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Sunday, 10 June 2007

Newsletter 0135

لسلام عليكم

Islam-West Ties in London Conference


SCREENING LONDON — A high-level conference on Islam and the West opened Monday, June 4, in London, bringing together prominent Muslim scholars from around the world with UK leaders.

"Some of the most distinguished scholars and religious leaders the world over are gathered here. And I ask people in the country and wider to listen to them," outgoing Prime Minister Tony Blair said in his welcome speech, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).

"They are the authentic voices of Islam."

Politicians and religious leaders from more than 30 Muslim countries attended the Cambridge University-organized event themed "Islam and Muslims in the World Today."

Chief among the scholars taking part are Egypt's Mufti Ali Gomaa and his counterpart from Bosnia-Herzegovina Mustafa Ceric.

The conference, which opened with a video message from Prince Charles, will be further addressed by Gordon Brown, the prime minister in waiting, and Tory leader David Cameron.

Organizers said that the two-day event aims to address the relation between Islam and Western societies and explore ways in which greater understanding could be fostered between Muslims and non-Muslims.

"The conference will focus on the relationship between Islam and the non-Muslim world," Professor David Ford, of Cambridge University's inter-faith program (CIP), told AFP.

"There is an urgent need for Islam and traditionally Christian cultures to understand one another, specifically from a religious perspective."

Discussions are also expected to address concerns of local Muslim minorities in Britain and other Western communities.

Speakers will additionally tackle the contribution Islamic debate has made to hot topics including citizenship and the place of Shari`ah in the West.

UK Muslims

In his speech, Blair said the two million Muslims in Britain should be particularly appreciated.

"I would like to pay tribute to our British Muslim communities today," he said.

"We have successful Muslims in all areas of our national life."

Affirming his call for "greater understanding" of Islam in Britain, Blair pledged a one million-pound boost for Islamic studies at universities citing a government-commissioned report that criticized the quality of Islam teaching on campuses.

The review, concluded by leading UK scholar Ataullah Siddiqui who takes part in the Cambridge conference, warned that Islamic studies in Britain were "out of date" and failed to reflect the "realities" of Muslim life in the multi-cultural country.

"We intend to follow-up on many of Dr. Siddiqui's recommendations and will be providing significant funding to deliver on this commitment," Blair said.

He added that the fund would help train home-grown imams to reduce mosques' reliance on overseas preachers who may not understand British society.

The government has already declared in April funding a new project to teach home-gown imams to become role models for the younger generations.

Under the 6-million-pound "hearts and minds" plan, imams will be given "civic leadership" courses in universities and colleges.


The conference, however, drew heavy fire from a leading Muslim peer, who charged that the event is politically motivated.

"The conference is fronted by Cambridge University, but organized by Downing Street, the Foreign Office, and the Communities Department," Nazir Ahmed, a Labour member of the House of Lords, told the BBC.

Ahmed said the conference has "deliberately chosen to exclude those Muslims who disagree with government policy."

He noted that Blair pursued "divide and rule" tactics as leading Muslim groups were not invited in the event, such as the umbrella body Muslim Council of Britain (MCB).

"It's a colonial style of governing."

British think-tank Demos accused in a report published in December Blair and his cabinet of pursuing diplomatic double-talk with the Muslim minority, failing to practice the social harmony and integration they are preaching in the meeting rooms of Whitehall.

Blair is due to step down on June 27, handing over the leadership of the governing Labour Party and Britain's premiership to Brown.

Blair's aides told The Independent that he was planning to cast himself as a multi-faith ambassador soon after stepping down through setting up a foundation in London to mainly enhance dialogue between religions.

But his plans were met by scorn from lawmakers and experts, who believe his "bloody legacy" of Muslim-targeting anti-terror measures plus his blind support to the US in invading Iraq has widened rather than bridged the Islam-West divide.

Source: http://www.islamic-world.net/read.php?ArtID=10370


The South African Muslim community’s contribution to the global Islamic movement

Extracts from a report by ZAFAR BANGASH, director of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought

There is one country – South Africa – where the Muslims have not only understood the problem fully but have also taken steps to address the issue in earnest. This is perhaps because Muslims, and indeed most people in South Africa, have experienced directly, on their own skins, the ravages of apartheid, and that has enabled them to appreciate the suffering of other peoples much better. Whether in Palestine or Afghanistan, Kashmir or Chechnya, the Muslims of South Africa have been foremost in helping their brothers and sisters.

