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EST. 2004


Sunday 9 December 2018 | Issue 0735


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


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We find the week's news, so that you don't have to






On 4 December the Australian International Islamic College conducted the Foundation Laying Ceremony of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Building.

The college principal Mariam Banwa convened the program attended by Mr. Peter Russo – State Member of Parliament, and Mr. Michael Harding – General Manager of BGA for their participation.

Key stakeholders of the community, teachers and students were also present

The State and Commonwealth Governments contributed towards the STEM project.

The STEM building will provide a well equipped:

• Dry Lab – (Engineering/Physics)
• Wet Lab – (Biology / Chemistry)
• STEM Resource Centre (Technology/Engineering/Robotics)
• Tuckshop




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Ahmed Kilani is one of four Muslim chaplains employed across NSW prisons.


Imran* became one of Supermax's youngest inmates when he was imprisoned on terror-related charges.

Disowned by his father, who refused to visit him, Imran was consumed by rage and hatred. But then he met Ahmed.

Ahmed Kilani is one of four Muslim chaplains employed across NSW prisons to counter extremist doctrines and provide spiritual guidance to the small population of Muslim inmates. Every month, he drives hundreds of hours across the state to visit Goulburn Supermax, Long Bay, Lithgow, Bathurst and Oberon prisons.

Our 10-minute phone call is strictly monitored by Corrective Services New South Wales and took more than two months to be approved. His work is controversial, but Mr Kilani believes it's life changing.

When Mr Kilani finally convinced Imran's father to visit, Imran asked the chaplain to place his hand through the small opening in his cage. Mr Kilani hesitated — the young inmate had previously threatened to kill him, denouncing him as an "apostate". He tentatively offered his hand, fearing Imran might break his wrist. Instead, he kissed and stroked it, a sign of great respect in Muslim culture.

Inspired by Mr Kilani's positive ethos, Imran has asked for forgiveness and started praying. And he's not the only inmate.

'Is he a government stooge?'
When Mr Kilani first started as a chaplain he met a wall of resistance from some of the inmates, particularly those with extremist beliefs.

One of Supermax's most radical inmates, Abdul* often exploded in bouts of rage and hostility towards Mr Kilani, calling him a "sell out Muslim".

"There's a lot of trust issues with the guys who are on the very extreme end of the way they practise their religion. It's like 'who is this guy? Is he working for ASIO? Is he a government stooge?'," Mr Kilani says.

Eventually, he won over inmates like Abdul by organising barbeques and providing them with books and prayer mats.

"I kept persevering and showing them a lot of love and being non-judgemental. I told them from the start, 'my rules are, as long as you don't call me an apostate and you show me respect, then I'm happy to discuss anything'," he says.

Can religion save extremists?
Dr Julian Droogan, an academic specialising in violent extremism, believes inmates can cast off extremist religious beliefs and reintegrate with society.

"Although violent extremism is rarely caused solely by extreme religious beliefs, religion can play an important role in correcting some of the mistaken propaganda from groups such as Al Qaeda and the so-called Islamic State," he says.

"Religion can also encourage and support extremists in finding a place in positive religious communities and a healthy and non-violent identity."

However, Dr Droogan says it's often difficult for these individuals to make a full recovery if extremist beliefs are common in their social circles. "If these social contexts are repeated, people may relapse into violent extremism," he says.

Backing from victims' families
The deployment of Muslim chaplains in prisons is controversial. But it's backed by some of the people most affected by the inmates' crimes.

Alpha Cheng's father Curtis was murdered by a radicalised teenager outside the Paramatta police headquarters in 2015.

But the high school teacher says he "can't hate" Farhad Khalil Mohammad Jabar, the 15-year-old boy who went to a nearby mosque to pray before shooting his father.

"Being a high school teacher and working closely with teenagers, it always hits me that the shooter was a 15-year-old.

"It's a really tragic and sad element that someone of that age who is a second-generation Australian would believe that such an act is a solution," Alpha says.

"If we don't have people working within the prison system or at a mosque, we have people forming views without proper spiritual guidance. If there's not people doing this, the risk is that the negative or destructive ideology gets perpetuated in prison.

"However, based on what I've seen and experienced in the trials, I have little hope for rehabilitation. I hope to be proved wrong."

'Everyone can change'
At the root of Mr Kilani's spiritual work is the belief that criminal behaviour is complex and through comprehensive rehabilitation and expert guidance, inmates can change.

"They're people that were probably going to school with you, going to work with you and catching the bus with you, their kids probably go to school with your kids. They're probably your neighbours," Mr Kilani says.

"Everyone makes mistakes, and everyone can change. And we should give them all a chance to change."




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THE Toowoomba Islamic Charitable Organisation has applied to the Toowoomba Regional Council to make minor changes to its approved development application for a mosque on the corner of Stephen and West Sts in Harristown.

The organisation applied to the council this week, seeking approval to establish a caretaker's residence at an existing house at 82 Stephen St, and to modify the carparking lot to increase the number of parking spaces.
The application proposes the currently approved car park off West St will become a grassed overflow carpark, and a larger carpark will be built on the corner of West and Stephen Sts.

"The proposed changes will result in an increase in the number of approved carparks to provide a total of 56 parking spaces and two PWD spaces," the application report said.

