Sunday, 19 January 2014

 Newsletter 0480





Muslims in Toowoomba gathered in the first Masjid of Toowoomba and the Darling Downs region to mark the transfer of ownership of the place of worship to the Muslims, and to offer the first congregation Asr prayers at 5:00pm on Friday, 17 January 2014. The celebration continued until Magrib and packaged dinner was served after the prayers.

The Islamic Society of Toowoomba (IST) has completed the purchase of 2765sqm church property on 217 West St, Harristown (Toowoomba) on 16 January. The settlement of the under contract church property on Thursday 16 January has concluded a chapter of the history of Muslims of the city and opened a new era of further commitment and engagement.

The President of the Islamic Society of Toowoomba Inc, Professor Shahjahan Khan welcomed all the participants and thanked them for their spontaneous involvement and sense of belongingness of the Masjid project. He told the worshippers that this is a "new bright chapter in the over 30 years history Muslims in Toowoomba."

He paid tributes to the "extraordinary contribution of the senior community leaders in Brisbane through participation in the series of strategy meetings, generous time, guidance, advice, free legal/accounting support, organizing fundraising dinner, and above all help engaging the Imams of all Masjids and the committee of all Societies."

He recognized all those who were involved in forming the Society in 1994 and served it over the years in various capacities. He emphasized the importance of the teaching and participation of the young Muslims and children the running and activities of the Masjid to ensure the continuation of the spreading the words of Allah in the city and beyond in the years to come.


"The Eid like environment of the men, women, and children in the Masjid was a rare opportunity to express deepest thanks to Allah, and those who have contributed to the project through duwa, advice, volunteering, donation, and organizing various fundraising events," said Prof  Khan. He especially thanked the Muslim communities of Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney, Wollongong, Melbourne, Armidale, Hobart, Darwin, and Perth who organised various fundraising activities for Toowoomba Masjid and made significant contributions. He also thanked all the former residents of Toowoomba and students of USQ who also have made remarkable contributions to the project.

Imam Abdul Kader talked about the essence of Masjid for Muslims and why it is important to take care of Masjid. Quoting from the Qur’an and Hadith he explained the requirements and benefits of a successful Masjid.

Secretary of the Society, Dr Md Shahiduzzaman, Dr Shahbaz Mustaque, Dr Mainul Islam, Br Shahbaz Rafiq and others also addressed the congregation. The children recited from the parts of the Qur’an and various Nasheeds.

Br Abrurahman AlHeweg called the first Adhan for the first prayers for which he delayed his scheduled return to home flight after completion of his PhD degree by one week. "This is an indication of the kind emotion that worked among the Muslims in Toowoomba for their first Masjid," said Prof Khan.

Subject to the completion of planned toilet and ablution blocks and replacement of carpet the full operation of the Mosque is expected to start in early February 2014. A formal opening function is planned to be held in late March with dignitaries from Brisbane, Gold Coast and other cities in attendance.



As part of its ongoing process of engagement, the Islamic Society of Toowoomba invited the neighbours of the church for a meeting and afternoon tea (see pictures above) on Sunday, 12 January at the USQ Islamic Centre. "It was a very cordial and productive meeting, " Prof Khan said.

Based on the feedback from the meeting, the Society plans to invite the neighbours again for another `meet and greet’ session in the Mosque.

"We re-affirm our commitment to work with everyone to build a peaceful and harmonious community through mutual understanding and respect and we seek their support, understanding and cooperation so that people of all faiths and culture in our proud city can together to build and maintain a peaceful and harmonious community," Prof Khan added.


Handing the keys over at 2:30pm on Thursday, 16 January at 23 Blackdown  St, Toowoomba


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On 14 December 2013, the day before the funeral of Nelson Mandela, and at very short notice, Maher Zain turned his scheduled concert in Durban into a tribute concert to the former South African President.

Overnight he learnt the words to the national anthems and sang well-known songs that eulogised Madiba to audiences of some 20,000 fans.


The following song describes Mandelas' imprisonment on Robben Island.


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Promo by Kuraby Mosque   

Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad (pictured left) is one of the leading shaykhs of Tasawwuf in the present era.


Formally granted authorization (ijazah) in the Naqshbandi spiritual path (tariqah), he retired from his position as an electrical engineer at the age of forty to devote himself entirely to the service of Islam.


He regularly travels to more than thirty countries transforming the lives of people all over the world. A testament to his deep love for Allah, his uncompromising dedication to sunnah of the blessed Prophet (Peace be Upon Him), and his firm adherence to Islamic Law (shariah) is that thousands of religious scholars and students of Islamic learning are among his students (murids).


Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad regularly delivers lectures in both English and Urdu across the world. Furthermore, he has written dozens of books many of which have been translated into several languages. Online versions of both talks and writings are availalbe at the links on the left.

Sheikh resides in Makkah and is originally from Pakistan. He has lived in the US for a period of 15-20 years establishing Islamic centres throughout USA. He is fluent in English, Arabic and Urdu and he also speaks Farsi.

He has a very large following throughout the world and this is a special opportunity for us to host and to personally meet with the Sheikh and learn at his feet.

Those who know him have mentioned that when he travels it is almost impossible to personally meet him due to the large crowds of thousands of people that gather for his talks and to meet him.

Kuraby Mosque between Maghreb and Esha - Tuesday 28th Jan
Men and women both - In English

Darra between Maghreb and Esha - Wednesday 29th Jan
Men and women both - In Urdu

Holland Park Mosque between Maghreb and Esha - Thursday 30th Jan
Men and women both - In English

Jummah khutbaa - Friday - 31st Jan
Holland Park Mosque - In English

1st ladies program - Wednesday 29th Jan
Kuraby Mosque - 11:00am - 12:00am

2nd ladies program - Thursday 30th Jan
Holland Park Mosque - 11:00am - 12:00am

For more information:


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Mr Mohammed Yusuf, president of the Islamic Council of Queensland (ICQ), has issued a warning to members of the community that from this month Nandos have added bacon to their menu and therefore are no longer halal.

"At some outlets the ownership has changed and therefore we recommend that you check and confirm whether the restaurant is halal or not before you eat there."

Mr Yusuf told CCN that Nandos at Calamvale is no longer halal as they now have bacon on their menu.

"ICQ constantly receives enquiries whether chicken from B & E Poultry is halal or not. We are aware that they obtain their chickens from Inghams (certified halal by ICQ) and also from Nerang Poultry. Chickens from Nerang Poultry are not halal and therefore butchers/restaurants purchasing from B & E Poultry cannot be sure that what they are being supplied is from Inghams or Nerang Poultry."

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The Muslim Business Network (MBN) is hosting a networking seminar entitled “Network and Prosper” on Wednesday 5th February at the Brisbane Technology Park, 1 Clunies Ross Court, Eight Mile Plains, QLD 4113.

The speaker for the evening is Robyn Henderson - an award winning speaker and internationally renowned Networking and Strategies and a prolific author with over 25 books on Networking and Business Building to her credit.


Mark your dairy as it is going to be an entertaining and informative.


To find out about the magic of networking click here.

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Over 500 attended the celebration of the birthday of the Prophet (pbuh) last night at the Islamic College of Brisbane Hall. The event was organized by the Islamic Society of Queensland (ISQ).

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Palestinian film Omar has won the Best Feature Film Award at the seventh annual Asia Pacific Screen Awards, the region’s highest accolade in film, announced at the ceremony at Brisbane’s City Hall on Thursday evening.

Produced, written and directed by Hany Abu-Assad, and produced by Waleed F. Zuaiter, David Gerson and Hany Abu-Assad, Omar is the first film to be fully funded by the Palestinian film industry.

Films from, India, People’s Republic of China and Republic of Korea took home two awards each, films from Bangladesh, Islamic Republic of Iran, Russian Federation and Singapore also collected awards, with a further two special mentions going to films from Kazakhstan and Iraqi Kurdistan.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk congratulated all winners and said the ceremony attracted leading cultural, business and political figures from throughout the Asia Pacific.

“It has been an honour for Brisbane to host the Asia Pacific Screen Awards and make welcome such a prestigious group of internationally acclaimed filmmakers and actors,” the Lord Mayor said.

“I congratulate all the winners. It is wonderful to see the 2013 awards go to films from such a range of countries across the region, and many of them to first time feature filmmakers.”

India’s The Lunchbox, starring Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, took out two major awards at the ceremony. First time feature filmmaker Ritesh Batra won the Best Screenplay award and the Jury bestowed the film with a Jury Grand Prize, one of two awarded.

Television (Bangladesh) produced by Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, was also awarded a Jury Grand Prize, the first time an Asia Pacific Screen Award has gone to a film from Bangladesh.

The award was accepted by co-writer and nominee Anisul Hoque and lead actress Nusrat Imrose Tisha.



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By Dr Mohammad Abdalla   

SINCE the inception of the civil war in Syria three years ago more than 100,000 people have been killed and more than 2.5 million have fled the war-torn nation.

