round bags that do not have a flat surface will not be checked-in.

Dubai Airports has also advised all airlines operating into the airport of the new regulations that will take place next month.

"Passengers, who show up at the airport with non-compliant baggage, will also be given the option to have it repacked in boxes for a fee."


Gulf News


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Muslim internment camp flyers found all over University of California San Diego campus

"INSTRUCTIONS TO ALL PERSONS OF ISLAMIC BELIEF" flyers were posted throughout UCSD's campus


US: Flyers about Muslim internment camps were posted throughout campus at the University of California-San Diego on Wednesday, NBC San Diego reported.

Titled "INSTRUCTIONS TO ALL PERSONS OF ISLAMIC BELIEF," the flyer read ordered the evacuation of Muslims from the San Diego County area.

The flyers are a near-replica of posters that appeared after the bombing of Pearl Harbor when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed an executive order to round up Japanese-Americans and force them into internment camps.

"All Muslim persons, both alien and non-alien, will be evacuated from the above designated area by 12:00 o'clock noon Wednesday, April 8, 2017," the flyer, which includes multiple misspellings and grammatical errors, reads. "No Muslim person will be permitted to enter or leave the above described area after 8:00 a.m., Thursday, April 2, 2017, without obtaining special permission from the Provost Marshal at the Civil Control Station."     


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Muslims and Islam: Key findings in the U.S. and around the world



US: The Pew Research Centre, based in Washington DC, this week released research forecasting Islam's share of the the world's population will equal the Christian share - at roughly 32 per cent in 53 years' time.

Muslims are the fastest-growing religious group in the world. The growth and regional migration of Muslims, combined with the ongoing impact of the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL) and other extremist groups that commit acts of violence in the name of Islam, have brought Muslims and the Islamic faith to the forefront of the political debate in many countries. Yet many facts about Muslims are not well known in some of these places, and most Americans – who live in a country with a relatively small Muslim population – say they know little or nothing about Islam.


There were 1.6 billion Muslims in the world as of 2010 – roughly 23% of the global population – according to a Pew Research Center estimate. But while Islam is currently the world’s second-largest religion (after Christianity), it is the fastest-growing major religion. Indeed, if current demographic trends continue, the number of Muslims is expected to exceed the number of Christians by the end of this century.

Pew Reserach



Related to this survey, Sydney Muslim psychologist and ABC religion contributor writer, Hanan Dover, became the subject of a Daily Mail report over her tongue-in-cheek Facebook posting calling Muslims to 'Exercise our Weapons of Mass Reproduction'.




The Daily Mail UK





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German Army makes history by putting Muslim in charge of 14,000 US soldiers’ spiritual needs


After a ceremony this summer, Lt. Col. Khallid Shabazz will become the first Muslim division-level chaplain in the history of the U.S. military – a Muslim spiritual leader for more than 14,000 mostly Christian soldiers.









US:  In January, Lt. Col. Khallid Shabazz received the call every Army chaplain dreams of, the call that validates years of intense study and hard work toward keeping the U.S. military in good spiritual health.

He was offered the job of chaplain for an entire division, an honor for anyone in his field but a milestone in his case. After a ceremony this summer, Shabazz will become the first Muslim division-level chaplain in the history of the U.S. military – a Muslim spiritual leader for more than 14,000 mostly Christian soldiers.

Shabazz, who’s dedicated his life to working across religious lines, found it hard to keep calm as he received the news at his desk on Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Washington.

“I’m on the phone saying, ‘Thank you, I appreciate it. I’ll serve honorably,’ and then I hang up the phone and I’m jumping all around like a little kid,” Shabazz, 48, recalled in interviews in February. “I was running around the office saying, al hamdulillah, al hamdulillah, praise be to God!”

To get a sense of what a long shot this might’ve seemed like to Shabazz, consider the numbers: He’s one of only 10 Muslim chaplains in the entire U.S. military; of the Army’s 1,400 or so chaplains, just five are Muslim.

“When you get the call saying you have been bestowed a division, the news is kind of like, unearthly,” Shabazz said. “The list is so small and it’s such a tough cut.”

With four months until the ceremony that will make him chaplain of the Army’s 7th Infantry Division at Lewis-McChord, Shabazz has plenty of time to think about taking on such a visible role in an age of open anti-Muslim hostility. He’d like to think his transition will be as smooth as those of his Christian peers, but he knows that not everyone will welcome him as warmly as the senior officers who gave him a standing ovation when the news was announced at a meeting on base.