"The development and the car parking area have been sensitively designed and enhanced through the provision of landscaping and 1.8m high screen fencing.

"This will reduce the acoustic impacts of the development on adjoining land uses while improving the aesthetic amenity and enhancing the microclimate of the site."

Toowoomba Islamic Society president Professor Shahjahan Khan said the entrance to the Stephen St car park would also be shifted about 20m away from the intersection, making it safer for people to access the property.

"That's going to be a big plus from a traffic management point of view," he said.

The proposal does not make any changes to the existing approval of the mosque itself, which is presently under construction, more than three years after being hit by two separate fire-bombing attacks that left the original building severely damaged.

Professor Khan said depending on fundraising and other factors, ideally the mosque would be completed by the middle of 2019.

The Chronicle



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Hussin Goss

On 7 December staff from Gold Coast City Council (Cemetry Department) visited the Gold Coast Mosque for the first time.

The department has been assisting the Gold Coast Muslim community in facilitating burial documentation and preparation of graves at the Muslim cemetery.

In addition to a sumptuous meal, the guests were taken on a tour of the Mosque and were told about Islam and its teachings.










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Prof Shahjahan Khan received the University of Southern Queensland Award of Excellence for Diversity and Inclusion this week from the Chancellor and Vice Chancellor of the University



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An all-girl Muslim team from Unity Grammar College in New South Wales represented Australia at the FIRST LEGO League competition.

Year 8 student, Daniya Syed, from Unity Grammar College in New South Wales believes IT is a male-dominated industry but it does not mean women can’t work and succeed in it.

Earlier this year she headed an all-girls, all Muslim robotics team representing Australia for the first time in the FIRST LEGO League competition in Estonia.

The journey to achieve such a feat was no easy task but Ms Syed says she feels she has been lucky to have a great network of support around her.


“My parents, friends, family, team members and school have been very supportive from the very start. This support and mentoring has lead me to success,” said Ms Syed in a conversation with SBS Urdu.

Since Year 6 Ms Syed has been programming in HTML code every Saturday or whenever she could find spare time. Her parents both come from an IT background and have supported her enthusiasm all along.


Ms Syed is passionate about breaking stereotypes and has a message for all young girls aspiring to work in IT or male dominant fields. “I believe IT is a male dominant field, but it does not mean women can’t do it.

“I want to spread this message to all girls, follow your passion regardless of the field it may be. Women and men are equal and we have equal opportunities to succeed.” she further added.

Team Background

STEM Cells X an all-girls, all Muslim team from Unity Grammar College in New South Wales was formed in 2017 after a tryout was held in which 26 students participated.

Students were required to possess basic knowledge of robotics design and programming. They were tested on their knowledge and practical work.

Six girls were selected out of 26 and formed a team to participate in the regional competition of FIRST LEGO League held at Macquarie University 2017.

Ms Syed’s team qualified the regional competition and were selected as one out of nine teams to represent Australia at the international competition.

FIRST LEGO League is an innovative world-wide program encouraging students to come up with innovative solutions to solve a real-world problem.

Over 320,000 participants as part of 40,000 teams have taken part in 1,450 events worldwide since its inception in 1998.




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Some 36 Grade 6 students from Silkwood School, accompanied by their three teachers, visited the Gold Coast Mosque recently.

Imam Mohamed Ali and James showed them around the Mosque and its facilities, and gave them a brief introduction to Islam and answered their many questions about the religion.





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Listen to the full interview


Haroon Meer – Founder of Thinkst: A Method to the Madness


The answer to this question was central to the success of Haroon Meer; a South African Muslim at the helm of Thinkst, a cyber security firm that consults government agencies, big-name internet clients and more. He’s consulted NATO on cyber security before it was an active international threat, and his Canary cyber honey-pot devices are connected to major tech giants. With humble beginnings in the tail end of Apartheid South Africa, Haroon’s success was far from a silver spoon upbringing.

So how did Haroon take off?

On The Transit Lounge – a podcast from Toledo Society, Haroon described the one constant to becoming an authority in his field: relentlessness. Being at the top of the game means just that: putting the time in, keeping up with trends and staying competitive.

Central to Haroon’s philosophy is the idea that money follows value; not the other way around. Almost hard to believe, Haroon failed his first year of Computer Science. However, take this with with a grain of salt, as what followed was a measured and masterful pursuit of passion. He took classes in anything and everything he was interested in: philosophy, legals, sociology and more until he found his passion in computer science and pursued it without fail.

Far from the denizens of Silicon Valley and the West, Haroon operates comfortably out of South Africa, where Thinkst’s main office is located. Haroon reflects on his “Muslimness” during the episode, and the role his cultural and religious identity played in his journey. He also speaks of his early pool addiction and his short stint at the Quantico base!



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The Second International Conference on Organ Transplantation in Islam will be held at the Western Sydney University on 22 and 23 November.  This conference explores a rare topic in Islamic theological and social scientific discussions; how Islam deals with organ transplantation.