Three-quarters of the refugees are women and children. Another four million plus are displaced within Syria.

The complexity of the war is demonstrated in the variety of groups fighting in Syria.

First, there are the supporters of the Assad regime made up of the Alawite minority, who make up about 12 per cent of the country's population.

There is also Lebanon's Hezbollah Shi'ite militant group fighting on the side of the Assad regime.

Then there is the Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces that intended to bring together members of various religious sects opposed to Assad.

There are also the so-called jihadist groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra, fighting a war that they deem as Jihad against the Assad regime.


Courier Mail


RELATED ARTICLE: Idealism must not overcome moderation in those who seek change

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Ever had an interesting story you wanted to tell but just never knew how? Perhaps you have an interest in animation or digital storytelling.


Well now you have the opportunity to tell that story, or pursue that interest, and best of all it's FREE. Monash University in collaboration with The Edge in Brisbane will be conducting a series of FREE (emphasising the point) digital storytelling workshops for young Muslims between the ages of 18-25.


Over three days you will learn the techniques and technical skills needed to produce a digital story. This includes:

- Writing and Story boarding
- Video and sound capture
- Traditional animation
- Stop motion animation
- Editing and Production

When: 28th - 30th January
Where: The Edge (Stanley Pl, Brisbane)
Time: 10am - 4pm

Contact: Ameera Karimshah
email: ameera.karimshah@monash.edu
Phone: 0405846911

Places are limited, so it is strongly advised to RSVP in order to secure your spot. This is a fantastic chance for the Muslim youth to take advantage of a great opportunity and develop their skills.

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Myth No. 1: Muslims have a higher birth rate than other religions, and will take over the world by population

Two generations ago, it seemed as if Islamic countries were destined for out-of-control population growth. People spoke of an “Islamic fertility rate” - - more than 5 children per family, on average - - and predicted minaret spires foresting the Earth.

Today, it is readily apparent that Islam is not connected with population growth. Just look at Iran, the world’s only Islamic theocracy, where the average family had around 7 children in the 1980s - - and has 1.7 today, a lower rate than France or Britain. Or look at the United Arab Emirates, with 1.9 children per family. Or Turkey, ruled by an elected party of devout Muslims for a decade, which now has 2.15 children per family. Or Lebanon, where, despite Hezbollah’s rise, has only 1.86 children per family (so that its population will be shrinking).


Next week: Myth No. 2


Source: Huffington Post

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2. Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber $12.66bn ($7bn) Saudi Arabia

Prominent Arab philanthropist and businessman Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber has spent the last 33 years building the MBI International Holding Group Inc into an established collection of major international companies.


Following a steady stream of investments into existing businesses during 2012, the group saw 2013 as the perfect time to invest in new acquisitions and expand: JJW Hotels & Resorts, established in 1989, has - amongst other major investments for the year - recently taken over control of the Penina Hotel & Golf Resort from the Starwood Group.


This latest addition to the 60 hotels already in JJW’s portfolio is set to be added to throughout the course of 2014. At the start of December 2013, MBI International Holding Group Inc also increased their interest in Austrian ski & sports equipment company, Kneissl to 100 percent - making it the sole owner.


Established in 1861, this marquee brand is set to bring another dimension to an already diverse portfolio. Sheikh Mohamed is also an active philanthropist, funding scholarship programmes at some of the world’s top educational institutions through his own MBI Al Jaber Foundation.



NEXT WEEK: The Number 3 richest Arab in the world.

Source: ArabianBusiness

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The Muslim Pound


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Saudi Arabia to raze Prophet Mohammed’s tomb to build larger mosque


SAUDI ARABIA: The key Islamic heritage site, including Prophet Mohammed’s shrine, is to be bulldozed, as Saudi Arabia plans a $ 6 billion expansion of Medina’s holy Masjid an-Nabawi Mosque. However, Muslims remain silent on the possible destruction.

Work on the Masjid an-Nabawi in Medina, is planned to start as soon as the annual Hajj pilgrimage comes to a close at the end of November.

“After the Hajj this year, in one months’ time, the bulldozers will move in and will start to demolish the last part of Mecca, the grand mosque which is at least 1,000 years old,” Dr. Irfan Alawi of the Islamic Heritage Research Foundation, told RT.

After the reconstruction, the mosque is expected to become the world’s largest building, with a capacity for 1.6 million people.

And while the need to expand does exist as more pilgrims are flocking to holy sites every year, nothing has been said on how the project will affect the surroundings of the mosque, also historic sites.