“For me, a regular old guy from Louisiana, I look to the heavens and say, ‘Why me?’ ” Shabazz said. “As the day gets closer, I’m sure I’ll have more anxiety and think about it more. I’m extremely proud to have been on this journey for 20 years and never would’ve imagined that I’d be chosen to be the first.”

“Islamic guy in a leadership position?” he said. “If I think about it too much, it’ll get overwhelming.”

Religious roots

Shabazz came into the world as Michael Barnes, born into a large Lutheran family in Alexandria, Louisiana, about three hours from New Orleans.

Faith was at the center of the household. His mother took the family to church three times a week and recited prayers with her children each night. Shabazz, a lifelong athlete with a 6-foot-5-inch, 255-pound frame, had to study catechism before he could play football and basketball on Saturdays.

Other kids might’ve grumbled about such a rigorous worship schedule, but Shabazz said he didn’t mind – from an early age, he was taken with the spirit of friendship and service.

“I like people who have a commonality of purpose,” Shabazz said. “We loved each other. If people had rent problems or other problems, the church pulled us together to take care of those problems.”


After high school, Shabazz headed to Jarvis Christian College, a historically black college in the small town of Hawkins in eastern Texas. Upon graduation, he returned to Louisiana and began teaching biology to fifth-graders at an elementary school in his hometown. He said he wasn’t prepared for how despondent he became at seeing so many children whose growth was stymied by poverty or poor parenting; he struggled to accept that he couldn’t help them all.

After just six months, he quit. At age 23, he decided to join the Army, thinking that it would help him mature and make him a better, stronger teacher afterward.

“I thought, ‘I’ll do 20 years in the military and then I’ll teach and coach,’ ” Shabazz said. “But I fell in love with the idea and the paradigm of the military.”

While stationed in Baumholder, Germany, Shabazz worked the motor pool with a Muslim soldier who annoyed other troops with his boasts about the virtues of Islam. Shabazz, who back then was still Christian, grew fed up and decided “to cut him down to size.” He challenged the Muslim to a public debate on the merits of their respective religions.

On the afternoon of the showdown, Shabazz recalled, about 30 soldiers filled a meeting room on base. Shabazz was ready to pounce, but the Muslim opponent “kind of blindsided me with some facts,” launching into a powerful, persuasive defense of his faith that put Islam in a whole new light.

Shabazz, stunned, was down for the count.

“It was all-out cognitive dissonance, depression and shame, honestly,” Shabazz said, recalling his feelings at that moment. “I thought I had a stronghold on the truth. And, for the first time, my confidence was shaken in who I was as a human being and what I believed.”

Becoming Muslim

Shabazz began studying Islam on his own, determined to correct the lack of knowledge revealed in his debate with the Muslim soldier. He’d work all day and then stay up well past midnight paging through the Bible and the Quran. He described it as going into a “cubbyhole.”

After two years, Michael Barnes, the devout Christian reared in a Louisiana church, decided to convert to Islam, taking the name Khallid Shabazz to complete his transformation. He said that there had been no single tipping point in his thinking, just a deep identification with Islamic tenets, such as the lack of a clerical hierarchy and the emphasis on charity.

“One of my favorite passages in the Quran asks if the man who thinks and the man who does are the same,” Shabazz said. “It’s the thinking component in Islam that really intrigued me. I am in control of my grace, and I don’t have to answer to the imam. I tell my congregation, ‘Listen, you have to do your own research.’ ”

Unsurprisingly, Shabazz’s conversion did not play well with his family in Louisiana, where he’s still known as “Michael.” He said it took years for them to accept the change, but now they tease him about praying on time and make him a special gumbo minus the pork sausage. Such conciliatory gestures, Shabazz said, must go both ways.

“I do still go to church with my family – that’s an important part of reaching across the aisle,” he said. “It would be improper for me to disrespect something that instilled in me so much of who I am.”

Shabazz’s switch in faiths didn’t exactly go smoothly with the military, either. He had to write memos for even the smallest religious accommodation, such as time to perform the traditional Friday prayers. He’d fast during the holy month of Ramadan, though his schedule called for grueling work in the field. Ravenous by the end of the day, he’d come to the mess hall only to find pork chops. He’d raise concerns with his superiors from time to time, but made little ground.

“When you have an unknown there, sometimes the leadership kind of treats you unfairly because they’re not educated into what you’re doing,” Shabazz said. “In defense of them, I didn’t explain it very well, either. I was growing. There were some tough days.”

