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Sunday, 27 December 2015


Newsletter 0581


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



Mariam collects two awards at AMAA

The CCN Weekly News & Views Briefs The CCN Food for Thought

Movers and shakers in the Islamic economy

Jumma (Friday) Khutba (Lecture) Recordings An Ayaat-a-Week

Multicultural Grants announced

 The CCN Inbox: Letters to the Editor Events and Functions

Muslim communities practising sharia law

 The CCN Classifieds

Islamic Programmes, Education & Services

Visiting Eminent Scholar

Around the Muslim World & Muslims Around the World

Businesses and Services

Stop making me apologise for the acts of extremists

CCN Readers' Book Club

The CCN Date Claimer

Local Muslims contribute to MCF feeding programme

KB's Culinary Corner

CCN on Facebook

UPF & Blair Cottrell Deliver a Christmas Tree to a Mosque

Kareema's Keep Fit Column

Useful Links

The Global Decline of the Arabic Script Fitria on Food Disclaimer

Muslim men and multiple wives exploiting taxpayer handouts

The CCN Chuckle

Write For Us

Attacks increase against Australia's Muslims


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A Religious Forecast For 2050: Atheism Is Down, Islam Is Rising
A Rabbi, Priest & Imam Building The House Of One In Berlin
Hillary Clinton celebrates Humayun Khan
Why is Rumi the best selling poet in the US?
Muslims Must Reject Exclusivist Theology: THE BLOG
Muslims threaten to leave Facebook after pages taken down
Guide to Muslim musicians: Kierran Petersen's TOP 10
The Muslims who shaped America


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By Zia Ahmed


Winners of the Australian Muslim Achievement Awards 2014-2015 at Bryan Brown Theatre

The founder of the Islamophobia Register, Mariam Veiszadeh was the winner of two awards in categories, “Role Model of the Year” and “Women of the Year” at the 9th Australian Muslim Achievement Awards 2015 held on Saturday 19 December at The Bryan Brown Theatre in Bankstown.

“It was extremely humbling to receive the Woman of the Year and the Role Model of the Year Award at the Australian Muslim Achievement Awards this evening. I’m truly overwhelmed by it all”, Mariam said.

She thanked her whole family, specially her mother, “an epitome of courage” and her husband Ehsaan Veiszadeh “my rock” for his support during tough times.

“I’d also like to thank those who have been instrumental in providing me a platform – without you I wouldn’t be where I am today. Congratulations also to all of the other nominees and award winners”, she added.


Mariam Veiszadeh speaking at the Australian Muslim Achievement Awards 2015

AMAA event is held on an yearly basis to honour high achievers in the community in a large number of categories. The event is coordinated by Hanan Dover of Mission of Hope and is sponsored by various community organisations and businesses.

Mariam, a lawyer and community rights advocate has been leading the charge against Islamophobia. During her keynote speech she shared the trauma she had to go through and the challenges she faced during her advocacy campaign for the last two years.

Other speakers at the event included Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed, Mufti of Australia, and Ghaith Krayem and performances were given by Hameed Attai, Nasheed Singer and Zohab Khan, a Spoken Word Artist.

The Lifetime achievement Award was won by Mrs Mona Abdel-Fattah, the principle of Australian Islamic Academy at Strathfield campus.


Dr Ibrahim Abu Muhammad with Lifetime Achiever Award Winner Mona Abdel-Fattah at the Australian Muslim Achievement Awards 2015.

The People’s Choice Award 2014 was won by Osman Korolia, Deputy Principle at Unity Grammar College who had the following comments “An inspiring evening though with some amazing people here who all do amazing in their everyday life and in doing so make our society a better place. Congratulations to Hanan Dover and the team at Mission of Hope and their sponsors for this incredible event and dinner that followed. Above all I wish to express my eternal gratitude to my wife Salima Hawli Karolia, this award is dedicated to her and her endless and unwavering support for all that I do.”

The Media Outlet of the Year award winner Randa Abdel-Fattah said “honestly stunned to win media personality award. So humbled and grateful to those who supported me. I’m very conscious of the enormous responsibility media engagement demands. Thanks for supporting me during the good ones and the brutal cringe worthy stuff ups! And thanks Hanan Dover and the Mission of Hope team for putting on a really inspiring night. Blessed to have shared the night with my family and mother who won Lifetime Achievement Award.”

Sean McNulty and Soumayya Najjarine acted as the masters of ceremony with their usual entertaining style.

The winners in various categories were as follows:

Best New Community Project - Brothers In Need
Creative Artist of the Year - Ahmad Sabra – Falafel and Photography
Business of the Year - Nadine Bakka Mobile Speech Therapy Services
Community Organisation of the Year - Islamic Relief Australia
Event of the Year - Eid Show
People’s Choice 2014 – Osman Karolia
Abyssinian of the Year – Damian Ridgwell
Role Model of the Year - Mariam Veiszadeh
Media Outlet of the Year - Randa Abdel-Fattah
Professional of the Year – Nooria Mehraby
Lifetime Achiever Award – Mona Abdel-Fattah
Woman of the Year – Mariam Veiszadeh
Man of the Year – Dr Yassir Morsi
Youth of the Year - Yassmin Abdel-Magied
People’s Choice for 2015 – Julide Turker

Zia Ahmad

Zia Ahmad is the Managing Editor of the Australasian Muslim Times AMUST and is based in Sydney.





Source: Australasian Muslim Times


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ISLAMICA 500 is a guide of selected thought leaders, executives, professionals and entrepreneurs from around the world, active in the Islamic Economy and the Halal industry.

It acts as a reference for Global Leaders in the Islamic Economy.

Making the Top 50 list is Mr. Yassine Talal, Managing Director of Crescent Wealth.


The full list can be viewed here.


Personalities listed have been selected from across the globe and invitation is granted only to those individuals who have demonstrated leadership, achievement and contribution to the development of the Islamic economy.

They have been surveyed to assess their contribution on the Islamic Economy to World economy.


"The TOP 50 are based on a series of criteria to highlight who are providing the most cutting edge and innovative achievements to the Islamic Economy.

These criteria are :  Innovation, Substance, Ethics, Entrepreneurship, Global or international impact, Sustainability & Long-term projects and Multi-sector approach

"The research is based on the work of highly qualified consultants and peer-to-peer review."


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Minister for Multicultural Affairs Grace Grace has announced funding of $1,000,000 for 128 events and projects to be delivered across the state in 2016.


These events and projects will celebrate and promote Queensland’s multicultural identity, increase community awareness of benefits of multiculturalism, foster community cohesion, and support equal access to opportunities by people from diverse cultural backgrounds.


Amongst the recipients of grants in this round were:



For the full list of recipients click here.


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Breakfast meeting at Limon's Restaurant on Sunday raises over $500 for weekly feeding programme supported by the Muslim Charitable Foundation (MCF)


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The Muslim communities then have been turning to the Family Court to authorise the heavily weighted “agreements’’, which often provide “guardianship” of school-aged children to men and incorporate the return of any marriage dowry as well as other financial compensation from the women.

The “guardianship” principle under sharia law means the parent can make all the significant decisions about a child, irrespective of who has custody.

The Australian has learned that Muslim women agree to the sharia agreements so that they can then initiate a religious ¬divorce before Islamic imams, and avoid being stuck in a restrictive “limping marriage’’.

An issue of increasing ¬concern is where a Muslim man refuses to give his wife a religious divorce, even though the couple may be civilly divorced, and she is unable to remarry or travel to many Islamic countries and can be ostracised in her community.

The husband is not penalised however, as he can take up to four wives without penalty under Islamic law.

But even women awarded religious and civil divorces can find sharia principles restrict their future life decisions.

Muslim single mother and asylum-seeker Tahira Sajid fears being sent back to Pakistan after her husband divorced her under the “three strike’’ sharia process and then later under Australian law. Ms Sajid said unmarried women faced a higher risk of violence and persecution in Pakistan but she was caught in a cultural bind because, if she remarried, her ex-husband could take away her eight-year-old daughter, Malaika.

“I felt intimidated into a divorce,” Ms Sajid said. “And now if I remarry, under sharia law he can take Malaika away.”

Ms Sajid said she worried about going back to Pakistan where she would have no legal protection against her ex-husband.

“I feel safe here under a protection visa,” she said.

Ms Sajid’s friend Ammara Nazish said it was “impossible to practise sharia law 100 per cent” and she appreciated her newfound freedoms as a woman after arriving in Australia in 2012.