Concerns are growing that the expansion of Masjid an-Nabawi will come at the price of three of the world’s oldest mosques nearby, which hold the tombs of Prophet Mohammed and two of his closest companions, Abu Bakr and Umar. The expansion project which will cost 25 billion SAR (more than US $6 billion) reportedly requires razing holy sites, as old as the seventh century.

The Saudis insist that colossal expansion of both Mecca and Medina is essential to make a way for the growing numbers of pilgrims. Both Mecca and Medina host 12 million visiting pilgrims each year and this number is expected to increase to 17 million by 2025.

Authorities and hotel developers are working hard to keep pace, however, the expansions have cost the oldest cities their historical surroundings as sky scrapers, luxury hotels and shopping malls are being erected amongst Islamic heritage.

A room in a hotel or apartment in a historic area may cost up to $ 500 per night. And that’s all in or near Mecca, a place where the Prophet Mohammed insisted all Muslims would be equal.

“They just want to make a lot of money from the super-rich elite pilgrims, but for the poor pilgrims it is getting very expensive and they cannot afford it,”

Dr. Irfan Al Alawi said.



Jabal Omar complex – a 40 tower ensemble – is being depicted as a new pearl of Mecca. When complete, it will consist of six five star hotels, seven 39 storey residential towers offering 520 restaurants, 4, 360 commercial and retail shops.

But to build this tourist attraction the Saudi authorities destroyed the Ottoman era Ajyad Fortress and the hill it stood on.

The Washington-based Gulf Institute estimated that 95 percent of sacred sites and shrines in the two cities have been destroyed in the past twenty years.

The Prophet’s birthplace was turned into a library and the house of his first wife, Khadijah, was replaced with a public toilet block.

Also the expansion and development might threaten many locals homes, but so far most Muslims have remained silent on the issue.

“Mecca is a holy sanctuary as stated in the Quran it is no ordinary city. The Muslims remain silent against the Saudi Wahhabi destruction because they fear they will not be allowed to visit the Kindom again,” said Dr. Al Alawi.

The fact that there is no reaction on possible destruction has raised talks about hypocrisy because Muslims are turning a blind eye to that their faith people are going to ruin sacred sites.

“Some of the Sunni channels based in the United Kingdom are influenced by Saudi petro dollars and dare not to speak against the destruction, but yet are one of the first to condemn the movie made by non Muslims,” Dr. Al Alawi said.

Source: World Observer

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Chechnya gives parents $1,000 for naming newborns ‘Mohammad’

Chechnya: Families in Chechnya who name their newborns “Mohammad,” after Islam’s prophet, will be given $1,000, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said on Monday.

The initiative was announced to mark the birth anniversary of Prophet Mohammad this week, according to Moscow-based news site RIA Novosti.

On the social media image-sharing site Instagram, Kadyrov said that his mother's privately-sponsored charity will give away the money, adding that she was behind the idea.

The reward is not limited to those who name their newborns "Mohammad," Kadyrov said, adding that those who name their infants after any of the prophet's wives, children and 10 companions would also receive $1,000.


Source: Al Arabiya


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Ethnic Moroccan beauty pageant won by 19-year-old 



MOROCCO: Asmaa Sarah, 19, who hails from the Amazigh ethnic group, was crowned Miss Amazigh 2014 in the Moroccan city of Agadir on Friday.

The Amazighs are a group of people who inhabit the area extending from the eastern Siwa Oasis to the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and the Mediterranean Sea in the north to the south of the Sahara.

The contest also came during the occasion of the Amazigh New Year.

Held at a university in Morocco's southern city of Agadir, the contest judged the beauty queens by their mastery of their ethnic language, and the quality of their cultural dress.

A group of 10 women aged between 18 and 25 have been selected to line up for the beauty pageant.


Apart from their age criteria, the women were expected to master their Tamazight language, a family of Berber dialects spoken in North African countries. A third judging point was related to their ethnic clothing.

More than 50 percent of the event's proceeds went to a local charity association.

“I am very happy to win the pageant and be able to help local charity organizations, especially the ones that will be held next month in the Berev province of Agadir,” newly-crowned Sarah told a reporter from Anatolia News Agency

Source: Al Arabiya

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Jefferson Was the First President Defamed for Mentioning Islam


Love your neighbor as yourself, and your country more than yourself,” wrote Thomas Jefferson the year before his death. Who did he include among his neighbors in the blueprint for the nation he loved so much?

