Queensland Forum for
Christians, Jews and
Muslims held an
interfaith forum at
during the week as
part of the Centre's
10 year anniversary
Members from the
30 students of the
Islamic College (AIIC,
Durack) attended the
panellists were Mr
David Paratz, past
and vice president,
Board of Deputies;
The Revd Canon
Together and Mr.
Keysar Trad CEO of
Addressing the theme
of the forum, namely
"Is Religion to
Blame", some of the
around the conflict
in Israel and
forum concluded with
curry and rice lunch
provided by Mr.
Father and son grace
the cover of local
Dr Anver Omar
(54), plans to
journalist son and
Yusuf (23) along
the 90km Comrades
Marathon run from
Durban today (Sunday
6am South African
time and 2pm
Snr's training runs,
three times a week,
around the suburbs
of Kuraby should
hold him in good
stead on his 7th
Throw in a few solo
Kuraby to Queen
Street in Brisbane
and he will have
covered over 1000km
the last “down” run,
Omar Snr finished in
8 hours 50 minutes.
"This year I’ll be
on getting Yusuf
through before the
12 hour cut off,"
Omar Snr told CCN.
will be good
preparation for me
for CresWalk in
said as he lodged
his tongue firmly
into his cheek and
has come up with a
smartphone app to
navigate in Mecca.
able Muslim is
required to go on a
pilgrimage to Mecca,
Saudi Arabia — known
as the hajj — at
least once in their
But the journey to
Mecca can be an
experience. Over a
million people from
around the world
descend on the
Islamic holy sites
during the hajj
period, and they
have to both perform
and find their way
crowds in often
Now a young German
has developed a
smartphone app to
help the pilgrims
find their way and
offer a guide to
rituals that are an
essential part of
Dastageeri first had
the idea when he
went to Mecca with
his family in 2006
to perform the Umrah,
pilgrimage that can
be done at any time
realized that it was
not as easy as I had
imagined,” he said.
“Of course my family
and I had prepared,
but when I was
there, I saw that
there was a lot that
we just couldn’t
The 32-year-old, who
was born in Mainz
after his parents
science at the
Stuttgart at the
time. “I thought it
would be interesting
if I could have had
a navigation device
that could also be a
He soon embarked on
a Masters program.
For his project, he
decided to develop a
prototype GPS system
for the hajj.
It took over two
years to develop the
“Amir” app, named
for the Arabic word
The hajj rituals
vary according to
gender, so there is
one app for men and
one for women. The
user can then choose
exactly which of the
of the hajj he or
she is doing.
first big challenge
for a pilgrim is to
know what, when and
where the rituals
have to be
are not part of
everyday life for
most people. They
would not have
before at home.”
guide helps them
prepare, with a
check list and
tutorials on how to
perform the rituals.
project took longer
expected because he
had not only had to
technology, but also
make sure that the
app complied with
Islamic thought. To
do so, he consulted
scholar Abu Muneer
Ismail Davids, who
has written numerous
books on the hajj.
“It was really
important that there
would be neither
For Dastageeri, the
chance to combine
his tech skills and
beliefs was the main
developing the app.
“As a computer
scientist, you learn
to find solutions to
known problems, and
the hajj has existed
for 1,400 years.
With these new
possibilities we can
simplify the hajj,
and also help many
people. That was my
motivation from the
is still practiced
more than one spouse
is a long-standing
cultural norm in
This week Insight
spoke to people from
about life in a
relationship and the
sharing a spouse.
What it’s like for
children growing up
in those households?
How do spouses
And why is polygamy
against the law?
in the audience were
Ms Fathima Youssef
who said that
polygamy was common
in her local
community in Sydney.
She wasn't in a
but said she saw
other women enjoying
the benefits of
polygamy, such as
She said God allows
polygamy because God
“knew that man was
weak” in terms of
in the audience was
the Imam of the Gold
Coast Mosque, Imam
Imran Husain and Ms
Eman Sharobeem, a
community worker who
can subjugate women
has talked to
immigrant women and
says jealousy of
relationships was a
She said some women
are often driven to
the point of mental
because of it.
the killing goes on
in Syria, people are
risking their lives
again to escape the
country, many of
them with horrible
In this week's
Dateline program on
SBS reporter Yaara
Bou Melhem met some
of the desperate
refugees and the
doctors working in
Turkey and Lebanon
to help them.
One of the doctors
Yaara met was
Dr Tamer Kahil,
who said he just
couldn’t sit back
and do nothing.
