self-deprecating and occasional tongue-in-cheek look at ourselves and
the world around us ......
Sunday, 6 July 2008
News you won't find on CNN!
This week's CCN is kindly
Queensland Roars Against Racism campaign is a
partnership between Multicultural Affairs Queensland (MAQ)
and Queensland Roar FC that aims to promote diversity
with our community and to make it clear that Queensland
does not tolerate racism.
On 12 July 2008, Brazilian Serie A team Palmeiras
will descend on Brisbane to play in a pre-season match
at Suncorp Stadium, as part of the Queensland
Government's Queensland Roars Against Racism campaign.
A family friendly program of entertainment will begin at
Suncorp Stadium from 5.00pm with music, dance and give-aways,
so get there early to experience this dynamic program.
Roar Against Racism Celebrity Ambassadors will play in a
curtain raiser match to personally support the campaign
at 5.15pm, before the main game starts at 7.00pm.
Additionally if you are at a loose end on Friday 11 July
a number of free activities will be occurring in
Reddacliff Place, opposite the Queen Street Mall.
From 12pm to 2pm, Queensland Roar FC players will be
joined by the Palmeiras team and celebrities to promote
the match, and later that night at 7pm, Reddacliff Place
will come alive with the free Queensland Roars Against
Racism Latin Dance Party.
CCN is offering 5 lucky readers
the chance to win double passes to the game on Saturday
(courtesy of Multicultural Affairs Queensland) by simply
emailing the answer to the following question to
What is the name of the Brazilian side to
play Queensland Roar on 12 July?
The first FIVE entries drawn from the CCN
Inbox on Wednesday 5pm will get a
chance to see some Brazilian magic at the
Conference at the Gold Coast
The Bond University Muslim
Students Association (BUMSA) hosted a three-day
forum during the week showcasing topics that encompass
Islam and the lives of Muslims. The topics were aimed at
clarifying misconceptions held by some parts of the
community regarding Islam as well as to enlighten
Muslims about the current issues faced by Muslims all
over the world.
The topics were delivered by Sheikh Tawfique
Chowdhury, the Director of AlKauthar Institute and
Mercy Mission; Sheikh Shady Suleiman, the
Secretary of Australian National Imams Council and
khateeb at the main mosque in Lakemba and Ustadh
Bilal Asad a teacher at the International Australian
Academy in Melbourne.
B’ for the World Cup
Editorial in Jamiatul Ulama South Africa Online
Newsletter Vol. 3 No. 26
02 July 2008
The recent announcement by
FIFA’s Sepp Blatter of an existing alternative plan in
case South Africa fails to host the world soccer event
has sent shivers down the spines of many a compatriot.
The possibilities of a ‘Plan B’ being set in motion have
however been discounted by officials. However, it must
be noted that this will go down as a first in the
history of the world cup that such a suggestion should
openly come from the FIFA president. If it is not an
indication of doubt on his part, it is at least a
warning of a kind. It should also be a reminder of the
danger in staking all our hopes in this single event,
albeit big. The hosting of the event should not be an
end but rather a means to an end.
Our national goals should be the building of an
equitable society that is united in diversity. If the
World Cup hosting cannot be the catalyst for that,
what’s in it for the common man?
[CCN Editor] A 'Plan B'? As
Homer Simpson would have said: "Mmmm .... World Cup
at Suncorp Stadium"
Australia's best-known Islamic
schools has been accused of
defrauding the commonwealth and West
Australian governments of more than
$3million by claiming it had
hundreds more students on its books
than it did.
Australian Islamic College
director Abdallah Magar, 69, and
school principals Mark Debowski, 50,
and Aziz Magdi, 53, are due to
appear in a Perth court on Wednesday
over charges that they obtained a
financial advantage by deception for
another person and gained a benefit
They were released on $100,000
bail yesterday. Police are expected
to ask the men to forfeit their
After being released from custody
yesterday, Mr Magar said he would
defend the charges.
The men are accused of inflating
their student numbers by claiming
money for students who were not
attending the school.
