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



Sunday, 11 January 2009

 .Newsletter 0218


News you won't find on CNN!



CCN Reader's Discussion Forum



In response to the many requests to CCN for a discussion forum in which, among other things, CCN readers can comment on issues and articles raised in CCN and elsewhere we have set up www.ccnforum.ning.com.


We invite you to start up or join in a discussion topic.


This week's readers' topics under discussion include:


Response to the article entitled “Stop Embarrassing ME!"

Second Brisbane Gaza Rally


Queenslanders Second Rally Against Atrocities

By Abdul Rahman Keri


Over two thousand protesters marched through Brisbane CBD streets condemning Israel for exacerbating the humanitarian plight of Gazans.


Protesters chanted anti–Israeli slogans such as:  ‘two, four, six, eight Israel is a racist state’ and ‘shame, Israel shame’ as they made their way through two city blocks.


Upon reaching the intersection of Queen and Edward streets,  the vocal procession stopped for a  minute silence – remembering  innocent lives lost and released balloons in their memory.


The protesters initially gathered at Queen’s Park and listened to community leaders condemn the Israeli state from its cabinet ministers to affiliated Australian lobbyists.

Australians for Palestine spokesman, Michael Shaik compared the Israeli state to apartheid South Africa but he said Israeli policy on the Gazan blockade and decades of expansionism made the Israeli state less humane.


However,  Australian - Israeli Margaret Shalom spoke on behalf of less publicised Jewish groups that condemn Israeli attacks against Gazan civilians. 


She condemned Zipni Livni for politicising the attacks in the wake of upcoming Israeli elections.


‘Stop the war at once, stop shedding the blood of [Israeli] soldiers and civilians for nothing.  Stop shedding blood on the inhabitants of Gaza,  the ground invasion will cause an additional disaster, a mutual massacre’,  Ms. Shalom said.

Federal member for Moreton,  Graham Perrett also addressed the rally by highlighting recent,  federal government aid contributions to Gaza.  He also endorsed UN resolution 1860 and a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine.


‘The Australian government welcomes UN Security Council resolution 1860...the Australian government is a strong supporter of a two-state solution’, Mr. Perret said.


Anas Abdalla said the presence of a federal MP at a pro-Palestinian rally was a positive sign for the movement.



Courier Mail Report (10/01/09)


MORE than 2000 people have marched through central Brisbane today in protest at Israel's incursion into Gaza.

At a rally in the city one of the organisers, who wished to be known only as Abdullah, said the large turnout showed the growing momentum of Australia's opposition movement to Israel's actions.

“This is very positive and a very encouraging turnout,” he said.

He said the Israeli Government's response to Hamas rockets was disproportionate.

“This is a civilian population of 1.5 million people, and 65 per cent are under the age of 13.

“This is the humanitarian catastrophe that Israel continues to violate.”

Aboriginal elder Bob Anderson compared the Palestinians' plight to the dispossession of Australia's indigenous peoples.

Jewish peace activist Margot Salom said she was among a small band of Australian Jews who condemn Israel's suppression of the Palestinians.

“I personally believe that an illegally occupied people have the right to resist,” Ms Salom said.

Labor backbencher and Member for Moreton Graham Perrett, reminded the crowd that Australian soldiers had shed blood in Gaza during World War I and were there again in World War II.

“Gaza has been turned into a place of madness,” he said of the Israeli occupation.

“I've been horrified to read of the death toll since the fighting began, now 800-people-plus, and more than 3000 people injured.”

Mr Perrett backed the United Nations resolution calling for “an immediate, durable and fully-respected ceasefire,” and the restoration of UN aid.

“I've been particularly horrified to see schools bombed and children suffering in this conflict,” the former schoolteacher said.

The protesters then marched through central Brisbane, chanting and then stopping at the bottom of the Queen Street Mall where they held a minute's silence and released balloons in memory of the civilian casualties.




Facebook photos and update





Hijab chic

Janice Breen Burns


Saara Sabbagh (front), wears silky smudge-green patterned maxi-dress with deeply ruffled hemline, chocolate jacklet and underscarf with draped latte headscarf. Nadine (left, rear), wears sunset-orange border print maxi-dress and Toltu Tufa (right), the sage floral maxi she modernised with Dotti denim vest and metallic silver sandals.
Photo: Melanie Faith Dove

THE graceful maxi-dress sashayed into fashion just in time for summer and in certain Muslim circles, the joy was palpable. "It's fantastic," says youth and community worker, Saara Sabbagh, 37, delighted. "We're all out there, stocking up on maxis now."