Jefferson implicitly included Muslims in his patriotic rendering of the Golden Rule. Many may find this idea startling today, but explicit proof for it exists.

In 1776, Jefferson inscribed these pivotal words among his private notes: “(N)either Pagan nor Mahometan (Muslim) nor Jew ought to be excluded from the civil rights of the commonwealth because of his religion.” They were written a few months after he composed the Declaration of Independence, when he returned to Virginia to draft new laws for his state.

Jefferson borrowed the precedent of “civil rights” for Muslims from the English philosopher John Locke’s 1689 tract, A Letter Concerning Toleration. Locke’s ideas about the toleration of Muslims and Jews provoked attacks: One critic condemned him for having “the faith of a Turk.” His enemies also charged, rightly, that he owned a copy of the Quran, which they termed “the Mahometan bible.”

For centuries, it had been common in Europe for one Christian to defame another with references to Islam, a practice that crossed the Atlantic. Jefferson, for his expansive views of religious liberty and political equality, would be attacked repeatedly as an “infidel,” a word that in his time meant not just an “unbeliever,” but a Muslim.

And like Locke, Jefferson owned a Quran.

The 22-year-old Jefferson bought his Quran in 1765, while studying law in Williamsburg, Va. The local newspaper documented his purchase of the two-volume translation by the Englishman George Sale. First published in 1734, Sale’s version was the earliest made directly from Arabic to English. It included a 200-page “Preliminary Discourse” with an overview of Islamic belief, ritual and law.

Jefferson may have been interested in the Quran as a book of law, for at the time he also ordered many English works of jurisprudence. He would have been struck by the translator’s definition of the Prophet as “the lawgiver of the Arabians.”

Yet while Sale condemned Islam as “a false religion,” he also took care to praise the Prophet as “beautiful in his person, of a subtle wit, agreeable behavior, showing liberality to the poor, courtesy to everyone, fortitude against his enemies, and above all a high reverence for the name of God.” The translator also refused to define Islam “as propagated by the sword alone,” reminding his readers that both Jews and Christians warred in the name of their faiths.

Critics accused Sale of being too even-handed in his depiction of Islam, resulting in his Anglican missionary employers distancing themselves from his translation. Posthumously, he was condemned as “half a Muslim,” by the British historian Edward Gibbon in 1788.

Those who appeared to defend Islam, or its adherents, were harshly criticized on both sides of the Atlantic.

What did Jefferson think about the Quran and its contents? He left no notes that capture his immediate reaction, either because he never wrote them or because they did not survive the fire that destroyed his mother’s house five years later. In the blaze, Jefferson said he lost “every paper” and “almost every book.” The Quran may also have succumbed to the fire, but if it did, he most certainly bought it again, for it survives in the Library of Congress.

In the Quran, Jefferson inscribed only his initials at the bottom of one page of the first volume.

Jefferson criticized the religion in his early political debates in 1776 as “stifling free enquiry,” a charge he also leveled against Catholicism. He thought both religions fused religion and the state at precisely the time he wished to separate them in Virginia.

Despite his criticism of Islam, Jefferson supported the rights of its adherents, a pattern he repeated for Judaism and Catholicism, moving beyond his hero Locke, who refused toleration to Catholics and atheists.

In Jefferson’s 1784 Notes on Virginia, he published his views on the relationship between his neighbor’s religion and the state: “The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

With his assertion that government should never intrude into the metaphysical beliefs of its citizens, Jefferson provided unintentional, lasting ammunition for his political enemies. For many, these words proved he was not really Christian.

Jefferson’s legal version of the Golden Rule, combined with Locke’s views of Muslim civil rights, would echo most potently in his 1821 autobiography, in which he recalled the final fight to pass his most famous legislation, the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, still in force today.

The Statute proclaims: “(O)ur civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions.” Although Jefferson’s proposed legislation originally met with resistance in 1779, James Madison lobbied for its passage and, finally, achieved victory in 1786 while Jefferson was away in France.

Jefferson recorded happily in his autobiography that a final attempt to change his preamble by adding the words “Jesus Christ” failed. And this failure led Jefferson to affirm that he had intended the application of the statute to be “universal.” By this he meant that religious liberty and political equality would not be exclusively Christian, a belief in religious pluralism that Madison also shared.

Jefferson asserted that his original legislative intent had been “to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo, and Infidel of every denomination.”

By the time he wrote these words in 1821, Jefferson certainly appreciated the consequences of being labeled an infidel himself. In the wake of his narrow presidential victory in 1800, he confided to a close friend: “(W)hat an effort, my dear Sir, of bigotry in politics & religion we have gone through.”

