self-deprecating and occasional tongue-in-cheek look at ourselves and
the world around us ......
Sunday, 21 September 2008
News you won't find on CNN!
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Paradise (Gold Coast) could be turned into a souk and
Cavill Avenue into a kasbah as part of a bold plan to
make the Gold Coast a 'Ramadan-friendly zone'.
Arabic-style marquees, traditional coffee shops, halal
restaurants and Middle Eastern entertainment would pop
up in Surfers, Broadbeach and at theme parks to
encourage big-spending, long-staying Middle Eastern
tourists to come here next year during the usually
travel-shy holy period of Ramadan.
Nassif Lawand, managing director of inbound tour
operators Lawand Tourism, said 2009 would be the first
time in 30 years that Ramadan had encroached into the
July-August period, traditionally the time Middle
Eastern tourists flock to the Gold Coast to escape the
stifling heat and sapping humidity of home.
The idea, Mr Lawand said, would not only attract Arabs
during Ramadan when people were more reluctant to
travel, but could also steal a march on some of the
world's most glamorous cities. Muslims from Melbourne,
Sydney, Malaysia and Indonesia could also be lured here
as Surfers Paradise becomes 'Ramadan Paradise'.
"This could really be made into an opportunity because
no other destinations that are global cities can do that
-- I can't see Paris or London or Sydney or Geneva doing
something like turning their destination into a
Ramadan-friendly place," said Mr Lawand.
"Ramadan means they (Muslims) do things at night and
sleep during the day, so we could do basic things like
erecting a few Arabic tents around Surfers Paradise
where they could sit around and smoke shisha (pipes) and
drink (Arabic) coffees, perhaps making restaurants stay
open at certain times and offering genuine halal foods
so they can break their fast at that time."
His company had already discussed the idea with Gold
Coast Tourism and Tourism Queensland and wanted to set
up a working party including the Gold Coast City Council
and local restaurateurs to make it happen.
Gold Coast Tourism's international director Gordon Price
said he was right behind the transformation idea.
"Because they are fasting from sunrise to sunset, what
we would expect is quite an influx of people coming out
at night-time en masse, so it's a question of creating
some precincts in Surfers Paradise or maybe Broadbeach
and maybe even at theme parks that provide them with
that night-time activity," said Mr Price.
"And it's not just the food -- there's also potential
for bringing some entertainers in and creating a real
festival atmosphere where they can sit with compatriots
and enjoy Ramadan."
Ramadan forbids all eating, drinking, smoking during the
month of religious observance. "Or anything close to it
-- you can't even look at a woman in a sexual manner,"
said Mr Lawand.
He laughed at a suggestion that the Surfers Paradise
economically clad maids might have to be more
circumspect during the holy month, should the plans go
"Maybe we'll just have to bring them out at night-time,"
said Mr Price.
Alternating nights at theme parks and nightly transfers
to the Arundel mosque would also be part of the move.
Mr Lawand said the move would be an experiment, but
worth a go, as Ramadan would enter further into July and
August in 2010, 2011 and 2012, severely threatening the
lucrative Middle Eastern market.
Association of Queensland (IWAQ) at the
Kuraby Special School Hall
Curry in Kuraby Ifthaar
with Crescents of Brisbane
Kuraby Mosque on Sunday
over 600 people broke fast
Around 900 men, women and
the invitation of 10
families to share ifthaar with them
last night at the Algester
submission on Terrorism Bill
At this week's Senate
Standing Committee inquiry into the provisions of the
Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Laws Bill 2008 the
President of AFIC, Ikebal Patel made the
I will introduce Islam.
The Arabic word ‘Islam’ means peace and submission.
to peace is a part of Islam and anything contradictory
to peace is against the very nature of Islam. Islam is
about obeying Allah, the true god, and one of his
attributes is Al-Islam—the peace. Muslims by default are
workers of peace, and that is what history tells us.
However, the consequences of some events of the last
century and what we have been observing in recent years
have totally misrepresented Islam and Muslims. This
has not been to the benefit of Muslims and other faiths
alike, or peace.
Blaming a religion that has a brilliant track record of
peace for everything evil on earth is unfair and
counterproductive. Hiding the real causes of evil under
political convenience may only worsen the situation.