Police said the school could
claim $1300 to $2000 for each child
from the West Australian Government,
while the funding rate under the
commonwealth ranged from $4000 to
$6000, depending on the child's age.
Inspector Arno Albrecht, of the
Major Fraud squad, claimed: "The
defrauding of the government
agencies was simply putting forward
false numbers of students and, as a
result of that, they obtained the
subsidised funding. There was some
checking but nowhere near what you
would think would be required for
giving out such large amounts of
He said that although some of the
funding was used for school
purposes, the men were paid high
salaries, with Mr Magar earning
about $200,000 a year.
Inspector Albrecht said the
charges related to funding received
in 2005 and 2006 but other funding
years had not been investigated
because of resourcing and public
interest limitations. In total, it
was alleged the men fraudulently
gained $3.16 million from the state
and federal governments.
About $2.5 million of the funds
came from the commonwealth, with the
balance provided by the West
"They're not claiming the same
amount of student subsidies now, so
whether they can maintain the
operations of those (campuses) based
on not receiving those funds is
something I couldn't tell you
about," Inspector Albrecht said.
"(But) we're aware that (their
claims) have been dramatically
He said that although there was a
risk the schools could close as a
result of the charges, it would be
up to the relevant government
The charges were laid 18 months
after Major Fraud officers raided
the school, seizing 200 boxes of
documents, 12 filing cabinets and 15
State Education Minister Mark
McGowan yesterday moved quickly to
ensure parents the schools' three
campuses would remain open.
"The Department of Education
Services is working closely with the
college campuses to ensure the needs
of students are not affected by the
arrest," Mr McGowan said. "The
campuses have been inspected in the
past and have met the requirements
for registration as non-government
A spokeswoman for federal
Education Minister Julia Gillard
said the department was working with
its state counterpart to clarify the
management structure of the three
US President George W Bush has
removed former South African president Nelson Mandela
and his African National Congress from the US terror
The bill was sent to the White House last week and
signed in time for the anti-apartheid leader and Nobel
Peace Prize winner's 90th birthday on July 18.
"Today the United States moved closer at last to
removing the great shame of dishonouring this great
leader by including him on our government's terror watch
list," Senator John Kerry said after the bill was
approved on Friday.
When a similar bill passed the House of Representatives
last month, Barbara Lee, a California Democrat who
co-sponsored it, said she was "especially pleased we are
taking this important step to finally right this
Lee said that under the legislation, introduced during
the 1980s while Ronald Reagan was president, the ANC
could travel to United Nations headquarters in New York
but not to Washington, DC, or other parts of the United
In April, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged a
Senate committee to remove the restrictions on the ANC
party, calling it a "rather embarrassing matter that I
still have to waive in my own counterpart, the foreign
minister of South Africa, not to mention the great
leader Nelson Mandela".
The ANC has been South Africa's ruling party since 1994,
when a majority-ruled democracy replaced a white-ruled
state where the vote was based on race.
During the Cold War, the West considered the ANC a
communist organisation that wanted to bring down
pro-Western South Africa.
Mandela spent 27 years in prison for his work with the
Rami's Thunder Taekwondo Club has
been successfully operating in the Scouts Hall alongside
the Wally Tate Park in Kuraby for several years now
under the instruction of Mr. Rami Maani.
Last week several of Mr. Maani's
students were awarded certificates of achievement.
Mr. Mustafa Ally of
Crescents of Brisbane was invited to attend the
proceedings during which he congratulated the students
and their instructor on their enthusiasm and dedication
to the sport and for performing exceedingly well in the
many local and national competitions they have taken
part in over the years.
can find out for yourself at the Muslim Business Network Trivia Night
to be held on Saturday 19 July 2008
at the Sacred Heart Hall, Nemies Rd, Runcorn from
Organizer, Mr. Farouk Adam,
told CCN that the idea behind the trivia night was
to get members of the community and their families and
friends to have a night of fun and to make new friends
and to provide an opportunity for networking.
