IN today's troubled world, one does not have to look far to see the issues plaguing humanity. War, occupation, lack of development in many countries, environmental problems, social dysfunction and homelessness. Some of these issues seem too far away for contemplation, while others are too close for comfort.
So what is happening now that has made us more aware? Is it because we are producing a media-savvy generation embracing the global Internet infosphere? Is it our instinct to not sit on the sidelines? Or are there still too many not accepting that they are able to make even a small contribution to the earth's problems? After all, while it is admirable to step into a troubled area of the world as an aid worker, or to provide skills acquired through education or work experience, this is not, realistically, for everyone.
Yet as human beings, it is important to contribute to the "housework" of this world. As Muslims, it is our duty. It is essential to be aware of the ways in which we may locally assist. For example, volunteering some of one's spare time to charitable or humanitarian organisations are beneficial and significant acts. It takes us out of our comfort zones, allows us to embrace our world with greater warmth and understanding, and especially to remember our blessings. But this is putting it simply.
At a deeper level, the benefits, without being self-serving, are to both the person helping and the one receiving that assistance. As psychologist Hanan Dover points out, “volunteering has many unseen benefits such as building positive character, increasing one’s self-esteem, as well as allowing one to use their skills and abilities to make a difference to the word around them.”
We are members of a global community and locally we form part of the overall Australian community. But we feel for each other as humans. Hopefully, our local -- not just our global -- problems resonate with us. In any case, they need our attention.
Extracts from Mission of Hope article in FAIR - Forum of Australian Islamic Relations www.fair.org.au
DESPITE a less than expected turnout, the evening proved a whole lot of fun for those that did get to take part last Friday evening.
In addition to the usual sets of general knowledge questions there were a host of entertaining challenges that kept the teams busy between the Qs and the As.
Team members were tested on their ability to spell, do math, make and fly paper planes and tell jokes.
The main prize of the evening went to the
youthful Supersonic Samoosas who succeeded in pipping the still maturing Crescents Shockers past the post by a mere whisker.
THE Brisbane Muslim League kicks off today (29th May).
There are teams with nationalities from Southern Africa, Turkey, Bosnia, Iraq, Fiji, Malaysia, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Indonesia.
The competition will run over four weekends being the 29th May, 24th July, 28th August and the finals in which all teams no matter what position they end up in the league will be involved on 25th September.
Games are being played at the Acacia Ridge Futsal Centre on Beaudesert Road.
Bennie BoekWurm's Book End
The world from Islam, George Negus, Harper-Collins Publishers, Australia, 2003, 294 pp, Rrp $29.95
GEORGE NEGUS is a well known and popular television journalist. In the course of his work for programs such as This Day Tonight, 60 Minutes, Foreign Correspondent and George Negus Tonight, he has traveled the world interviewing the famous and not so famous, collecting stories and recording his impressions of people and places beyond Australia. According to his own Author’s Note, The world from Islam is not a book in the usual sense, but a series of ‘personal experiences, opinions, observations, interviews, conversations, anecdotes, research and reactions’ recorded over twenty years of contact with Muslims and their societies. It is to Negus’ credit that he approaches this contact with an open mind and a friendly attitude.
Negus’ reputation is such that this book will be widely read by members of the Australian public, including those who have little interest in politics, no interest in the Middle East and who are completely ignorant of Islam, except perhaps, to connect it vaguely with terrorism because of the persistent pushing of the ‘Islamic terrorist’ image in much of the mainstream media. It is not too difficult to imagine that it will have a greater influence on the way the reading public looks at Islam, than most serious academic treatises on the subject. The book is well presented, illustrated with beautiful photographs by Negus’ partner, Kirsty Cockburn, and written in a conversational style which is easy to read.
The world of Islam in this book is the world of the Middle East, the home of a minority of the world’s Muslims. However, it is the birthplace of Islam as well as of Judaism and Christianity and the location of the holy cities of Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem, the latter venerated also by the other two Abrahamic faiths. Negus’ journeys in the area, sometimes alone and sometimes accompanied by his partner and young son, Serge, take him to Jordan, where they visit the ancient city of Petra, and camp with the Bedouin in Wadi Rum, to Israel, Jerusalem and the West Bank and ultimately on to the ‘petro-dollar fairytale’ of Dubai and the more prosperous Gulf States.
In the last part of the book, Negus addresses the contemporary situation. – terrorism and the ‘war on terror,’ the war on Iraq and the relationship between Islam and the West. Islam is not going to go away and the West is going to have to learn to live with it - but whether that relationship will be warm, cool or furiously antagonistic in the short, medium and long term, depends at least to some extent on the way the West behaves towards the world of Islam, if moderation and respectful co-existence are encouraged by the world’ remaining superpower or if heavy handed tactics drive more and more Muslims into the arms of extremists.
There is a lot of information in the book, most of it accurate, although there are one or two mistakes – Eid ul-Fitr does not always fall three weeks before Christmas as is implied - but this information is dispensed in gentle doses in company with interesting anecdotes, so that the reader does not feel he/she is being lectured to. This is Negus’ contribution to what he calls the next great war to be fought - a war against the mutual ignorance between Muslims and non-Muslims. For this he is to be commended.
Light, informative and non-threatening, this would be a good book to give as a present to a non-Muslim friend. Also, watch this space for more news about George turning up as a guest speaker at a locally organized function in a few months time. It's one talk you don't want to miss!
