Sunday, 3 November 2013

 Newsletter 0469



By Jeremy Jones   

On 31 October members of the Emanuel Synagogue and the Zetland Mosque jointly cooked for those in need.

To mark the coming International Weekend of Twinning of Synagogues and Mosques, Jews and Muslims in Sydney, Australia, spent an evening together preparing meals for victims of recent bushfires, the homeless and others in need.

Jeremy Jones, Co-Chair of the Australian National Dialogue of Christians, Muslims & Jews, who participated in the 2013 Mission of Southern Hemisphere Muslim and Jewish leaders to Washington DC, said that baking bread, preparing vegetarian and fish curry and participating in a strudel-making master class was "a great recipe for friendship".

"We discussed Kashrut and Halal, commitments to help disadvantaged people, types of prayer, synagogue and mosque services, while slicing eggplants, dicing tomatoes, cubing salmon and chopping onions", Jeremy Jones noted.

Rabbi Jacqueline Ninio, who led the Jewish team consisting of members of The Emanuel Synagogue, stressed that "participants heard from each other of our common religious commitments to charity and treating each human being with dignity."

"We enjoyed working, and laughing, together, but most of all we enjoyed the opportunity to learn from and about each other", she added.

Sheikh Amin Hady, who led the Muslim team from the Zetland Mosque, said "The visit to Washington was inspirational and on my return I was committed to finding a project which could involve Muslims and Jewish Australians working together for the common good".

"This project was the first, but it will definitely not be the last" Sheik Hady, one of Australia's leading figures on interfaith dialogue, added.

During the evening, no topics were taboo and many of the participants took the opportunity to find out how others saw topical Australian issues, Middle East politics and the challenge of living religious lives in a secular environment.

The only stirring of the pot, it seemed, was by those mixing the curry, and the only heat added to that from the stoves and ovens was the warmth created by new friendships.

It wasn't as if there were no passionate defences of strongly held convictions, particularly when Jewish and Muslim supports of the South Sydney Rabbitohs Rugby League team encountered co-religionists who supported their arch- enemy, Eastern Suburbs Roosters, but in the spirit of the evening the former forgave the latter for their questionable judgement.


The cooks


Rabbis Ninio and Slavin, Sheikh Amin Hady and his wife, Jeremy Jones

Also, food for thought

Preparing the vegetable for curry

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NSW Board of Studies inspectors have concluded that Australia's largest Muslim school, Malek Fahd in Sydney's south-west, should not have its registration renewed next year.


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Across Australia, cousins are having relationships, marrying and having children together. It’s legal but remains a taboo for many. Insight investigates the social and health implications. Hosted by journalist Jenny Brockie.



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Pakistani-born Australian cricketer and Victorian leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed and New South Wales paceman Doug Bollinger took six-wicket hauls to put their states in charge after day two of the opening round of Sheffield Shield matches.

Ahmed produced sharp turn on the MCG pitch, and his haul of 6 for 68 helped Victoria to first-innings points against Western Australia at the MCG.


Source: ABC News

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By Janeth Deen   

The International Symposium on Religion Journalism 2013 was held at the Griffith University, South Bank Campus on 30th and 31st October.

Co-sponsors of the event were the Griffith University Multi-faith centre, The International Association of Religion Journalists, The ABC Religion Unit and The Project. The Symposium showcased Australia's Capacity to lead the Asia-Pacific's capacity in bringing journalists from around the world to start the conversation about responsible, ethical and balanced religious journalism.

Sessions covered topics on Journalistic Imperatives in Covering Religion, Questions of Objectivity in Religion Journalism, Covering Religion in a Digital Age, Alternative Media Reporting on Faith, Minority Issues Versus Majority Issues, Two workshops were held on Unpacking a Religion News Story and Making a Story into News.

Amongst the speakers at the Event were Paul Marshall Fellow of the Hudson Centre of Religious Freedom, Endy Bayuni. Senior Editor of the Jakarta Post, Peggy Fletcher Stack Senior Religion Writer of the Salt Lake Tribune, Srarh Pulliam Bailey National Correspondent for Religious News, Stephen Stockwell Professor of Journalism and Communication at Griffith University, Arne Fjeldstard newspaper journalist and editor of several Norwegian newspapers, Halim Rane from GIRU, Navras Assfreedi researcher in Indo-Judiac Studies and Muslim-Jewish Relations and Rachael Kohn the Producer and Presenter of the Spirit of Things on ABC National.

A public event was held in the ABC Studio on Religion as a Weapon of War and Peace which was hosted by Rachael Kohn from ABC Radio National and featured speakers - PaulMarshall- from America (The Hudson Institute), Endy Bayuni - from Indonesia (The Jakarta Post), Barney Zwartz- from Australia (The Age) and Arne Fjelstad - from Norway.
(The Media Project).


The issues addressed by the panel was the assumption that conflicts are about secular political issues and not deep cultural or religious differences. Questions addressed by the panel were whether religion is being used as a weapon in conflicts today, particularly in the Middle East and Africa and what journalists are missing by glossing over the religious stakes and players in global conflicts.

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If you are not amongst the 10 million who have already viewed this spoof on the Saudi ban on women drivers then prepare to be entertained by the Arabian answer to Gangnam Style:



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New Zealand's Sonny Bill Williams reflects on his return to rugby league after a successful spell playing union, where he won the World Cup with the All Blacks.

He says Islam is important to him, adding that he "wouldn't be half the man I am today without my faith".

New Zealand are looking to retain the title they won in 2008, with Williams seeking to become the first player to win a World Cup in both codes of the game.