The Trivia questions will cover
various subjects such as business, sports, history,
general knowledge, Australiana and Islam.
Entry fee is $15 per person or $150
per team of 10.
A light meal consisting of burgers,
sausage sizzle, cold drinks, tea, coffee and ‘nibbles’
will be provided.
Child minding facilities will be
available so that the adults can have fun while the
children are cared for.
"I can promise everyone a fun
filled night with heaps of prizes to be won,’ Farouk
Adam said. "So don’t miss out!"
You can download entry forms from
Brisbane's latest Hafiz
13-year old Ali Mokrani
graduated as a
Hafiz-ul-Quran last night (Saturday) at the Kuraby
Mosque where a large turnout saw him recite the final
verses to qualify.
Ali becomes the 24th Hafiz from the
school of Iqra Rodha-tul-Aftaal run by Qari Fid-ur-Rahman.
Now Sets his Sights on Muslim Aid Australia
Richard "Some of my best friends
are Muslims" Kerbaj writes in The Australian
of an Australian aid agency which has allegedly breached
Australia’s anti-terror laws.
Muslim Aid Australia (MAA), in
conjunction with Muslim Aid UK, has been raising funds
for Palestinians in Gaza caught up in the
Israeli-enforced blockade arising from Gaza’s takeover
That aid has been allegedly
channelled through another UK-based charity called
Interpal, a proscribed organisation under Australia’s
At a glittering function held last
night (Saturday) at the Shangrila Restaurant in
Sunnybank, Ms Frances Wang (left in picture)
took over the reigns as President of the Australian
Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce from Mr. Derick Chen.
cordial relationship and friendship that Crescents
of Brisbane forged with the Taiwanese Community earlier
this year, Mustafa Ally (second from the left)
was invited to attend the change over, adding a bit of
colour to the night's proceedings.
Also present were a number of
prominent political figures including the Queensland
Minister for Health, Stephen Robertson MP (second
from left) and business men and women and advisors to
the chamber including Ms Michelle Lee, CEO and
the President of the Royal Brisbane International
College (right in picture).
Around the Muslim
World with CCN
Houston USA: Residents
Upset Over Quran Distribution
The distribution of Qurans in a southwest
Houston neighborhood has some residents worried about
the motives of the group who dispersed the Islamic book.
An English translation of the Quran began appearing two
weeks ago on the doorsteps of hundred of homes in the
BraesTimbers neighborhood. The books came in plastic
bags with a note attached from the ‘Book of Signs
Foundation’ asking recipients to accept the Quran as a
gift from the Muslim community.
But some residents, like Greg and Sue Ann Pieri, said
they feared the group is imposing its beliefs on
non-Muslims and found the gesture offensive.
“If we went into a Muslim country and left a bible, we
would be in prison and then decapitated a few years
later,” said Sue Ann Pieri, who chose not to destroy the
book like other neighbours did.
Two weeks ago, I presented a young
Palestinian, Mohammed Omer, with the 2008 Martha
Gellhorn Prize for Journalism.
Awarded in memory of the great US war
correspondent, the prize goes to journalists who expose
establishment propaganda, or "official drivel", as
Gellhorn called it.
Mohammed shares the prize of £5,000 with
Dahr Jamail. At 24, he is the youngest winner. His
citation reads: "Every day, he reports from a war zone,
where he is also a prisoner.
His homeland, Gaza, is surrounded,
starved, attacked, forgotten. He is a profoundly humane
witness to one of the great injustices of our time.
He is the voice of the voiceless." The
eldest of eight, Mohammed has seen most of his siblings
killed or wounded or maimed. An Israeli bulldozer
crushed his home while the family were inside, seriously
injuring his mother.