Muslim communities in Australia have been quietly practising sharia law in negotiating divorces, disadvantaging women in custody and property arrangements.

The Muslim communities then have been turning to the Family Court to authorise the heavily weighted “agreements’’, which often provide “guardianship” of school-aged children to men and incorporate the return of any marriage dowry as well as other financial compensation from the women.

The “guardianship” principle under sharia law means the parent can make all the significant decisions about a child, irrespective of who has custody.

The Australian has learned that Muslim women agree to the sharia agreements so that they can then initiate a religious divorce before Islamic imams, and avoid being stuck in a restrictive “limping marriage’’.

An issue of increasing concern is where a Muslim man refuses to give his wife a religious divorce, even though the couple may be civilly divorced, and she is unable to remarry or travel to many Islamic countries and can be ostracised in her community.

The husband is not penalised however, as he can take up to four wives without penalty under Islamic law.

But even women awarded religious and civil divorces can find sharia principles restrict their future life decisions.

Muslim single mother and asylum-seeker Tahira Sajid fears being sent back to Pakistan after her husband divorced her under the “three strike’’ sharia process and then later under Australian law. Ms Sajid said unmarried women faced a higher risk of violence and persecution in Pakistan but she was caught in a cultural bind because, if she remarried, her ex-husband could take away her eight-year-old daughter, Malaika.

“I felt intimidated into a divorce,” Ms Sajid said. “And now if I remarry, under sharia law he can take Malaika away.”

Ms Sajid said she worried about going back to Pakistan where she would have no legal protection against her ex-husband.

“I feel safe here under a protection visa,” she said.

Ms Sajid’s friend Ammara Nazish said it was “impossible to practise sharia law 100 per cent” and she appreciated her newfound freedoms as a woman after arriving in Australia in 2012.

“In Pakistan women die every year from rape on the streets and domestic violence no matter how well educated you are,” said Ms Nazish, who holds a masters degree in environmental science. “I love the rights I have here and how safe I feel every day.”

Ms Nazish’s husband, Imran Yousef, said the practice of sharia law in Australia was “bizarre”. “I follow the Koran but I follow the law of the land,” Mr Yousef said.

Sydney mother Mahassen Issa discovered the problems of not obtaining a religious divorce when she was charged with adultery and bigamy and detained for nearly three months in Lebanon after holidaying with a new partner last year.

A former adviser to the Lakemba mosque in Sydney’s west, solicitor Hasaim Farache, is one of several Muslims being trained by Legal Aid to facilitate culturally specific consent orders for the Family Court.

Mr Farache admitted to applying sharia principles to his arbitrations. He said sharia had been playing out since the mediation aspect of the Family Court was introduced in 2005 and claimed the application of sharia at the mediation level avoided expensive litigation.

The Family Court registers an agreement between a couple believing it has been jointly agreed, and there is little scrutiny of the cultural pressure Muslim women face in coming to make the deal.

Senior NSW lawyer Jamila Hussain said the Muslim community was not using sharia tribunals, as none existed in Australia, but were instead relying on a commonsense application of sharia principles to circumvent a limping marriage, also euphemistically labelled “marital captivity’’. “We are not using sharia tribunals, but we rely on trained Muslim mediators who are legally qualified people we can go to and who advise what to do under Australian law and to get an Islamic divorce,’’ Ms Hussain said.

She agreed it was a pragmatic approach but added: “It works because it overcomes the problem (Muslim) women would otherwise face when obtaining a divorce in the Family Court.’’

The Australian


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The General Secretary of Jamiyyatul Ulama India, Sheikh Abu Bakar Ahmed, will be visiting Brisbane this week to deliver lectures at Algester Mosque and the Al Mustapha Academy.

"The Sheikh is a prolific author of numerous award winning books in different languages and recognized for his humanitarian efforts by many organizations. He plays a pivotal role in maintaining harmonious relationships with people of other faiths," Imam Yusuf Thaqafi told CCN.

He will be delivering on only two lectures this week:

• Monday 28 December at 8:30pm: Algester Mosque
• Tuesday 29 December at 7:00pm: Al Mustapha Academy Australia: 48 Scrubby Creek Road, Browns Plains

"All brothers and sister welcome!"



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Yassir Morsi


Horrified by recent terrorist attacks in the name of religion, many Muslims living in the West are keen to explain that the bloodlust of ISIL does not represent either their values or the pulse of mainstream Islam. Despite the West’s many liberal democracies’ public stance against Islamophobia, it remains necessary to publicly state the remarkably obvious point that not all Muslims are alike.

Community leaders typically enter the public eye a day after a terrorist attack to condemn ISIL, as well as distance themselves from the toxic narrative of extremists.

In response to the recent San Bernardino, California, shootings, Hussam Ayloush, a representative of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, explained why it responded with a statement on how it unequivocally condemned this horrific act.

Mr Ayloush said: “There’s a lot of anti-Muslim sentiment, fuelled by pundits. We felt there was a need for our fellow Americans to know that all American Muslims share with the rest of the country, our sorrow today, our shock and our agony for what happened.”

Its not my point to say we shouldn’t distance Islam from ISIL, but to note how such distancing is so often done through appeals to secular and colour-blind liberal sensibilities about local Muslims, sharing citizenry and a denunciation of the binary “us” and “them” rhetoric.

Language matters greatly in these times, so we have to ask what really can be said about Islam in this current climate?

Effectively, no matter how complex Islam is, Muslims in the West commonly find ourselves saying nothing much other than the word “not”. Islam becomes simply defined through a string of negations. For the radical Muslim, Islam is a negation of the West. For moderate Muslims, Islam is a negation of the radical’s negation: we are not terrorists, this is not the Sharia, this is not the true meaning of jihad.

A spiral of “nots” string together our public speeches, which say nothing about the religion other than what it opposes. In this spiral, everyday Muslims occupy a burden to confess where they are situated in this radical-moderate line.

Indeed, one of western society’s fundamental rituals is the act of inducing confessions. We are commonly told that upon our confession we have liberated ourselves from carrying the burden of our heavy sins. We are more honest, more likely to change, we are taking a step to our redemption.

Confession, we are told, purges us of the parasite of secrecy that gnaws at our conscience.

It was the philosopher Michel Foucault who suggested that our “incitement to speak the truth” relies on our assumption of freeing what remains concealed within, and thus he famously claims that Western man “has become a confessing animal”.

Even our democratic ethos is tainted with the same confessionals. The call for a politics to be transparent is a call to expose inner motives, which claims to induce a confession for the sake of our polity’s salvation.

In our act of confessing, Foucault argues that we become at once the governor and the governed, the observer and the observed. By confessing all that is within, all that is hidden, all that we can know about ourselves, we are delivering our deepest sense of self to society so we can be forgiven, counselled, judged, corrected, weighed or punished.

We become through our confession an object of judgement. It becomes all the more a hierarchy of judge and suspect when that relationship between confessor and forgiver is a racial one.

We saw last year the #muslimapologies campaign where Muslims mock the idea that they have to apologise for terrorism by affirming their contributions to history: as one tweet suggested, “sorry for inventing algebra”.

Source: The National



‘Why I refuse to answer the question: Do you condemn ISIS?’: (Susan Abulhawa, Al Jazeera)


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UPF & Blair Cottrell Deliver a Christmas Tree to a Mosque


Blair Cottrell and some UPF lads drop into a mosque and deliver a Christmas tree, obviously going in there to troll and cause a scene. Things turn a little awkward when no one is actually offended and they're greeted with open arms and a warm welcome.


The Muslim men were not offended or taken back, they really didn't care.


The UPF lads are now claiming this was not a troll but a good gesture, confusion hits their page as their fans are a little rustled. 


Blair Cottrell and some UPF lads drop into a mosque and deliver a Christmas tree, obviously going in there to troll and cause a scene. Things turn a little awkward when no one is actually offended and they're greeted with open arms and a warm welcome.


The Muslim men were not offended or taken back, they really didn't care.


The UPF lads are now claiming this was not a troll but a good gesture, confusion hits their page as their fans are a little rustled. 


Video posted by The REAL Great Aussie Patriot




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Today, the Latin alphabet is the international standard for phonetic writing. But this is a modern phenomenon.


For centuries, Arabic was the central language to science and trade, and consequently, the use of its script was dominant worldwide well into the 19th century.


Yet the 17th-19th centuries saw a slow decline in the use of Arabic, and a critical loss over ten years from the late 1920s to mid-1930s in the former Ottoman and new Soviet territories as Latin letters, and to a lesser degree Cyrillic, became the script of choice.