On one of the toughest days, Shabazz was exhausted from a series of 12-hour shifts and hungry because of the lack of pork-free meals. Sitting outside on an M109 howitzer, he felt his frustration spill out in tears. Nobody’s here for me, he thought. Maybe this organization is not for me.

A passing chaplain noticed Shabazz’s distress and stopped. In an hourlong impromptu ministry session, the chaplain let Shabazz pour his heart out about his struggle to carve a space for himself in the military. After listening, Shabazz said, the chaplain mentioned that the Army had recently received its first active-duty Muslim chaplain: Would that kind of path interest Shabazz?


“I’m telling you, it was like a revelation from God,” Shabazz recalled. “Once it came out of his mouth, I said, ‘That is my calling. That is what I want to do for the rest of my life.’ ”

New challenges

The chaplain Shabazz encountered that day wrote him a letter of recommendation for the Chaplain Corps. When he was commissioned, Shabazz said, his mentor pulled him aside for a talk.

“He said, ‘Promise me you will be an advocate for our corps no matter what the faith or the background of the person is,’ ” Shabazz recalled. “It moved me to the very essence of my core. Here you have a devout Christian who’s taken the time to care for a young Muslim soldier and make sure I got to be a chaplain. I don’t want to help just Muslims. I don’t want to help just Christians. I want to help people who are in distress.”

Shabazz has now been in the Army for 26 years, 18 years as a chaplain. He’s been deployed seven times – including Iraq, Kosovo and a stint at the U.S. prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he was sent to advise commanders on religious issues after a string of scandals.

He’s also dispatched to far-flung U.S. installations to minister to Muslim soldiers who are wrestling with some of the same issues he faced as a young Muslim in the service.

The Department of Defense counts more than 6,000 self-identified Muslims currently serving, from a total of 1.3 million active-duty and more than 800,000 guard and reserve members. The real number of Muslims is thought to be higher because many troops choose not to list a religion, especially if they’re worried about backlash.

Iraq, where U.S. troops fought insurgents near some of Islam’s most sacred sites, was a particularly hard deployment for Muslim soldiers. Shabazz said he counseled anguished soldiers to remember the centrality of intention in Islam – what were their intentions for serving? He’d remind them that they were there because they’d enlisted and that the Quran honors contracts. He offered reassuring passages, words to lift the heavy weight of the war from their shoulders.

“In combat, it was tough. You’re trying to establish Muslim service and you’re in a Muslim country fighting against Muslims,” Shabazz said. “The young Muslim soldiers could come in and do jumaa (prayers) and be assured that somebody is listening to them. You hold guys in your arms and they’re crying and saying, ‘Thank you.’ ”

The concerns Shabazz hears these days are much different, but just as fraught.

Army Lt. Col. Khallid Shabazz, chaplain

The bulk of his work at Joint Base Lewis-McChord isn’t even religious counseling, he said, but hearing out soldiers suffering from alcoholism or troubled relationships. More than sermons, Shabazz said, they want to know the secret to his 27 years of marriage to his college sweetheart, Rhonda, with whom he has three adult children and four grandchildren.

Others turn to Shabazz for advice on personal and career growth; among his most cherished achievements is helping 61 young soldiers find the confidence to apply for officer school.

Over the years, a handful of people have refused to work with Shabazz because he’s Muslim. That doesn’t bother him – he lives by the chaplain’s motto of “perform or provide,” so if he can’t minister himself, he’ll recommend a chaplain of a different faith. But Christians who do agree to be seen by Shabazz are often surprised by his fluency in the Bible’s teachings, a vestige of his many years in the church.

“Because I have the language from my days as a Christian, I can give them Scriptures from the Bible, and that doesn’t violate my religion,” Shabazz said. “My job is not to convert anybody to Islam. God guides people. My only goal is to have people leave my office stronger than when they came in.”

Sometimes, though, soldiers do convert and turn to Shabazz for guidance as they enter Islam. One of the most unusual conversions came just three months ago, Shabazz said. A master sergeant in the Special Forces – a man who’d come to no Friday prayers or study groups – showed up, crying, to meet with Shabazz. He told the imam he was ready to take shahada, the modest ritual to officially accept Islam.

“He said, ‘I heard you’re a good chaplain. I’ve been thinking about Islam for about three years,’ ” Shabazz recalled. “I took him down to the mosque, he took shahada and I’ve never seen him again.”