Kahil, the cofounder
of the Australian
over to Turkey with
medical supplies to
render his expert
took along with him
were for a
centre he is helping
set up for people
hurt in the
is happening in
there is really
horrible and beyond
belief, a Government
kills its own
people. I don't feel
watching the news
and counting the
number of civilians
horrible, " he told
the SBS reporter.
"The function there
is we have
for instance, no
matter how good the
operation is, if you
don't follow it up
other modalities of
treatment, then the
Islamic Centre in
established in the
year 2000 as a
building with prayer
facilities for men
and women, an office
room, kitchen and
ablution area. In
the early days only
a third of the main
prayer hall with an
of about 180
worshippers would be
Due to rapid growth
of the number of
students, the space
in the Centre was
accommodate all the
Jumma prayers. It
became usual to see
some 100 worshippers
spill over onto the
lawns under the open
sky on Fridays.
proposal for the
Centre took some
time to get approved
by the University.
expansion work is
now under progress
and this will allow
an extra 100
in the year the
Centre was renovated
to create rear
entrance for the
women which allows
the women to enter
the facilities from
a separate entry
than the entrance
for the men.
USQ Islamic Centre
is open to all
Muslims in Toowoomba
Dalby and Oakey.
"The community is
grateful to the
for its on going
support to the
growing number of
Muslim students and
staff, " Professor
Shahjahan Khan, the
coordinator of the
USQ Islamic Centre
"But it is time for
the local community
of Muslims to start
working for a Masjid
with their own
We would like to express our gratitude to all the
applicants for the Sister Haifaa's Ladies Retreat at
the Gold Coast in July 2012.
Alhamdulillah, we have had an
excellent response and have now officially closed
registration for this year.
Jazakallah for your interest and enthusiasm.
We look forward to seeing those that
have registered, at the retreat Insha-Allah.
Salam CCN Editor
Our organisation is a not-for-profit non-political
community group that aims to promote Palestine and
Palestinian culture in Australia in a variety of
accessible and enjoyable ways, including film and
attach our flyer for our next film evening which
being held on Saturday 7 July at 6:30pm at the
Tribal Theatre situated at 346 George Street in the
city. The tickets include the film and delicious
Middle Eastern food as well as a cultural display
and some Arab musical entertainment.
We would appreciate you advertising our event and
insha'ALLAH you will be able to attend yourself!
Kind regards Kathryn Zahran (Director of the PACSI
23% of the
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the time that
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home and abroad
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remains a de
Lebanon, and its
presence is felt
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force of around
Syria and Israel
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Shi’ism as the
educated at the
Najaf in Iraq
where he met
as leader of
in 1992 and has
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health care and
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housing in the
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carried out by
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states’ lack of
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•• Nasrallah has
support for the
and Yemen; yet
he supported the
I tell you
today is at
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The 'Anatolian Tigers' and the rise of the Turkish economy
ISTANBUL, Turkey — When illiterate carpenter Mustafa Boydak
Sr., from a village outside of the central Anatolian city of
Kayseri, opened his first carpentry workshop in 1957, it was
just a way to make a living.
Over the years, the small workshop developed into a
furniture company, and from there into an industrial
conglomerate operating in eight sectors with 35 companies,
among them the most important furniture brands in Turkey.
Today, Boydak Holding exports to 110 countries, and its
companies have about 2,000 branches in Turkey and 260
branches worldwide. These days, Mustafa Boydak Sr. has put
his sons in charge. He has also learned to read and write.
The success story of the Boydak family highlights the
industrial boom in several cities in Turkey’s provincial,
conservative regions that have started to compete with the
country’s economic powerhouse, Istanbul.
The growth, which began in the 1980s, has been spurred by a
new class of entrepreneurs known as “Anatolian Tigers.”
Devout Muslims with a pragmatic, global approach to
business, these entrepreneurs have begun to change the
traditional balance of power in this developing economy.
For many decades Turkey’s economy had been dominated by a
handful of huge, industrial conglomerates run by some of the
world’s richest families — all of them secular. The rise of
the Anatolian Tigers coincided with the arrival in power of
the Islamic-oriented Justice and Development Party (AKP) and
was strongly supported by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip
Erdogan. That has led observers to view it as a power
struggle between secular and conservative elites.
But that hasn’t happened.
"Turkish capital has simply grown more diverse in the course
of the years," said Sumru Altug, professor of economics at
Koç University in Istanbul. "But it’s wrong to draw
connections between economic developments and the political
or religious attitudes of new regional players."
spend it at
Like their secular counterparts, the old
business elites of Istanbul, the Muslim Calvinists of
Kayseri seek to improve their quality of life through
material means. They spend their new wealth on big new cars,
shopping malls and modern architecture throughout the city.