In recent weeks the people of South Africa have been in the forefront of rallies in support of the Palestinian people. Pretoria, Johannesburg, Durban, Pietersburg and Cape Town, to name but a few cities, have all been the scene of enormous rallies. Unlike other parts of the world where Muslims live as minorities, in South Africa all segments of society – from the trade union movement, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) to the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and the Communist Party of South Africa – have joined Muslims in their condemnation of Israeli crimes against the people of Palestine.

On this visit I have spoken at public meetings attended by both Muslims and non-Muslims, in mosques and elsewhere, and given a series of radio interviews, both on Muslim Radio and in the mainstream media. The degree of understanding of issues demonstrated by Muslims was quite remarkable.


In addition to the dissemination of ideas, Muslims in South Africa have taken numerous bold initiatives to organise themselves. The country boasts some of the most beautiful mosques in the world, which, unlike mosques in most of the rest of the world, do not remain empty most of the time. The oldest mosque in South Africa is in Cape Town; the largest mosque in the southern hemisphere is the Gray Street Mosque in Durban.

Masajid in South Africa are not used merely for Friday salat, as happens elsewhere, especially in North America and Europe; nor are they opened or used only at weekends. There is activity going on almost all the time. Attendance at fajr is impressive.

Most mosques have a school or madrassa attached. They are also collection points for relief work. Islamic schools are also emerging in large numbers; some are impressive, with hundreds or even thousands of students. Again Pretoria (Laudium), Johannesburg, Petersburg, Durban and Cape Town have at least one Islamic school each. There is keen awareness among Muslims that quality education is necessary for their children. Cape Town also has two major Islamic Radio Programmes: Radio 786 and Voice of the Cape, which present news, talkshows and other programmes 24 hours a day. Both have large audiences and have played a major role in raising awareness in the Muslim community. On April 16 both stations applied to the licensing commission for four-year licenses to run their programmes.

One can almost divide the country into distinct population types. Cape Town has the largest concentration of Muslims. Cape Muslims are known for their militancy and activism; this explains the massive rallies there in recent weeks in support of Palestine. On April 21, for instance, more than 20,000 people packed the stadium in Athlone, a suburb of Cape Town. Present were not only well-known leaders of the Muslim community of Cape Town – leaders of the Muslim Judicial Council (Shaikh Ebrahim Gabriel, Shaikh Ehsan and others), a number of leading imams such as Shaikh Zafir Najjar, leaders of the Islamic Unity Convention (Imam Achmed Cassiem) – but also trade union leaders, representatives of the ANC, and Ronnie Kasrils, Minister of Water Works in the current South African government. Himself of Jewish origin, Ronnie Kasrils has spearheaded the campaign "Not in my Name" to distance Jews of conscience from the unconscionable practices of the zionist regime. More than 300 prominent South African Jews have added their names to the list so far.

Other major Muslim population centres include Durban and the Johannesburg/Pretoria region. Each has a unique flavour of its own. In Durban, for instance, the Sufi tariqah seems to predominate. Many masajid and shrines are dotted all over the city (there are also a large number of shrines and karamats in Cape Town of the early Muslim shaikhs who were brought in chains from the Malay Archipelago by the Dutch colonialists some 300 years ago). Throughout South Africa Muslims have done well as traders: this is a legacy of the apartheid era, when non-whites – Coloureds, Indians and Blacks – were prohibited from acquiring education and training, and thus prevented from entering the major professions. This is now changing, but it will be some time before Muslims are represented properly in most professions.

Both Johannesburg and Pretoria in Gauteng province have large and dynamic Muslim communities. Johannesburg is the gateway to South Africa, although it is not the country’s capital; Pretoria is the administrative capital and Cape Town the legislative capital. In Johannesburg most Muslims are traders. They have done well, but many are now also entering the manufacturing sector. Johannesburg also has a number of radio and part-time television programmes. The Voice of Islam has been on air for many years; Channel Islam has also now added its voice to the airwaves. Channel Islam, broadcast through satellite, can be heard in 55 countries if one has the appropriate receiver. Laudium (the "Indian" township near Pretoria) also has a radio programme on 1840 AM dial.

Two other institutions have been established in recent years: the Media Review Network (MRN) and Al-Ghazali College. Both serve extremely important functions in addressing issues of major concern to Muslims. MRN has taken on responsibility for monitoring the media, offering the Muslim perspective on news and challenging the stereotypical images of Muslims in the mainstream media. It has made great strides in correcting some of the distortions and the one-sided presentation of news. Articles and letters by MRN staff now appear regularly in major South African newspapers. Al-Ghazali College has emerged as a centre of academic excellence in a short time. Students are not only taught the regular academic subjects; there is also much emphasis on character-building. This is an important factor in developing a well-rounded Muslim personality for the future.