Coming Anarchy


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A GROWING number of Muslim men and their multiple wives are exploiting a loophole to get taxpayer handouts.

Centrelink has confirmed it has investigated up to 20 cases of multiple relationships, including polygamy, in the past two years for payment irregularities.

It has forced some families to pay money back.

Polygamy is illegal in Australia, but a Centrelink spokeswoman said it was not the welfare agency's job to police polygamy laws.

"It's not our concern if they are a member of a polygamist relationship," the spokeswoman said.

"We look at whether they are receiving the correct rate of payment. We treat each couple independently."

But Islamic Women's Welfare Council of Victoria director Joumanah El Matrah said some men were exploiting Australia.

"It (polygamy) was a minority but it's certainly a growing minority because Muslim men realised it was possible to get away with it," she said.

She said Muslim men who took more than one wife and relied on Centrelink payments to support their families were not following Islamic law, which dictated they could only take multiple wives if they could afford it.

"What these men are doing is exploiting Islam and they are exploiting the system in Australia," she said.

A 2008 report by the women's group found Centrelink payments had encouraged polygamy in a small section of the Islamic community.

"Community workers who have provided support to women whose husbands took another wife religiously, said that women blame the availability of Centrelink benefits ... since one or the other wife will be claiming it, relieving the husband of the responsibility of supporting two families," the report stated.

Centrelink general manager Hank Jongen admitted the agency was making payments to people in multiple-couple relationships.

"There's nothing preventing them from being in more than one 'member of a couple' relationship at a time," he said. "In these cases, Centrelink pays each person the relevant income-tested payment at the partnered rate."

Some Muslim men have married several wives in their country of origin or at local mosques so they are not recognised under Australian law by state-based births, deaths and marriage registries.

Islamic Friendship Association of Australia president Keysar Trad said he believed "not many more than 50" Muslim families in Australia were polygamist. But he said he also knew of non-Muslim men who had more than one de facto wife who claimed Centrelink payments.

Mr Trad agreed only those who could afford a second wife, without reliance on Centrelink, should marry more than one woman.

"Marriage, whether they are single or plural, I believe in the old adage, they are made in heaven," he said.

Source: Herald Sun


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Warning issued against backlash as survey shows community experiencing racism three times the national average.


Muslims in Australia say they are increasingly being viewed with suspicion.

Some say they are being abused by strangers on the streets. Others say a security crackdown by police and government authorities unfairly targets their community.

Duncan Lewis, chief of Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), has said the backlash against Muslims is dangerous and a threat to national security.

He has asked politicians to tone down criticism of Islam.

A November survey by two universities and a research centre suggests that Muslims in Australia experience racism three times the national average.

Al Jazeera


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By the end of the century, Muslims could outnumber Christians for the first time in history, according to a report released by the Pew Research Center.

"Another way of thinking about it is Christianity had a seven-century head-start on Islam, and Islam is finally catching up," says Alan Cooperman, the director of religion research at Pew.

Christianity is currently the world's largest religion, making up a third of the world's population with 2.2 billion adherents. Pew research shows that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. The religious group will make up 30 percent of the world's population by 2050, compared to just 23 percent of the population in 2010. That means the number of Muslims in the world will nearly equal the number of Christians by 2050.

If Islam's growth spurt continues, Pew data shows, Muslims could outnumber Christians soon after the year 2070.

That's not to say that the total number of Christians is decreasing; Christianity's growth rate is just not as fast as Islam's. While the number of Christians will increase from about 2.1 billion to 2.9 billion by 2050, Muslims will jump from 1.6 billion to 2.8 billion.

This growth has to do with the relatively young age of the Muslim population as well as high fertility rates. Other religious groups have aging populations. Among Buddhists, for example, half of adherents are older than 30 and​ the average birth rate is 1.6 children. By contrast, in 2010, a third of the Muslim population was under 15. What's more, each Muslim woman has an average of 3.1 children, while the average for Christian women is 2.7.

The Pew research revealed two other interesting shifts in world religious perspectives, Cooperman says.

Atheists, agnostics and those who do not affiliate with religion will make up a smaller percentage of the world's total population by 2050 — even though the group is growing in the U.S. and Europe. The decline is primarily because those who are unaffiliated religiously have low fertility rates, with women bearing an average of 1.7 children in their lifetime.

Between now and 2050, the hub of Christianity will also shift — from Europe to sub-Saharan Africa. As of 2010, the majority of the Christian population — 25.5 percent — lived in Europe, but sub-Saharan Africa will become home to nearly 40 percent of the world's Christians by 2050. Fertility rates are also behind this change. Christians living in sub-Saharan African have the highest fertility rates among Christians worldwide: Each woman has, on average, 4.4 children.​

Cooperman emphasizes that a lot could change between now and 2050.

"We're not saying that this will happen; it's if current patterns and trends continue," Cooperman says. "We do not know what's going to happen in the future. There could be war, revolution, famine, disease. These are things no one can predict and that could change the numbers."

Source: NPR


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A rabbi, priest and imam are getting together in Berlin, Germany, to build the House of One. The multi-faith building will be the first to house a synagogue, church and mosque under a single roof.


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In a speech in Minneapolis, Hillary recounts the act of valour that took Army Captain Humayun Khan's life while he was serving in Iraq.




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This 807-year-old Persian mystic and dervish has a massive following in the US and around the world. Jane Ciabattari explains his enduring influence.

The ecstatic poems of Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, a Persian poet and Sufi master born 807 years ago in 1207, have sold millions of copies in recent years, making him the most popular poet in the US. Globally, his fans are legion.

“He’s this compelling figure in all cultures,” says Brad Gooch, who is writing a biography of Rumi to follow his critically acclaimed books on Frank O’Hara and Flannery O’Connor. “The map of Rumi’s life covers 2,500 miles,” says Gooch, who has traveled from Rumi’s birthplace in Vakhsh, a small village in what is now Tajikistan, to Samarkand in Uzbekistan, to Iran and to Syria, where Rumi studied at Damascus and Aleppo in his twenties. His final stop was Konya, in Turkey, where Rumi spent the last 50 years of his life. Today Rumi’s tomb draws reverent followers and heads of state each year for a whirling dervish ceremony on 17 December, the anniversary of his death.

The transformative moment in Rumi’s life came in 1244, when he met a wandering mystic known as Shams of Tabriz. “Rumi was 37, a traditional Muslim preacher and scholar, as his father and grandfather had been,” says Gooch. “The two of them have this electric friendship for three years – lover and beloved [or] disciple and sheikh, it’s never clear.” Rumi became a mystic. After three years Shams disappeared – “possibly murdered by a jealous son of Rumi, possibly teaching Rumi an important lesson in separation.” Rumi coped by writing poetry. “Most of the poetry we have comes from age 37 to 67. He wrote 3,000 [love songs] to Shams, the prophet Muhammad and God. He wrote 2,000 rubayat, four-line quatrains. He wrote in couplets a six-volume spiritual epic, The Masnavi.”

During these years, Rumi incorporated poetry, music and dance into religious practice. “Rumi would whirl while he was meditating and while composing poetry, which he dictated,” said Gooch. “That was codified after his death into elegant meditative dance.” Or, as Rumi wrote, in Ghazal 2,351: “I used to recite prayers. Now I recite rhymes and poems and songs.” Centuries after his death, Rumi’s work is recited, chanted, set to music and used as inspiration for novels, poems, music, films, YouTube videos and tweets (Gooch tweets his translations @RumiSecrets).


Why does Rumi's work endure?



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Junaid Jahangir, Assistant Professor - MacEwan University


Some Muslim leaders have expressed "grave concerns" over the Study Qur'an, a recent translation and commentary of the Qur'an led by prominent Muslim scholar Seyyed Hossein Nasr. Their main concern seems to be the promotion of perennialism, a philosophy of religion that views each of the world's religions as sharing a single universal truth.

Eschewing salvific pluralism and universalism, these critics promote exclusivism and supremacism.

For such Muslim leaders, the redeeming features of the Study Qur'an include listing the penalties for apostasy and homosexuality, and talking about the creation of Adam without mentioning evolution and patriarchal gender roles.

They are relieved that the Study Qur'an does not make any apologies for verses that appear "inegalitarian, malevolent" or incompatible with "contemporary liberal society."


In this context, one celebrity Muslim leader preached social ostracism:

"Even if a person does many many good deeds and 'is a good person,' their rejection of a fundamental of faith renders all their good deeds invalid. As for one‟s interaction with them, one should keep a distance and not fraternize with them." 

