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



Sunday, 4 January 2009

 .Newsletter 0217


News you won't find on CNN!



Hundreds rally against Israeli attacks on Gaza in Brisbane CBD

By CCN's embedded reporter on the spot Abdul Rahman Keri


Despite the rain more than 500 passionate and vocal Brisbanites turned out yesterday in support of a rally calling for a cease to the attacks on the people of Gaza.


People of different faiths and backgrounds expressed concern at Queen’s Park on the humanitarian condition of Gazans amidst consistent Israeli attacks.

‘Free, free Palestine’ was the mantra of the rally – a collective support for Palestinian sovereignty.

Public speakers alleged some governments and media organisations are complicit in denying Palestinians self-determination and a hindrance to improving their human condition; they also condemned the blockade of Gaza.


With Hamas gaining the reins of power in Gaza in 2007, Israel responded with an economic blockade in Gaza that severely reduced their living standards – 80 % of the Gazan population are unable to support themselves, according to the UN.


Seeping raw sewage through city streets, high unemployment and malnourished children are some of the effects of the Israeli blockade on Gazans.

To date Israel has allowed humanitarian aid to enter Gaza after days of continued bombing but according to Oxfam, ‘critical gaps’ are stifling the delivery of aid.


Rally organiser, Anas Abdalla emphasised the humanitarian condition of the Palestinians and the need to overlook politics and unite on human rights issues.

‘We’re not here to talk about the political issues but the humanitarian disaster that is at hand...this is not an issue about religious constituencies or religious affiliations, it is a human rights issue’, said Anas Abdalla.

Mr. Abdalla commended deputy prime- minister Julia Gillard’s announcement of an immediate $5 million aid package to Gaza but said the underlying issue was the unresolved occupation of Palestine.

‘Australia is generally a champion on human rights; in Zimbabwe, in East Timor, we are asking the Australia government to step up to the plate in relation to the Palestinian issue and be a champion there also’, he said.

Michael Shaik (pictured on the right being interviewed by Gary Hardgrave on Radio 4BC) of the advocacy group, Australians for Palestine, was flown in from Melbourne as the keynote speaker with several others taking to the podium to express their thoughts and views on the situation.


300 red, white, black and green balloons were released into the Brisbane skies as a symbolic gesture in remembrance of the victims of the recent attacks.


The rally received wide coverage last night on SBS, ABC and Channels 9 and 10.


Further rallies are planned for Brisbane.

Widespread condemnation of Israeli attacks


Several Mosques in Brisbane raised the issue of the recent bombings in Gaza during the Friday kuthbahs (sermons) and called on worshippers to support the rally and pray for the victims.



Sydneysiders gathered in Sydney to condemn Israeli bombing raids in the Gaza Strip, urging the Federal Government to take a strong stance against the conflict.

Many of the city's major mosques closed their doors for Friday prayers, with worshippers gathering in a Lakemba park in the city's south-west to pray for victims of the Israeli air strikes on the Hamas-controlled territory.

As a reminder of the lives lost, a coffin was brought to the front of the crowd, followed by eight Muslim leaders. More....



The Australian National Imams Council (ANIC) condemned the "brutal and disproportionate military action launched by the Israeli Government against innocent Palestinian people, including women and children" in a press release.





South African Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms Fatima Hajaig (pictured right), summoned the Israeli Ambassador, Mr Dov Segev-Steinberg, to a meeting at the Union Buildings in order to express the grave concern of the South African government at the brutal assault by Israeli military forces on the Palestinian people in Gaza. More...






The organisers of a protest held in South Africa outside the US Embassy had planned to throw shoes at a large picture of US president George W. Bush, but this did not go as planned.

"The target we were supposed to throw shoes at was burned by our comrades," an organiser told the crowd.


Ikebal Patel, AFIC President issued a press release condemning the situation in Gaza and wrote to Foreign Minister, Stephen Smith seeking a meeting with him to discuss the Palestinian issues. AFIC has also set up a fund for Palestine relief.






The marriage of Faaiza, daughter of Shabir and Laila Elias, to Abdullah, son of Ferhaad and Haseena Osman, took place at a nikah ceremony on Friday at the Holland Park Mosque after Jumma.