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A British documentary has filmed the inspiring moment a teenage boy with a debilitating stutter addressed his school assembly, using a technique seen in film The King's Speech.


Watch to the end



Musharaf "Mushy" Asghar, 16, needed to speak in front of his class as part of the oral part of his English final, a prospect he found terrifying.

Mushy's acute stammer made it very difficult for him to speak in full sentences, until his teacher Matthew Burton decided to employ a technique he had seen in the Oscar-winning movie.

Mushy was encouraged to give his speech while wearing headphones, with loud music blocking out the sound of his own voice.

In touching footage captured by Channel 4 documentary Educating Yorkshire, Mushy then used the technique to speak at his final school assembly in front of 200 students and teachers.

Mushy had previously been bullied throughout school because of his stutter, but the documentary shows classmates weeping during his speech.

"I was excited, if nervous, about the whole thing going out," Mushy wrote in The Guardian yesterday.

"But I'm really happy and proud to be on telly as I hope it gives other people with a stammer the confidence to have a go at public speaking."

Thanks to passing the oral part of his English exam, Mushy is now attending an applied science college.

Source: 9 News

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Omar Usman talks about an online trend of making baseless accusations of insincerity or apathy when seeing content not conforming with one's own world view or personal priorities.


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For more information click here


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Unit for rent

Day rent of a 2 bedroom self contained unit. Just bring your clothes. Behind Harbour Town 4th floor, lift, walk to Harbour Town. Suit Muslims. Three minute to the Mosque. Many halal outlets in the area. Contact 0418737621 Bookings minimum 2 days.


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Got any news/events from your State?


Email ccn@crescentsofbrisbane.org

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Storm-proofing the World's Biggest Mud Building


MALI: In this clip from the Human Planet series the biggest and oldest mud building in the world needs a fresh coat of river mud. Once the mud is the right consistency, the whole town of Djenne mucks in for this annual event.



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 Britain to become first non-Muslim country to launch sharia bond 


UK: Britain is set to become the first non-Muslim country to sell a bond that can be bought by Islamic investors in a bid to encourage massive new investment into the City.

David Cameron said in a speech on Tuesday at the World Islamic Economic Forum in London that the Treasury is drawing up plans to issue a £200m Sukuk, a form of debt that complies with Islamic financial law.

The new sharia-compliant gilt will enable Britain to become the first non-Muslim country to tap the growing pool of Islamic investments that is forecast to top £1.3 trillion by next year.

The Prime Minister will say that it would be a “mistake” to miss the opportunity to encourage more Islamic investment in the UK and that the City of London should rival Dubai as a centre for sharia-compliant finance.

“When Islamic finance is growing 50pc faster than traditional banking and when global Islamic investments are set to grow to £1.3 trillion by 2014, we want to make sure a big proportion of that new investment is made here in Britain,” Mr Cameron will tell an audience of senior officials from Islamic countries.


Source: The Telegraph

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Comment: The Pashtun practice of having sex with young boys  


AFGHANISTAN: It might not receive much global attention, but rampant paedophilia in rural Afghanistan is real and desperately needs addressing, writes Chris Mondloch.


With the looming withdrawal of NATO troops and a persistent insurgent threat, Afghanistan is in a precarious position. Innumerable tragedies have beleaguered rural Afghans throughout the past decades of conflict — perpetual violence, oppression of women, and crushing poverty have all contributed to the Hobbesian nature of life in the Afghan countryside.

While the Afghan government has been able to address some of these issues since the Taliban's ouster in 2001, archaic social traditions and deep-seated gender norms have kept much of rural Afghanistan in a medieval state of purgatory. Perhaps the most deplorable tragedy, one that has actually grown more rampant since 2001, is the practice of bacha bazi — sexual companionship between powerful men and their adolescent boy conscripts.




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How the FBI blacklisted US’ largest Muslim civil rights group



US: Based on flimsy evidence, the FBI has sabotaged efforts to be on good terms with Muslim communities in the US by accusing the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) of being linked to a “terrorist organization.”

Founded in 1994, CAIR monitors policies that affect Muslim Americans and provides legal representation in cases of civil rights violations. The largest nationwide organization advocating for Muslims’ rights in the US, CAIR says the blacklisting has undermined its work at a time when it is needed the most.

The group first became aware of its change of status on 8 October 2008, when James Finch, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Oklahoma City field office, sent a letter to participants of the state’s Muslim Community Outreach Program. In the letter, he informed them that the upcoming quarterly meeting between members of the Muslim community and local law enforcement would be canceled due to CAIR’s participation.

“It was surprising because up until that point, CAIR in Oklahoma had enjoyed a very good relationship with the FBI,” Adam Soltani told The Electronic Intifada. Soltani is the third and current executive director of the Oklahoma chapter of CAIR.

“They had attended our events, annual banquet, our training functions on ‘know your rights,’” recalled Soltani, who served on the chapter’s board of directors from 2006 until 2008.

That was the first communication that CAIR had received suggesting that the organization’s relationship with the FBI was to about to change. Two weeks later — on 22 October 2008 — the FBI met with the national director of CAIR and informed the organization of the new “parameters for any future interaction” with the FBI: as of that point the FBI would no longer attend CAIR-sponsored events and CAIR would not be invited to attend any FBI-sponsored event.


Electronic Intifada

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Catholic Church sold to Muslims after it was forced to shut over lack of worshippers


St Peter's Catholic church in Stoke-on-Trent has been sold to a Muslim community [SWNS]

CHINA: St Peter's Catholic church in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, has now closed its doors to the shrinking congregation following the sale.