Jefferson would not be the last presidential candidate to be defamed for referring to Islam, but he remains the first.

Tragically, though Jefferson championed Muslim rights, he never knew that America’s first Muslims — slaves of West African origin — were denied the freedoms he thought were universal. The Founder may have even owned Muslim slaves, but there is no conclusive proof. There remains no doubt, however, that Jefferson imagined Muslims as neighbors in his country’s future, a forecast that retains signal implications to this day.

Denise A. Spellberg is associate professor of history and Middle Eastern studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an: Islam and the Founders.

Source: Iranian

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Racists Vandalized a Stockholm Mosque and the Community Responded Beautifully

SWEDEN: It's turns out not everyone is a complete jerk.


On Monday morning, members of the Stockholm Muslim congregation arrived at the doors of their previously defaced mosque in Södermalm to see that bouquets of pink and white flowers replaced the black swastikas that vandalized the mosque's doors last week.


"For every hate crime there is a flower," read a note that accompanied the flowers. "An attack on you is an attack on Sweden! We stand together!"

The swastika graffiti was discovered Thursday morning by members of the congregation. According to the head of Sweden's Islamic federation Omar Mustafa, this incident marks the first time the entrance was defaced with swastikas since the mosque was built in 2000 (the mosque is targeted by hate mail or vandalism about twice a month).

But just as anonymously as the swastikas appeared, so did the flowers and accompanying note of kindness. "I thought society was moving the wrong direction. But now my view changed 180 degrees," said Mustafa.

The secret florists also adorned a mosque in Fittja, which was also vandalized with pigs' feet in November, and Hagsätra church that was also graffitied with swastikas on Friday.




Source: Policymic

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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
 sherbet sharaba to drink
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CCN Readers' Book Club: You are what you read!


This week a CCN reader recommends


 The Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan, 1839-42


 William Dalrymple  


IN 1842 some 700 European soldiers, 3,800 Indian sepoys and 14,000 civilian staff fled Kabul in the deep chill of winter. The British occupation of Afghanistan, in place since 1839, was no longer tenable. A week later a single survivor from this fleet staggered into view at the British-held fort at Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan. This lone soldier on a collapsing pony, as depicted in Elizabeth Butler’s 1879 painting “Remnants of an Army” (pictured), has become a lasting image of the first Anglo-Afghan war. It is an appropriately bleak one.


It was “a war begun for no wise purpose”—and one that need never have taken place. It would stand as the worst British military disaster until the fall of Singapore exactly a century later. William Dalrymple, a British historian, recounts Britain’s early misadventures in Afghanistan in “Return of a King”, a masterful history. This is a story that hangs heavy with imperial overconfidence, political incompetence and wilful bureaucratic misjudgment. And as the latest occupying force in Afghanistan negotiates its exit, this chronicle seems all too relevant now.

Afghanistan in the early 19th century was insignificant. Though home to the largest market in Central Asia, it was wretchedly poor, and its rulers barely clung to power. But the country was also a vital gateway for invasions into India. Fearing a Russian attack on its most treasured possession, Britain looked to secure Kabul.

It would have been easy simply to make a pact with Afghanistan’s ruler, Dost Mohammad. Instead Britain backed Shah Shuja, the deposed king, who had been living in exile in India for three decades. Thus began the “Great Game”, an entirely unnecessary competition for Afghanistan between Russia and Britain, conjured up by armchair polemicists in London.

The war began promisingly. The grandly named Army of the Indus lumbered off to Afghanistan with 58,000 people, 30,000 camels (300 for the wine alone) and a pack of foxhounds for hunting. The force took Kabul with relative ease and restored Shuja to the throne; he was accepted with little turmoil. But the infidel occupation soon proved unpopular. Shuja was swiftly seen as a puppet of the invading army. A local chieftain inquired of the British, “You have brought an army into the country. But how do you propose to take it out again?” It remains a tough question to answer.

The occupation grew entrenched. Families joined officers and tried to make themselves comfortable. In one case this meant bringing a grand piano; in another a cat, a parakeet and five maidservants. And the soldiers did little to endear themselves, but rather meddled in religious affairs, created a thriving market for prostitutes and helped generate inflation. Afghans grew restless, and within a year rebellions started breaking out.