For such Muslims, the right belief takes precedence over how we live. They reject salvific universalism as emanating from interfaith circles and from sympathy for one's non-Muslim parents. They scripturally bully fellow Muslims who uphold pluralism, labeling them heretics and threatening them with dire consequences in the hereafter.

This judgment of fellow Muslims is the first step towards dehumanization of others. Frank Parmir, the director of Muslims for Progressive Values in Columbus, Ohio, has aptly observed:

"ISIS has been executing people for the 'crime' of wrong-belief. And we local Muslims are quick to condemn that brutality. But I ask: If we think that all who are not Muslim deserve Hell's eternal fire; are our hearts not also cruel?"  

Muslim exclusivists withhold the salvation offered in verse 2:62 from Jews and Christians. Through classical Qur'anic commentaries, they justify referring to Jews and Christians as those who have incurred wrath and gone astray, respectively. To buttress their theology of exclusivism, they marshal many verses which depict Jews and Christians as rejectors (3:70), disbelievers (98:1), oppressors (61:6-7), instigators of corruption (5:64) and as being punished (5:18).


Huffpost CANADA


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Facebook has been warned that Muslims will leave unless certain pages are reinstated

More than 2.5million users will leave Facebook unless certain Islamic pages are reinstated, it has been claimed.

A template letter that has been pasted into numerous Facebook pages accuses founder Mark Zuckerberg and other senior members of Facebook of 'ignoring the feelings of more than 2.5million Muslims'.

The Muslim community is angry that four extremely popular Islamic pages were removed from the site and the letter warns that unless its demands are met Facebook's Muslim users will move to an Islamic alternative.

The letter demands not only that the pages are reinstated but that new rules are introduced which make it a violation of Facebook’s terms to post anti-Islamic comments.

And Facebook is given notice that unless the changes are introduced then 2.5 million Muslim users will leave to join madina.com, a social networking site for Muslims.

The letter reads: ‘Although you have attended the world’s best communication skills courses you have been most successful in growing great hatred and hostility between you and Muslims around the world, but seriously this time you have caused an almost unrepairable [sic] damage.’

It also accuses Facebook of ‘irresponsible behaviour’ for allowing to host ‘Everybody Draw Mohammed Day’ pages which sparked controversy for encouraging users to draw portraits of the Prophet.

There is no specific ban on images of Allah or the Prophet Mohammed in the Koran but there is one line which is commonly taken to mean that it is impossible for human hands to recreate his likeness. To attempt to do so would is an insult to Allah, it is believed.

The letter demands that the four deleted pages are reinstated, disrespecting Islamic religious symbols is banned and any Facebook page which does so is disabled.

Madina.com was a social networking site set up specifically for the Muslim community.

It pledges to abide by the 'highest Islamic principals' and encourages Muslim unity. Female users are asked not to use pictures of themselves as profile pictures.

According to Facebook the Islamic pages, which included 'I love Mohammed' and 'Quran Lovers', were taken down because they were being used to 'spam' users, which is against the company's policy.

The pages were were using a JavaScript code that when entered in the address bar, would add all a user's friends to the Page Suggestions – making it similar to spamming people across Facebook.

A spokeswoman said: 'The pages in question were taken down because they violated our policies about spamming users. These pages were not removed because of content violations.' 


Source: Daily Mail UK


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1. "Hamdullilah," The Narcicyst (2009)


I've been listening to Yassin Alsalman nonstop since we interviewed him a few months ago. He was born in Dubai to Iraqi parents, and was raised in the United Arab Emirates and Canada.

His music — which deals a lot with the experience of being young, Arab and Muslim in a post-9/11 world — draws both hip-hop fans and peace activists alike.

Plus, he's pretty hilarious.

Want an example? Check out the video for "P.H.A.T.W.A." which is about being racially profiled at the airport. I challenge anyone to not smile at his deadpan delivery of the line "Iraq is the new black."

NEXT WEEK: 2. "Take Me Home," Brother Ali (2007)

Source: PRI


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Donald Trump wants Muslims banned from entering the US – but without them the country would be a much poorer place

Donald Trump with legendary boxer and Muslim, Muhammad Ali.

What have Muslims ever done for America? If your sole source of information were Donald Trump, you’d think that the answer was not much – apart from murdering its citizens and trying to destroy its values. The Republican presidential hopeful has called for a halt to Muslims entering the US until American authorities “can figure out” Muslim attitudes to the US in the wake of last week’s killings in San Bernardino. If only, you might well think, Scotland had had the same thought about Trump before he was allowed in to blight Aberdeenshire with another of his golf resorts.

What Trump doesn’t seem to grasp is his own country’s history, and how many American achievements worth celebrating are the work of the kind of people – Muslims – he wants to keep out.

Here, then, is a guide to some of the things Muslims have done for the US. It’s not an exhaustive list – but it’s still more impressive than what Trump has done for his homeland.

Living the American dream

Shahid Khan is the personification of the American dream.


The Pakistan-born billionaire arrived in the US aged 16 on a one-

Dr Ayub Ommaya … responsible for many medical innovations.

way trip to the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. “Within 24 hours, I had already experienced the American dream,” Khan said, by which he meant he found a job for $1.20

an hour washing dishes — more than the vast majority of the people back in Pakistan earned at the time. He started a car-parts business after university.


Now, the 65-year-old – best known in the UK for owning Fulham FC – is the head of the $4.9bn (in sales terms) auto-parts company Flex-N-Gate, the 360th richest person on the planet and three years ago Forbes magazine put him on its cover as the face of the American dream.

NEXT WEEK: Helping Hillary to the White House

Source: The Guardian


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Click to enlarge

Woman charged after Facebook call to burn down mosques goes viral 


An Australian woman has been charged with religious vilification after her Facebook post last month calling for "all mosques to be burnt down with the doors locked at prayer time" went viral.

However, the woman claims she cannot be charged with religious vilification because she does not acknowledge Islam as a religion. She believes it is a "evil, hateful ideology".

She made the post calling for the mosques to be burnt down on November 27.

The woman may be the first person charged with religious vilification in Victoria for a social media post.

The offence carries a maximum jail term of six months along with a maximum fine of $9100.


Anna Brown, director of advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre, said people needed to be aware that making a comment even on a private Facebook page counted as speech to an audience under the Act.

"Under the Act, a message needs to have an audience in order to incite. So arguably even if the audience is limited on a private Facebook page, it is still an audience.

"To publicly encourage people to burn to death people of a particular faith - as this woman has allegedly done on Facebook, is clearly unacceptable.

"We have laws that aim to prevent harmful hate speech that incites violence, so it's understandable that the police would want to follow this matter up. Whether it's in the street or on social media, it's unacceptable and dangerous to actively call for the murder of other people."

The Age

Stella Creasy

Stella Creasy Demands David Cameron Intervene Over British Muslim Family Barred From Flying To US


UK: David Cameron has been asked to respond to claims that American authorities refused to let a British Muslim family board a plane at Gatwick Airport bound to Los Angeles last week without any explanation.

The 11-member family had their right to travel revoked whilst queuing in the departure lounge, according to Stella Creasy, the MP for Walthamstow, north east London.

The family, which lives in the member's constituency, was offered no explanation for the refusal, and the £9,000 they spent on flights will not be refunded, Creasy wrote in the Guardian.

The family had saved thousands of pounds for a trip to Disney Land, however as they attempted to board the Norwegian Airlines flight on December 15 they were stopped by officials from the US Department of Homeland Security, who told them their authorisation to travel had been cancelled.

The MP has since written to the Prime Minister demanding he intervene to find out why the family was barred as her enquiries have “hit a brick wall.”

Writing in the newspaper, the MP said: "Instead of heading to Universal Studios for two weeks of fun, they were told to go back home and unpack.” The incident raises "troubling questions well beyond how to diffuse the heartache of small children unable to meet Elsa from Frozen," Creasy added.

Huffington Post


15 Religious Moments In 2015 That Give Us Hope For The New Year

Religious moments include:


Lassana Bathily, a Muslim grocery store employee, bravely saved lives during a terrorist attack at a French kosher supermarket. 


Hundreds of Norwegians circled an Oslo synagogue and mosque in a peace ring to stand for interfaith solidarity.

Runners Without Borders brought Jewish and Arab teens together.


Pope Francis stood beside multi-faith leaders at Ground Zero with a message of healing.