Church leaders have reassured Christians the local parish, Cobridge, will continue to exist and money from the St Peter's sell-off will be used to benefit parishioners.

The identity of the buyers has not been disclosed.


A spokesman for the church said: "The Archdiocese of Birmingham has over 200 parish churches and an estimated Catholic population of over 285,000.

"Any decisions taken about these churches is always done in consultation with priests, parishioners and the local community to serve the common good if all and to reflect the changing demographics and needs of the Catholic population.

"The parish of Cobridge has a long history.

"But in recent times the number of Catholics living in the area has shrunk to such an extent that those attending Mass at St Peter's were simply no longer able to Marian a priest and the church buildings.

"The church was put up for sale on the open market.

"A modest number of offers were received and a local Muslim community made the best offer, acceptable to the diocesan trustees after consultation in other local parishes."

Church attendance figures have seen a long decline over the past half century.

A 2007 study discovered just 15 per cent of Brits go to church at least once a month.

Other research revealed the UK has the fourth lowest rate of church attendance in Europe.

Source: Express


Faith Change: Islam rapidly grows as Christianity declines in UK


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How the Sunni-Shia Schism is Dividing the World


The unprecedented Saudi refusal to take up its Security Council seat is not just about Syria but a response to the Iranian threat


By Robert Fisk


October 24, 2013 "Information Clearing House - "The Independent" - - The Muslim world’s historic – and deeply tragic – chasm between Sunni and Shia Islam is having worldwide repercussions. Syria’s civil war, America’s craven alliance with the Sunni Gulf autocracies, and Sunni (as well as Israeli) suspicions of Shia Iran are affecting even the work of the United Nations.

Saudi Arabia’s petulant refusal last week to take its place among non-voting members of the Security Council, an unprecedented step by any UN member, was intended to express the dictatorial monarchy’s displeasure with Washington’s refusal to bomb Syria after the use of chemical weapons in Damascus – but it also represented Saudi fears that Barack Obama might respond to Iranian overtures for better relations with the West.

The Saudi head of intelligence, Prince Bandar bin Sultan – a true buddy of President George W Bush during his 22 years as ambassador in Washington – has now rattled his tin drum to warn the Americans that Saudi Arabia will make a “major shift” in its relations with the US, not just because of its failure to attack Syria but for its inability to produce a fair Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement.

What this “major shift” might be – save for the usual Saudi hot air about its independence from US foreign policy – was a secret that the prince kept to himself.

Israel, of course, never loses an opportunity to publicise – quite accurately – how closely many of its Middle East policies now coincide with those of the wealthy potentates of the Arab Gulf.

Hatred of the Shia/Alawite Syrian regime, an unquenchable suspicion of Shia Iran’s nuclear plans and a general fear of Shia expansion is turning the unelected Sunni Arab monarchies into proxy allies of the Israeli state they have often sworn to destroy. Hardly, one imagines, the kind of notion that Prince Bandar wishes to publicise.

Furthermore, America’s latest contribution to Middle East “peace” could be the sale of $10.8bn worth of missiles and arms to Sunni Saudi Arabia and the equally Sunni United Arab Emirates, including GBU-39 bombs – the weapons cutely called “bunker-busters” – which they could use against Shia Iran. Israel, of course, possesses the very same armaments.

Whether the hapless Mr Kerry – whose risible promise of an “unbelievably small” attack on Syria made him the laughing stock of the Middle East – understands the degree to which he is committing his country to the Sunni side in Islam’s oldest conflict is the subject of much debate in the Arab world. His response to the Saudi refusal to take its place in the UN Security Council has been almost as weird.

After lunch on Monday at the Paris home of the Saudi Foreign Minister, Saud al-Faisal, Kerry – via his usual anonymous officials – said that he valued the autocracy’s leadership in the region, shared Riyadh’s desire to de-nuclearise Iran and to bring an end to the Syrian war. But Kerry’s insistence that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his regime must abandon power means that a Sunni government would take over Syria; and his wish to disarm Shia Iran – however notional its nuclear threat may be – would ensure that Sunni military power would dominate the Middle East from the Afghan border to the Mediterranean.

Few realise that Yemen constitutes another of the Saudi-Iranian battlegrounds in the region.

Saudi enthusiasm for Salafist groups in Yemen – including the Islah party, which is allegedly funded by Qatar, though it denies receiving any external support – is one reason why the post-Saleh regime in Sanaa has been supporting the Zaidi Shia Houthi “rebels” whose home provinces of Sa’adah, al Jawf and Hajja border Saudi Arabia. The Houthis are – according to the Sunni Saudis – supported by Iran.

The minority Sunni monarchy in Bahrain – supported by the Saudis and of course by the compliant governments of the US, Britain, et al – is likewise accusing Shia Iran of colluding with the island’s majority Shias. Oddly, Prince Bandar, in his comments, claimed that Barack Obama had failed to support Saudi policy in Bahrain – which involved sending its own troops into the island to help repress Shia demonstrators in 2011 – when in fact America’s silence over the regime’s paramilitary violence was the nearest Washington could go in offering its backing to the Sunni minority and his Royal Highness the King of Bahrain.

All in all, then, a mighty Western love affair with Sunni Islam – a love that very definitely cannot speak its name in an Arab Gulf world in which “democracy”, “moderation”, “partnership” and outright dictatorship are interchangeable – which neither Washington nor London nor Paris (nor indeed Moscow or Beijing) will acknowledge. But, needless to say, there are a few irritating – and incongruous – ripples in this mutual passion.