A series of tactical mistakes followed. Assuming the conquest was complete, Britain withdrew large portions of the army in preparation for the brewing opium war in China. Reports of growing discontent were disregarded, and no money went towards new defences in Kabul. The final straw came when the British cut payments to the tribes who guarded vital supply routes, guaranteeing widespread revolts. Much of the carnage that followed was conducted in the religious name of jihad—a “relative innovation” in Afghanistan as previous wars had been largely between Muslims. Ultimately the struggle ended as it began, with Dost Mohammad in power at Kabul.

The war cost £15m—about £50 billion ($80 billion) in today’s money—and the lives of 40,000 people, 50,000 camels and at least one cat. That is still a bargain compared with the current conflict, which costs America more than $100 billion every year.

“Return of a King” confirms Mr Dalrymple’s reputation as a gifted historian and an engaging writer. But the signal achievement of this work is that it makes a nearly two-century-old war seem disturbingly fresh. It makes for grim reading. Like the current adventure in Afghanistan, this first one was undone by the unsustainable cost of occupation, waning political and public interest, and the need to divert resources. In the race to secure the country, the British ambassador in Tehran believed “that he who is not with us is against us”. “Operation Infinite Justice”, the abandoned name for the 21st-century war, carries echoes of the “Army of Retribution” sent in after the disastrous British retreat.

Yet there is one parallel that Mr Dalrymple leaves his readers to draw, which is the futility of treating a diffuse enemy like a traditional state. By using a wealth of unmined sources, including Afghan epic poetry, official court histories and Shuja’s own biography, he brings out the “deeply fractured” nature of the resistance, in which “different groups under different commanders…acted…with only the bare minimum of co-ordination”.

Today’s bloody conflict in Afghanistan is scarcely different, with a complex web of allegiances fiercely fighting the occupation. Few lessons have been learned from past mistakes. Mr Dalrymple’s book is a timely reminder of the way that wars can begin with promise but end in disgrace.

Source: The Economist


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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


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KB says: Jardo (or Zarda) is a a traditional Indian sweet dish usually served as a starter. Farzana Pandor of Ellsberg (South Africa) has perfected the recipe and is happy to share it with CCN readers.



1 cup thick grain rice

1½ tab ghee

1 stick tuj

1 cup sugar

10 ml lemon juice

few strands saffron

slivered pistachios 



1. Boil rice with a good pinch of turmeric until soft and then strain.

2. Put ghee in pot with tuj  and when ghee is hot then add boiled rice, sugar, lemon juice and saffron. Steam very gently with lid closed but carefully tossing at intervals, and adding a little water if necessary.

3. Garnish with slivered pistachios and serve hot.


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've lost about 7 kilos over the last 3 months and am now trying to tone my body, especially upper arms. Any suggestions?

A: Great job, keep it up!

Stick with exercises that will isolate the triceps (back of the upper arm), and biceps (front of the arm).

Weight training combined with your cardio workout will help you tone even faster.

So pick up some weights and include bicep curls and raises, etc....
Try body weight exercises as well for great results.

These should include tricep-dips, tricep push-ups and the like.

Anything that isolates and challenges the upper arm.

Remember to mix it up and the rest the muscles after weight training.








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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Mula Nasruddin went to the city to vote in his country's general elections (in reality, an election of generals) and returned to his village where his friends were discussing the vote.


When Mula Nasruddin told them that he had voted for the democratic party everyone was shocked and said no you can't do that, you will get into trouble.


Mula Nasruddin then returned to the election venue and told the election officials that he wanted to change his vote as he had made a mistake.


The officials told him: "Don't worry we have already changed it for you, but next time don't make the same mistake.

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And do not eat up your property among yourselves for vanities, nor use it as bait for the judges, with intent that you may eat up wrongfully and knowingly a little of (other) people's property.

Surah Al-Baqarah 2:188


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There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man,

true nobility is being superior to your former self.



~ Ernest Hemingway 



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Notice Board


Click on thumbnail to enlarge


Events and Functions

An Exhibition of the Life of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) 19 January Gold Coast Mosque Int. Food Festival 2014 26 JANUARY Gold Coast Mosque Int. Food Festival 2014 DIRECTIONS 26 JANUARY MBN Networking Seminar 5 February 2014 World Interfaith Harmony Week 2014 6 February


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Islamic Programmes, Education & Services

Seerah Programme starts 11 January Seerah Programme starts 11 January MAA Syria Winter Appeal Arabic- Qur'an Classes
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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

 Computer Repairs


Watany Man-oushi Lebanese Foods

Take Away



Dial a Local Doctor

Medical Services


Baby Care Solutions

(read information sheet)