Much of Shabazz’s workload involves the rejection of Islam rather than the embrace of it. He writes a newsletter that goes to all the commanders on base and he offers cultural awareness classes in hopes of “getting out ahead,” staving off the anti-Muslim incidents that have made headlines at other bases. He writes memos in support of soldiers seeking halal meals or prayer breaks, hoping to bridge the communication gap with officers that existed when he was a young enlisted Muslim.

Shabazz and Command Sgt. Maj. Diamond Hough, another Muslim officer at Fort Lewis, have known each other since 2009 and have become close friends in the past couple of years. That coincided with a period of rising hostility toward Islam in America. Hough said his friend’s teachings had offered solace to him and to others hurting from the deep divisions in the country.

“I think what he does is extremely tough because of the times we live in, and the fact that he still can reach everyone and be able to articulate a message of unity, inclusion and love is exceptional,” Hough said.

Shabazz acknowledges the current period of anti-Muslim hostility but declines to discuss whether it’s worsened because of President Donald Trump. Even in his private sessions with soldiers, he said, criticism of the White House is taboo.

“Regardless of what they might think, he’s our commander in chief,” Shabazz said.

The timing of Shabazz’s milestone might seem like another one of those serendipitous moments in his life – the debate that led him to Islam, the tearful conversation that led him to the Chaplain Corps – that put him at the right place at the right time.

Shabazz appreciates the historic aspect of his rise but views it all pragmatically: He immersed himself in studies, devoted himself to interfaith work and completed four master’s degrees and two doctorates. In other words, he earned it, his ascent proof of the old line that the military is a meritocracy – after all, where else could a Muslim get a high-profile job in a U.S. government institution these days?

But Shabazz knows, too, that there are sure to be bumps ahead, tests of how well the military can insulate itself from the cultural battles that have cleaved the nation in two. Two verses are at the forefront of his mind these days – one from the Quran, one from the Bible, both about how hatred of a people has no place among the faithful.

“Some of the challenges will be really changing perceptions, changing mindsets, showing that I am something other than what they see – the guy on TV, the boogeyman,” Shabazz said. “I have a real opportunity to be an ambassador for the Army and for my religion.”





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Saudi king takes 506 TONS of luggage for nine-day trip to Indonesia


SAUDI ARABIA: The Saudi king is taking 506 tons of luggage with him for a nine-day trip to Indonesia.

Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud's huge haul includes two Mercedes-Benz s600 limousines and a pair of elevators.

He is set to visit Indonesia tomorrow to join an enormous entourage of 620 people as well as 800 delegates, including ministers and 25 princes.

Jasa Angkasa Semesta (JAS) has been tasked with the huge operation of lugging the cargo from Saudi Arabia, and has dedicated 572 members of staff to handle it.

The airfreight company's president director Adji Gunawan told Antara news agency that 63 tons would be unloaded at the Halim Perdanakusuma airport in East Jakarta and the rest would be sent to Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar, Bali, according to The Jakarta Post.

'We have been officially appointed to handle all cargo belonging to the king’s entourage aircraft,' he said.

t will be the first time in 46 years a Saudi king has visited Indonesia - the world's largest Muslim population.

King Salman is used to traveling in luxury.

Back in September 2015, he booked the entire Four Seasons in Georgetown for his three-night stay in the US, forcing guests who had booked to stay in the 222-room hotel during his visit to be moved to nearby luxury hotels.

The DAILY MAIL Australia


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Amazon TV ad star Zubeir to have lunch with the Queen on city visit



UK: The principal of a Muslim school who starred in an Amazon TV advert has been invited to lunch with the Queen on her forthcoming visit to the city.

Zubeir Hassam, 55, of the Muslim School, in Oadby, starred alongside London clergyman the Rev Gary Bradley in the Christmas advert, which was shown around the world.

The ad was released in the UK in November to promote the Amazon Prime delivery service

In the advert, Zubeir - who played the part of an Imam - and Gary are friends who both suffer aches and pains from kneeling down during worship.

The advert was filmed at a parish church and a mosque in east London. It shows Zubeir and Gary meeting in a vicarage, joking about the long-term affects of kneeling down a lot and they go on to surprise each other by picking identical knee-pads.

Zubeir was put forward for the advert by his son, Bilal, who is a director for British Muslim TV.

The former postman who worked for Royal Mail for 25 years until retirement, said: "I was pleased with the advert's positive message which promotes friendship between Muslims and Christians.

"The message that went to the world and the community at large was of peace."

Zubeir, who is a director of the Muslim Burial Council and a trustee at Oadby Central Mosque, said the advert had turned him into a celebrity, with people stopping him in the street for selfies.