But as opposed to the modern metropolis Istanbul, there is
little means for distraction in Kayseri — there are no bars
or fancy restaurants, much less clubs or art galleries.
The conservative elites of his city consider hard work a
type of worship, just like the Calvinists of yore, said
Mustafa Boydak Jr., Mustafa Boydak Sr.’s second eldest son,
referring to a report by the European Stability Initiative
published in 2005, which called the Anatolian Tigers
"Islamic Calvinists" for their combining of religious
devotion with a hard work ethic.
"Pious people are usually very diligent," he added.
"We don’t reject modern comforts," he said. "But going out
and drinking simply has no tradition here. People don’t like
wasting their time doing such things, they would rather
spend it at home with their families."
The new conservative elites are also some of the fiercest
advocates for Turkey’s bid to join the European Union. Their
openness to Western-style progress was in fact one of the
keys to their success, they say.
UK: The Yorkshire Post today reports that bids
to form faith schools within the government’s free
school initiative has led to local opposition with
some humanist campaigners arguing that the
establishment of such schools “could add to
religious and racial segregation in the region’s
“Campaigners have warned the Government’s free
school programme could add to religious and
racial segregation in the region’s cities after
plans to create Muslim, Sikh, and Jewish
schools, and a failed bid by a Christian group
to teach creationism to pupils were put forward.
“Concerns have also been raised that another
planned free school in Yorkshire is part of an
education movement which is based on
“pseudoscience” teachings – a claim strongly
rejected by those involved.
“The Yorkshire Post can reveal that there have
been at least eight faith groups or religious
private schools in the region interested in
joining the free school movement since the
flagship policy was launched by Education
Secretary Michael Gove.
“Among the latest proposals to emerge is a
co-educational Islamic primary in west Halifax.
“The Department for Education (DfE) is holding
interviews this week with groups planning to
open free schools in 2013, with decisions
expected later this summer.
“A plan to create a new state-funded Christian
School which would have taught creationism to
1,000 pupils in ten small “family school” bases
dotted around Sheffield has been rejected.
“However the rejection letter to the proposed
Sheffield Christian School does not cite its
creationist curriculum as one of the reasons.
“The British Humanist Association (BHA) has
welcomed the decision not to approve the
Sheffield Christian School plan but warned that
as least 15 other faith-based proposals had made
it to the DfE’s interview stage nationally.
“The organisation claims that if these are
successful it could add to segregation or lead
to pupils being taught a “skewed” curriculum.
“Other proposals in Leeds include a Sikh free
school and a Jewish free school which has been
put forward by the Jewish Brodetsky Primary in
the city. The school’s head, Jeremy Dunford,
said it would not add to segregation in the city
as pupils currently go to a Jewish high school
“There are also plans for a Sikh ethos school in
Leeds. Calderdale Council said a group is
planning an Islamic primary school in Halifax.
Gugsy Ahmed, head of Parkinson Lane primary in
Halifax, said he had heard the proposed school
was to be known as the Sunni Centre.
“The private Barnsley and Bradford Christian
Schools, the muslim New Horizon School in Leeds
and the SDA Church in Leeds have all expressed
interest in opening free schools.”
Proposals for faith-based free schools have been
the target of recent opposition with Muslim
schools facing their fair share of negative
first Muslim school to be given free school
status, Tauheedul Islam Boys’ School in
Blackburn, encountered opposition last year as
plans went through, with the local National
Union of Teachers representative reportedly
arguing that "It is going to develop potential
social problems in the future.”
recently, under the same legislative changes
which are bringing in free schools, plans to
give the Bolton Muslim Girls School academy
status faced opposition protests.
Sentenced to death for
singing and dancing at wedding
Four women and two men have been sentenced to death in
northern Pakistan for singing and dancing at a wedding,
Clerics issued a decree after a mobile phone video emerged
of the six enjoying themselves in a remote village in the
mountainous district of Kohistan, 176km north of the capital
Pakistani authorities in the area said local clerics had
ordered the punishment over allegations that the men and
women danced and sang together in Gada village, in defiance
of strict tribal customs that separate men and women at
"The local clerics issued a decree to kill all four women
and two men shown in the video," district police officer
Abdul Majeed Afridi said.
"It was decided that the men will be killed first, but they
ran away so the women are safe for the moment. I have sent a
team to capture them and am waiting to hear some news," he
said, adding that the women had been confined to their
Afridi said the events stemmed from a dispute between two
tribes and that there was no evidence the men and women had
"All of them were shown separately in the video. I've seen
the video taken on a cell phone myself. It shows four women
singing and a man dancing in separate scenes and then
another man sitting in a separate shot," he said.