 Early Parenting Guidance

Kuraby Mosque Hire Services

Hire Services

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




Place your ad here


Contact ccn@crescentsofbrisbane.org for more information


Seedat Accounting United Hearts Family Day Care Scheme Pty Ltd AUTOCAD 2013 TUITION Archi n Eng Sora LM Sept low VarRate Flyer LM Sept13 FixRate Flyer 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 LOVE UR BODY Baby Care Solutions Wasimah Brisbane CassonIT Solutions Computer Repairs Al-Khitan Circumcisions Watang Man-oushi Lebanese Foods Lil Umah Pari Collection Achar Pari Collection Michael's Oriental Birthday Promo ACCES Services REMOVALS Dial a Doctor Bulk Billing Dr in your home Function Room Page 1 Function Room Page 2 Shariff's Computer Services Ayesha's Samoosa Strips Angelz Dental Care Sunkids Sunkids Maximize  Accountants Officetek Alarms Mona Vie AK Surtie Centre for Easy Language Learning Arabic Paradise Convenience Autocad 2012 Training Baalbak Mediterranean Restaurant Low Price Pharmacy KURABY Bismillah Repairs and Maintenance
New mobile no. 0468 342 127 Brisbane Diagnostics Hummys Automotive Services Boulevard Tower Residence Accommodation Calamvale Physiotherapy & Sport Injury Clinic Kuraby Mosque Hire Carpetlifesavers Indoor Folding Mats Rejuven8 Body & Beauty Personal Wellness Coach Shameema's Silk Scarves efxshop Samoosa Pastry Shakira Kolia Driving School Tutoring Fathima Adat QLD Islamic Book Service Gabriel Hair Studio Henna Fatima Ismail Junaid Ally Properties REMAX Muslima Chick Kimaya International Quick Stick Name labels Ladies Only Personal Training Lilys Fashion Excelanz Migration Services Hussana love ur body Nandos Mt Gravatt T ax Returns 2012 Muslim Directory Nandos Calamvale NAZIMA HANSA REMAX Marketing Coop Group Pizza Lane Pappa Roti 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)





19 January


An Exhibition on the life of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW)

Islamic Society of Algester

Springwood Community Centre
55 Cinderella Drive, Springwood

0433 285 086

10.30am to 4pm

26 January


International Food Festival 2014

Islamic Society of Gold Coast

Gold Coast Mosque, 144 Allied Drive, Arundel

0416 212 541

8am to 8pm

5 February


MBN Workshop: Network & Prosper

Muslim Business Network (MBN)

Brisbane Technology Park, Eight Mile Plains

0422 191 675

6.30pm to 8.30pm

9 February


Fundraising Lunch:
Victims of War Association


Svoboda Park, Kuraby

0450 908 786

11am to 2.30pm

22 March


International Food Festival hosted by Kuraby Mosque

Kuraby Mosque

Wally Tate Park

0422 191 675

10am to 9pm

25 May



Lailatul Mehraj (27th Rajab 1435)

14 June



Lailatul Bhahraat (Nisf of Sha’baan 1435)

29 June


1st of Ramadhan 1435



Lailatul Qadr (Night of Power)

28 July


End of Ramadhan 1435

29 July



5 October



25 October


1st Muharram 1436 (Islamic New Year)

3 November


Day of Aashooraa (10th day of Muharram)



Prophet’s Birthday 12th Rabi-ul Awwal 1436



1. All Islamic Event dates given above are tentative and subject to the sighting of the moon.

2. The Islamic date changes to the next day starting in the evenings after maghrib. Therefore, except for Lailatul Mehraj, Lailatul Bhahraat and Lailatul Qadr – these dates refer to the commencement of the event starting in the evening of the corresponding day.


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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.


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


Queensland Police Service/Muslim Community Consultative Group


Meeting Dates & Times


Thursday 20 February 2014 Metropolitan South Regional Office 1993 Logan Road, Upper Mt Gravatt

Thursday 22 May 2014 Mt Gravatt Police Station, 2132 Logan Road, Upper Mt Gravatt

Thursday 21 August 2014 Mt Gravatt Police Station, 2132 Logan Road, Upper Mt Gravatt

Thursday 20 November 2014 Mt Gravatt Police Station, 2132 Logan Road, Upper Mt Gravatt

Commencing at 7.00pm (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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Catch Crescents Community News on


Please feel free to click on the image on the left and......

post comments on our Wall

start up a Discussion thread

become a Fan


Like our page


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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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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 ccn@crescentsofbrisbane.org.


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 enter their details here.


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