In many ways the South African Muslim community can be regarded as pioneers of Islamic work in a minority situation. While preserving their Islamic identity, they have not isolated themselves from the rest of the Ummah; indeed if any part of the Ummah can be said to live up to its obligations, the South African Muslim community is that part.




Zafar Bangash is the Director of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought (ICIT). This is a Muslim think-tank specialising in Muslim Political Thought and the Life-history of the Prophet of Islam. He also writes a regular column for Crescent International Magazine.


Britain loves Mohammed


LONDON: Mohammed is likely to become the most popular name for baby boys in Britain by the end of the year, The Times newspaper reported.


The Office for national Statistics said that in 2006 Mohammed ranked second behind Jack when all the different spellings of the name were taken into account.


In total, 5991 baby boys were given some version of the name Mohammed and 6928 baby boys were named Jack.


Source: Courier Mail


On the other side of the finishing line



To make up for not being able to take part in CresWalk this year over 40 of the Crescents of Brisbane Team and friends and families have entered in this year’s Gold Coast Bulletin 7.5km Walk and 10km Run.


Normal entries closed off on Wednesday during the week, but late entries are still being accepted.


If you would like to join the gang you can still enter online at http://www.goldcoastmarathon.com.au/


Ahmed is New Custodial Officer in Corrective Services


Mt Gravatt's Ahmed Mohamud brings experience and understanding to his role as a custodial officer.


With a Somali background and as a Muslim, Mr Mohamud is happy to be of help to prisoners from a similar background.


""Because I understand the issues that surround significant events such as Ramadan, I can liaise with management to help solve problems," Mr Mohamud said.


"I also think it is advantageous for the prisoners to have someone from their own cultural background to talk to."


Mr Mohamud said his job brought diversity and challenges but also satisfaction from helping offenders improve their lives.


He joined more than 3200 Queensland Corrective Services staff members after graduating last December.


He has come a long way - in more ways than one - since fleeing his war-torn homeland at the age of 18 to New Zealand. He came to Australia in 1995.


Corrective Services Minister and Member for Mt Gravatt Judy Spence said Mr Mohamud was made for the job.


"Ahmed brings compassion and understanding to his job," Ms Spence said.


"He has embraced the opportunity to work in a diverse organization, where 4 per cent of the workforce comes from non-English speaking backgrounds.


Source: Mersija Mujic, Southern Star Wed June 6 2007


Condolences to Omar Family


CCN wishes to record our condolences to Omar Khan (Global Convenience) and Ismail Khan (Coldrock, Calamvale) and their families on the passing away of their mother in South Africa recently.


Yassmin adds another notch to her belt



Ms. Yassmin Abdel-Magied can add another award to her already impressive collection of accolades this year which include being named the 2007 Young Australian Muslim of the Year, the regional Lions Youth of the Year and John Paul College school prefect and vice-captain.


This month she was recognized for her efforts by the Southern Star newspaper as its YoungStar for March-April.


Got the Goods to Give Away?


Australian Muslim Sadaqah is now collecting all your unwanted items (electrical, furniture, beddings, tools etc) and redistributing it to others in need in Brisbane & elsewhere. Items may also be sold to fund da’wah efforts and aiding reverts.

TO DONATE YOUR ITEMS: email: ibnuihssan@yahoo.com or

call: Abu Zaid 0410 977 465 or Abu Owais 0424 139 392.


  AREAS AROUND KURABY MASJID: Saturday June 23 & Sunday June 24
*** Must contact them by Thursday June 21st.

  AREAS AROUND DARRA MASJID: Saturday July 7 & Sunday July 8
*** Must contact them by Thursday July 5th.

Items will be collected from your homes. Please DO NOT leave them at your nearest masjid.***

They will also be coming to Lutwyche, Gold Coast, Buranda, Holland Park and Rochedale soon.


The CCN Centre Link


Two free courses are available in school hours. The first one is: Certificate 2 in business taster (Mondays and Tuesdays only-for 5 weeks). The second one is aged care (one day per week- for 20 weeks). If interested, please call Sushil of ACCESS on 3808 9299/ 0417 746 977

10 years old Babar Iqbal sets world record in computer field


Pakistan News Service

PESHAWAR, May 28 (APP): 10 year old Babar Iqbal from Dera Ismail Khan has set a world record in the field of computer by securing 80 percent marks in an examination held in Dubai.

According to the details, Babar Iqbal participated in the examination of Certified Virus Network Administrator (CVNA) and grabbed a world record by obtaining 80 percent marks in it.