The Saudis, for example, blame Obama for allowing Egypt’s decadent Hosni Mubarak to be overthrown. They blame the Americans for supporting the elected Muslim Brother Mohamed Morsi as president – elections not being terribly popular in the Gulf – and the Saudis are now throwing cash at Egypt’s new military regime. Assad in Damascus also offered his congratulations to the Egyptian military. Was the Egyptian army not, after all – like Assad himself – trying to prevent religious extremists from taking power?

Fair enough – providing we remember that the Saudis are really supporting the Egyptian Salafists who cynically gave their loyalty to the Egyptian military, and that Saudi-financed Salafists are among the fiercest opponents of Assad.

Thankfully for Kerry and his European mates, the absence of any institutional memory in the State Department, Foreign Office or Quai d’Orsay means that no one need remember that 15 of the 19 mass-killers of 9/11 were also Salafists and – let us above all, please God, forget this – were all Sunni citizens of Saudi Arabia.

Source: Information Clearing House

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Female Turkish MPs wear headscarves in parliament for first time in 14 years




TURKEY: Four Turkish women lawmakers have appeared in parliament in Ankara wearing headscarves - for the first time since 1999.

The MPs are members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which has roots in political Islam.

Last month, Turkey lifted the headscarf ban in a number of state institutions.

The ban was one of the most contentious laws in Turkey, pitting backers of the secular constitution against those who favour Islamic rights.

'Election gimmick'

"I will no longer take off my headscarf," Gonul Bekin Sahkulubey, one of the four MPs, was quoted as saying by Turkey's Milliyet newspaper.

"I expect everyone to respect my decision."

A number of fellow MPs gathered around their colleague to take pictures.

Supporters of the women said their move was yet another step towards normalising the wearing of headscarves.

But the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) accused the governing party of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of undermining the country's secular traditions.

The CHP also said the move was an election gimmick ahead of municipal polls next March.

This is the first time MPs have worn the headscarf in parliament since an abortive attempt in 1999.

Back then, lawmaker Merve Kavakci arrived in the assembly in a headscarf for her swearing-in ceremony - only to be booed out of the building.

The reversal of the ban was part of major political reforms - including new Kurdish rights - announced last month by Mr Erdogan.

He described the move as "a historic moment".

However, the headscarf ban remains for judges, prosecutors, police officers and members of the armed forces.

Source: BBC News

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During the Middle Ages, when Europe was plunged into the Dark Ages, Arab scholars and historians translated most of the works of the Greek scholars, thereby preserving some of the greatest intellectual achievements that are the cornerstone of Western civilization.


For the next few weeks CCN will offer an English word that has, as its origin, the Arabic language:


English Arabic Origin Arabic Meaning
 coffee  qahwa coffee
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CCN Readers' Book Club: You are what you read!


''God Is Not A Dictator''


Mouhanad Khorchide has been Professor of Islamic Religious Education at the University of Munster since July 2010. His new book Islam ist Barmherzigkeit – Grundzüge einer modernen Religion (Islam is Mercy – Essential Traits of a Modern Religion) was published by Herder in October.

Interview with Mouhanad Khorchide

The Koran has thus far been subjected to erroneous interpretation, says Mouhanad Khorchide, professor of Islamic Religious Education at the University of Munster. Khorchide is calling for an emancipation of the faith. Interview by Arnfrid Schenk and Martin Spiewak

Professor Khorchide, what was your reaction to the recent controversial Mohammed film on YouTube?

Mouhanad Khorchide: I thought it was tedious and tasteless. I didn't recognise the Prophet Mohammed as he was portrayed in the film so I didn't feel it was directed at me as a Muslim.

Many Muslims find it difficult to adopt this attitude, what is your advice to them?

Khorchide: Ignore it, don't allow yourselves to be provoked. The film is a trap laid specifically to provoke, and Muslims repeatedly fall into this trap.

Why do Muslims react in this way to insults aimed at the Prophet? After all, unlike Jesus he doesn't have divine status.

Khorchide: The problem lies elsewhere. On such occasions, Muslims vent their pent-up anger. The video itself isn't the cause of the agitation, just the trigger. The Islamic collective memory is still etched by crusades, the colonial era and what is perceived as an unjust Middle East policy, as well as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

You have just written a new book in which you describe the Koran as a love letter from God to humanity. How did you arrive at this interpretation? The Koran would normally be described as a powerful book – and in the West also as a dangerous one.

Khorchide: The question is: which image of God are we talking about? Many Muslims assume that their God wants to be glorified, that he despatches orders and makes sure these orders are obeyed. Those who obey are rewarded, and those who don't are punished. But this is a perception of God similar to that of a tribal leader who cannot be challenged. This is why many Muslims view the Koran as a rulebook.

​​And you don't?

Khorchide: I have a different reading of the Koran. God is not an archaic tribal leader, he's not a dictator. Of the book's 114 suras, why do 113 of them begin with the phrase "In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful"? There has to be a reason for this. The Koranic God presents himself as a loving God. That's why the relationship between God and man is a bond of love similar to the one between a mother and child. I would like Muslims to emancipate themselves from the image of an archaic God that's being connoted in many mosques, in religious education or during courses of theological instruction.

Are you saying that for centuries, Islamic theology has provided a flawed instruction manual for the Koran?

Khorchide: Contemporary Islamic theology is at least unilateral. It is based on a master-servant relationship. Reformers who interpret the Koran differently, who say Islam is more than just a religion of rules and regulations, have so far not succeeded in asserting themselves.