Condemning and opposing any oppression, injustice or
harm to any innocent person is the responsibility of
every Muslim, regardless of the identity of the victim
or the perpetrator. In the light of the current world
situation, the following observations and proposals may
be considered seriously to improve community
relations and to build strong bonds amongst various
segments of our society based on knowledge and shared
The spread of fear and
terror, whatever form they take and wherever they may
be, is of great service to the
terrorist. It is equally true for any individual citizen
or government. It is essential to evaluate the measures
are in place to combat, stem or stop terrorism.
Senator Mark Furner paid a visit to
the Kuraby Mosque on Friday where he joined
the ifthaar programme in the car park
and observed the Maghrib
congregational prayers in the Mosque.
course of the week Senator Furner made the
following speech in Federal Parliament:
Australians we pride ourselves on being a
nation built on many cultures and religions
to form our great multicultural society. One
of the most enjoyable things about being a
representative of the people of Queensland
is being able to take part and celebrate in
our nation’s multiculturalism. On Saturday,
30 August 2008 I had the privilege to attend
the celebration of Queensland’s oldest
mosque in Holland Park, Brisbane. Holland
Park Mosque, first built of wood in 1908 in
the days of the White Australia policy, is
now made of brick. It is hard to believe
that this country restricted access to
migrants until only 30 years ago. We are now
a rich, diverse culture. Brisbane alone now
has a population of over 20,000 Muslims and
this figure continues to grow.
morning’s proceedings I was sitting next to
the commissioner of police chatting about
the Islamic community in Brisbane. We
discussed the events and atrocities that
happened to other mosques as a result of
9-11 attacks, where, as a result of
stereotyping and xenophobia, attempts were
made to burn down mosques. When I looked
around the crowd, there were children
playing on rides and mothers caring for
their babies. The question really struck me
then why some people in our society have
concerns about people who dress differently
or who wear their hair in a different way.
right) Mr. Muhsin Ally, Imam Akram Buksh,
Senator Furner and
Nathie inside the Mosque
Nasser Mashni and
Michael Shaik came up from Melbourne on Friday to
Kuraby to discuss the aims and objectives of their
organization, Australians for Palestine, and to provide
an update on the situation in Palestine and the Gaza.
Over 70 people turned up
after Taraweh (evening Ramadhan) prayers to
listen to the two speakers and engaged in a lively
discussion on a number of related issues.
Nasser Mashni is one of
the founders of Australians for Palestine. Born in
Melbourne to a Palestinian father and Lebanese mother,
from birth Nasser was immersed in the Palestinians
struggle for justice.
Nasser’s father was the
Palestinian National Council representative for
Australia and their home was always filled with
activists, trade union officials, parliamentarians,
church leaders and anyone with a humanistic conscience
and concerns for the plights of the Palestinian.
In 1991 Nasser started
educating himself in the world of Property Investment
and Finance, the business started in his suburban
bedroom and today his financial services company is
called the Mashni Group.
Mashni and Michael Shaik
The Lebanon war and siege
of Gaza was a turning point in Nasser’s life. He was
outraged not only at the Israeli atrocities but also
that in Australia the voice of the Palestinians was not
being articulated in any effective manner.
This prompted Nasser and
his brother Moammar to partner with the sisters Sonja
Karkar and Dora McPhee to found and finance Australians
for Palestine, a Melbourne-based organization that
advocates for a just solution to the Palestine/Israel
conflict and works to raise awareness of the conflict’s
dynamics among the Australian public.
Nasser is one of the
sponsors of Michael Shaik's work in the AFP movement.
the IWAQ Desk.....
It has been very busy the
last few weeks:
The Ramadan hamper distribution is going
This year we received a
large contribution from the Khalifa bin
Zayed al Nahyan Charity Foundation, through
their Project of Fasting in Australia, a
collaboration with the Embassy of the United
Arab Emirates and AFIC.
We had the pleasure of being
joined by Mr. Hamad Al Habsi,
Minister Plenipotentiary of the UAE Embassy
who came to Brisbane to entrust us with the
food parcels for distribution.
We ask Allah to reward all
those who contributed with goods for the
2008 Ramadan Hamper Drive.
We are pleased to announce
that after an exhaustive
selection and interview
process, Mareym Elshemy
has been selected as IWAQ’s
Mareym graduated with a
Bachelors degree in Mass
Communication with a double
major in Media/Communication
and Film/TV. Her interest in
this position was the
opportunity to coordinate
activities that would
benefit the community. Her
hobbies include Art/Design –
architecture and travel.
