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Sunday, 31 December 2006

Newsletter 0112

لسلام عليكم

Gift of faith: a day off at Christmas


Building bridges … volunteers from Al-Ghazzali Centre

in Roselands at work.

IN THE kitchen a row of six women wearing hijabs dice vegetables and slice fruit. Nearby another group of young Muslim women are tearing open packets of pasta by the dozen and throwing them into a huge pot of boiling water. Across the room, two young men wearing skullcaps are stirring a sizeable pan of beef curry.

Aiming to give their Christian counterparts from the charity Just Enough Faith the day off, the dedicated Muslim volunteers spent most of Christmas Day preparing and distributing homecooked meals to more than 500 homeless men and women at Cook and Phillip Park.

The volunteers come from Al-Ghazzali Centre for Islamic Sciences and Human Development, in Roselands, and see their role as building bridges between the faiths. Christmas has no significance in the Islamic religious calendar.

The founder of the centre, Imam Afroz Ali, said the initiative, called the Crescent Program, was unusual because it involved an Islamic organisation doing charity work for non-Muslims.

"This service is directly for our Australian brothers and sisters," Mr Ali said. "What has made this successful is that the younger generation, particularly Muslims who were born here, have been dying to do something like this.

"Their parents, the older generation, still have connections back to their places of birth overseas, so a lot of charity goes back there, and there is no hiding from that. But Islam requires us to provide charitable services in our own neighbourhood first. So we have to do this as Muslims, right here in Australia, regardless of gender, race or religion."

Al-Ghazzali Centre has funded and run the service one Saturday a month since early 2003 and the Christmas Day offering allows the centre's counterparts time off on one of the most important days of the Christian calendar.

Mr Ali said his non-profit centre had 500 volunteers registered to help with the Crescent project in rotation. The group also undertakes hospital visits, delivers water to drought-stricken rural areas and runs food awareness programs.

Mr Ali paid tribute to the Just Enough Faith organisation, whose facilities his centre uses to prepare and distribute the food. Run by Jeff and Alina Gambin, it has operated kitchens and vans to feed Sydney's homeless since July 1994.

"[And] it's not just the cooking once a month, either," said Mr Gambin. "They are part of us. I'll pick up a phone and ring Afroz and say I need a plumber, and he'll get one."

In another room eight Muslim volunteers - aged from five to their twenties - are busily packing chocolates into small plastic bags as gifts for the people they feed.

After starting work at midday, most were planning to go out last night to help hand out the food to Sydney's forgotten, and they didn't expect to be finished until after 10pm.


Source: http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/gift-of-faith-a-day-off-at-christmas/2006/12/25/1166895241040.html


New Sitcom on Muslim Family


LITTLE MOSQUE ON THE PRAIRIE is a new comedy from CBC Television in Canada about a small Muslim community in the prairie town of Mercy, many of whose residents are wary of their new, more “exotic” neighbors.


The series takes a look at the congregation of a rural mosque and their attempt to live in harmony with the often skeptical, even down right suspicious, residents of their little prairie town.


"The sitcom reveals that, although different, we are all surprisingly similar when it comes to family, love, the generation gap and our attempts to balance our secular and religious lives."




Turn on your YouTube.........


OC Girl converts to Islam


Former rapper, Napoleon, formerly of 2pac & the Outlawz talks Islam


Bush & Rice make a meal of it


Channel's 4 alternative Christmas message


Equipment for Rent


The Islamic Society of  Algester is hiring out utensils, chairs, tables, BBQ's  etc. for functions.


Click here for a list of items, prices, and contact details.


Mohammed leaves Michael trailing in the name game


The boy's name Mohammed has shot up the popularity charts in a new sign of the deepening influence of Islam on life in Britain. The official count of the baby's names chosen most often last year shows that two different versions were in the top 50 picked by parents.

Mohammed, the most common variant of the Muslim Prophet's name, was the 22nd most popular name for boys. And the alternative spelling Muhammad entered the list of the top 50 names for the first time, becoming the 44th in the chart.


Read more.....

Kronos Quartet and Asha Bhosle: India Calling


Queen of Bollywood Asha Bhosle and Grammy winners Kronos Quartet will be performing on Friday 9 March at the Sydney Opera House.

For all the details of the tour.....

Girls Day Out!



The Inbox


Dear Editor
I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the many members of the local Muslim community who sent us their good wishes for Christmas, Festive and New Year.

My family and I would also like to wish the Muslim community a very joyful Eid-ul-Adha and a peaceful and spiritually rewarding 2007.

I strongly believe that 2006 went a long way towards breaking down barriers of misunderstanding and fear, the latter very often generated (and exploited by some) through a lack of education and engagement. Let's hope 2007 continues along this road of understanding, inclusiveness and harmony for the benefit of all.

David Forde


Dear Editor
I thought the world had fallen this Christmas eve morning - when I went to check my email and my weekly dose of CCN, it wasn't there !!! - I assured myself by looking out the window that indeed the sky had not fallen in - then when it did arrive, I thought to myself, must have been a sleep in for the CCN staff, and everyone has one now and again!

Name Withheld


[Editor] Dear Name Withheld, the staff of CCN were hard at work last Saturday night and into the early hours of the morning in the front line of duty, so much so that said staff had to bunk in for two nights at a nearby coastal Resort from where CCN0111 had to be produced and emailed (it’s a hard life - but someone's got to do it!).


The CCN Chuckle


Mula Nasruddin, a keen golfer, and his wife walked into a dentist's office.


Nasruddin said to the dentist, "Doc, I'm in one hell of a hurry! I have two buddies sitting out on my camel waiting for us to go play golf. So forget about the anesthetic and just pull the tooth and be done with it. We have a 10:00am tee time at the best golf course in the desert and it's 9:30 already. I don't have time to wait for the anesthetic to work!"


The dentist thought to himself, "My goodness, this is surely a very brave man asking to have his tooth pulled without using anything to kill the pain."


So the dentist ask him, "Which tooth is it sir?"


Mula Nasrudddin turned to his wife and said, "Open your mouth Honey, and show him."


The CCN Date Claimer


Date Day Event Organizer Venue Contact Time
31 December Sunday Eid-ul-Adha        
7 January Sunday Girls Day Out Al Nisa Youth Group Inala PCYC, Swallow St, Inala 0421890832 10am - 4pm
7 February Wednesday Abrahamic Interfaith Forum IWAQ Parliament House, George St. 1800053739 8.30am to 5pm
11 February Sunday Muslim Business Network AGM MBN Springwood Towers Hotel, Springwood 0402032506 7:30pm


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