Interfaith religious leaders joined hands after Paris attacks.

Huffington Post

Report: CBS News Cut Muslim Americans' Criticism of U.S. From Focus Group Segment

A CBS News segment featured a focus group of American Muslims being questioned by pollster Frank Luntz. The segment ran about seven minutes, and a few minutes more were uploaded to CBSNews.com. However, according to The Intercept, all of the most critical Muslim voices were edited out entirely.

Luntz’s questions revolved around the conservative preoccupation with the Muslim American community taking “responsibility” for the actions of militants to claim to share their faith.

Two of the participants in the focus group said that concerns they raised about American militarism, surveillance, and entrapment of Muslims were edited out of the footage. New York City activist Amelia Noor-Oshiro told The Intercept she asked Luntz, “Why don’t you ask that to people who actually commit acts of terror? Why don’t you ask that to White America who are responsible for a majority of domestic terror attacks?”

At one point, Luntz asked the group whether they were Americans first or Muslims first. In a Facebook post, journalist Sarah Harvard, who participated in the group, said that she responded in kind, to demonstrate how offensive the question is, asking: “Well, are you an American or Jewish first?” That was also cut.

From The Intercept:

Harvard said Luntz clearly had an agenda. “He just wanted to create this narrative of how Muslim Americans are condemning terrorism.” That is true, of course, but it’s not the whole story.

“He’s trying to put us in a positive light but in a way that makes us feel like second-class citizens,” she said — only giving American Muslims voice to react to terrorism, not to express their own policy views.

Noor-Oshiro said that prior to being picked for the group, she was asked to fill out a survey that included one question about “approximately what percentage of the Muslim population would you think could be radicalized or are already radicalized? … It literally said, ‘Write down a percentage!’” Noor-Oshiro also said Luntz baited her by asking her what “percent of white people” are racist. When she refrained from answering the question, he told her, “This is your chance!”

“I think a lot of people were very appreciative of the fact we even got a voice,” she said. “But I don’t think they understood this voice came with conditions.”


The Gawker

As Muslim women, we actually ask you not to wear the hijab in the name of interfaith solidarity

US: Last week, three female religious leaders — a Jewish rabbi, an Episcopal vicar and a Unitarian reverend — and a male imam, or Muslim prayer leader, walked into the sacred space in front of the ornately-tiled minbar, or pulpit, at the Khadeeja Islamic Center in West Valley City, Utah. The women were smiling widely, their hair covered with swaths of bright scarves, to support “Wear a Hijab” day.

The Salt Lake Tribune published a photo of fresh-faced teenage girls, who were not Muslim, in the audience at the mosque, their hair covered with long scarves. KSL TV later reported: “The hijab — or headscarf — is a symbol of modesty and dignity. When Muslim women wear headscarves, they are readily identified as followers of Islam.”

For us, as mainstream Muslim women, born in Egypt and India, the spectacle at the mosque was a painful reminder of the well-financed effort by conservative Muslims to dominate modern Muslim societies. This modern-day movement spreads an ideology of political Islam, called “Islamism,” enlisting well-intentioned interfaith do-gooders and the media into promoting the idea that “hijab” is a virtual “sixth pillar” of Islam, after the traditional “five pillars” of the shahada (or proclamation of faith), prayer, fasting, charity and pilgrimage.

We reject this interpretation that the “hijab” is merely a symbol of modesty and dignity adopted by faithful female followers of Islam.

The Washington Post


Twitter post

Click to enlarge


This Muslim American Isn't Afraid Of Donald Trump or Terrorism

US: My name is Marwa Balkar. I am a 22-year-old born and raised in this beautiful country. I am also an American Muslim, which is a difficult thing to be in this moment in America’s history. Between the rise of terror threats of people claiming to follow the same religion as me, and the dehumanization of Muslims by most GOP candidates, a lot of animosity has been created within our society. I can thank this rise in hostility to America’s top GOP candidate Donald J. Trump. Trump's recent comments have attacked multiple demographics that represent the melting pot that is America.

When I initially heard of Trump’s comments on mosques, my first instinct was to protect my religion. I wrote a Facebook post simply telling my story. I am your average American girl. My religious beliefs do not make me any better than you, nor do they lessen who I am. I wore a peace sign on my shirt because that’s what my true religion represents. Choosing the peace sign was an easy choice because it’s universal and already defined.

My post went viral within hours. I started receiving messages from current military men, former military women, people looking for clarification on what Islam is, and countless others. Muslim children in America reached out to me not knowing who else to turn to about the discrimination they encounter in their schools. Shockingly though, in the best way, most of the feedback I was receiving was from non-Muslims. My post quickly began to reach an international level. People from all over the world were sending me messages and thanking me for sticking up for them. Imagine this: people in different countries were feeling victimized by Trump. It’s not only Muslims that are hurt and threatened by his comments. The people in South America feel just as dehumanized by his ignorance. Instead of building bridges with our neighbouring countries, he is burning them, proudly.




Miss Puerto Rico suspended after anti-Muslim tweets

Miss Puerto Rico 2015 was suspended indefinitely for posting a series of anti-Muslim messages on Twitter.

Destiny Velez tweeted filmmaker Michael Moore last week after he launched a campaign that encouraged people to make signs saying "We are all Muslim" and post photographs of themselves holding the signs online.

Her Twitter page has since been taken down, and Velez has apologized.

CNN obtained a screen grab of the page, and among the messages she originally sent were: "Muslims use our constitution to terrorize USA & plant gas stations," "there's NO comparison between Jews, Christians & Muslims. Jews nor Christians have terrorizing agendas in their sacred books, and "all what Muslims have done is provided oil & terrorize this country & many others!!!!!!."

The Miss Puerto Rico Organization issued a statement over the weekend distancing itself from her comments.

"In regards to Miss Puerto Rico, Destiny Velez's, recent actions and conduct; the Miss Puerto Rico Organization feels that her words do not represent the integrity and esteem of our program, nor that of our board members, our sponsors and partners, or the National Organization," it read.

"Miss Velez's actions were in contradiction to the organization, and therefore as a consequence of her actions, she has been suspended indefinitely. The Miss Puerto Rico Organization will not tolerate any actions or behavior contrary to the Miss Puerto Rico Organization."

The organization's statement also included an apology from Velez.

"I apologize to the people I have offended with my words. I am first and foremost an #UpStander and as such I stand up against bullying. The last thing I wanted to do was to bully anyone. Again, I apologize to anyone who felt offended with my words," she said.




British Syrian-born woman has visa revoked without explanation before flight to Australia

UK citizen Zahra Ramadani, 30, was due to fly to Sydney on Thursday but was told she was no longer eligible to enter the country after her visa was cancelled
A British woman who was born in Syria has been refused entry into Australia, after her visa was issued and then revoked without explanation.

Zahra Ramadani, 30, from west London, was due to fly to Sydney on Thursday with a friend but was contacted by the Australian High Commission on Wednesday to say her visa had been revoked and that she was no longer eligible for entry into Australia.

The incident comes in the wake of several controversial visa refusals. The Australian government was criticised this week after it initially refused to grant visas to the family of a dying Pakistani student, who is too sick to fly home and is being cared for in a homeless shelter.

In the UK a British imam was the second British Muslim to report he had been refused entry to the US after his business visa was revoked without explanation as he attempted to board a plane to New York.

Ramadani, a project manager in business development for Marks and Spencer, told the Guardian she felt the only explanation for the rejection of her visa to Australia is her place of birth.

Her family originally fled to Syria from Iraq in 1980 before seeking refuge in the UK in 1989 when she was four years old. She said: “I’m really disappointed because I’m a British citizen and I have lived here most of my life. I’m law-abiding and I lead a pretty normal Londoner’s life. I am not remotely religious.”

“I didn’t even know I needed a visa. I thought, well, I’m British, there’s the commonwealth, you don’t need one.”


The Guardian



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Friday khutbah (sermon)

DATE: 25 December 2015

TOPIC: “Abdullah ibn Umar and the sunnah of salaam”

IMAM: Mufti Junaid Akbar


AUDIO (MP3) LINK: http://www.masjidtaqwa.org.au/index.php/downloads/kuthba





Friday khutbah (sermon)

 DATE:  25 December 2015

TOPIC: "The Garden of Deeds"

IMAM: Muhammad Uzair Akbar


Play the recording  



Friday khutbah (sermon)

DATE: 25 December 2015

TOPIC"Isa (pbuh)"

IMAM: Akram Buksh










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UK Muslim schoolgirl explaining Islamophobia after Paris attacks


UK: A Muslim schoolgirl who was labeled a terrorist after the Paris attacks has spoken out against Islamophobia in a school assembly. Footage of the speech has been viewed thousands of times online.