Existing studies on organ transplantation, rare as they are, either look at the argument in support of organ transplantation and donation, or the argument that considers organ transplantation and donation to be prohibited in Islam.  What is missing is a clear and authoritative response to the question of organ transplantation and donation in Islam.  Whether organ transplantation and donation is permissible or not in Islam, robust theological and social scientific discussions are necessary for individuals to make an informed determination


Each week CCN presents the abstract and biography of one of the speakers at the conference:






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There are approximately 1.84 billion Muslims in the world today, making up 24.38% of the world’s population, or just under one-quarter of mankind. As well as being citizens of their respective countries, they also have a sense of belonging to the ‘ummah’, the worldwide Muslim community.
The Muslim500 publication sets out to ascertain the influence some Muslims have on this community, or on behalf of the community. Influence is: any person who has the power (be it cultural, ideological, financial, political or otherwise) to make a change that will have a significant impact on the Muslim world. Note that the impact can be either positive or negative, depending on one’s point of view of course. 





Sadiq Khan

Mayor of London

Sadiq Khan, the son of a London bus driver, was elected the Mayor of London in May 2016, with a huge personal mandate. He succeeded Boris Johnson..






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Op-Eds; Commentaries & Blogs





The search for extremist answers



Families of Australian extremists have come forward for a rare series of interviews they hope will help others pick up on signs of radicalisation they might have missed.


He knew he was going to die. So the Islamic State fighter in Syria made one last phone call.

It was to his family, at home in Melbourne's suburbs.

"He called and said he was going on a suicide mission in the morning and he was just calling to say goodbye," a family member said.

It left his family desperately searching for answers that would never come.

Every act of violent extremism, whether it occurs thousands of kilometres away or on Bourke Street, leaves a series of questions.

Researchers and community leaders believe a new series of interviews with families of young extremists from Melbourne could provide some answers.

The identities of the 11 families — who agreed to be interviewed because of their involvement with a Broadmeadows-based social services provider — were protected.

The report's researchers say it is the first time Australian families of violent extremists have participated in research of this scale and nature.

The interviews paint a complex picture of the anger, sorrow and bewilderment felt by those closest to a violent extremist, and detail troubling allegations about the handling of some cases by authorities and the process of radicalisation.

Some families saw the signs and reported them. Others realised, in hindsight, what they had missed. Often, violent extremists gave no indication that they had started to spiral.

"Believe me, there was nothing," one woman said, "He grew up his beard, but so what?

"He still hung out with his cousins, everything was normal.

"But sometimes he watched YouTube, Syria, and kids being killed. When he saw this he would get upset, saying 'why this, why that?'"



Seemingly innocuous things, like a young man growing out his beard, retrospectively took on meaning for family members of extremists.

Otherwise routine adolescent behaviour — playing video games, spending a lot of time online, partying, risk taking or becoming withdrawn — was later seen in a sinister light by some family members.

There were also recurring concerns around drug use — particularly ice — as a key factor in their family members becoming vulnerable to extremism.

Leila Alloush, the chief executive of Victorian Arabic Social Services, which partnered with Deakin University to produce the report, described drug addiction as "the number one" factor driving young men to violent extremism.

In two recent fatal attacks linked by authorities to Islamic State — in Bourke Street last month and in Brighton last year — both perpetrators had histories of substance abuse.

Participants in the research reported some young men became more devout to distance themselves from past drug use, but later became extremists.

In one case, a foreign fighter had alternated between partying hard and following religion, behaviour a relative regarded as intended to "do a bit of good and a bit of bad".

Another relative said he thought this increased piety was a positive thing.

"I thought he was just giving up his bad boy ways and becoming a bit more devout," he said.

"I thought he was just maturing, coming out of a phase."

Some said their young male relatives would, on occasion, leave early in the morning and not return until later in the day. They would often pray in small groups, away from established mosques or masjids, without their parents' knowledge.

"They'll gather likeminded people and isolate themselves," one participant said, describing the segregation as "quite toxic".

Fears son was used as 'bait'

The interviews were conducted in collaboration between researchers and Victorian Arabic Social Services and form part of a new Victorian government-funded report.

One mother told interviewers her son was used as "bait" to gather evidence about Islamic State recruiters.

He was used by both the traitors in IS and also by the government. I am a victim of IS recruiters and of the federal police.

Researchers did not independently verify the information provided during the interviews.

The Department of Home Affairs would not comment on whether any Australians had been allowed to join Islamic State for the purpose of gaining intelligence, but said in a statement it had early intervention arrangements in place across Australia.

"The radicalisation to violence process is unique to each person and responses need to be flexible to meet the individual's needs," a spokesperson said.

"We encourage families, friends and communities to contact authorities for help and advice if they see indications an individual may be radicalising to violence or considering participating in a foreign conflict."

Another interviewee said after cooperating extensively with investigators who were seeking information about a foreign fighter, she was told they could not provide support services to help her cope with his death.

Authorities also failed to detect a young man who had obsessed about suicide bombing, bought religious textbooks and chemicals used to make bombs, was collecting metal fragments, and researched bomb making online, and then travelled overseas to join Islamic State, his family said.

Duncan Lewis, the director general of ASIO, told a Senate estimates hearing in October that 230 people had travelled to the Middle East to fight in foreign conflicts since 2012, and that as many as 94 of them had died.

The majority left Australia to join Islamic State.