He is the youngest world record holder in the computer field and has also qualified for the trainers programme.

Babar Iqbal has earlier set world records in the fields of Microsoft Certified Professional and CIW.

It is pertinent to mention here that the CVNA examination is arranged by American company wherein candidates across the world participate.

Talking to APP, Babar Iqbal said that he wants to make further progress in the field of computer adding that having set three world records he has won laurels for his country and is receiving offers from a number of world reputed US companies.

Key Skills: Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional, Web Development, Microsoft FrontPage XP, Flash MX, Director MX.

Family distinction: 5 brother and sisters are Microsoft Certified, Babar Iqbal being the youngest. His sister Asifa Khan studying in the 7th, who is elder to him, aged 11 Years 4 months and 17 days is also a Microsoft Certified Professional. The rest of the family:

Asif Iqbal MCP, MCAD.NET , MCSD.NET , MCDBA , MCSA , CIW Security Analyst, Brainbench Certified
Kashif Khan MCP, MCSA, MCSE, CCNA, Brainbench Certified IT Manager
Saima Khan MCP


Source: http://www.paktribune.com/news/index.shtml?141235


Refugee Week


Kareema's Keep Fit Column

With less than 20 days to go for the Gold Coast run (and 8 weeks to the 12km Bridge to Brisbane) CCN's Woman-on-the-Workout-Mat, Kareema Benjamin, offers handy hints over the next few weeks for those training towards them.


Why is it important to stretch your muscles after a workout?

Stretching is just as important as your workout. Not only does it reduce the risk of injury, it prepares the body or muscles for your next workout. Stretching while the muscles are warm gives them the greatest benefit to flexibility and also decreases the level of muscle soreness you sometimes feel a few days after your workout!




WEEK 1 of our 3 week training program in preparation for the upcoming Gold Coast Marathon:

Please note that the following program is suitable for beginners (aimed at the 7.5km walk). For the more competitive or serious athlete intensity, duration and frequency of exercises need to be increased!


DAY 1:
Walk for a minimum of 30 mins. (10 mins. at a moderate pace, 15 mins. at a more brisk pace and 5 mins. cool down / slow pace.

Healthy Tip: Always keep your body hydrated - carry a bottle of water with you daily!

DAY 2:
Similar to day 1. Increase your walking time by 5 mins. or more if you feel comfortable and include some hills as part of your course.

DAY 3:
Rest your legs and opt for some strength and resistance training (lifting light weights and doing some push-ups, etc.). Ensure good posture and technique.

DAY 4:
Get walking...the aim is to increase your time and distance!

DAY 5:
Relaxation and recovery - Do an activity that you enjoy (low impact). Include your stretching routine.

DAY 6:
Cycle if possible, otherwise take on a more challenging walking course (steeper hills, etc.). Always challenge yourself, but do not overdo it. Listen to your body - QUALITY rather than QUANTITY!

DAY 7:
Have a rest, recover and get ready for week 2!

PLEASE NOTE: The above training program assumes a healthy participant. Those with medical conditions, injuries or who are not
physically active, need to seek clearance from their GP before starting any form of exercise.



Need an answer to a fitness related matter? Send your question to Kareema at  fitness@crescentsofbrisbane.org.

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

The Inbox


As salaam alaikum
It is with excitement that I inform you I will be going OVERSEAS from Monday 11th June – 29th July 2007. I will be back at work MONDAY 30th July. Acting Sergeant Jose SARMIENTO will be the relieving Metropolitan South Regional Cross Cultural Liaison Officer (CCLO) and can be contacted on the normal CCLO mobile (0438 114 619).

I would just like to take this opportunity to thank you ALL for your support over the past two years.

Cross Cultural Liaison Officer
Metropolitan South Region


The Culinary Corner


As Winter sets in soups begin to find their way to the table. Many vegetable soups served in non-Halaal establishments may contain Haraam ingredients such as beef and poultry stock from non-Halaal slaughtered animals and alcohol etc.

Food enthusiast and author Mariam Jadwat-Omar (of South Africa) gives us her delicious Butternut Soup recipe.

The recipe is contained in her book "Creative Cooking, the Easy Way".


2 cups cubed butternut, peeled

1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper

1 cup water

2 teaspoons aromat

1 cup cubed chicken fillets

1/4 cup pasta (alphabets, stars or rice noodles)

1.5 litres boiling water

1 tablespoon butter

1 x 125ml fresh cream

1 green chilli, sliced

Chopped spring onions, to garnish

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 medium carrots, peeled, grated

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds



  1. Cook butternut with water until soft. Puree with half cup water and set aside.

  2. Braise green chilli, garlic and cumin in butter. Add chicken, pepper and aromat and cook until chicken is tender

  3. Add pasta, carrots, butternut and boiling water. Bring to the boil and simmer until pasta is done.

  4. Stir in cream and heat through.

  5. Garnish

  6. Serve hot with croutons


Serves 3 - 4



Source: SANHA [helpline] e-Bulletin - 13



Do you have a recipe to share with CCN readers?