We wish Mareym all the best
in this position.
Activities organised for the
above project will include
swimming, walking groups,
nutrition and cooking
For further information,
please contact Mareym on
Mr. Hamad Al Habsi and the
IWAQ’s iftar on the 16th went very well and
we were pleased to see people enjoying
themselves. Thank you to all those who put a
magnificent effort to make this an enjoyable
We would like to thank all
those who attended and made this a
Special thanks to Hazem
and Saif for their contribution in
showing the cultural practice of Ramadan in
Don’t forget that the Marriage workshop and
lecture series is scheduled for 7-10
November, so please call IWAQ on 3272 6355
to register as numbers are limited. We would
like to acknowledge MCCA as one of the major
sponsors of this project.
We would also like to acknowledge the
contribution of CCN and AMARAH towards this
We were also involved in
delivering a presentation at the Jobs
Australia conference on the 9th of September
focusing on successes and challenges facing
us as community sector employers.
Wassalamu Alaikum Muna Ibrahim
Religion and Belief in the 21st Century
The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission is
inviting submissions on issues of Freedom of Religion
and Belief in the 21st Century in Australia.
In particular HREOC is interested in your responses to
any or all of the questions in the
Discussion Paper, as well as any other issues of
Muhammad Ali reduces Nick Faldo to rare public show of
Nick Faldo has experienced many extraordinary moments in
his career, but none quite like the one this week when
he was moved to tears in the captains' press conference
on the eve of the Ryder Cup. It spoke volumes for his
Faldo, who had been discussing his pairings for the
opening morning foursomes, was asked what he had made of
the Europe team's encounter earlier with Muhammad Ali,
Louisville's most famous son. He could barely reply.
Ali, debilitated by Parkinson's disease and unable to
speak, met both teams - driven by buggy first to the
American team on the 10th tee, then to the Europeans on
the 1st fairway - and had photographs taken with both.
The crowds could barely believe their eyes and neither
could the players.
Asked if the meeting with
Ali would inspire him and his team, Faldo found a lump
in his throat and tears in his eyes. “It was an
incredible moment, as you can tell,” he said. “It was
really special.” Had he expected to be so emotional,
meeting the former world heavyweight boxing champion?
“Don't start me again,” he said. “I'm about there with
emotions already. I need to get it out somewhere.”
In many ways, the moment was surreal. Was this really
Faldo, the iron man of golf, displaying such emotion?
And what did it say about what lies ahead? After all,
this is the man whose single-mindedness helped him to
crush his rivals on his way to becoming the most
successful British player in history.
Crisis Support Team Leader: The opportunity for
a position of Crisis Support Team Leader exists at
IWSS. It is a fixed term position for a year and
nine (9) months in the Domestic Violence Program at
Immigrant Women’s Support Service.
Community Centre is commencing its Job Preparation
Training Course on the 6th of October - 17th of October.
This training is designed
to assistant people from Culturally & Linguistically
Diverse Backgrounds [refugees and migrants] in
developing vital skills that will help them to overcome
some of the hurdles stopping them from securing jobs.
Upon completion of the training, the MCC Employment
Consultants provide assistance in finding jobs for the
For more information,
flyer or call the MCC offices and speak to Michael
Some commonly asked
a) Who is eligible for the training? - Holders of
permanent residence from the CALD community
b) What is the cost to the participants? - FREE
c) What is the duration of the course? - 2 weeks. Mon-
Friday from 9.30am- 2.30pm - Excluding Wednesdays
d) Where will the training be provided? - 977 Ann Street
e) Contact person: - Thelma or Michael - (07) 3257 1868
Automotive Short Course
To celebrate the
opening of their new Employment and Training
Services Centre at Nundah, HELP ednterprises are
offering two short courses. These are one off
courses and are only available for a limited time.
They have both been designed to give participants a
valuable skill set for working in these areas.