Many young Muslims in Germany turn to Salafism in their search for identity, but according to Mouhanad Khorchide, the identity they find there is an "external identity without a core". He says that the Salafists have "reduced the faith to nothing more than a façade"

Why not?

Khorchide: For political reasons, partly. Many rulers of Islamic kingdoms describe themselves as "shadows of God on earth". This sends out an unequivocal message: anyone contradicting the ruler is also contradicting God. In order to make sure that the populace remains compliant, they construct the image of a God for whom obedience is paramount. To this very day, this plays an important role in a dictatorial state such as Saudi Arabia, where any opposition is not only held up as a secular opposition, but also as a movement against God.

The concept of God's mercy also existed in Christianity, but a different interpretation of the Bible was nevertheless accepted. Why has this not happened within Islam?

Khorchide: Many theologians have forged alliances with those in power, such as the Salafist scholars in Saudi Arabia, for example. After all, they also benefit from an Islam that serves as a regulatory legal framework. People defer to them when they have questions about what they should and should not do. Repressive structures intermingle as a result. Christianity has succeeded in overcoming this incapacitation of the faithful. That's not quite been the case in Islam.

Do you see yourself as a source of enlightenment?

Khorchide: I wouldn't put it like that. If you take terms out of their European context, people suspect that you're trying to impose something alien upon Islam. Change can only come from within. We don't need an enlightenment of the kind we know from European history, but perhaps a reform that focuses on the maturity and reason of humankind. The Koran does exactly this, incidentally.

There is much talk of hell in the Koran. How does this fit in with the concept of mercy?

Khorchide: Hell is nothing other than the confrontation with one's own transgressions. It's not a punishment that comes from without. As a famous mystic once said: "I'd like to extinguish the hellfire and set paradise alight, so that people don't act out of fear of hell or hope for paradise." We humans should strive for something higher, the closeness and companionship of God. However, traditional theology has taken a less metaphorical view of the images of paradise and hell, and instead literally described them as material spaces with material pleasures and punishments. But if you're only doing something good because you fear punishment or hope for reward, then that's not enough.

But this literal interpretation appears to be widespread, particularly among young Muslims in Germany.

Khorchide: Not just in Germany, and not just among youngsters, unfortunately. This is a highly simplified faith that presents God as nothing more than a bookkeeper or a judge, who calculates how often I've prayed. I can understand those who want to keep a kind of religious to-do list. But it's a pity. This kind of approach doesn't allow faith to move on from a highly elementary stage. It's more difficult to say: I would like to do something good for the sake of goodness; or I strive for internal perfection that finds its expression in good character traits and actions.

But this obedient take on Islam, as preached by radical Salafists, really seems to resonate with young people in Germany right now. Why?

Khorchide: These youngsters feel rootless, sidelined. They are searching for an identity and, above all, for something that will distinguish them. Many young people aren't hearing a "you belong", but rather a "we Germans – you Muslims". The Salafists provide them with the validation they seek. An identity that flies in the face of mainstream society. They pick out elements of Islam that accentuate the differences, such as a beard or clothing that's exactly the same length as the Prophet's. But this is an external identity without a core.

You train Islamic religious teachers. How do German Muslims react to your views?

Khorchide: The young ones say: that all sounds very nice, why did no one tell us about this before? I can identify more with this merciful God, they say. And even though there are also some reservations, my views have also met with appreciation from associations perceived as conservative – although they are actually quite heterogeneous. I try to provide theological explanations for everything, using Islam as my basis. I sustain my arguments with the Koran. The 220 pages of my book contain references to 400 passages of the Koran in order to show that this is not just my personal view.

And what about reactions to your work in the Arab world, is there some understanding there too?

Khorchide: In the summer, I went to Al-Azhar University in Cairo, the most important Sunni authority in Islam. After my lecture, the older scholars were reticent and didn't say anything. But the undergraduates and doctorate students came up to me and asked if they could study in Munster or write their doctorates there. The young ones are looking for something new.


Will your book also be translated into Arabic?

Khorchide: Yes, but I'll tailor it slightly to the Arab mentality.

Take the sting out of it a little?

Khorchide: I suppose you could put it like that. But the main message will be the same: that God is a God of mercy, that Islam is a religion of mercy. Any other interpretation of Islam is not Islam.

Why is it that most Muslims have a completely different understanding of Islam? They're reading the same Koran, after all.

Khorchide: The Koran was written in the classical Arabic of the seventh century. It's therefore very difficult for non-Arabs to understand. When Arabs read it, they perhaps understand 40 per cent as far as the language is concerned. But even greater difficulties arise in the theological reading of the verses. Most Muslims don't concern themselves with the true essence of the Koran. That's why we Muslims often base our faith on what we are told. We are harking back to statements made by theologians in the ninth and tenth centuries.

Khorchide says that because of the difficult archaic language in the Koran, "most Muslims don't concern themselves with the true essence of the Koran", which means that they base their faith on what they are told, "harking back to statements made by theologians in the ninth and tenth centuries"

In your book you write that when viewed as a legal system, Sharia is a contradiction of Islam. Why?

Khorchide: For the very reason that it reduces Islam to a legal system. Some Muslims even go as far as to say that if you're not in favour of physical punishment, then you're not a Muslim. All the discussion surrounding Sharia means that it's only about whether or not you follow rules.

Your parents are Palestinian, but you went to school in ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia and studied in Austria; what impact has this had on your religious socialisation?