Online, obsessive and vulnerable


Family members of extremists said social media was a key factor in their radicalisation.

As the war raged in Syria, the social media feeds of young men quickly filled with images of violence.

"This is what made all our kids angry — the extensive killing of Muslims overseas," one woman said.

"I think that is what has motivated many of them to radicalise. Sometimes they go crazy — they lose their mind — they want to help."

Often, the language that accompanied such images reinforced a black and white interpretation of Islam.

Social media puts out so much negativity about Islam that it's easy for influencers to construct these narratives of not really belonging," one man said.

"It's easy for people to say, 'These people don't really want me here, why am I here?'"

It was particularly dangerous for those already predisposed to fixations.

"My [relative] always flipped from obsessing about one thing to another thing," a woman said.

"He was a teenager and was looking for identity. He'd go from obsessing about one sport or hobby to another.

"So while the religion part was unusual, his fastening onto and obsessing about things wasn't."

Islamic State propaganda reinforced these narratives, some family members said, and packaged them in a way that appealed to young men looking for adventure.

"For me it's war propaganda — it's the same way … a paedophile would lure a child in," a woman said.

"It's very seductive — they offer them excitement — that feeling that they are doing something great, a greater purpose than what they are doing here.

"Daily life here can get boring."

When one young man was challenged on his beliefs, and told he was brainwashed, "he was sure that he hadn't [been] and I was the brainwashed one who didn't understand the truth".


I pushed my kids away from religion and they rebelled'


The interviews conducted as part of the report were often raw and painful for the family members..


A father suffered a fatal heart attack after hearing his son died fighting with Islamic State, researchers were told.

Another family only learned their relative had died after reading about it in the media.

A sense of grief and shame filled the room during the interviews, Deakin University researchers Professor Michele Grossman and Dr Vivian Gerrand said.

It was this grief that motivated the families to speak, in the hope their experiences will guide others.

"I just wanted to sit in my room and cry and cry and cry and think about my brother," the sister of a foreign fighter said.

Others regretted not challenging their children to think differently about religion.

I left it to externals and God knows what they put in my son's head. Islam is not about extremism. They got the wrong message from others," one woman said.

A mother said she should have nurtured religious interest in her son.

"I pushed my kids away from religion and they rebelled and went towards religion."

There were also lessons for authorities and community leaders, families believed.

These included forbidding private lectures from those who extol a hardline interpretation of Islam, stricter accreditation for those who teach Arabic or Islamic studies, and community-led support services for the families of violent extremists.

They also called for assistance with practical tasks, such as obtaining death certificates, which in some cases compounded their grief.

Professor Michele Grossman said there was also a need for greater research into the role of Islamic State recruiters.

"We really do need to understand more about how they operate if we are to build resiliance [against] that kind of recruitment."

The original target had been 20 families, but after repeated instances of families postponing and then cancelling their interviews, the researchers had to downsize.

Of the 11 families that participated, all lived in Melbourne, eight were Lebanese Muslim, nine spoke Arabic and English at home, and eight had secure housing.

There were between three and 12 children, aged from two to 41, in eight of the families.

Four of the interviewees were siblings, three were mothers, three were friends or cousins, and two were wives of foreign fighters.

The content has been used by Victorian Arabic Social Services to formulate a training program for families about what to look for in a relative who could becoming radicalised, and what to do next.

Professor Grossman said it should also be used to inform ongoing public debate and policy regarding extremism.

In the Bourke Street attack, and in the case of three men who were charged 11 days later for allegedly planning a terror attack, authorities had cancelled their passports.

The research showed there were significant problems with how this process was generally handled, Professor Grossman said, and the thoughts of the families should be considered to ensure this punitive approach was matched with support.

A similar stance should be taken when a young person comes to the attention of authorities, but does not have their passport cancelled, she said.

"One of the lessons that law enforcement can draw from this research is that early intervention for families means providing support — not necessarily what you might think of as a traditional law enforcement investigation response," Professor Grossman said.

ABC News


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To know the future just look to the past


UK's Oldest Mosque: Incredible pictures shine a light on Britain’s oldest mosque dating back to the reign of Queen Victoria



Worshippers and guests share a table at the Feast of Sacrifice in 1916.






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Listen live with the TuneIn app at


Friday lecture (sermon)

DATE: 7 December 2018

TOPIC: "Bayan from Suratul Zilzal" 
IMAM: Muft Zubair Bayat











Friday lecture (sermon)

 DATE: 7 December 2018

TOPIC: "How to improve your love for Allah" PART 1

IMAM: Uzair Akbar












Friday lecture (sermon)

DATE: 7 December 2018

TOPIC: "Richest Sahabi"

IMAM: Akram Buksh










Friday lecture (sermon)

DATE: 7 December 2018

TOPIC: “Abu Talib’s relentless support for Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)"

IMAM: Mufti Junaid Akbar


Lecture Recording









Friday lecture (sermon)

DATE: 7 December 2018


IMAM: Mufti Naeem Ali









Australian International Islamic College Carrara



Image result for Australian International Islamic College Carrara


Friday lecture (sermon)

DATE: 7 December 2018

TOPIC: "Loving The Prophet (PBUH)" 
IMAM: Imraan Husain



Play the recording  




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New congresswoman Rashida Tlaib rejects traditional trip to Israel in favour of one to West Bank


USA: Democratic Congresswoman-elect Rashida Tlaib of Michigan has announced she will be leading a congressional delegation to the Israeli-occupied West Bank, an unprecedented move given the traditional nature of American Israeli Political Action Committee (AIPAC) sponsored trips to Israel for new members.