On one occasion he was stopped at an airport in Turkey where he was recognised by a family travelling to Mecca.

Zubeir, who has been involved in working with inter faith groups for 20 years, is looking forward to meeting the Queen for a second time when she visits Leicester on Maundy Thursday when he has been invited to have lunch with her.

He first met the Queen in 2013 on behalf of the Muslim Burial Council and in 2015 was invited with his wife Yasmin to a garden party given by the Queen for his community work where he met the Princess Royal.

He added: "I am looking forward very much to meeting her again. When all the students at my school found out they were all very excited for me."

Leicester Mercury


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Abdul Sattar Edhi: Why Google honoured him this week


Edhi was known as the 'Angel of Mercy' in Pakistan


PAKISTAN: Edhi, who founded the world's largest volunteer ambulance network, would have been 89 on Tuesday.

Abdul Sattar Edhi founded the world's largest volunteer ambulance network in Pakistan, the Edhi Foundation.

Unlike wealthy individuals that fund charities in their names, Edhi dedicated his life to the poor from the age of 20, when he himself was penniless in Karachi.

The reach of Edhi's foundation grew internationally, and in 2005 the organisation raised $100,000 in aid relief for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Edhi was born before partition in Bantva, Gujarat, India on February 28, 1928.

He died last year in Karachi of renal failure. He was offered treatment abroad, but insisted on being treated in a government hospital at home.

The Edhi Foundation's slogan is: "Live and help live".

Today would have been his 89th birthday.

In his honour, Google changed its logo in the United States; Iceland; Portugal; Australia; New Zealand; Japan; Estonia; the UK; Denmark; Ireland and Pakistan to a doodle, or illustration, of Edhi.




Google hailed Edhi's "super-efficient" ambulance service.

"In celebration of Abdul Sattar Edhi, let's all lend a hand to someone in need today," it said.

The technology giant's team has created more than 2,000 doodles for homepages around the world. Among those recently celebrated are Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Fred Korematsu and Edmonia Lewis.

"The doodle selection process aims to celebrate interesting events and anniversaries that reflect Google's personality and love for innovation," the company says.

'No religion higher than humanity'

With more than 1,800 ambulances stationed across Pakistan, the Edhi Foundation is Pakistan's largest welfare organisation. In 1997, the foundation entered the Guinness World Records as the "largest volunteer ambulance organisation".

If you call 115 in the South Asian nation, the Edhi Foundation will answer.  

Al Jazeera


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  U.S. Muslim Vets Vow To Defend Jewish Centers Under Siege



Surge of hate crimes is also bringing Americans together.


US: The frightening increase in bomb threats against U.S. Jewish centers and schools and the desecration of Jewish cemeteries has triggered an outpouring of support on Twitter from Muslim veterans offering to protect the sites any time, anywhere.

One vet wrote: “If your synagogue or Jewish cemetery needs someone to stand guard, count me in.”

Another tweeted: “I’m a Muslim Veteran in Arizona & will readily stand guard at any Jewish Synagogue or Cemetery at ANY hour. #WeAreOne.”

The response follows yet another surge of bomb threats Monday against Jewish centers and school across America, the fifth major wave of such intimidation this year. There was a second flurry of threats called in Monday evening against Jewish centers — and at least one school — in California, Washington, Nevada and Arizona.

The hate crimes, which exploded following the divisive rhetoric of the presidential campaign, have had the unexpected outcome of uniting American Jews and Muslims. A Muslim activist helped raise over $135,000 to repair gravestones vandalized in a Jewish cemetery in a St. Louis suburb over a week ago. Tarek El-Messidi said extra funds will now be used to also help restore Philadelphia’s Mount Carmel Cemetery, which was vandalized over the weekend.

“We must stand together against these acts of racism, anti-Semitism, and Islamophobia,” El-Messidi wrote on Facebook.  

Huffington Post


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Muhammad Ali Jr. On Being Detained: 'Why Would You Even Ask Me What My Religion Is?'


Muhammad Ali Jr.


US: He was detained for nearly two hours, he said, while agents were "checking something."
Muhammad Ali’s namesake son and the boxing legend’s former wife went on MSNBC Monday to discuss what it was like to be stopped at an airport in their own country for no reason they could determine except their religious faith.

Customs officers detained Muhammad Ali Jr. at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Feb. 7 as he and his mother, Khalilah Camacho-Ali, returned to the U.S. from Jamaica.