Khorchide: Saudi scholars claim that their nation is pure, true Islam's only home. But this Salafist mindset has reduced the faith to nothing more than a façade. A man is a sinner if he shaves off his beard; a woman is a sinner if she doesn't wear a headscarf. In mosques, I saw how only those with the longest beards were allowed to serve as imams and lead the prayers. What's the point of that? As a Palestinian in Saudi Arabia, I wasn't allowed to study or get any medical insurance, but in Austria, a non-Islamic nation, none of this was a problem. I started asking questions, I wanted to get to the core of this religion.

You also criticise those who are described as liberal Muslims. Why? Are you not singing from the same song sheet?

Khorchide: They also reduce Islam in a similar way to the fundamentalists. The fundamentalists hollow it out, by focussing on the façade, on outward features. The liberals provide a radical response by dispensing with almost all outward features and rituals and limiting it to the shahada, the declaration of belief. That's not enough. The shahada must find its expression in life.

So what needs to happen for your understanding of Islam is to find wider acceptance?

Khorchide: There must be a discourse, and a discourse needs institutions, it must be taught, students must perpetuate its message. I think Islamic theology here in Germany represents a good opportunity because we have much greater freedom of movement. But it will take one or two generations.

Source: Qantara.de


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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.

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KB says: I was looking for a healthy alternative to the traditional white roti to which we are so accustomed to eating. I stumbled upon spelt flour which has a fairly strong nutritional profile. Spelt has slightly fewer calories than wheat flour and is somewhat higher in protein. The flour is easy to digest. As for the taste, you be the judge.

Healthy Brown Rotis



1 cup wholemeal flour
½ cup oatmeal
½ cup spelt flour
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. chia seeds
½ tsp. flax seeds
½ cup olive oil
¾ cup boiling water (approx.)



1. Sift all the dry ingredients.
2. Add the chia and flax seeds.
3. Add the oil to the dry ingredients and rub in gently to resemble bread crumbs.
4. Add the boiling water to the mixture to form a soft dough.
5. Divide dough into 9 portions (approx. 50g each)
6. On a floured board, roll out each portion into a circle.
7. Fry on a non-stick heated griddle, turning the roti every 30 seconds until its done.


Do you have a recipe to share with CCN readers?

Send in your favourite recipe to me at kbcooks@crescentsofbrisbane.org and be my "guest chef" for the week.


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Q: Dear Kareema, I’m off on a working holiday and would like to get fitter and burn fat fast before I even leave the country as I’m meeting some fitness fanatics O/S and I know they have some fitness challenges lined up as part of our conference. What to do?



If you are after big results in a short period of time, long and slow cardio workouts ain’t gonna cut it.


Try using metabolic circuit and sprint training to score the following benefits:

the release of growth hormone, which is essential for muscle building and fat loss; increased metabolism for the rest of the day; reduced appetite; and rapid fat burn which is perhaps the most important for what you’re after.


And best of all, it’s a time-saver as you really only need 30 minutes to get through a workout, which means more time to pack for your trip!








My Health and Fitness

Tel: 0404 844 786


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.


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Jallaluddin: Brother Nasruddin, can I listen to the Jummah khutbah (Friday sermon) from my TV and then pray following the Imam whilst I am at home?


Mula Nasruddin (sarcastically): Yes, Yes! You can also cover your fridge with a black fabric and do tawaaf (circumambulation) around it.

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How do high protein diets work?


Protein which comes from meat, dairy, egg, lentils and legumes is one of the fuel sources for our body. It plays two important roles in our body.

1. To maintain muscle mass. We don't want our body to break down our muscles for energy and this is when we will feel tired. We need these reserves for times when we are sick.
2. Sends a signal to our brain to tell us we are full.

The second mechanism is the key to how high protein diets work. When we eat protein the signal is sent to our brain after 15-20minutes that we are full. Thus high protein diets allow for satiety (feeling full) a lot faster than other sources of energy.

It is important to remember that a diet slightly higher in protein than normal can aid in weight loss through increased satiety however other food groups should not be omitted. For example diets such as the Atkins diet are NOT endorsed by the Dieticians Association Australia.

**TRY THIS - Eat most of the protein part of your meal first and see how quickly you get full. You will find if you are trying to eat less rice or perhaps bread at meals this is a good way to help you achieve this.

Need an answer to a question on nutrition?

Send your question to Fathima Abdoola at  fathima.abdoola@uqconnect.edu.au

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

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It is Allah Who has created you: further, He has provided for your sustenance; then He will cause you to die; and again He will give you life... 

Surah Ar-Rum 30:40


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Do all the good you can, By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can, In all the places you can,
At all the times you can, To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.

~ John Wesley


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Notice Board


Click on thumbnail to enlarge


Events and Functions

AIIC OPEN DAY  EID BBQ 20 October IRJS Public Forum 31st October 2013


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Islamic Programmes, Education & Services

Muslim Aid Australia Syria Campaign AIIC Enrolment Imam Akram celebrant services In preparation for the Book of Allah Marhaba Playgroup Shajarah Islamic Kindergarten
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Businesses and Services



ACCES Removal Services


Al-Khitan Circumcisions


Ahlam Haddad Tutoring

Tutoring (Maths)


Clothing Islamic Couture


Lebanese Cuisine

Love ur Body

Beauty Treatments

Continental Meats GOLD COAST


Mansur Omar

Real Estate

Bismillah Repairs & Maintenance

Repairs & Maintenance

NOTE NEW NO. 0468342127

MaXimize Accountants


Brisbane Diagnostics



Health Drink

Calamvale Physio & Sports Injury Clinic


AutoCAD Training

Personal Tuition

Car Body Removals

Used Car Dealer

Muslim Directory Australia

Directory Services

Carpet Lifesavers

Carpet cleaning


Restaurant & Takeaway Portuguese Chicken

Centre for Easy Language Learning (CeLL)