The nikah was performed by Imam Uzair.


The wedding reception was held last night (Saturday) at the Hope Island Golf Resort on the Gold Coast where a large number of local and overseas friends and families of the bride and groom attended the celebrations.


Quiz on Religions


How well do you know facts about religions - yours and others?


Take the BBC quiz and try out the 8 levels. There are new questions every few weeks.


Stop Embarrassing Me!

Opinion Piece in the Western Muslim


Why our leaders need to learn the art of public relations by Firaz Khan


I am no longer surprised when I see an inarticulate member of the Muslim community on television trying to speak on behalf of the mainstream Muslim community.


It always seems like the Imams, most of whom are immigrants, are the ones that manage to get on television and embarrass us all.

It was an incident that happened a few months ago, but it is a perfect example of why Muslims need to learn the fine art of Public Relations.


The latest incident that I came across was on an episode of the Michael Cohen show.


Cohen had two guests, Tariq Fatah of the Muslim Canadian Congress and Steve Rockwell, an Imam from Ontario who hosts a program called “Call of the Minaret.”


The topic of the show was supposed to touch on polygamy and then go onto various other topics concerning the Muslim community.


Whereas Fatah was representing the view of secular liberal Muslims, Rockwell was supposedly there to represent the mainstream everyday Muslim in Canada.


Needless to say, Rockwell did a horrible job at it. Not only was he inarticulate, he did not know how to engage in a civil exchange of ideas.


More often than not, he would bring up points that had nothing to do with the issue at hand.


And when he was unable to counter an argument, he would throw his hands up and say, “I thought I was here to talk about polygamy.” It was an embarrassment.

Now this is the way I see it.


We do have Imams out there that represent the views of the mainstream Muslim community.


But they are rare. The ones that do exist either do not wish to partake in media discourse, or are not approached by the various media outlets that exist.


Muslims do not like to acknowledge it but there are media outlets that want to have Imams and other spokespeople who represent mainstream, moderate Islam to come and speak.


But for one reason or another we never see them.


So in the end we are left with people who can’t engage in a proper debate, speak proper English and communicate their ideas in a coherent fashion.


Their intentions may be well but in the end, the audience is left with the impression that Muslims are not in sync with the rest of society.

For the past few years, public relations in Muslim in North American and European societies has been a massive failure.


If our product is Islam, a religion that claims to be one of peace and tolerance, then we should be marketing our religion as such.


In a time where the average person is informed mainly through television and the internet, the Muslim community must become masters of communicating those ideas on those mediums.

It’s one thing to have a person of great Islamic knowledge speak in a lecture style format to a sympathetic audience, in a Jummah setting, for example.


But in the public realm, the skills required our totally different. Our leaders need to realize the need for savvy media polished spokespeople.


If the Imams don’t have the necessary skills to do it themselves, then we should be appointing qualified spokespeople to be our voice – and every member of the congregation should be trained to direct all media inquiries to them, so that the community speaks with one clear and coherent voice.


After all, it is only Muslims that can properly represent our religion. Nobody else is going to do it for us.



From The CCN Cradle









A bouncing baby girl, Imaan, was born to Yasmeen and Shaheem Towner at the Wesley Hospital in Brisbane on Thursday 1st January 2009.


Imaan tipped the scales at 3.5kg.

Imaan is the 4th grandchild of Dr. Mohammed and Shireen Seedat of Robertson.


Father and daughter are pictured on the left.

At the Movies with CCN


Hollywood is preparing a new epic film on the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and the birth of Islam.

"[It] is not about division and conflict but will focus wholly on the rich values common to all Muslims, like compassion and tolerance," producer Oscar Zoghbi said in a statement.

The movie, "The Messenger of Peace", will be set during the time of Prophet Muhammad to portray the birth of Islam and is expected to be shot in the holy sites of Makkah and Madina in Saudi Arabia.

Zoghbi, who has contributed to the 1976 film "The Message", regarded as the only epic to portray early Islam, said he appreciates the sensitivities and challenges linked with the subject.

He stressed that there will be no depiction of Prophet Muhammad on screen.