Isra Mohammed, 15, gave the inspiring school assembly speech after her seven-year-old sister was blamed for last month’s atrocities in France.

She delivered the five-minute speech explaining the true values of Islam to all 1,900 pupils and 340 staff at Kenton School, Newcastle.

The talented speaker, who is studying for her GCSEs, told her classmates she and her siblings had been bullied for being Muslim since the Paris attacks.





Uhuru praises Muslims who saved Christians from Al-Shabaab attack


President Uhuru Kenyatta


KENYA: A group of Kenyan Muslims travelling on a bus ambushed by Islamist gunmen protected Christian passengers by refusing to be split into groups, according to eyewitnesses.

They told the militants "to kill them together or leave them alone", a local governor told Kenyan media.

At least two people were killed in the attack, near the north-eastern village of El Wak on the Somali border.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has called on Kenyans to unite and reconcile over the Christmas period, praising Muslim passengers who fearlessly shielded their Christian counterparts in a foiled Al-Shabaab attack recently.

He has also urged local leaders to put the needs of those they serve before theirs and to shun self-centeredness in their service to Kenyans.

In a message sent to newsrooms, the President called on Kenyans to accommodate their neighbours from a different religion, race and community and to let go of their pride.

“That spirit was shown in a particularly striking way by the Muslim Kenyans who stood with their Christian compatriots against attackers near Mandera a few days ago. This is the Kenyan spirit that we must uphold and honour,” said the President.

“Sometimes, when we remember how complex the challenges are, or how intensely any attempt to overcome them will be opposed, we are tempted to despair. But if Kenyans remain strong in hope, and join in the fight, then we can be sure that Kenya will win,” said the statement.

Source: Daily Nation


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Muslim Santa spreads Swedish Christmas joy



SWEDEN: A Muslim student in Sweden is dressing up as Santa Claus to spread festive joy among Swedish families on Christmas – and to extend a hand of friendship between religions.


Muntadher Dakhil, 21, came to Sweden from Iraq seven years ago, and is currently working and studying in Kristianstad in southern Sweden.


He does not celebrate Christmas – but this does not mean he cannot help others observe the festivities.


So this Christmas Eve, Dakhil is offering his services as Santa to families for free.


"As a Muslim I don't celebrate Christmas myself but from my upbringing I am used to Christians and Muslims marking each other's holidays anyway," reads his online advert.


The Local spoke to Dakhil on Friday after news of his kindhearted effort went viral in Sweden, which has seen increasing cultural, religious and racial tension in the past year. 


"I want to show my gratitude to Sweden and show that Muslims are kind," he said. "We are all equal."


He reveals that he bought a Santa suit for the last money he had left in his bank account and more than a dozen families have so far been in touch to book him on the day.


"I was shocked that it got so big," said Dakhil, who admits that despite not formally observing Christmas, he has got accustomed to Swedish festive traditions.



The Local Se


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Two pigs' heads are dumped outside Muslim school after plans to build a mosque at the site sparks protests


UK: Two pigs' heads have been found dumped outside a Muslim school following protests over plans for a mosque on the site.

The animals' heads were left outside the £1,200-per-year Markazul Uloom School in Blackburn, Lancashire, on Saturday.

The incident follows plans submitted by the school to convert a building on site into a mosque by adding a dome and minarets - a move which has generated an online protest petition with almost 2,000 signatures.

Last week, graffiti reading 'no mosque' was daubed on one of the walls of the school.

Religious, political and community leaders, led by the Bishop of Blackburn, today condemned the attack.

The Rt Rev Julian Henderson said it was 'abhorrent' and 'shocking', which the Dean of Blackburn and the town's MP Kate Hollern all voiced their condemnation.


Daily Mail UK


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Trump is dumped by top Saudi stores


Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump addresses supporters at a campaign rally


SAUDI ARABIA: Major commercial stores in the Kingdom have removed products linked to US businessman-turned-politician Donald Trump for seeking a ban on Muslims entering the US.

The shops are Centrepoint, Home Centre, City Max and Jarir Bookstore which stated that they removed Trump products in response to questions posted on Twitter about their relationship with the right wing Republican front-runner, according to a press report.

Jarir announced the move in a Twitter response to another user's call for a boycott of Trump’s books.

“Jarir Bookstore sells books by Donald Trump, who is known for making comments offensive to Muslims and Islam. We ask them please to remove them,” wrote Saudi user Mogatah on Dec. 19, along with a photo of the Arabic-language edition of Trump's 2009 book “Think Like a Champion.”

“The copies have been removed, we thank you for your comment,” Jarir replied, three days later.


Arab News


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Muslim judge sworn in with the Holy Quran instead of the Bible in court


Judge Carolyn Walker-Diallo

US: Despite Donald Trump’s continued vitriol that all Muslims should be banned from entering the United States, there’s still hope: a Muslim woman took the oath as a judge in Brooklyn, swearing on the Quran.

Judge Carolyn Walker-Diallo, took the oath as a civil court judge for the 7th Municipal District at the Brooklyn Burough Hall, after being elected last month, while swearing to abide by the U.S. constitution placing her hand on the Holy Qur’an, Morocco World News reported. Judge Walker took her oath respecting the sacred book of her Islamic faith, the Holy Qur’an, while also wearing a hijab.

In the United States and the majority of Western countries, politicians and members of the courts are sworn in to their positions while placing their hand on the Holy Bible when they take their oath.

A video posted on Facebook shows the moment when Judge Walker was sworn in as a civil court judge of the 7th Municipal District at the Brooklyn Borough Hall in New York City.

“All is praise is indeed due to the Most High! I am humbled that my community has entrusted me with the immense responsibility of ensuring that everyone has notice and a fair opportunity to be heard in the halls of justice,” Walker wrote on her website.




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For young Muslims, the struggle to belong is 'emotionally draining'


US: They come to him — students, co-workers and congregants alike, sometimes in tears — with their questions: What should we do, Imam Zaid? What should we do about the suspicion, about the hatred, about the second glances and the threat of confrontations on the street?

What should we do about Donald Trump and his rhetorical attacks on Muslim immigrants? And how do we process the deadly attacks by people who invoked our religion? Should we return to our ancestral home countries, hunker down in the shadows?

Zaid Shakir, co-founder and faculty member at the nation's only Muslim liberal arts college, and a 59-year-old Air Force veteran widely regarded to be one of America's most influential Islamic thought leaders, has his answers ready.

He tells those who have come seeking his counsel in a hard time that, for now anyway, there's not much they could, or should, do but be themselves. Live their lives just as they did the day before San Bernardino, or Paris, or the Twin Towers.


Los Angeles Times


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“Muslim Doctor Helps Victims of Las Vegas Driver Attack”



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New budget Sharia airline Rayani Air: Malaysia launches first Sharia airline



MALAYSIA: Malaysia's first Sharia-compliant airline launched flights on Sunday, following the tenets of Islamic law that ban alcohol, allow only halal foodstuffs, and require women to cover their hair.

Rayani Air's first service, from the capital Kuala Lumpur to Langkawi, a popular holiday destination, followed rules the company will adopt on all flights, which will see prayers recited before take-off, a ban on in-flight alcohol, and Muslim air stewardesses obliged to wear the hijab, the Islamic headcarf.
Jaafar Zamhari, Rayani Air's managing director, confirmed that alcohol would be banned on all flights and detailed the strict dress code.

"It is compulsory for our Muslim women cabin crew to wear hijab and for non-Muslims to wear a decent uniform", Mr Zamhari said, according to local news outlet Astro Awani.

"We also recite doa [prayers] before the departure of each flight, we have a 'no-alcohol' policy, and we provide food and beverages that are halal."

Rayani Air was not available to answer questions on dress codes for non-Muslim passengers, or whether non-halal snacks purchased before boarding would be allowed on flights.

Its website says it provides a "complimentary welcome snack pack" including a "tasty muffin, fruit juice and peanuts".

The airline, which is currently advertising services between Kuala Lumpur's klia2 airport, Kota Bahru and Langkawi, will also offer flights to Kuching and Kota Kinabalu using its two Boeing 737-400 aircraft. It is based at Langkawi International Airport, used by a large number of international holidaymakers.




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Local Muslims spread anti-terror message



Click image to play video


ST. LOUIS, US - A group of concerned American Muslims are making a clear and strong statement this holiday season.