In shops from Supre to Sportsgirl and many small boutiques, summer's crop of maxi-frocks is a rich and colourful windfall for many Muslim women. Not only that, many of the prettiest are still on sale. "I got this for, I think, $30," says university student Nadine Sabbagh, 19. She shakes out the skirts of a silky, flame-orange floor-grazer that she has cleverly teamed with a nut-brown jersey bolero and terracotta silk headscarf.

Her friend, postgraduate psychology student Toltu Tufa, 22, is also a gifted editor of summer trends. She pulls on a cropped Dotti denim vest, giving a funky finish to the swathe of sage-green floral she's matched to an airy silk headscarf, elegantly swag-draped almost to her waist at the front. She's sharpened the green with crisp white sleeves and the visible two-finger-wide arc of an underscarf across her forehead. "I shop here and there — all over — to find what I want," Ms Tufa says.

The Muslim ensemble may be more complicated than the average string-strapped sun frock and sandals, but she revels in the extra challenge. She says the chain stores are handy — particularly on a student's budget — but also high among her favorite haunts are fabric outlets such as Spotlight.

"My sister can really sew, but you can also find some beautiful pieces you can use for scarves." She demonstrates with a glorious length of bronze silk shot with pink lights. It's been pinched into a three-dimensional textured pattern with tiny, regular stitches and Ms Tufa anchors it with an exotic webbed headpiece of bronze beads. "Gorgeous!' declares photographer Melanie Faith Dove as Ms Tufa poses.

As an Australian Muslim, Saara Sabbagh and her young friends are talented cherry-pickers of seasonal fashion trends, adapting what they can to their definition of hijab. For the uninitiated, at its most fundamental level the Muslim dress code or hijab instructs men and women to dress modestly, mostly in loose garments that do not accentuate their body or overtly express sexuality.

"It's about desexualising the public sphere," explains Ms Sabbagh. (In the private sphere, the rules relax.) "It's a boundary between the genders that promotes respect, and it's an extension of your inner practices (of Islam) into the outer world; practices like honesty, and being loving, and being at peace with oneself and one's faith and one's community." She says hijab can be interpreted in infinite ways by personal choice and by Muslims in various cultures internationally.

In Australia, where it's estimated that just under 2 per cent of people are Muslims, hijab instructs men to wear loose clothing ("No Speedos!" Ms Sabbagh laughs) and women to be covered except for the face, hands and feet.

"But even that is a personal choice," she says. "Although hijab is a commandment in Islam, ultimately it is a woman's choice to embrace it or choose not to practise it according to (her) individual spiritual journey. There are Muslims who choose not to wear the scarf at all, and some who choose to wear a complete covering, including the face. It doesn't mean they're more devout or that others aren't. It's just their choice."

Like many Muslims, Ms Sabbagh, a mother of three, is well acquainted with the misunderstanding occasionally triggered by those choices in Australian communities. "Particularly after September 11," she recalls, head shaking. "I wondered — I just couldn't believe — how a statement of faith (hijab) could be so misunderstood."

Instead of dwelling on the problem, she resolved to solve it using one of her favourite disciplines: fashion. Now, for almost eight years, My Dress, My Image, My Choice, a fashion show and forum for Muslim and non-Muslim women to talk about the issues in their lives and draw comfort from each other, has regularly led to full houses of 200 to 300 enthusiastic women.

"We use fashion to bring them together," Ms Sabbagh says. And, with further funding from the the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, the forum is now travelling to Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide and Tasmania where similar crowds are turning up to see how women such as Ms Tufa, Saara and Nadine Sabbagh and others capitalise on the graceful and elegant potential of hijab. Despite the breadth of individual looks, common to every interpretation of hijab is an approach to fashion markedly different to the mainstream's obsession with flesh. It's a difference that triggers some curiosity — positive and negative — among non-Muslims. In summer, for example, how do Muslims stay cool? In fact, they switch to lighter, breezier fabrics and the effect is probably cooler than the average micro-mini. For Muslim swimmers, there are also specialised garments such as the Burqini, by Sydney designer Aheda Zanetti.




Islamic Studies at The University Of Melbourne


The Community Access Program at the University of Melbourne gives you access to single subject study offered by the National Centre of Excellence for Islamic Studies (NCEIS) at the University of Melbourne.


The NCEIS is currently offering the following subjects in Semester 1, 2009 (Starting the week commencing Monday, 2 March):


Understanding Islam and Muslim Societies

This is an introductory subject/unit that exposes students to the basic and fundamental beliefs and practices that constitute the fabric of the Islamic world. Students will be able to explore relationships and differences between the key teachings of Islam and the customary practices of Muslims. In doing so, students will study both unity and diversity in various regions of the Muslim world. Historical and anthropological approaches to studying a number of key institutions and discourses in Muslim societies will also be introduced.