Speaking with the Intercept, Ms Tlaib—the first Palestinian-American woman elected into US Congress—said she hopes to “draw on her roots” in the Middle East to allow her colleagues a different introduction to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict than the one offered from pro-Israel lobbying groups like AIPAC.

She said her delegation will emphasise on subject areas involving education, clean water access and poverty. She also hopes to take her group to Beit Ur al-Foqa, a village in northern West Bank, where her mother lives.

Ms Tlaib is unsure of who will join her delegation. She is also still working around the logistics and preparations of the trip. She is currently searching for advocacy organisations to partner with in order to fund the delegation.

One thing is for certain for Ms Tlaib: She wants her delegations “to humanise Palestinians, provide an alternative perspective to the one AIPAC pushes, and highlight the inherent inequality of Israel’s system of military occupation in Palestinian territories,” something she compares to the treatment of black Americans in the Jim Crow era.

“I want us to see that segregation and how that has really harmed us being able to achieve real peace in that region,” Ms Tlaib said. “I don’t think AIPAC provides a real, fair lens into this issue. It’s one-sided. … [They] have these lavish trips to Israel, but they don’t show the side that I know is real, which is what’s happening to my grandmother and what’s happening to my family there.”

Unlike the AIPAC-sponsored trips, Ms Tlaib does not intend to meet with Israeli government officials or the Palestinian Authority.


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Flatshare bias: room-seekers with Muslim name get fewer replies


‘Muhammad’ less likely than ‘David’ to get a positive response, Guardian investigation finds



UK: People from ethnic minorities face arbitrary discrimination when they look for a room to rent, experts have said, after a Guardian investigation found that inquiries from a person with a Muslim name about flatshare ads received significantly fewer positive responses.

In a snapshot survey of the private flatshare market carried out as part of the Bias in Britain series, expressions of interest were sent from “Muhammad” and “David” to almost 1,000 online advertisements for rooms across the UK.

The Guardian found that for every 10 positive replies David received, Muhammad received only eight.

Muhammad was doubly disadvantaged compared with David as he was more likely not to receive a response (44% of the time compared with 36%), and when he did receive a response it was more likely to be negative (25% of the time compared with 18%).

While the survey gives only a momentary view of the situation across five areas in the UK, charities, pressure groups and the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) all said the findings were illustrative of persistent bias in the housing market – whether conscious or unconscious. The RLA described the findings as “disturbing” and said a government requirement on landlords to check tenants’ immigration status was compounding the problem.

Minority ethnic groups have long faced discrimination in the housing market: in the 1950s, some adverts for properties specified “no blacks, no Irish, no dogs”. Such explicit discrimination is largely in the past, although last year a landlord was taken to court after he barred people from south Asian backgrounds from renting his properties because of “curry smells”.

But experts say the Guardian’s findings are a reminder that subtler forms of bias remain and have significant consequences.

Kevin Gulliver, the director of the Human City Institute, a charity and thinktank focusing on exclusion, social injustice and inequality, said: “This is a timely study. BAME communities are more reliant on the private rented sector – 24%, compared with 14% of white people. Having equal access to the rented sector is very important.

“Society is generally less racist than it was in the 1950s but that doesn’t mean more subtle versions of racism don’t exist. People sort of justify it to themselves, assuming someone from that community might not fit into the block. This sort of study shows it is prevalent, and Brexit, Trump etc could have given permission for previously hidden racism to emerge.”



The Guardian set up online profiles giving Muhammad and David similar ages, interests and occupations. Expressions of interest, similar in tone and length, were sent responding to adverts posted for rooms in properties listed in Aberdeen, Devon, Leicester, London and Sunderland. The advertisers were private individuals – either housemates, flatmates, live-in or live-out landlords.

It is impossible to know whether any one case is the result of prejudice, but experts in unconscious bias say it can shape people’s responses without them being aware of it. And the snapshot survey found other evidence of a difference in outcomes for the two names.

The Guardian


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The Persecution of Uyghur Muslims in China


Uyghur Muslims in China are being widely persecuted


CHINA: Muslims in the west of China are facing one of the worst examples of oppression and ethnic cleansing in the world today. East Turkestan, the home of the Muslim minority known as the Uyghurs, has seen the mass-internment of two million civilians who face physical and mental torture until they renounce their faith. The Chinese government calls these camps “re-education camps”.

These camps have multiplied exponentially in recent years with the appointment of a new Communist Party Secretary of Xinjiang, Chen Quanguo, whose previous appointment in Tibet was famous for its brutal security and surveillance policies. These tactics are now being implemented in East Turkestan.

Though East Turkestan is under Chinese control, Uyghurs tend to have a closer ethnic and cultural connection to other Turkic peoples in central Asia. This means that alongside religion, the re-education camps are aimed at wiping out the Uyghur language, dress and cultural practices entirely.