(click image to enlarge)
Mr. Farouk Adam pressing flesh with a bloke whose name just seems to have escaped us for the moment.
No Such Thing .... As A Free Budget Launch
OVER 800 Liberal Party supporters attended a midday meeting with the Australian Prime Minister at the Hilton Hotel on Tuesday, 17 May. The Prime Minister spoke on the recent budget announcement and the healthy state of the economy and did not miss the opportunity to remind his captive audience that his party had succeeded in reducing the national debt of 9 years ago of $95bn down to $6bn.
The lunch was followed by an auction which, together with a painting of the PM, succeeded in raising $5000 for the Liberal Party coffers.
Hatia Hears It "From the Horse's Mouth"
Mr. Faisal Hatia of Hatia Property Corporation was invited as a guest of the Federal Government to attend Federal Parliament for the reading of the Annual Budget by the Federal Treasurer Peter Costello. His host was Mal Brough, Minister for Revenue and the Assistant Treasurer.
He was part of a group of 20 who were taken and shown around the corridors of power. While there Faisal managed to catch up with an old friend of the Brisbane Muslim community, Gary Hardgrave, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister and Minister for Vocational and Technical Education.
The visitors were then taken into the Parliament gallery where they witnessed the reading of the Budget which, according to Hatia, appeared to be very well received among the 1000 or more guests invited from all parts of Australia.
"One aspect of the budget that appealed to me was that the Government was providing incentives to get people who were on social welfare benefits, such as dole earners, mothers with older children and older "retired" people back into the work force", he told CCN's Felicia Mabusa-Blunt. "This is a very significant move considering the dire shortage of skilled and unskilled labour in our country. By raising certain taxable threshold categories, the incentive was to work harder, longer hours, earn more, and pay less tax".
After the reading, the group joined senior members of the Government, including the Prime Minister John Howard and the Prime Minister-in-waiting Peter Costello, for a 'sumptuous' dinner. Special arrangements for Halaal food had been for Hatia despite being the only Muslim at the party.
Having now had a brief taste of Parliament life and a chance to rub shoulders with the country's elite on a first name basis, how long would it be, our Felicia could not help surmising, before the gentleman in question would have us all referring to him as The Hon?
Watch this space, folks!
Fireband Ali Stirs Political Pot in Brisbane
Pakistani-born London-based author and activist, Tariq Ali, will deliver a public lecture at the UQ Centre, University of Queensland, Union Road, St Lucia tomorrow (Monday, 30 May) at 7pm.
Amongst other things, Ali will talk about his new book, A Sultan in Palermo, which is set in Sicily in the mid-12th century, when the splendour of the Norman-ruled, predominantly Arab city of Palermo was the envy of the known world. The novel is shaped around the real-life story of the great Arab cartographer Al Adrisi, and is a continuation of Ali's inquiry into Islam.
"It was at the time of the first Gulf War (1991)," he says, "and I heard some stupid BBC commentator referring to the Arabs as a people without a political culture. That angered me greatly, so I began to ask myself some questions as to what has happened to the religion. Why had Islam atrophied?".
A beguiling conversationalist and dedicated polemicist, Ali says that it is important for people to challenge and to polemicise with the dominant culture. "There are people who believe that all is well with the world and all we need to do is stick with the US and everything will be fine. Well this is largely a view in the Western world and in countries which have been completely tied to the US, like Australia, but it is not a view you will find much in China or India, or in the whole of Latin America, which is in rebellion against the global system."
Tickets: $12 Bookings: (07) 3846 3422
It's Business As Usual for CresFit4Life-ers at Kangaroo Point
Advice on preventing injuries - Warming up!
Warming up is often overlooked but should be part of your injury prevention routine. A good warm up will:
Increase the temperature of muscles - they work better at a temperature of 40 degrees.
Increase blood flow and oxygen to muscles.
Increase the speed of nerve impulses - making you faster.
Increase range of motion at joints reducing the risk of tearing muscles and ligaments.
Warm up will not only help avoid injury but will also improve performance. A warm up can consist of:
Gentle jog to raise heart rate to circulate blood and oxygen supplying the muscles with more energy to work with.
Stretching to increase the range of motion at joints. Emphasis should be placed on stretching the hip flexor muscles, quadriceps, hamstrings, lower back, adductor muscles as well as those on the outside of the hips.
This is also often overlooked but can help avoid injuries and boost performance. The aim of the cool down is to:
Gradually lower heart rate.
Circulate blood and oxygen to muscles, restoring them to the condition they were in before exercise.
Remove waste products such as lactic acid.
Reduce the risk of muscle soreness.
The cool down should consist of a gentle jog followed by light stretching.
Find out why South Africa's Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi ended up saying, "I don't know what to make of it - I'm neither hot nor cold. I'm just astounded that it should come to this in this holiest of holies," by clicking here.
This Week's Date Claimers
1. Give the
Picnic-in-the-Park a Fair Go on Sunday 5 June at the Kuraby Community Hall
2. The IFA Workshops for Women at the Kuraby Masjid continues this Wednesday after Esha.
The Muslim Community in Australia - A view from the 2001 Census
The most frequently cited country of birth for Australian Muslims is Australia (approximately 103,000) The next is Lebanon (29,321).
Turkey is third, with 23,479 Muslim Australians being born there.
Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Pakistan are the countries of origin of approximately 27,000 Australian Muslims, with approximately 9,000 people having been born in each of those countries.
Source: Muslim Australians:THEIR BELIEFS, PRACTICES AND INSTITUTIONS
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