Great Texts of Islam: Qur'an and Hadith

This subject/unit is an introduction, in English translation, to the two most important texts of Islam, the Qur'an and Prophetic Tradition (Hadith), which Muslims regard as the primary sources of Islam. Students will study: the origins of the Qur'an and Hadith; their overall structure and content; major themes; approaches to their interpretation; and their functions in Muslim religious, social and political life. The themes and topics covered should assist students in understanding contemporary debates on the relevance of Islam today. Students will also explore the relationship between text and traditions in various Muslim societies in the present day.


The CAP gives you the choice to be either assessed or non-assessed for the subject. If you choose to undertake the non-assessed option for the subjects above, you may do the course entirely online. Audio lectures and reading materials are all available online, and students will be given access to tutors and other students through online forums and emails.


Assessed subjects completed under the CAP may be used as credit when applying for a diploma or degree course at the University of Melbourne. The CAP also gives you the opportunity to have a taste and trial of what is on offer in Islamic Studies prior to committing to a more rigorous academic course of study in the field.


For an application form or more information about the Community Access Program, including a downloadable information brochure and fee information, please go to: http://www.unimelb.edu.au/community/access/


For more information on the above subjects, please call 1800 884 303 or email nceis-office@unimelb.edu.au.


Muslims In Queensland Book For 150 Year Queensland Celebrations


THE Queensland Muslim Historical Society (QMHS) is calling on all Queensland Muslims willing to write their story about their life in Queensland for its proposed book.


The book aims to highlight the fact that Muslims have lived in Queensland since it became a state in its own right.


Muslims have contributed socially, morally and economically to make this state one of the best places in the world to live in.


Topics to cover include what period in between or before 10 December 1859 to December 2009 you or your ancestors came to Queensland; what attracted you or your ancestors to the state and made you decide to settle here; experiences gained in settling in; how you were accepted and integrated into Queensland society; what you have contributed to the State itself to make it what it is today.

For the early section, we want stories from the early families from all over Queensland, the Mahommeds and others in North Queensland, Muslims living in the outback, the Albanians, the Indonesians, Malays, Lebanese, Indians, the Yugoslavs and so on.


We also want the stories of the early Muslim families including the Khans, Harcoos, Schedues, Box, Mollahs, Ranes, Howsans, Kaus, Deens.

We want you to write your story so it can be recorded for future generations and should include anecdotes and interesting stories and photographs from the past. Include a little of your background such as the conditions in the country of your birth, why you left it behind, the difficulties in adapting to the new environment, the help given etc.

You can email your story or discuss this further by emailing qmhs786@gmail.com or calling 0435 086 796 or 3344 5330.


Janeth Deen

QMHS President




The QMHS has arranged for a free workshop and tour of the John Oxley Library on Saturday 17 January from 10am to 12pm.


This is an opportunity to learn about the heritage collection and resources of the library.


The meeting will start at the Ground floor Meeting Room No.1


There are a limited number of places for the workshop and if you would like to reserve a place please email qmhs786@gmail.com.


DIAC Humanitarian Program 09-10 - Submissions


There is an opportunity to provide submission on Australia's Humanitarian Program for 2009-10 and Beyond


Each year, the Government seeks the views of the Australian public on the Humanitarian program so that these can be taken into consideration in planning for and building future years' programs.


The Government has developed a discussion paper, which outlines how the Humanitarian Program currently operates and provides information on its size and composition over previous years.  The discussion paper also outlines possible options that are designed to improve the responsiveness and delivery of the Humanitarian Program. These are the introduction of a multi-year planning framework for the Humanitarian Program and associated with this, Australia making a longer-term commitment internationally to particular protracted refugee caseloads.


The discussion paper is available on the Department's website. See:



Submissions on the Humanitarian Program and the discussion paper may be made up until Friday 23 January 2009.  Submissions should be sent by email or post:

   Email: humanitarian.submission@immi.gov.au

   Post:  Humanitarian Program submission

            Assistant Secretary

            Humanitarian Branch

            Department of Immigration and Citizenship

            PO Box 25

            BELCONNEN  ACT  2616


Further information about this process is available on the Department's website. See:



Baba in Brisbane




Muslim Women & Friends and Hope for Happiness are in the process of organizing a tour of talks of Internet celebrity, Baba Ali, and are calling on potential sponsors to support this project.


Baba Ali's down to earth and entertaining humour with an underlying Islamic message has been well received by Muslims and non-Muslims alike.  