And yet, says a former Dutch ambassador,
Jan Wijenberg, "he is a moderating voice, urging
Palestinian youth not to court hatred but seek peace
Mohammed Omer is a young Palestinian journalist and
photographer. He lives in the Rafah refugee camp, On his
website (http://www.rafahtoday.org/), he presents photos
and reports about his home town, about the Palestinian
life and community, the home demolitions, homeless
families and the children in the camp. Mohammed is very
courageous and risks his life to show to the world the
tragedies that happen in Palestine every day. You can
contact him there :
A minister has warned that many British
Muslims feel "like the Jews of Europe".
Dewsbury MP Shahid Malik, who is a minister in the
Department for International Development, made it clear
he was not comparing the situation experienced by
Muslims to the plight of Jews during the Holocaust.
However, he suggested that targeting Muslims led to them
feeling under siege.
This had the negative effects of segregating society and
undermining efforts to deal with extremism and
terrorism, he added.
Mr Malik, who revealed he had been the victim of
religious hatred himself on a number of occasions, made
the comments in an interview for a Channel 4 Dispatches
UK: An education authority is
investigating claims that two school pupils were
punished for refusing to kneel down and pray to Allah
during a religious education lesson.
Parents complained after the boys, Year 7 pupils at
Alsager High School in Cheshire, were given detention
for being "disrespectful" to the prophet, the Congleton
Parent Sharon Luinen told the paper: "This isn't right,
it's taking things too far.
"I understand that they have to learn about other
religions, I can live with that, but it is taking it a
step too far to be punished because they wouldn't join
in Muslim prayer. Making them pray to Allah, who isn't
who they worship, is wrong and what got me is that they
were told they were being disrespectful."
The school is believed to have received complaints from
five sets of parents since the alleged incident on
Another parent, Karen Williams, said: "I am absolutely
furious my daughter was made to take part in it and I
don't find it acceptable. I haven't got a problem with
them teaching my child other religions and a small
amount of information doesn't do any harm.
"But not only did they have to pray, the teacher had
gone into the class and made them watch a short film and
then said 'We are now going out to pray to Allah'. And
then two boys got detention and all the other children
missed their refreshments break because of the teacher."
She added: "My child has been forced to pray to Allah in
a school lesson."
The incident is believed to have taken place during a
practical demonstration of how Allah is worshipped.
Cheshire County Council confirmed that parents had
complained about the lesson, and said the circumstances
of the incident were to be "thoroughly" looked into.
A fixed term one year
project for 19 hours per weeK. The hourly rate is in
accordance with the Social and Community Service
To apply for the above positions, call the IWAQ
office on: 3272 6355/ 3272 6422 during business
hours to obtain a copy of the Position Description
and Selection Criteria.
Monday 14th July 2008 at 5pm
An up coming Halal
restaurant in Brisbane specializing in Indian and
Middle Eastern food has a position for a chef who
has some experience in the food industry, and is
eager to learn and assist in this new venture.
If you are interested
or know someone who is interested then call 0401 764
634 or 0433 000 123.
Readers' Book Club:
You are what you read!
A CCN Reader
Muhammad: His Life
Based on the Earliest Sources by Martin Lings
Lings (Abu Bakr Siraj Ad-Din) (1909 – 2005) was a Sufi
and a student and follower of
His most famous work was
this biography about Muhammad (pbuh), written in 1983,
which earned him acclaim in the Muslim world and prizes
from the governments of Pakistan and Egypt.
His work was hailed as the
"best biography of the prophet in English" at the
National Seerat Conference in Islamabad.
In addition to his writings
on Sufism, Lings was a renowned Shakespeare scholar.
The unique contribution to
Shakespeare scholarship was to point out the deeper
esoteric meanings found in Shakespeare's plays, and the
spirituality of Shakespeare himself.
More about the author...
Would you like to see the cover of
your favourite book on our book shelves below?
University of Queensland, 323 Hawken
Drive, St. Lucia
Contact: 0421 731 797
Time: 6.45pm to 9.00pm
Sunnah Inspirations is a
non-profit organisation to cater for Muslim
social support and supplying information to
Muslims and non-Muslims. They have been
doing various activities around Australia,
and have organised Da'wah information stalls
at various universities in Brisbane. More
info can be found on their website above.
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