The group purchased space on seven electronic billboards in and around St. Louis, in order to display their message: "We, the American Muslims condemn terrorism!"

The group received help designing the billboard, which consists of black font on a white background with an American flag adorning one side, from the St. Louis chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).

According to CAIR, there is a lot of anti-Islamic rhetoric being used currently and billboards like this one aim to reach the average majority of Americans who may not know much about Islam or Muslims.

The group that purchased the billboard space says, their statement has been made before but for some reason people have not heard it.

They are hoping a more public display will make a difference.




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No rise in anti-Muslim sentiment in UK after Paris attacks – poll


A Unite against Islamophobia and Racism rally in Tower Hamlets, London in December

UK: Despite rising fears of western hostility toward Muslims, new research shows British liberal views have strengthened since last month’s events in France

Last month’s terrorist attacks in Paris did not lead to a rise in anti-Muslim sentiment in Britain, a new study has shown.

The new research, conducted by Rob Ford and Maria Sobolewska of the University of Manchester, comes amid growing concerns about western hostility to Muslims after the Front National’s strong performance in regional elections in France and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s call for a ban on Muslim immigration to the US.


The Guardian


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Miss Iraq beauty pageant held for the first time since 1972


Iraqi Shaymaa Qasim Abdelrahman from Kirkuk poses for a photo after winning the Miss Iraq Getty


IRAQ: Despite the dangers of Isis and death threats to contestants, the Miss Iraq beauty pageant has been successfully held for the first time in over 40 years.

Shaymaa Abdelrahman, a 20-year-old from Kirkuk, became the first person to claim the title of Miss Iraq since the event was last held in 1972.

The pageant was held in a hotel in Baghdad and involved the eight contestants posing in dresses and high heels, before pitching ideas for charity projects to the judges.




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5-Year Jail Time For Anyone Who Celebrates Christmas In Brunei




BRUNEI: Earlier in April, the rest of the world condemned monarch-ruled Brunei after announcing the introduction of the Sharia penal code that would include penalties such as the severing of limbs and death by stoning.

The tiny but prosperous state on the island of Borneo that is ruled by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, has now made international headlines once again after the state announced a ban on Christmas.

The ban was declared on the internationally celebrated Christian holiday because the religious affairs ministry said that publicly marking non-Islamic rituals or festivities could be seen as propagations of religions other than Islam.

Roughly 20 per cent of Brunei’s residents comprise of non-Muslims, including sizeable Buddhist and Christian communities.

‘Believers of other religions that live under the rule of an Islamic country – according to Islam – may practice their religion or celebrate their religious festivities among their community, with the condition that the celebrations are not disclosed or displayed publicly to Muslims,‘

‘Muslims should be careful not to follow celebrations such as these that are not in any way related to Islam… and could unknowingly damage the faith of Muslims.‘ Said the government of Brunei in a statement.




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Bangladeshi lawyer takes aim at sexual violence by religious edict


The pioneering efforts of lawyer Sara Hossain have struck some telling blows for women’s rights in Bangladesh

BANGLADESH: In Bangladesh, women whose actions fall foul of religious conventions have long been subject to punishment by fatwa. Sara Hossain hopes her trailblazing work can tip the balance back in favour of the secular legal system

Hena Akhter was 14 when she was whipped to death for allegedly having an affair with a married man. There was uproar in local and international media at the time of her death in 2011, followed by a fervent call to outlaw so-called fatwa violence in Bangladesh.

The high court ruled that Hena’s body should be exhumed to determine the extent of the violence to which the young girl was subjected. A second post-mortem examination found that she died of septicaemia due to severe internal injuries. The court ordered an investigation, which led to several arrests, including that of the Muslim cleric who issued the fatwa.

That outcome was only made possible by the pioneering work of Sara Hossain, a prominent barrister in the supreme court of Bangladesh. Her campaign to challenge punishments handed out by village shalish courts under fatwas – religious orders inspired by sharia law – has led to groundbreaking rulings based on secular rather than Muslim values.

“When a fatwa is issued, such as in Hena’s case, the victims’ families are not even aware that such practices are illegal under Bangladeshi constitution,” said Hossain, who was in London recently to attend the Trust Women conference.

“Fundamentalists come to court and say that they have the right to use the religious decree, thereby following one part of the constitution which is Islam, but not the other part, which is secularism.”


The Guardian


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All schools shut down in Augusta County, Virginia, over Islam homework



The homework assignment aimed to give students "an idea of the artistic complexity of calligraphy."


US: After a teacher at a Virginia school handed out a standard homework assignment on Islam, such an angry backlash flooded in that it prompted officials to close every single county school as a safety precaution.

"While there has been no specific threat of harm to students, schools and school offices will be closed Friday, December 18, 2015," Augusta County Schools said. Extracurricular activities were shut down Thursday afternoon.

And social media exploded over the school lesson -- a simple drawing assignment -- into a caustic discussion about religion and education.
The county school system reacted.

It removed the shahada from world religion instruction. "A different, non-religious sample of Arabic calligraphy will be used in the future," it said.

And it issued a statement saying no one was trying to convert anyone to any religion.

"Neither of these lessons, nor any other lessons in the world geography course, are an attempt at indoctrination to Islam or any other religion or a request for students to renounce their own faith or profess any belief," Augusta County Schools official Eric Bond said in a statement to CNN affiliate WHSV.




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College suspends professor who claimed Muslims and Christians worship the same God


In this Dec. 13 photo, Larycia Hawkins, an associate professor of political science at Wheaton College, a private evangelical school in Wheaton, Ill., wears a hijab at a church service in Chicago.


US: Wheaton College, a prominent evangelical school in Illinois, has placed a professor on administrative leave after she posted on Facebook that Muslims and Christians “worship the same God.”

The official school statement Tuesday about associate professor of political science Larycia Hawkins’s suspension said Wheaton professors should “engage in and speak about public issues in ways that faithfully represent the College’s evangelical Statement of Faith.”

Following a protest and sit-in of about 100 people Wednesday afternoon on campus, President Philip Ryken and later Provost Stanton Jones said they would not be lifting the suspension. It wasn’t clear how long Hawkins was suspended for, but some of the student leaders who had been involved in talks with administrators said it was through the spring semester.

Protesters chanted “Reinstate Doc Hawk,” “We love Wheaton!” and some evangelical women wore hijabs in solidarity.




Also read: Wheaton professor’s suspension is about anti-Muslim bigotry, not theology


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Indian prime minister makes surprise stopover in Pakistan


Narendra Modi meets counterpart Nawaz Sharif in the first visit by an Indian premier to Pakistan in more than a decade


PAKISTAN: Narendra Modi, the Indian prime minister, made a surprise stopover in Pakistan on Friday to meet his counterpart, Nawaz Sharif – the first time an Indian premier has visited the rival nation in over a decade. The visit, requested by Modi just hours earlier before he flew back home from Afghanistan, raised hopes that stop-and-start negotiations between the nuclear-armed neighbours might finally make progress after three wars and more than 65 years of hostility.

Sharif hugged Modi after he landed at the airport in the eastern city of Lahore and the two left by helicopter for Sharif’s nearby family estate. “So, you have finally come,” Sharif told Modi, according to a Pakistani foreign ministry official who was at the meeting. “Yes, absolutely. I am here,” Modi said, according to the official.


The Guardian


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Muslim Hairdresser Defying Stereotypes At Her Salon



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• Commit to stay fit – your workouts may be shorter, but they will still provide training benefits

• Make it a family affair - Involve everyone. Backyard ball games will keep everyone entertained and help keep fitness levels up

• Drink water often - This can satiate your appetite as well as keep you hydrated at all times


• Pace yourself - If things become hectic, pace yourself. Plan some walks through the gardens and stop for short breaks when needed

• Eat a good breakfast - It is the most important meal of the day. Try a smoothie or an omelette with veggies, etc…

• N-JOY!




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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Fitria Sari

Accredited Practising Dietitian & Nutritionist

To book appointments -
Ph: 3341 2333 (Underwood)
Ph: 3299 5596 (Springwood)
M: 0406 279 591
Website: www.diversenutrition.com.au

Holiday Season Do’s and Don’ts

Tip #3

• When eating out, do fill up on dishes that contain lots of vegetables such as salads, roasted or grilled vegetables, and vegetable-based stews, soups and stir fries.

• Don’t eat too much of foods that are laden with unhealthy fats. These include dishes with cream-based sauces, oily curries and stews, deep fried foods and pastries.