Automotive Short Course (statement of attainment
towards AUR20905 Certificate II in Automotive) ONLY
5 PLACES AVAILABLE
Date: 6th October-24th November
Time: 9am - 3pm
Location: 47 Nundah St, Nundah
* At our brand new training centre, with fully
* Nationally Recognised Training
* Using and maintaining workplace tools and
* Servicing operations
* Soft soldering (basic)
* PLUS FREE
* Construction Industry Blue Card
* Membership with the Institute of Automotive
FREE for anyone who is long term unemployed,
underememployed, mature age, from a culturally or
linguistically diverse background, parent/carer, and
anyone who has a disability.
If you know of anyone who might be interested,
please give Hayley Walsh a call on the details below
to arrange a sign up meeting.
China’s Communist Regime Suppresses Uighur Ramadan
While the start of this
week marked the beginning of the month of Ramadan for
Xinjiang’s Uighur Muslims, China’s Communist authorities
are reportedly cracking down on Muslim religious
The Web site for the town of Yingmaili currently lists
nine rules put in place to control the Muslim holy month
in the name of “maintaining stability during Ramadan.”
The list includes barring teachers and students from
observing Ramadan, requiring men to shave their beards,
forcing women to take off their veil’s, prohibiting
mosques from letting people from outside the town stay
the night, forbidding retired government officials from
entering mosques, and requiring restaurants to maintain
normal hours of operation.
RICHMOND, Va. — The
assignment for Virginia Commonwealth University fashion
students: design an abaya, an enveloping cloak worn by
Muslim women, that is stylish yet acceptable in Arab
The results: elaborately beaded designs, a
flamenco-influenced abaya, a punk rock abaya — and
perhaps a better understanding of cultural norms in the
Persian Gulf nation of Qatar, where the university has
had a campus for 10 years.
"We were trying to make a feeling of youth — but still
be true to their culture," said Kendra Palin, a fashion
design major who partnered with classmate Shelby Day to
design an abaya with looped buttonholes, princess seams
and a high waist. "Everything else had to be black, but
the embellishment could be any color, and we used silver
Anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim attitudes rise in Europe
have been rising nearly
in tandem in several
economic ills, according
to a new international
were particularly strong
in Spain, Poland and
Russia - with negativity
up significantly since
2006, according to the
Pew Research Center's
views were also strong
in those three
countries, as well as in
Germany and France.
"There is a clear
said the report from
Pew, released Wednesday.
"Publics that view Jews
unfavorably also tend to
see Muslims in a
Negative views of
Muslims were also strong
in several Asian
countries: Half or more
of the Japanese,
Indians, Chinese and
South Koreans surveyed
said they had negative
impressions of Muslims.
memorizers of the holy
Qur’an from centers in
Asia, Africa, Europe,
Australia and South
America were honored
during a ceremony
organized by the Holy
International (HQMI) at
Lailaty Hall here.
Makkah Gov. Prince
distributed gifts to
supervisors of the
Qur’an study centers run
by the organization in
the five continents. The
recitation by children
from different countries
added color to the
HQMI, said an
on the Holy Qur'an would
be held in Makkah next
He said Crown Prince
Sultan has donated SR25
million to HQMI in the
form of an endowment. As
many as 3,090 students
have graduated from
HQMI’s Qur’an study
centers in different
parts of the world this
year, he added.
PARIS — With Muslims
dedicating their time during the fasting month to become
closer to Allah, the Noble Qur'an is becoming a
best-seller in France during Ramadan.
"We sell between 10 to 15 copies of the Noble Qur'an
every day," Ali Al-Maghori, a Paris bookshop owner, told
"Pocket-sized copies of the Qur'an top our sales before
and during Ramadan."
According to Livre Hebdo magazine, which specializes in
books sales, Qur'an ranks 8th among the best-selling
books during Ramadan, which began on Monday, September1.
Vendors are seen selling copies of the Noble Qur'an
across the streets of the capital Paris, particularly
Muslim-populated neighborhoods such as Belleville and
Also on sale are books on how to perform prayers and the
benefits of fasting Ramadan, the ninth month on the
Islamic lunar calendar.
Sales of prayer beads and prayer rags are also booming.
Readers' Book Club:
You are what you read!
MUSTAFA KEMAL OMAR
recommends and reviews
Norman G Finkelstein
On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse
by Mustafa Kemal Omar
Chutzpah: a Yiddish word describing
insolence, gall, impudence, taking
I was tempted to add Manufacturing Consent
to the title of this review but most readers
would have associated it with Noam Chomsky.