Islam prohibits the personification of any prophet of God in movies or dramas.

The Message (pictured left), which was shot in Arabic and English versions in 1976, prompted worldwide controversy when it was rumoured that Anthony Quinn was starring as the Prophet.

Instead, the Prophet and his companions were heard speaking, by the movie character, off-camera but never directly shown.

The director signified Prophet Muhammad's presence with light organ music and occasionally framed the film from the prophet's point of view as he observed the actions of his followers.


The new movie will be the second English-language film of its kind made in the West to portray early Islam, producers said.

"In the 21st century there is a real need for a film that emotionally engages audiences on the journey that led to the birth of Islam," said Hollywood director Ramsey Thomas, who will write the script.

He noted that the script will be in English, but the movie will be dubbed into other languages, in particular Arabic.

Executive producer of the new movie, Hajja Subhia Abu Elheja, also noted that over three decades, only one Hollywood movie, The Message, tackled the birth of Islam.

"It is telling that only one great historical film has ever been made about Islam, a religion with 1.5 billion followers, whereas Christianity has been the subject of over 30."

Like Thomas, Abu Elheja agrees that media and the cinema industry in particular can help bridge the gap between the Muslim world and Western societies.

"Since 9/11, Islam's image has suffered tremendously," she said.

"Now more than ever it has become important to bridge the gap of understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims."



The CCN Centre Link


Youth and Community Development Officer

Al-Nisa Youth Group Inc. is currently looking to employ a male Youth and Community Development Officer to service the Muslim Community predominantly in the Greater Brisbane, Logan and Gold Coast areas with some outreach work in Ipswich, Toowoomba and Sunshine Coast.

Forward your completed selection criteria and CV to the secretary@alnisagroup.com.au  or post to:
The Steering Committee, MYServices,
PO Box 1586, Sunnybank Hills, QLD 4109

Applications close on Friday 16th January 2009 at 5:00pm.

For further information contact Kholoud Abdulla on 0430 482 671 or email: kholoud@myservices.net.au.

For more details on the position click here.


CCN Readers' Book Club: You are what you read!


This week





Gautam Malkani


Gautam Malkani's extraordinary comic novel portrays the lives of young Muslim, Sikh, and Hindu men in the ethnically charged enclave of one of the biggest western cities, London.


A world usually-but wrongly-portrayed as the breeding ground for Islamic militants is, in actuality, a world of money (sometimes), flash cars (usually), cell phones (all the time), rap music and MTV, as well as rivalries and feuds, and the small-time crooks who exploit them.


In Malkani's hilarious depiction of multiculturalism, race is no more than a proxy for masculinity, or lack of masculinity, among young men struggling to get by in a remorseless city.


Read the rest of the review....




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

Then simply email the title and author to thebookclub@crescentsofbrisbane.org


Double click a book cover to find out what others think of the book


CCN has set up an online Book Club at Shelfari to connect with CCN book readers at:


Using the book club you can see what books fellow CCN readers have on their shelves, what they are reading and even what they, and others, think of them.

The CCN Readers' Book Club

Kareema's Keep Fit Column





Q: Dear Kareema, can you please explain what Boot Camp involves and what some of the benefits are?





A:  The idea behind Boot Camp is to get participants in shape as quickly as possible! It's a progressive program over
the course of about 4 - 6 weeks which allows 'recruits' to work through at their own pace and get the most out of
their training.

Sessions are generally an hour long and consists of a combination of different exercises. All fitness levels are
catered for, so there are NO EXCUSES!

If the focus of the session is cardio, it may involve different running exercises such as sprints, sand runs or stairs. If it's a strength session, the focus is normally on exercises using body weight, such as push-ups, sit-ups, squats, chin-ups, etc.

Benefits include:

Bonus benefits:
- meeting new people
- getting fitter faster




My Health and Fitness

Tel: 0404 844 786

(Accredited Member of Fitness Queensland)


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.