To achieve this, the Chinese government has created the world’s most extensive surveillance state. Facial recognition cameras, body scanners, mandatory apps, GPS tracking, and surveillance drones cover every inch of the region, and Chinese tech companies like Huawei use these government contracts to develop even more intrusive systems. A recent propaganda video released by the Chinese government shows the extent of this surveillance, with at least 5 cameras in a single classroom which was being touted for its simple teaching objectives.

Beyond simply assimilating the Uyghurs to become more like the Han Chinese majority, the Chinese government’s policies point to a larger agenda. East Turkestan is at the heart of China’s biggest global project, the Belt and Road initiative. This multi-billion dollar project spans the entire globe, and allows China to become an economic superpower in competition with the US. In order to achieve this though, they aim to completely dominate the region of East Turkestan, and wipe out the Uyghur people.

OnePath Network


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Betool Khedairi




Absent is set in Baghdad in the late 1990s, at the time of the UN blockade. The narrator, young Dalal, is a teenager growing up in a city sanctioned by the world following the first Gulf War. The novel revolves around the lives of women in an apartment building, including a devout Muslim woman, Umm Mazin, who runs a healthy trade in fortune-telling and spell fixing.

Dalal is a wondrous child who survives the car accident that killed both her parents when she was an infant. She grows up under the care of her aunt and uncle in a crowded apartment full of paintings, dress patterns and boxes of buttons (the aunt is a seamstress who uses buttons to give a new lease on life to old garments). Dalal’s world is full of adults who are preoccupied, slightly eccentric, never shy of giving her errands or unsolicited life advice, but ultimately good people trying to do the best in trying circumstances (in a blockade the light goes off, the water doesn’t run, phone lines drop off, saffron costs a fortune, and there are uncountable other everyday inconveniences to overcome).

The novel has a plot twist towards the end, which I can’t tell you too much about. So suffice it to say that Dalal begins to make her way thanks to the help of friends and neighbours until everything is threatened by a Baath government informant.

I loved this novel for its portrait of women’s lives – the unique mix of mundane, funny and serious issues that will be recognisable to many of you despite the distance. A novel like Absent is a welcome reminder that even in the most trying of circumstances life goes on, and there is washing to fold and meals to cook, and that most of those tasks fall on women. From the distance of 30-second news stories, it’s easy to imagine war as a constant state of emergency and hopeless despair, when the reality of it features a lot of waiting, wondering what will happen next, and far fewer men around.

While the novel is mostly set indoors in Dalal’s family apartment, there is a bit of strolling around too, which allows the reader equipped with Google maps to spot parts of this lively ancient city. I’ve attached here a couple of pictures of leafy boulevards on the bank of the river Tigris, and the statue of Scheherazade in the city centre.

Scheherazade is a necessary reference in this book of course, seeing how rich and strong the vein of storytelling and book culture remains in Iraqi culture through the centuries. Last year we read news about volunteers working together to save thousands of books from the Mosul library, as well as a literary festival that took place in that city as soon as ISIS was finally routed:

For more from Khedairi herself, here are her observations from another book fair, that was held in Frankfurt:



World Books Reading Group - Brisbane
Meets 6:30 pm on the first Wednesday of every month
Muooz Eritrean Restaurant. 54 Mollison st, West End
New readers always welcome




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

Then simply email the title and author to

CCN's Bookshelf

City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi
A Fine Balance
The Leadership of Muhammad
Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History, Updated Edition, With a New Preface
The God of Small Things
The Kite Runner
The Punishment of Gaza
Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson
Leaving Microsoft to Change the World: An Entrepreneur’s Odyssey to Educate the World’s Children
The Da Vinci Code
The Power of One
Muslim Women and Sports in the Malay World: The Crossroads of Modernity and Faith
Palestine Peace Not Apartheid
The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East
The Road to Mecca
Long Walk to Freedom
Come Be My Light: The Private Writings of the Saint of Calcutta

CCN's favourite books »


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KB's Culinary Corner





KB says: This recipe is super easy and super quick and so versatile as you will see from the picture below.


3 ingredient Dough






2½ cups self-rising flour
(or 2½ cups flour plus 2½ tsp baking powder)
1 cup yogurt (or fresh cream)
¾ tsp salt

Combine to form a soft dough.
Allow to rest 10-15 mins
Roll out and form.

*Pitas* - roll thin and bake at 180°C. They will rise but give it 30 secs to a minute and remove. Do not let brown or else it will get crispen,

For *naan bread* - roll out and toast dry on a dripping pan / flat skillet / griddle (tawa), brush with ghee after it comes off the pan.

For *rolls* form and brush with egg and bake till lightly browned, cover with cloth when you remove from oven.

For *pizzas* - roll out a large roti, not too thin. Cut with round cutter to size of choice. Toast on tawa, top with sauce and fillings. Top with cheese, bake in oven till cheese melts or pop into the microwave
for a minute.



Do you have a recipe to share with CCN readers?


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


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Keeping Fit with Kareema





Q: Dear Kareema, I’m really tight through my muscles and I do yoga to combat this. What else can I do to release the tightness?

A: I would combine running/jogging/walking with yoga.