"This is tribal enmity. The video has been engineered to
defame the tribe," he added.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said at least 943
women and girls were murdered last year for allegedly
defaming their family's honour.
SOUTH AFRICA: The largest mosque in the southern
hemisphere has risen in Midrand at the will of 75-year-old
Turkish construction tycoon Ali Katircioglu.
Hoping to leave a legacy in
South Africa, "Uncle Ali", as he is popularly known, has
already spent more than R210-million ($2.5M) on the new
Nizamiye mosque and community complex, and has no plans for
"Everyone wants to leave something greater before dying. If
you look at the richest men in history, they're often
forgotten. But if you're rich and you leave something that
helps people, you will feel their prayers long after you are
dead," the Turkish-speaking Katircioglu said yesterday.
The estimated cost of the entire project, including a Muslim
university, is R1.3-billion ($160M). But Katircioglu could
not give an exact figure because he had "stopped counting a
long time ago".
During the planning stages, Katircioglu travelled back and
forth between Turkey and South Africa. When construction
started in October 2009, he moved to South Africa with his
wife to oversee the project in person.
Katircioglu had planned to build the mosque in the US. But
after failing to find a suitable site and being obstructed
by the bureaucracy he brought the project to South Africa.
The mosque, which is at the centre of a 52ha complex, is a
scaled-down replica of the Ottoman Selimiye mosque in
Edirne, Turkey. The massive dome atop the building has the
same pale-blue hue and is adorned with four identical
minarets on each corner.
At the centre of the outdoor
plaza lies a whudu, a small bathing area where devotees can
wash before namaaz or ritual prayers.
The interior is where the real treat lies. Painted in gold,
Arabic prayer calligraphy and ornate flowers completely
cover the ceiling of the 31m-high dome.
The design is reflected on the carpet directly beneath it,
creating a central symmetry throughout the building.
Tiles hand-painted with colourful flowers line the walls.
The building has two storeys to enable men and women to pray
separately - women on the balcony and men on the carpeted
The mosque can accommodate 6000 worshippers . Though it has
yet to have an official opening, prayers are held there five
times a day. On Fridays, it is filled to the brim, requiring
extra carpeting to be laid down outside.
But one need not follow Islam to visit the mosque.
"We want everyone to feel welcome and visit. You can wear
what you want, look how you want but we all have the same
heart," Katircioglu said.
The mosque is surrounded by a community complex, which is
still under construction. Originally, Katircioglu had
planned only to build a shopping centre and a primary school
at which children could live and study, but those ambitions
have since been greatly expanded.
After meeting former president Nelson Mandela, who suggested
that he add a clinic, Katircioglu worked on creating a
low-cost clinic. He also decided to extend the plot to build
a Muslim university.
The shopping centre, clinic and primary school are scheduled
to be completed and officially opened by mid-September at a
ceremony expected to be attended by President Jacob Zuma.
The university will take a bit longer to complete.
CAIRO – Becoming the first
team to compete in an international competition in hijab,
female Muslim weightlifters from the United Arab Emirates
will be making history in the London Olympics.
"We were the first country for our athletes to be covered,
wearing Islamic dress," Jassim Abdulrahman Al-Awazi, a board
member for the Emirates Weightlifting Federation and the GCC
Weightlifting Organization, told the Emirati daily The
National on Monday, May 21.
UAE weightlifters have earned a place in the London
Olympics, to start in the British capital from July 27 to
This time, the weightlifters will be able to don hijab while
participating in the competition after the International
Weightlifting Federation (IWF) changed rules to allow the
It followed the case of veiled US Muslim athlete who
challenged IWF rules that banned the outfit in competition.
Under previous IWF rules,
weightlifters wore outfits, officially called “costumes”,
which had to be collarless and not cover the elbows or
But in July, the governing body modified the rules to
accommodate Muslim beliefs and accordingly allowed hijab.
"It is very good for Muslim countries that this issue has
been raised,” said Al-Awazi.
“It is not forced, it is a choice for the athletes if they
want to wear it.”
Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not a
religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations.
UAE officials believe that amended rules to allow hijab will
open the sport to a whole new audience.
“Now it has been opened to everyone,” Al-Awazi, the board
member for the Emirates Weightlifting Federation, told The
“If you want to join, why not? Now there are no excuses, no
reasons to say no.”
Sheikh Sultan bin Mejren, the president of the Emirates
Weightlifting Federation, shares a similar view.
"It was a decision which will help the whole Islamic world,"
"Now there is no difference between Muslims and non-Muslims
in events like the Olympics. There is no border to accept
them or not.