Send in your favourite recipe to theteam@crescentsofbrisbane.org and who knows, you could be our "guest chef" for a future edition of CCN.



The CCN Chuckle


A guy is driving around Kuraby and he sees a sign in front of a house: "Talking Dog For Sale".

He rings the bell and the owner tells him the dog is in the back yard.

The guy goes into the backyard and sees a Labrador retriever sitting there.

"You talk?" he asks.

"Yes, I do," the Lab replies.

"So, what's your story?"

The Lab looks up and says, "Well, I discovered that I could talk when I was pretty young. I wanted to help the government, so I told the ASIO about my gift, and in no time at all they had me jetting from country to country, sitting in rooms with spies and world leaders, because no one figured a dog would be eavesdropping. I was one of their most valuable spies for eight years running.

"But the jetting around really tired me out, and I knew I wasn't getting any younger so I decided to settle down. I signed up for a job at the airport to do some undercover security wandering near suspicious characters and listening in."

"I uncovered some incredible dealings and was awarded a batch of medals. I got married, had a mess of puppies, and now I'm just retired."

The guy is amazed. He goes back in and asks the owner what he wants for the dog.

"Ten dollars," the guy says.

"Ten dollars? This dog is amazing. Why on earth are you selling him so cheap?"

"Because he's a shameless liar. He never did any of that stuff."


The CCN Date Claimer


Date Day Event (Click on link) Organizer Venue Contact Time

10 June


The Deen Machine Lovo Night

The Deen Machine

Delivered to your door! Any place!


Any time!

16 June


Annual Quran Competition & Interaction Day

Darul Uloom

Darul Uloom, 6 Agnes St, Buranda

3392 1310

9:30am to 2pm

20-24 June

Wed to Sunday

World Refugee Day





1 July


Gold Coast Airport Marathon

Gold Coast Airport

Gold Coast


Staggered start times

1 July


Queensland Roar vs. Supersport United

Multicultural Affairs Qld.

Suncorp Stadium



20 July

Friday to Sunday

Girls Camp Outing


Kindilan, Redland Bay

3272 6355 / 3272 6422

Friday night to Sunday

22 July


AIIC School Fete

Australian International Islamic College

Blunder Rd, Durack

3372 1400

All day

26 July


Islamic Legal Perspectives Conference

School of Law & Justice, Southern Cross University

Lord Byron Resort, Byron Bay

02 6620 3375


29 July


Gold Coast Annual Fund Raiser BBQ


Gold Coast Mosque


From 10am

5 August


Bridge to Brisbane Fun Run

Sunday Mail & Suncorp

Gateway Bridge to New Farm Park


Staggered start times

1 September


Islamic College of Brisbane Annual Spring Fete




All day

9 September



Australian International Islamic College

Blunder Rd, Durack

3372 1400


13/14 September



Start of Ramadaan

11/12 October



End of Ramadaan

12/13 October




14 October


Queensland Multicultural Festival

Multicultural Affairs Queensland

Roma Street Parkland

3872 0756(ext:21756)

All day

20 October


Breast Cancer Awareness

Crescents of Brisbane



2pm - 5pm

27 October


Qld Eidfest 2007

Qld Eidfest

Mt Gravatt Showgrounds


10am to 10pm

19/20 November

Monday & Tuesday

Queensland Multicultural Summit ‘07



State Library of Queensland

3844 9166

All day

20/21 December





To claim your date for your event email theteam@crescentsofbrisbane.org.


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Share your thoughts, feelings and ambitions for our community through CCN.


If there is someone you know who would like to subscribe to CCN please encourage them to send an e-mail to theteam@crescentsofbrisbane.org with the words “Subscribe Me” in the subject line.


Articles and opinions appearing in this newsletter do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Crescents of Brisbane team, CCN, its Editor or its Sponsors, particularly if they eventually turn out to be libelous, unfounded, objectionable, obnoxious, offensive, slanderous and/or downright distasteful.


It is the usual policy of CCN to include from time to time, notices of events that some readers may find interesting or relevant. Such notices are often posted as received. Including such messages or providing the details of such events does not necessarily imply endorsement of the contents of these events by either CCN or Crescents of Brisbane Inc.