It will build mental resilience and alleviate stress and also release the tight muscles.

Running will provide a wicked dose of dopamine to get you started for the day and yoga can help reset your nervous system. Combine the two and you’re set for a highly productive and centred day.

Take more time when stretching because too often we rush through it. It’s great for lengthening the muscles and will help them rest and recover in time for your next workout.





My Health and Fitness

Tel: 0404 844 786




Need an answer to a fitness related matter?

Send your question to Kareema at

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


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Self-Care and Clarity of Mind...a weekly column by Princess Lakshman (Sister Iqra )





Princess Lakshman


Writer, Clarity Coach, Founder and Facilitator of Healing Words Therapy - Writing for Wellbeing














Welcome to my weekly column on Self-Care and Clarity of Mind. If you’re taking time out to read this, pat yourself on the back because you have shown commitment to taking care of your mind and body.

Today, In Shaa ALLAH, we will explore the topic: Happiness and Joy...what is the difference?

You may be familiar with this common adage “Pursuit of Happiness”. I’ve always wondered why it is that we must pursue happiness. I used to be one of those people who worked really hard at pursuing happiness. One wonderful day I realised that as ALLAH’s highest form of creation I was blessed with an inherent, pure thing known as JOY.

Once I realised this, embraced joy and began to live from it, I stopped pursuing happiness. It sounds bizarre.

Difference Between Joy and Happiness?

The English dictionary may display both these terms as synonyms, however, society has designed a paradigm for human beings which defines happiness as something that results from fulfilment of material and physical desires. In other words, happiness, in today’s world, is circumstantial.

Joy, on the other hand, is something that we feel in our “fitra” and is not defined by physical and material desires. Joy is the elation we feel when we operate from our inherent spiritual virtues of love, kindness and compassion.

Once you operate from joy, the pressures that society places on you vanish - the six-figure salary, the mansion, the perfect body shape - none of these material and physical desires will matter anymore. Living from joy makes you a joyful being and spreads joy to the rest of the world. Instead of the six-figure salary, ask yourself if you love what you do for work. Instead of the mansion that you live in (probably under mortgage), ask yourself if your home is a space that is spiritually fulfilling. Instead of obsessing over a perfect body shape, ask yourself if you are using your body and its energy to spread goodness and perform righteous deeds.

How to Cultivate Joy in Your Life

Living authentically and being true to yourself helps you be true to others. “Fake it till you make it” may not be the most authentic approach to living joyfully. Rather, a daily practice of experiencing joy in small things can make every moment of your life be a joyful experience.

• Smile more
• Laugh out loud
• Write a heartfelt note to someone special to thank them (handwrite it, it’s more personal)
• Breathe deeply, fully and exhale slowly
• Do a fun activity that moves your body and makes you sweat
• Spend a few minutes daily to connect with nature
• Say out loud to yourself - five things about yourself that you are grateful for
• Say out loud to yourself - five things about your life that you are grateful for
• Say out loud to yourself - five things about another person that you are grateful for
• Do something nice for someone without their knowledge
• Cook a wholesome meal for yourself and your family
• Hug your loved ones often and tell them you love them
• Visualise yourself in Jannah

If you feel confused about whether you are pursuing material and physical happiness or whether you are living joyfully, the one question you need to ask yourself is “Is what I’m pursuing pleasing ALLAH or pleasing people?”

Choose to please ALLAH and ONLY ALLAH. When you please people, you fall into the trap of material and physical desires.  



If you wish to know about a specific topic with regards to Self-Care and Clarity of Mind, please email me on If you wish to have a FREE one hour Clarity Coaching phone session, contact me on 0451977786




Download the above article.


Muslimah Mind Matters videos : available on YouTube

DOWNLOAD Muslimah Reflections - my new ebook of poetry and affirmations
DOWNLOAD The Ultimate Self-Care Guide For Muslimahs
WATCH VIDEOS from Muslimah Mind Matters YouTube Channel.

DOWNLOAD Muslimah Meditation Moments - audio files for self-awareness meditation.

If you wish to know about a specific topic with regards to Self-Care and Clarity of Mind, please text or email me or visit If you wish to have a FREE one hour Finding Clarity telephone session, contact me on 0451977786.



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The CCN Chuckle





Newly wed Mula Nasruddin and his young wife brought their new baby home.


The wife suggested her husband should try his hand changing diapers.

"I'm busy" Mula Nasruddin said, "I'll do the next one."

The next time came around and she asked again.



Mula Nasruddin looked puzzled.

"Oh, I didn't mean the next diaper. I meant the next baby!"

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An Ayaat-a-Week






Be quick in the race for forgiveness from your Lord, and for a Garden whose width is that (of the whole) of the heavens and of the earth, prepared for the righteous.

~ Surah An-Imran 3:133


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“Part of what fascist politics does is get people to disassociate from reality. You get them to sign on to this fantasy version of reality, usually a nationalist narrative about the decline of the country and the need for a strong leader to return it to greatness, and from then on their anchor isn’t the world around them — it’s the leader.”

~  Yale philosopher Jason Stanle



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

Notice Board


















More info....