"Everybody can participate without breaking rules."
Physical Olympic sports such as rugby and taekwondo allow
Muslim women to wear the headscarf in competition.
Hijab shined during Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 when many
Muslim women athletes broke Western stereotypes, proving
that donning hijab is not an obstacle to excelling in life
During the games, half a dozen veiled Egyptians, three
Iranians, an Afghan and a Yemeni competed in sprinting,
rowing, taekwondo and archery.
Camden Council won't deduct
pay from Muslims for prayer breaks .
UK: The Camden New
Journal reported that the Camden Council has
backed-down on plans to deduct five minutes pay from
Muslim employees every time they take a break for
prayer, after Camden Unison took on the case.
Hall last night (Wednesday) backed down on plans to
deduct five minutes worth of pay every time one of its
Muslim employees takes a quick break to pray.
“Children’s department chief Councillor Nash Ali said
yesterday that he has asked for the deductions to be
stopped after the council’s biggest union cried foul.
“The move followed a dispute brought by Camden Unison,
which claimed the worker concerned – in the play service
– was effectively being penalised for his religious
“Camden is adamant that the case was not rooted in any
religious prejudice and that the tone of the union’s
claims, published on its website, had been
“The member of staff, who has not been identified by
Unison, has worked for the council for 10 years. His
breaks to pray were likened to the way smokers are
permitted time for cigarettes without their salary being
“John Shepherd, a union co-convenor in the children,
schools and families department, said the man involved
had “prayed at work once a day for around five years”.
“He added: “Prayers take around five minutes. A few
weeks ago, he was told he would now have five minutes of
his salary deducted each day he prays. Unison
immediately took up the case, pointing out the obvious
discrepancy between this treatment and the treatment of
other members of staff who smoke, for example, or maybe
go to the toilet more often than other workers.
““In these instances managers do not monitor where staff
are every second of the day and make minuscule pay
deductions. So why should a Muslim worker be treated any
differently? We argued that doing so is likely to be an
unlawful deduction of wages and a potential breach of
the Equality Act on the basis of the protected
characteristic of religious belief.”
“The union said it had not heard any movement on its
complaint for several weeks before going public with its
online article, which prompted New Journal queries to
“Cllr Ali said: “I have asked for the deductions to be
stopped. We do not wish to see small deductions from
salaries for small periods of time to pray and I have
sought confirmation that arrangements are in place for
any employee who wishes to pray during the working day
to do so, while making up any missed time at a later
KB says: This week's recipe is
inspired by an
article I read on the dessert by Aminah Patel on the
Sisters website where she researched the historical
‘dis-connection’ with Malva and South African's Muslims.
After a little research, she found that
Malva Pudding gets its name from a type of wine called
Malvacea from Madiera. "This wine traditionally always
accompanied the pudding, although absolutely no alcohol is
used in the actual dish itself. Since this dessert is of
Cape Dutch origin, it was a pudding intrinsically linked to
wine, as the Cape Dutch, or Afrikaners are well associated
with winemaking and wine estates. Today, however, the Malva
Pudding can be happily divorced from its traditional
associations and simply be enjoyed for what it is – a rich,
spongy absolutely delectable pudding served with custard or
Sift the following:
1 cup flour
¼ cup self raising flour
1tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 tsp bicarb of soda
1 cup milk
1 tsp vinegar
1 tab melted butter
1 cup sugar
Then add 1 tab apricot jam
Bring together all the above mixtures,
mixing it alternatively.
Bake in muffin pans or in one large
casserole at 180degrees.
When the pudding is baked (light brown)
pour the sauce over and serve warm with
Bring to the boil:
1 cup fresh cream
4 tab butter
1 cup sugar
½ cup hot water
1 tsp vanilla essence
Q: Dear Kareema, I find it hard enough doing my
exercises on a daily basis now, how do I keep it up during
the colder months?
A: Don’t let the weather determine your exercise
regime or routine. It WILL get colder, so be sure not to let
your motivation levels drop. Set yourself some goals so you
can stay on track. Remember that you want to
out of winter a fitter person so you can enjoy the warmer
months and set yourself more challenges.
to stay positive and know that there will be days when you
just don’t feel like working out, and that’s ok, as long as
you get back on track the next day…
secret: embrace the weather and I always reward myself when
I reach my goals!
husband divorces his wife
(irrevocably), he cannot,
after that, re-marry her
until after she has married
another husband and he has
divorced her. In that case
there is no blame on either
of them if they re-unite,
provided they feel that they
can keep the limits ordained
by Allah, which He makes
plain to those who
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
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turn out to be libellous, unfounded, objectionable,
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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
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