Tutoring (Arabic)


Restaurant & Takeaway Portuguese Chicken

Boulevard Towers Surfers Paradise 

Holiday Accommodation

Nazima Hansa Realty PTY LTD

Real Estate



Islamic College of Brisbane Hall Hire

Hire Services



OurWorld Travel



Migration Agency

Pappa Roti

Cake & Coffee

Fathima Adat Tutoring

Tutoring (School subjects)

Pizza Lane

Restaurant & Takeaway Pizza

Gabriel Hair Studios


Rejuven8 Body & Beauty

Beauty Treatments


Plastic Mats

Samoosa Pastry Distributors


Henna by Fatima


Shakira Kolia's Driving School

Driving School

Hummy's Automotive

Car Repairs

Clothing Alterations


Hussana Australia

Halal Body Care range

Stick On Labels

Label printing

InWear Fashions

Clothing Fashion

The Quran Pen


Junaid Ally Properties

Real Estate

Yasmeen Seedat Accounting Services


Kimaya Fashions


Lily's Fashion

Wedding dresses etc. 

Personal Training with Layla

Personal Training

Marketing Co-Op

Internet Services

Angelz Dental Care



Travel Agency

Shameema's Silk Scarves


Grand Medical Centre

Medical Practitioners

Qld Islamic Book Service

Book Shop



Health Products

Personal Wellness Coach



Ummah Store

Books, Clothing, DVDs etc.


Security Systems


Paradise Convenience

Global Groceries

Muslima Chic

Muslim designer clothes, jewellery


Samoosa Strips (pur)


Low Price Pharmacy



LTH Accounting & Financial Services



Child Care Centres

Pari Collections



Shariff's Computer Services


Computer Servicing

CassonIT Solutions

 Computer Servicing & Systems

Lil Umah

Children's Clothes

Computer Repair

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Watany Man-oushi Lebanese Foods

Take Away



Dial a Local Doctor

Medical Services


Baby Care Solutions

(read information sheet)

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Kuraby Mosque Hire Services

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YS Prawn

Peeled Prawns

Shailly Beauty & Reiki

Hair & Beauty


Fathima Abdoola


United Hearts

Family Day Care Scheme

Apparel by Aliyah

Designer Clothing


Hijab Friendly Fashion


Modern Muslimah

Muslimah  Clothes



United Hearts Family Day Care Scheme Pty Ltd Sora Flightstar Hajj 2013 Inwear Fashions Eid Specials Apparel by Aliyah Tel: 0438840467 Apparel by Aliyah AGAIN Continental Halal Meats Gold Coast Sewing Dial A Local Doctor Fathima Abdoola Flyer Shailly Hair Beauty Peeled Prawns Baby Care Solutions Al-Khitan Circumcisions Wasimah Brisbane Bamboo Towels Computer Repairs Watang Man-oushi Lebanese Foods Lil Umah CassonIT Solutions Dial a Doctor Bulk Billing Dr in your home Michael's Oriental Birthday Promo Function Room Page 1 Function Room Page 2 LOVE UR BODY Shariff's Computer Services Sunkids Sunkids Pari Collection Pari Collection Maximize  Accountants Officetek Alarms Mona Vie AK Surtie Angelz Dental Care Centre for Easy Language Learning Arabic Paradise Convenience Ayesha's Samoosa Strips ACCES Services REMOVALS Autocad 2012 Training Baalbak Mediterranean Restaurant Low Price Pharmacy KURABY Bismillah Repairs and Maintenance
New mobile no. 0468 342 127 Samoosa Pastry Brisbane Diagnostics Boulevard Tower Residence Accommodation Calamvale Physiotherapy & Sport Injury Clinic Carpetlifesavers Indoor Folding Mats InWear Fashions Rejuven8 Body & Beauty Personal Wellness Coach efxshop Tutoring Fathima Adat Gabriel Hair Studio Henna Fatima Ismail Hummys Automotive Services Hussana Junaid Ally Properties REMAX Kimaya International Kuraby Mosque Hire Quick Stick Name labels Ladies Only Personal Training Lilys Fashion love ur body Marketing Coop Group Muslim Directory Muslima Chick Nandos Calamvale Nandos Mt Gravatt NAZIMA HANSA REMAX Excelanz Migration Services Pizza Lane Pappa Roti QLD Islamic Book Service Seedat Accounting Shameema's Silk Scarves Shakira Kolia Driving School T ax Returns 2012 Ummah Store Elite FX Web Design


"If it's not here ....it's not happening!"l)

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





(Click on link)





3 November


Morning Invocation

SeekersPoint BRISBANE

Bayside Park, Trafalgar St, Manly

0400 796 416

4.30am to 5.30am

3 November


Why can’t we get married?

SeekersPoint BRISBANE

Multi Faith Centre (N35), Griffith University, Nathan Campus

0400 796 416

6pm to 9.30pm

5 November


Meditations on Sufism: A Musical & Poetic Evening to Celebrate the Coronation of the first Sufi Master

Multi-faith Centre, Griffith University

Multi-faith Centre, Griffith University

3735 7052

6.30pm for 7pm

9 November


Islam 101 Course for Sisters

New Muslim Care Brisbane

Sisters House, Runcorn

3735 7052

11am to 1pm

10 November


Shajarah Islamic Kindergarten Open Day and Combined Charity and Community Group event 





24 November



Aashooraa Day

26 January 2014


International Food Festival 2014

Islamic Society of Gold Coast

Gold Coast Mosque, 144 Allied Drive, Arundel

0416 212 541

8am to 8pm

22 March 2014


International Food Festival hosted by Kuraby Mosque

Kuraby Mosque

Wally Tate Park

0422 191 675

10am to 9pm


NB: The Islamic date changes to the next day starting in the evenings after maghrib.