Brother Laith from the community has a brain tumour and needs urgent brain surgery. All proceeds will be going to help his medical expenses. Medical expenses may exceed $150,000 due to the high risk nature of the tumour. Please support this worthy cause by purchasing a ticket or donating.


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On 31 December 2017 the only Islamic childcare centre in the whole of Brisbane had to unfortunately close its doors due to the Department of Transport requiring it for their future expansion. To date they are still in the process of securing new premises to continue serving this very important need of the community and the wait continues….

In the interim the need is still there. The question most Muslims would be asking themselves is “Where do I send my child so that he/she can learn, grow and develop in an Islamic environment, and establish a sound Islamic foundation?”

Msasa Montessori is a private home based learning centre for 3-5 year olds. The focus is an Islamic based learning environment alongside the Montessori method of teaching. Children will be taught their basic duas, surahs, tasbeehs, stories of the Prophets will be read and enacted, and Inshallah their love for Allah and His Noble Prophet Muhammed S.A.W will develop. Supported by the Montessori method of teaching they will develop their independence and will utilise equipment which will enable them to develop and grow.

Montessori is a method of education based on self-directed activity, hands-on learning and collaborative play. The Montessori materials cover developmental activities designed to meet the needs of children in five curriculum areas:
Practical life skills, Sensorial activities, Mathematics, Language and Cultural Studies.


By providing such an environment, the children will develop a strong sense of wellbeing and identity as Muslims and they will become confident and involved learners with the ability to communicate effectively and with confidence.

For further information call 0434519414.



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Click here to enlarge



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See ALL our advertising/sponsorship options

here or email us


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Donations & Appeals












Gold Coast Islamic Cultural Centre



Islamic Care clothing bins are now operational around South East Queensland 







Bank Account Details:

Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Toowoomba Plaza Branch
A/C Name: Toowoomba Islamic Charitable Organisation

BSB No 064459,

A/C No 1034 1586,
Swift Code: CTBAAU25XXX

Contacts: Prof Shahjahan Khan Ph +61421081048, Email:, Dr Mainul Islam Ph +61432533550, and Br Shahbaz Rafiq Ph 0402398608 (Brisbane).







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

To claim your date for your event email






(Click on link)





9 December



Annual Meelaad un Nabi


Islamic Society of Algester

48 Learoyd Road, Algester


0431 620 629


9 March 2019



Mother & Daughter High Tea


Hurricane Stars Club


0432 026 375


24 March 2019



Zaky and Friends Show


Hurricane Stars Club

Islamic College of Brisbane,


0432 026 375


2 April 2019

3 April 2019


Tues (EVE)





(Ascension night)

27th Rajab 1440


20 April 2019

21 April 2019


Sat (EVE)





(Lailatul Bahrat)

15th Sha'baan 1440


6 May 2019





(start of the month of fasting)

1st Ramadaan 1440


26 May 2019





(Night of Power)

27th Ramadaan 1440


5 June 2019





(end of the month of fasting)

 1st Shawal 1440


11 August 2019





(Night of Power)

9th Zil-Hijjah 1440


12 August 2019





10th Zil-Hijjah 1440


17 August 2019



Eidfest @ Dreamworld




0418 722 353

from 6PM

1 September 2019





(Islamic New Year)

1st Muharram 1441





1. All Islamic Event dates given above are supplied by the Council of Imams QLD (CIQ) and are provided as a guide and 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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Masjid As Sunnah



Every Sunday Quran Tafsir or Islamic Lesson or Arabic Class.
After Magrib
Conducting by Imam Yahia Baej

Children Arabic/Quran Class every Tue-Wed-Thursday after Magrib




Nuria Khataam
Date: Every last Wednesday of the month
Time: After Esha Salaat
Venue: Algester Mosque
Contact: Yahya
Ph: 0403338040




Bald Hills, Brisbane




Al-Mustapha Institute of Brisbane 

39 Bushmills Court, Hillcrest Qld 4118

Download the programme here.














Queensland Police Service/Muslim Community Consultative Group



Date: TBA
Time: TBA
Venue: Islamic College of Brisbane - 45 Acacia Road, Karawatha QLD 4117

Community Contact Command, who are situated in Police Headquarters, manages the secretariat role of the QPS/Muslim Reference Group meeting.

Please email with any agenda considerations or questions.


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CCN on Facebook



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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Useful Links




HikmahWay Institute HikmahWay offers online and in-person Islamic courses to equip Muslims of today with the knowledge, understanding and wisdom to lead balanced, wholesome and beneficial lives.

Kuraby Mosque

Holland Park Mosque

Al-Nisa 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 (Malek Fahd Islamic School, Sydney, NSW) (Islamic College of Brisbane, QLD) (Islamic College of South Australia, SA) (Langford Islamic College, Perth, WA) (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

Islamic Relief Australia

National Zakat Foundation (NZF)

MCCA 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)

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 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

Lockyer Valley Islamic Association

Eidfest Celebrating Muslim cultures

iCare QLD (formerly AYIA Foundation) - Charity

Slacks Creek Mosque Mosque and Community Centre

Al Tadhkirah Institute Madressa, Hifz and other Islamic courses

If you would like a link to your website email


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Articles and opinions appearing in this newsletter do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the CCN Team, 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 CCN


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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 us..


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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