In case you are not familiar with him, click on the following link: www.ummahfilms.com or you can search him on www.youtube.com 


For more details about the event and sponsorship details click here.


Hookah smoking: Is it safer than cigarettes?


Is hookah smoking safer than cigarettes? Does the water used in the hookah makes the tobacco less toxic.


It's a myth that hookah smoking is safer than smoking cigarettes. The tobacco is no less toxic. Hookah smokers actually inhale more tobacco smoke than do cigarette smokers because of the massive volume of smoke they inhale.

Hookah — also called narghile, shisha and goza — is a water pipe. The device has been used for centuries in the Middle East and Asia to smoke tobacco. Now, hookah bars and cafes are popping up across the United States — fueled by the growing popularity of hookah smoking among teens and young adults.


When a smoker inhales through the tube, a pressure difference forces air past the heating source and heats the tobacco, which gives off smoke. The smoke is pulled away from the tobacco and passes through the water and into the smoke chamber — from which it is inhaled by the smoker.

Although many believe that the water in the hookah filters out all the "bad stuff" in the tobacco smoke, this isn't true. According to a World Health Organization advisory, a typical one-hour session of hookah smoking exposes the user to 100 to 200 times the volume of smoke inhaled from a single cigarette. Even after passing through water, tobacco smoke still contains high levels of toxic compounds, including carbon monoxide, heavy metals and cancer-causing chemicals (carcinogens). Hookah smoking also delivers significant levels of nicotine — the addictive substance in tobacco.

The trend of hookah smoking has doctors and public health experts concerned because — despite claims to the contrary by many users — smoking from a hookah is just as dangerous as smoking cigarettes.


Source: MayoClinic.com

An Answer


A short poem by an Arab poet, which describes the letting-go of a national identity, and indeed the spirit of international social work:


The stranger asked me what my country was
My country knows no exile, no “abroad”
I told her: My country is anywhere I meet
a stranger I can share friendship and love with
My country is an idea flowing with light
It is not bound to a flag or a piece of earth
I’ve left behind the tranquil motherlands
to those grown used to a settled life
I’ve raced the winds on every horizon
The winds and I have sworn companionship

                            Ahmad al-Mushari al-’Udwani

AFIC Affairs

CCN Supporting Local Entrepreneurship



The Inbox



My name is Alihasnen. I'm staying at Annerley. I just want to enquire is there anyone doing new born boy hair cut and circumcision at the Mosque,


I would be much thanked for any of relevant information.


Thanks a lot. Allah hafiz.

[Editor] Forward any information to ccn@crescentsofbrisbane.org for us to pass on.

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


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



Anti-ageing tips: Push yourself now and you could reap the benefits later! Studies show elderly men and women who carried out high-intensity workouts during middle age had the aerobic power of people 10-12 years their junior.

Invest some time in weight-training. We lose muscle tone as we age, however, if you weight-train you can actually gain muscle in later years depending on how hard you work out. Maintaining muscle goes along with maintaining the strength necessary to perform activities of daily living and will help you stay independent for longer.

Muscle mineral: Load up on potassium for a toned physique. A banana a day may get you a firmer body. Studies found those with high potassium diets retained more muscle with age.

Mind your omegas: Omega-3 fats are good for heart-health (these include fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, ground flaxseed, canola oil, walnuts and pumpkin seeds), so why not eat your way to a healthier heart.

(Source: University of Toronto, University of Queensland, Journal of clinical nutrition)




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





• 4 cups self-raising flour
• 125g butter
• ¾ cup sugar
• 1½ cups yoghurt
• oil for deep frying
• melted chocolate or glacé icing for topping

1. Place the flour in a mixing bowl
2. Rub in the butter and stir in the sugar
3. Add the yoghurt and make a soft dough
4. Roll out thickly and cut with doughnut cutter
5. Heat oil for frying
6. Fry rings until golden and drain on absorbent paper
7. Dip in desired topping on one side only or toss into cinnamon sugar

When making the glacé icing, use orange juice instead of water
Sprinkle slivered almonds or any chopped nuts after dipping in chocolate

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



Mula Nasruddin and his friends Jallalludin and Kamalludin are talking over coffee at the local cafe.


Jallalludin and Kamalludin are talking about the amount of control they have over their wives, while Mula Nasruddin remains quiet.

After a while Jallalludin turns to Mula Nasruddin and says,

"Well Brother Nasruddin, what about you, what sort of control do you have over your wife?"



Mula Nasruddin says "I'll tell you. Just the other night my wife came to me on her hands and knees."

Jallalludin and Kamalludin were amazed.


"What happened then?" they asked.


"She said, 'Get out from under the bed and fight like a man'."

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)





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.