That’s the last of my tips for keeping healthy this holiday season. Wishing you all a safe, happy and healthy holidays!


Need an answer to a nutrition related matter?

Send your question to Fitria at fitria.s@hotmail.com.

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


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"A man who does not read is no better than a man who cannot read."


The CCN Book-of-the Week


The First Muslim: The Story of Muhammad


Lesley Hazleton



The extraordinary life of the man who founded Islam, and the world he inhabited and remade. Muhammad’s was a life of almost unparalleled historical importance; yet for all the iconic power of his name, the intensely dramatic story of the prophet of Islam is not well known. In The First Muslim , Lesley Hazleton brings him vibrantly to life.


Drawing on early eyewitness sources and on history, politics, religion, and psychology, she renders him as a man in full, in all his complexity and vitality. Hazleton’s account follows the arc of Muhammad’s rise from powerlessness to power, from anonymity to renown, from insignificance to lasting significance.


How did a child shunted to the margins end up revolutionizing his world? How did a merchant come to challenge the established order with a new vision of social justice? How did the pariah hounded out of Mecca turn exile into a new and victorious beginning? How did the outsider become the ultimate insider?


Impeccably researched and thrillingly readable, Hazleton’s narrative creates vivid insight into a man navigating between idealism and pragmatism, faith and politics, nonviolence and violence, rejection and acclaim. The First Muslim illuminates not only an immensely significant figure but his lastingly relevant legacy.

When Lesley Hazleton was writing a biography of Muhammad, she was struck by something: The night he received the revelation of the Koran, according to early accounts, his first reaction was doubt, awe, even fear. And yet this experience became the bedrock of his belief. Hazleton calls for a new appreciation of doubt and questioning as the foundation of faith -- and an end to fundamentalism of all kinds.



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

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


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

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


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

The CCN Readers' Book Club



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KB says: If you do not want to spend hours of your holidays in the kitchen and you have friends or relatives dropping in for a cup of tea, the Almond Cake is an ideal solution because not only does it take 5 mins to prepare it is moist and delicious.

I can envisage that this recipe will soon become a family favourite.

Quick Almond Cake



1 cup flour.
1 cup castor sugar.
1 cup fresh cream.
3 eggs.
2 tsp baking powder.
1/2 tsp vanilla essence



  1. Beat all ingredients for about approx. a minute.

  2. Pour into a greased cake tin (8 x 8 inch or similar)

  3. Sprinkle flaked almonds over the top

  4. Bake at 180 for approx. 35 min.


    2 tbl fresh cream.
    50g butter .
    1/4 cup sugar.

    Boil the above and pour over the cake as soon as you remove it from the oven.
    Place under grill for one minute.

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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Jallalludin received a parrot as a gift.

The parrot had a bad attitude and an even worse vocabulary.
Every word out of the bird's mouth was rude, obnoxious and laced with profanity.

Jallalludin tried and tried to change the bird's attitude by consistently saying only polite words, playing soft music and anything else he could think of to 'clean up' the bird's vocabulary.

Finally, Jallalludin was fed up and he yelled at the parrot. The parrot yelled back. Jallalludin shook the parrot and the parrot got angrier and even ruder. Jallalludin, in desperation, threw up his hand, grabbed the bird and put him in the freezer.

For a few minutes the parrot squawked and kicked and screamed.
Then suddenly there was total quiet. Not a peep was heard for over a minute.

Fearing that he'd hurt the parrot, Jallalludin quickly opened the door to the freezer?

The parrot calmly stepped out onto Jallalludin's outstretched arms and said "I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and actions. I'm sincerely remorseful for my inappropriate transgressions and I fully intend to do everything I can to correct my rude and unforgivable behaviour."

Jallalludin was stunned at the change in the bird's attitude.

As he was about to ask the parrot what had made such a dramatic change in his behaviour, the bird spoke-up, very softly, "May I ask what the turkey did?"


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An Ayaat-a-Week






"Behold! The angels said: 'O Mary! God giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him. His name will be Jesus Christ, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and in (the company of) those nearest to God.'"
~ Surah Ali 'Imran 3:45


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I searched for God and found only myself.

I searched for myself and found only God.

~ Rumi


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I searched for God and found only myself. I searched for myself and found only God.

Notice Board



Click on thumbnail to enlarge


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

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





(Click on link)





16 January



Al-Mustapha Institute of Brisbane


2 Wineglass Drive, Hillcrest

3809 4600

3pm until Maghrib

30 January


Islamic Trivia Night

Islamic Society of Algester

Springwood Community Centre (53-57 Cinderella Drive, Springwood)

0421 593 785


19 & 20 March

Sat & Sun

The Spiritual Zone
Sh Abdul Wahab Saleem

Al Kauthar Brisbane

Griffith University NATHAN

0438 698 328

All day

3 May


Lailatul Mehraj (27th Rajab 1437)

15 May



Crescents of Brisbane

Orleigh Park, WEST END

0402 026 786


14 & 15 May

Sat & Sun

The Forgotten Jewels
Sh Daood Butt

Al Kauthar Brisbane

Griffith University NATHAN

0438 698 328

All day

27 May


Nisf Sha'ban 1437 / Laylat al-Bara'at (15th Sha'ban 1437)

6 June


1st Ramadan 1437

1 July


Laylat al-Qadr - Night of Power 1436 (27th Ramadan 1437)

6 July


Eid al-Fitr 1437 (1st Shawwal 1437)

20 & 21 August

Sat & Sun

The Divine Light
Sh Wasim Kempson

Al Kauthar Brisbane

Griffith University NATHAN

0438 698 328

All day

12 September


Eid al-Adha 1437 (10th Zilhijja 1437)

3 October


Muharram 1438 – Islamic New Year 1438

(1st Muharram 1438)



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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 Al-Mustapha Institute of Brisbane 

39 Bushmills Court, Hillcrest Qld 4118

Zikr - every Thursday 7pm, families welcome
Hifz & Quran Reading Classes (for brothers and sisters) - Tuesday 5:00 - 7:00pm & Thursday 5:30 - 7:00pm
Madressa (for children) - Wednesday & Friday 4:30 - 6:30pm
Salawat Majlis - first Saturday of every month.  Starting at Mughrib, families welcome
Islamic Studies (for sisters) - one year course.  Saturday 10:30 - 2:30pm. Enrolments for 2016 now available
Ilm-e-Deen Degree Courses (for brothers) - Three full-time and part-time nationally accredited courses.  Enrolments now available for 2016.
For further information please phone 07) 3809 4600 or email info@almustaphainstitute.org 



Quran Reading Class For Ladies (Beginners or Advanced)

Every Saturday 2 - 4pm
Lady Teacher


Algester Mosque


Zikrullah program every Thursday night after Esha


For more details, contact: Maulana Nawaaz: 0401576084



On Going Activities


1. Daily Hadeeth reading From Riyadusaliheen, After Fajar and after esha .
2. After school Madrassah for children Mon-Thu 5pm to 7pm

3. Adult Quran classes (Males) Monday and Tuesday after esha for an hour.
4. Community engagement program every second Saturday of the Month, interstate and overseas speakers, starts after margib, Dinner served after esha, First program begins on the 15 August.

5. Monthly Qiyamulail program every 1st Friday of the month starts after esha.
6. Fortnight Sunday Breakfast program. After Fajar, short Tafseer followed by breakfast.
7. Weekly Tafseer by Imam Uzair after esha followed by dinner. Starts from 26 August.


For all activities, besides Adult Quran, classes sisters and children are welcome.

For further info call the Secretary on 0413669987






Lutwyche Mosque

Weekly classes with Imam Yahya


Monday: Junior Class

Tuesday: Junior Arabic

Friday: Adult Quran Class


For more information call 0470 671 109

Holland Park Mosque


All programs are conducted by Imam Uzair Akbar





Tafseer Program

Basics of Islam

Tafseer Program





after Maghrib Salat


Queensland Police Service/Muslim Community Consultative Group


Meeting Dates & Times

Time: 7.00pm sharp

Date: TBA

Venue: Islamic College of Brisbane - 45 Acacia Road Karawatha


Light refreshments will be available.




For more information and RSVP:

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



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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

Islamic Relief Australia

National Zakat Foundation (NZF)


Islamic Finance  & Investments

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) : Masjid Taqwa

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


Celebrating Muslim cultures

AYIA Foundation


Slackscreek Mosque

Mosque and Community Centre

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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