They were heading to the baggage claim, Ali said, when “the guy from immigration pulled me aside and asked me my name.”

Ali recalled, “I was like, “OK, my name is Muhammad Ali,’ and he asked me, ‘What is your religion?’”

“I was like, ‘Why would you even ask me what my religion is?’” Ali continued:

I said, ‘I’m Muslim,’ and it was like he didn’t believe me because he took me in a backroom and asked me the same questions again. So I answered them and I was like, ‘What is this all about?’

Ali said officers would only tell him, “We’re checking something.”

“I was like, ‘OK, but I was waiting an hour and 45 minutes for you to check something,’” he said, adding that the officers split him and his mother up and he was worried about her.

Muhammad Ali Jr., 44, was carrying a U.S. passport at the time of his detention. He has no criminal record.

He and his mother said they travel extensively and have never been profiled like this before.

While officers had also stopped his mother, they released her shortly after she produced a photo of herself with her famous former husband, reports the Courier-Journal.

Other individuals have faced similar questioning by Customs and Border Protection agents since President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning refugees and people from seven predominantly Muslim countries from traveling to the United States. A federal judge halted the order prior to the Alis’ detention.

Camacho-Ali suggested Monday that if officers are hassling her and her son, they’re undoubtedly hassling other Muslims, and she’s happy to fight back on their behalf.

“Muhammad Ali, everybody knows him as a person who stands up for what you believe in,” Camacho-Ali said. “We must carry on that legend, because if we let people get away with it now, then there will be no end to the trauma. These people are going through a lot, not just us,” she said.

If she were given the opportunity to speak with President Trump, Camacho-Ali said she’d ask him to read the Qur’an and to recognize that Muslims “are people of peace.”

In a statement to The Washington Post, Customs and Border Protection denied that the Ali family had been detained because they’re Muslim.  

Huffington Post


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H.R. McMaster Breaks With Administration on Views of Islam



President Trump appointed Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, left, as national security adviser on Monday


WASHINGTON — President Trump’s newly appointed national security adviser has told his staff that Muslims who commit terrorist acts are perverting their religion, rejecting a key ideological view of other senior Trump advisers and signaling a potentially more moderate approach to the Islamic world.

The adviser, Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, told the staff of the National Security Council on Thursday, in his first “all hands” staff meeting, that the label “radical Islamic terrorism” was not helpful because terrorists are “un-Islamic,” according to people who were in the meeting.

That is a repudiation of the language regularly used by both the president and General McMaster’s predecessor, Michael T. Flynn, who resigned last week after admitting that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence and other officials about a phone call with a Russian diplomat.

It is also a sign that General McMaster, a veteran of the Iraq war known for his sense of history and independent streak, might move the council away from the ideologically charged views of Mr. Flynn, who was also a three-star Army general before retiring.

Wearing his Army uniform, General McMaster spoke to a group that has been rattled and deeply demoralized after weeks of upheaval, following a haphazard transition from the Obama administration and amid the questions about links to Russia, which swiftly engulfed Mr. Flynn.   

New York Times


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From Fatwa to Jihad: The Rushdie Affair and Its Legacy

Kenan Malik



Twenty years ago, the image of burning copies of Salman Rushdie's "The Satanic Verses" held aloft by thousand-strong mobs of protestors became an internationally familiar symbol of anger and offence.


Kenan Malik examines how the Rushdie affair transformed the debate worldwide on multiculturalism, tolerance and free speech, helped fuel the rise of radical Islam and pointed the way to the horrors of 9/11 and 7/7. 





"I would never read a book

if it were possible for me

to talk half an hour with

the man who wrote it."       


- Woodrow Wilson -



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 week's recipe has been kindly shared by Farzana Hatia. She says that this recipe is based on the cuisine of the Mediterranean and one of her family favourites.

Roasted Zaatar Chicken



Step 1

Marinate 1 full chicken (skin on) cut into 4 with:
2 red onions sliced finely
1 lemon sliced thin
1 cup chicken stock,
4 cloves of garlic crushed
1 tab. sumac
2 tab. zaatar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. wet red chili
¼  cup olive oil

Step 2

Place chicken with marinade in oven tray.
Cover with foil and cook for about 45 mins on fan heat at 200 degrees.


Step 3

Remove foil and cook a bit longer around 20 min, till sauce has thickened. If chicken does not look roasted, then put under oven grill - just for a few minutes till grilled.