Nevertheless according to Norman G
Finkelstein (NGF), this is how Israel is
canvassing the international community in
the war against the Palestinians. Beyond
Chutzpah is a literary documentary by NGF
that discusses the alleged anti-semitism
fraud perpetrated by some of the leading
protaganists of the Zionist movement. In
particular, Finkelstein targets Dr Alan
Dershowitz, Professor of law at Harvard
University and his book called “The Case For
Israel”, for what he describes are “many
inconsistencies”. Subtle claims of
plagiarism are levelled against Professor
Dershowitz. whose book aims to provide
plausible justification for Israel's
treatment of Palestinians by employing the
anti semitism bogey tactic.
This book, Beyond Chutzpah, is none other
than a monumental effort in it's attempt at
cross referencing allegations made by
Dershowitz referenced by his vague sources
(according to NGF), as against documented
accounts of the same events by highly
respected organisations such as B'tSelem,
Amnesty International, International
Solidarity Movement(ISM), PACT and LAW
NGF painstakingly contrasts Dershowitz's
every account of how events unfolded in
Palestine as opposed to the accounts of the
very same situations by these highly
In challenging Dershowitz' accounts of
history, Finkelstein scrutinizes Israel's
human rights record and makes the claim that
the Israeli courts are the first ever to
legalize human torture and that the
Palestinians bear the brunt of this inhumane
treatment on a daily basis.
If the evidence as illustrated by
Finkelstein is true, purporting to be
corroborated by publications of the some of
the most respected Human right organisations
in the world, It is not difficult to see why
peace in the Middle East is so evasive.
One's faith in humankind is certainly tested
and the final conclusion is stark and
heartwrenching... It pays some NOT to have
peace in the Middle East.
Would you like to see the cover of
your favourite book on our book shelves below?
Q: Dear Kareema, I'm in my last trimester of
pregnancy and go for regular walks during the week. Is
there anything else I can do to keep up my fitness
levels during the last few months before giving birth?
A: It's great that you've been walking, try and keep it
up as it is probably the best exercise for you right
because you're used to doing it.
Starting a new exercise routine now will not be a safe
option, however, what you
can try though are some low intensity aqua aerobics
classes or swimming (if you're comfortable in the
As well as improving your fitness levels, this may also
help relieve lower back pain sometimes experienced
The fitball is also a great option as just sitting on it
will help with posture and improve core strength.
All the best and KEEP WALKING!!
All questions sent in are published here anonymously and
without any references to the author of the question.
KB's Culinary Corner:
1 litre Long Life milk
2 Tbsp corn flour
2 Tbsp rice flour
5 Tbsp water
1 tin condensed milk (395g)
1 tin cream (155g)
4 Tbsp coarsely ground pistachio nuts
A pinch ground cardamom (elachi)
A drop of green food coloring
1. Beat eggs and milk and cook on medium
2. Mix rice and corn flour with a little
cold water and add to the milk mixture.
3. Allow the milk to cook slowly, stirring
constantly until the mixture thickens.
4. Remove from the heat and add condensed
milk, cream and 2 Tbsp pistachio nuts.
5. Beat well with a whisk and pour into
serving bowl and sprinkle with remaining
6. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before
Do you have a recipe
to share with CCN readers?
Send in your favourite recipe to
firstname.lastname@example.org and be our "guest chef" for
The CCN Chuckle
Mula Nasruddin and
his friend Jalalludin entered a dentist's office.
Mula Nasruddin said, "I want a tooth pulled. I don't
want gas or Novocain because I'm in a terrible hurry.
Just pull the tooth as quickly as possible."
"You're a brave man," said the dentist. "Now, show me
which tooth it is."
Mula Nasruddin turns Jalalludin and says: "Open your
mouth and show the dentist which tooth it is, brother
University of Queensland, 323 Hawken Drive,
Contact: 0421 731 797
Time: 6.45pm to 9.00pm
Sunnah Inspirations is a
non-profit organisation to cater for Muslim
social support and supplying information to
Muslims and non-Muslims. They have
been doing various activities around
Australia, and have organised Da'wah
information stalls at various universities
in Brisbane. More info can be found on
their website above.
free to post an entry on our Wall, start up a
Discussion thread and/or become a Fan.
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