Therefore, except for lailatul mehraj, lailatul baraat and lailatul qadr – these dates

refer to the commencement of the event starting in the evening of the corresponding day.


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SeekersPoint BRISBANE


Hosted by SeekersPoint Brisbane
Topic: SeekersCircle - Etiquettes of the Seeker
Commences: 7:30pm Friday 18 October. Every Friday for 10 weeks
Venue: Multi Faith Centre (N35), Griffith University, Nathan Campus


Bald Hills Mosque Weekly Tafseer


The weekly program schedule is as follows:
Mondays: Tafseer
Wednesdays: Tafseer
The above lessons will start at 7:30 pm and will go for approximately 1/2 an hour each day. All brothers and sisters are welcome.


Kuraby Mosque Tafseer & Taalim


Tuesday tafseer and taleem classes at Kuraby Mosque every Tuesday 11am - 12.30pm


Queensland Police Service/Muslim Community Consultative Group


VENUE: Mt Gravatt Police Station, 2132 Logan Road, Upper Mt Gravatt

Wednesday 20 November

Commencing at 6.00pm (Times may change throughout the year pending salat)



For more information and RSVP:

Sergeant Jim Bellos at Bellos.Dimitrios@police.qld.gov.au

Tafsir & Islamic History Classes

VENUE: Al-Mustapha Institute of Brisbane, 39 Bushmills Court, Hillcrest

Every Monday & Wednesday
7pm - 8:15pm

All Brothers & Sisters are welcome.

For further information please contact Moulana Noor 0432 712 546.


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post comments on our Wall

start up a Discussion thread

become a Fan


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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

MUSLIMS AUSTRALIA / Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC) Islamic Schools, Halal Services and a whole lot more...

AFIC Schools

      www.mfis.com.au (Malek Fahd Islamic School, Sydney, NSW)
      www.icb.qld.edu.au (Islamic College of Brisbane, QLD)
      www.icosa.sa.edu.au (Islamic College of South Australia, SA)
      www.afic-lic.com.au (Langford Islamic College, Perth, WA)
      www.islamicschoolofcanberra.act.edu.au (Islamic College of Canberra, ACT)

Karratha Muslims (Muslims in Western Australia)

Islam TV

Recording of lectures and events in and around Queensland

Muslim Directory Australia

Carers Queensland

Free service for multicultural clients who are carers, elderly and people with disabilities

Brisbane Muslim Burial Society (BMBS)

Muslim Charitable Foundation (MCF)

Coordinated collection & distribution of: Zakaah, Lillah, Sadaqah, Fitrana, Unwanted interest

Islamic Medical Association of Queensland (IMAQ)

Network of Muslim healthcare professionals

Al-Imdaad Foundation (Australia)

Australian Muslim Youth Network (AMYN)
Find out about the latest events, outings, fun-days, soccer tournaments, BBQs organised by AMYN. Network with other young Muslims on the AMYN Forum

Islamic Council of Queensland (ICQ)  

Umbrella body representing various Mosques and Societies in Queensland

Current list of businesses certified halal by ICQ  7 August 2011

Islamic Friendship Association of Australia

Blog of the Association's activities

United Muslims of Brisbane

Crescents of Brisbane's CRESCAFE (Facebook)

Muslim Women's eNewsletter

Sultana’s Dream is a not-for-profit e-magazine that aims to provide a forum for the opinions of Australian Muslim women

Islamic Solutions

Articles and Audio recordings

IQRA Academy Institute of Islamic Studies

Online streaming of Islamic lectures

Gold Coast Mosque

 Incorporating Islamic Society of Gold Coast Inc.

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.

Australian International Islamic College (Durack)

Kotku Mosque - Dubbo NSW

Islamic Society of Algester

Jamiatul Ulama Western Australia

Body of Muslim Theologians (Ulama, Religious Scholars)

Islamic Women's Association of Queensland (IWAQ)

Community based, not-for-profit organisation providing Settlement, Aged Care, disability, social activities and employment opportunities.

Federation of Australian Muslim Students & Youth (FAMSY)

Queensland Intercultural Society (QIS)

GIRU – Griffith Islamic Research Unit

          Qld Stories link or YouTube link

Gold Coast Halal Certification Services (GCHCS)

Muslim Aid Australia

Serving Humanity

Human Appeal International Australia  Always with you on the road to goodness

Al-Mustapha Institute of Brisbane  

Preserving the Past, Educating the Present to Create the Future

Islamic Society of Darra

Qld Muslims Volunteers

Islamic Shia Council of Queensland

Muslim Reverts Network

Supporting new Muslims

Muslim Funeral Services (MFS)

 Funeral Directors & Funeral Fund Managers for the Brisbane and Gold Coast communities

Islamic Society of Bald Hills (ISBH)

Tafseers and Jumma Khubahs uploaded every week.

Muslim Community & Qld floods

How the community helped out during the 2010 QLD floods

The CCN Young Muslim Writers Award (Facebook)

The Queensland Muslim Historical Society  (Facebook)

Muslim Women's National Network of Australia, Inc (MWNNA)

Peak body representing a network of Muslim women's organisations and individuals throughout Australia

Sultana's Dream

Online magazine subscribe@sultanasdream.com.au

Lockyer Valley Islamic Association


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


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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 libellous, 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.


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