To serve

Place chicken over flat bread, pouring the remaining marinade onion/ lemon sauce over.
Garnish with toasted slivered almonds and serve with tahini sauce.

Tahini Sauce
Blend 2 cloves garlic with half a cup flat leaf parsley, juice of 1 lemon, ½ cup tahini, 2 tbsp. yogurt, salt, pepper, ¼ cup water. If too thick add more water for thin consistency

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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Self-Care and Clarity of Mind...a weekly column by Princess Lakshman (Sister Iqra )




Princess Lakshman


Writer, Clarity Coach, Founder and Facilitator of Healing Words Therapy - Writing for Wellbeing


To contact Princess,  
Email:  Phone: 0451977786






Welcome to my weekly column on Self-Care and Clarity of Mind. If you’re taking time out to read this, pat yourself on the back because you have shown commitment to taking care of your mind and body.

I hope you spent time last week practising Thought Switch. For more on Thought Switch technique refer to last week’s column.

Today, we will explore strategies to develop and maintain positive relationships with people in our lives.

From the moment we wake up in the morning to the time we retire to bed, our lives revolve around other human beings. They all impact our lives in ways that propel us to respond or react. These responses and reactions shape the life we lead. How we choose to respond to people is completely up to us.

When someone says, “I didn’t have a choice”, it simply means they chose to remain in the situation instead of choosing an alternative. The truth is, there are always alternatives.

Our daily relations and dealings with family members, friends, colleagues, strangers and virtual entities (those who are communicating with us online) form a vital part of our existence. These dealings and relations give rise to experiences. Experiences become memories and memories subsequently become a significant component of reasoning. Most of these memories are as a result of inherited memories. For example, how we respond to an angry outburst of another person is often the same way our parents and guardians respond to such outbursts. We grew up watching their reactions and responses and adopted them accordingly.

Relationships are formed and maintained with some basic ingredients in life, such as, love, trust, respect, compassion and duty. The following communication exercise will help you nourish your relationships to be more meaningful, joyful and engaging.

The vital thing to remember for this exercise is one has to be able to hear the tone of the voice of the other person. Text messaging will not work as you are unable to hear the actual tone of the voice. Telephone or face to face is always the best way to have an engaging, effective communication.

Married couples
Spend a few minutes daily with each other alone in conversation regarding the following specific topics and ensure that when one person is talking, the other is listening with full attention without any interruption whatsoever. When you engage in a meaningful conversation such as the one below, your mind opens up to embrace the joys of life.

“What was most joyful about your day today and why?”
“What are you most grateful for today and why?”
“What did you do today that has made you a better person than yesterday?”
“How can I be of help to you to realise your purpose in life



Spend time daily with your child and have the following conversation. If you have more than one child, spend time individually to have this conversation. Remember, every child is different and experiences the world differently.  Ask your child the following questions and give full attention to her/his responses.


“What was most joyful about your day today and why?”
“What do you feel most thankful to ALLAH for today?”
“What was uncomfortable for you today and why?”
“What would you really like to tell me but feel scared to share? You can tell me anything. You can trust me.”
“What would you like to do to improve yourself?”
“How can I help you to be better?”


Siblings and Friends

Often the people who manage to irritate us most are our siblings and close friends. The following exercise may help open the mind to enjoy a meaningful, loving relationship among siblings and friends. Again, the tone of the voice is a vital part of this exercise.

Spend a few minutes at least once a week to touch base with your sibling(s)/ friends. Ask them the following questions and pay attention to the answers without interrupting or formulating a counter-argument.


“What was the most joyful part of your week so far?”
“What challenges did you face last week?”
“What can I do to be of help to overcome those challenges?”


Next week, In Shaa Allah, we will explore strategies to manage Anger. If you wish to know about a specific topic with regards to this subject, please email me on

If you wish to have a FREE one hour telephone session of Healing Words Therapy, contact me on 0451977786




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Q: Dear Kareema, I’ve been travelling a lot with work and was wondering if you have any suggestions on keeping fit as there seems to be no end to my work schedule for now?

Always travel with your skipping rope as it’s light and compact.


Try to stay at venues with gyms and be sure to check if they offer fitness classes. This will be great to keep active and try new workout styles.

Also try to hire a bike where possible and check out what the city has to offer.


Another fave of mine is booking a walking tour, or even try a hike. Some of the best views and experiences are those done while walking and staying fit. This is a great way to meet locals and explore even more.





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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Mula Nasruddin Jr. was taking a biology practical exam.


The examiner showed him the legs of a bird and said "Tell me the name of the bird."