KB's Culinary Corner





½ cup oil - ½ cup chicken fillet – cut into srrips – 1/2 tsp chilli, ½ tsp garlic paste - 1 cup green, yellow and red pepper (sliced) - ½ cup carrots - cut into julienne strips - 1 tsp salt - 3 cups cooked rice - 2 tablespoons soya sauce - 2 tablespoons chilli garlic sauce - 1 egg (for rice) - ½ cup spring onions (chopped) - 2 eggs for omelette and coriander
• Heat oil and stir fry chicken and chilli and garlic paste
• Add peppers and carrots and stir fry for 2 minutes
• Add the salt, cooked rice and soya sauce
• Break one egg in the centre of rice, mix in with the rice and add the spring onions
• Make omelette with eggs, salt, pepper, green chillies and coriander
• Cut omelette into strips and garnish rice with spring onions and omelette strips  



Do you have a recipe to share with CCN readers?
Send in your favourite recipe to ccn@crescentsofbrisbane.org and be our "guest chef" for the week.


The CCN Chuckle



Jallalludin was speeding along in his car when he was caught by radar from a police helicopter in the sky.


An officer pulled him over and began to issue a traffic ticket.


"How did you know I was speeding?" the frustrated Jallalludin asked.

The police officer pointed somberly towards the sky.

"You mean," asked Jallalludin, "that even He is against me?"


Notice Board


Click on image to enlarge


Circus Skills

Laser Skirmish

Interfaith Summit

Girls Swimming

IWAQ Swimming


Harmony Day

Fund Raiser


The CCN Date Claimer






(Click on link)





24 December

5 January



Girls Swimming

MYServices & Al-Nisa

Sam Riley Pool
1 Lexington Rd, Springwood

0402 529 395


12 January


Laser Skirmish

MYServices & Al-Nisa

Flagstone State School, Poinciana Drive, Flagstone

0402 529 395


22 January


Circus Skills

MYServices & Al-Nisa

Logan City PCYC, Jacaranda Avenue, Logan Central

0402 529 395


18-21 February


Interfaith Summit

Griffith University Multi-faith Centre

Brisbane City Council
Conference Hall

3735 7051/2

All day

21 March


Harmony Day Fund Raiser Dinner: Milperra High School

Crescents of Brisbane, Kuraby and Chinese Lions

Michael's Restaurant

0402 026 786


28 March


Kuraby Madrasah Fund Raiser Dinner

Kuraby Madrasah

Sacred Heart Centre, 80 Nemies Rd, RUNCORN

0422 191 675


2 May


Annual Fete

Islamic College of Brisbane

ICOB, Karawatha

0402 794 253

11am to 7pm

17 May



Crescents of Brisbane

Orleigh Park, West End

0402 026 786

7am to 1pm


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





The ladies taleem has concluded for this year. Further notice will be given in the New Year.


Sunnah Inspirations


Contact: 0408 270 421

University of Queensland,
323 Hawken Drive, St. Lucia

Every Monday

Event: Weekly Learning Circle: Sharh Riyad-us-Saliheen (An Explanation of 'Gardens of the Righteous'

Venue: Prayer Room, University of Queensland

Time: 6.45pm to 7.30pm


Every Friday

Subject: Fiqh Made Easy

Venue: Room E215 Building 1 (Forgan Smith), University of Queensland

Time: 6.30pm to 7.35pm

Every Friday

Subject: Tafseer al Qur'an (Explanation of the Qur'an)

Venue: Room E215 Building 1 (Forgan Smith), University of Queensland

Time: 7.45pm to 9pm


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.


CCN @ Facebook


Catch Crescents Community News at


Please feel free to post an entry on our Wall, start up a Discussion thread and/or become a Fan.


Useful Links


Crescents Community News (CCN) Readers' Forum

Discussion Forum & Social Network for CCN Readers


Queensland Muslim Historical Society Inc.

     Promoting the study and awareness of the rich history of the Muslims of Queensland


Young Muslims of Queensland

     Social network for young Muslims of Brisbane


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


Gold Coast Mosque


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.



If you would like a link to your website email ccn@crescentsofbrisbane.org.


Write For Us

The best ideas and the best feedback come from our community of readers. If you have a topic or opinion that you want to write about or want seen covered or any news item that you think might be of benefit to the Crescents Community please e-mail



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 ccn@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.