Mula Nasruddin Jr.: "I don't know."

Examiner: "You have failed. What's your name?"

Mula Nasruddin Jr.: "You see my legs and tell me."

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An Ayaat-a-Week





“Give full measure when you measure, and weigh with a balance that is straight: that is the most fitting and the most advantageous in the final determination. ”
~ Surah Al-Israa 17:35


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“Whenever people agree with me

I always feel I must be wrong.”


~ Oscar Wilde



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


Slacks Creek Clean Up Au Day 5 MARCH Al Kauthar Seminar 11 & 12 MARCH AU Islamic Peace Conference Melbourne 11 12 MARCH Muslim Night Bazaar 11 MARCH Algester Mosque Seminar19 MARCH ICB ANNUAL FETE 30 APRIL


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Islamic Programmes, Education & Services












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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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)





5 March


Clean UP Australia Day

Slackscreek Mosque, IPDC, ICQ, etc.

See flyer


See flyer

11 March


Muslimah Night Bazaar

Muslim Night Bazaar

Islamic College of Brisbane, KARAWATHA

0406 273 434

4pm to 9pm

11 & 12 March

Sat & Sun

AU Islamic Peace Conference


Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre

0425 886 949

Register here

All day

11 & 12 March

Sat & Sun

The A-Z of Love & Mercy

Al Kauthar Institute


0438 698 328

All day

19 March


Health & Ageing Seminar PART 2

Islamic Society of Algester

Algester Mosque, Learoyd Rd, ALGESTER

0401 422 756

2pm to 5pm

25 April




30 April


ICB Annual Fete


Islamic College of Brisbane, KARAWATHA

0402 794 253


12 May




20 May


Peter Russo Fund Raiser with Dr Anne Aly

Janeth Deen

Michael's Oriental Restaurant

0435 086 796

6pm for 6.30pm

28 May




23 June




26 June




2 September




22 September




25 November


Annual Mild-un-Nabi

Al-Mustapha Institute of Brisbane


3809 4600

3pm to Maghrib



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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26 March





Masjid As Sunnah



12 March





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 – Mondays at 10am Woodridge area (by Umm Bilal)
Halaqah – Saturdays at 10.30am Woodridge area (by Umm Bilal)
Arabic classes – Wednesdays 1 – 2pm Kuraby Masjid (by Umm Bilal)
Quran Classes - Tuesdays 11am Runcorn area (by Umm Bilal)
Sisters Support Social Group - 1st Wednesday of every Month - varies Locations
Young Muslims Club- - Regular organised activities for school aged boys and girls
Contact : Farah 0432 026 375

Muslimah Girls Youth Group for 10+ Girls (school holiday activities)
Contact : Aliyah 0438840467

Muslima learn to Swim lessons - taught by professional female instructor in a enclosed pool in Underwood area Contact : Farah 0432026375 for more details

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. We also have a variety of whatsapp groups for new Muslim support and for community & class updates please let us know if you would like to be added.

To join our volunteer group or for any other details for activities please call the numbers below…
Aliyah : 0438840467         Khadijah: 0449268375
Farah: 0432026375          Iman: 0449610386

Download the above details here.



Al-Mustapha Institute of Brisbane 

39 Bushmills Court, Hillcrest Qld 4118



Download the programme here.


For further information:
Phone 07) 3809 4600




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





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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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start up a Discussion thread

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Sunnah Inspirations

Providing information about Islam - its beliefs, culture, practices, dispelling misconceptions

Kuraby Mosque

Holland Park Mosque


Provide young Muslim women in Queensland with support and opportunities to express themselves

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

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

Karratha Muslims (Muslims in Western Australia)

Islam TV

Recording of lectures and events in and around Queensland

Muslim Directory Australia

Carers Queensland

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

Brisbane Muslim Burial Society (BMBS)

Muslim Charitable Foundation (MCF)

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

Islamic Medical Association of Queensland (IMAQ)

Network of Muslim healthcare professionals

Al-Imdaad Foundation (Australia)

Australian Muslim Youth Network (AMYN)

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

Islamic Council of Queensland (ICQ)  

Umbrella body representing various Mosques and Societies in Queensland

Current list of businesses certified halal by ICQ  7 August 2011

Islamic Friendship Association of Australia

Blog of the Association's activities

United Muslims of Brisbane

Crescents of Brisbane's CRESCAFE (Facebook)

Muslim Women's eNewsletter

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

Islamic Solutions

Articles and Audio recordings

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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