self-deprecating and occasional tongue-in-cheek look at ourselves and
the world around us ......
Sunday, 14 December 2008
News you won't find on CNN!
complete annual journey to Mecca
On foot and on the roofs
of overflowing buses, Muslims poured into the holy city
of Mecca for a final day on Wednesday, many of them
saying they felt reborn and cleansed of sin as they
completed the annual hajj pilgrimage.
Around midday, the Grand Mosque, Islam's holiest shrine,
was packed with pilgrims performing the Tawaf al-Widaa,
or the "farewell circling" of the Kaaba, walking seven
times around the cubical structure while praying and
reading the Koran, Islam's holy book.
Many of the nearly 3 million pilgrims came by bus or on
foot from the nearby plain of Mina, where they had
completed the ritual known as the stoning of the devil
earlier in the day. Others sat on mats along the 5km
route, reciting passages from the Koran while waiting
for the crowds to ease.
Some said they felt their journey of faith, which began
last week, had washed away their sins.
"I feel I'm reborn," said Iranian pilgrim Parviz Karimi.
"Words cannot tell how I am feeling now. I feel I'm
purified and that God has forgiven all my sins."
In prayers before leaving Mecca for home, pilgrims ask
God to accept their pilgrimage, a once in a lifetime
requirement for every able-bodied Muslim who can
financially afford the trip.
Mecca's streets were filled on Wednesday with pilgrims
buying clothes, electronic equipment and plastic bottles
to fill up with the holy water of Mecca that is given to
friends and relatives back home as gifts.
Some pilgrims spoke by telephone to give loved ones news
that they'd completed the pilgrimage's rituals.
The pilgrimage began last week with the circling of the
Kaaba, which Muslims around
the world face during their five daily prayers. Pilgrims
then went to nearby Mount Arafat, where Islam's
seventh-century prophet, Muhammad, gave his last sermon
in AD 632. Many spent three days and others two days at
the stoning ritual in Mina.
The Kaaba, an ancient structure in Mecca's Grand Mosque,
is Islam's holiest site, believed by Muslims to have
first been built by Adam, then again later by Abraham.
According to Islamic teachings, the hajj is a spiritual
journey that cleanses the soul.
"I feel more responsibility now after completing the
hajj. God has washed away all my sins and I don't want
to commit any more sins in the future. And that is a
grave responsibility for the rest of my life," said
Malaysian pilgrim Haji Abu Hassah Morad.
On the last day of the hajj, pilgrims also walk between
the hills of Safa and Marwa inside the Grand Mosque,
re-enacting the search by Abraham's wife, Hagar, for
water for her infant son, Ishmael, in the desert. After
her seventh run, a spring known as Zamzam emerged
miraculously under Ishmael's feet.
The annual pilgrimage has so far been incident-free,
unlike in previous years when the event was marred by
fires and stampedes.
Saudi authorities set around 1,500 cameras to monitor
the crowd at holy sites. Some 500 cameras watch pilgrims
in the Grand Mosque as a way to manage the crowd and
avoid congestion that may lead to stampedes.
CCN looks forward to
welcoming back the Hajjis and Hajjianis from Queensland
who will be returning during the course of the next few
Eidgar at the Islamic
College of Brisbane,
Celebrating Eid on the
Correction: DS Arabic Tutoring Centre
In last week's issue it
was stated that the DS Arabic Tutoring
Centre was operating from Bald Hills.
In actual fact the Centre
is based in Bracken Ridge and is distinct from the Bald
Hills Maddressah run by the Islamic Society of Bald
According to a spokesman
for the Centre "the maddressah is undergoing some
financial hardship and a request is being made to
brothers and sisters in the wider community to kindly
donate some money towards this valuable cause. The
survival of the centre and with it, the Islamic
education, and upbringing, of our 30 young students
depends on it."
Donations can be made
directly into the maddressah's bank account:
A/C Name: DS Arabic Tutoring Centre
A/C No: 821872981
Details of financial transactions can be provided upon
request. Please contact any of the following people for
A football tournament
promoting inter-racial harmony has won the Queensland
Police Service (QPS) a prestigious 2008 Premier’s Award
for Excellence in Public Sector Management.
Acting Police Minister Robert Schwarten said the “For
the love of the game” program in the Metropolitan South
Region was announced as the winner of the Engaging and
Serving Communities Award on Tuesday night.
“The Queensland Police Service has a track record of
delivering effective programs to the communities it
represents. I congratulate all the officers involved on
the program,” Acting Police Minister Schwarten said.
“These programs get at the root causes of crime. They
give kids something to do, they promote harmony and they
strengthen our communities. The Queensland Police
Service continues to make Queensland a safe place to
live and work.”
Metropolitan South Region Cross Cultural Liaison Officer
Sergeant Jim Bellos (pictured right) established the program in 2005
after police in the region noticed increased tension
between young people from several national groups.
“After speaking to young people, police realised they
wanted to become involved in sport, in particular
football (soccer),” Sergeant Bellos said.
“As a result, the idea for a multicultural football
tournament was born in partnership with the Ethnic
Community Council of Queensland,” Sergeant Bellos said.
Eight teams contested the inaugural tournament in 2005.
This year’s event – held over the Queen’s Birthday long
weekend in Richlands, Inala and Darra – attracted 32
teams and 5000 spectators.
Since 2005, more than 6000 young people have taken part
in the program, which has broadened to include an annual
football game between police and the Sudanese community,
and a rugby league match between the QPS and a local
Sergeant Bellos said the project had achieved more than
its aims of promoting inter-racial harmony and
addressing potential inter-racial violence.
“It has also raised the self esteem of at-risk young
people and diverted them from crime by involving them in
alternative activities and improving their relationship
with local police.
“This initiative has emphasised the spirit of living in
harmony in a multi-cultural society.”
The For the Love of the
Game program is a unique sporting program, coordinated
by the Queensland Police Service (QPS) which promotes
inter-racial harmony through football and has been shown
to effectively address serious community safety issues
related to violence among disparate community groups.
The three main events incorporated in the program are:
QPS/Ethnic Communities Council Queensland football
QPS Muslim Rugby League Challenge.
'Bridging the Gap' Sudanese Football Tournament.
The QPS Muslim Rugby
League Challenge was covered by CCN in
I didn't say I was role model: Hage-Ali
A former NSW Young
Australian of the Year, who has admitted using cocaine,
has denied telling arresting police she was supposed to
be a role model.
cross examination in the NSW District Court on Thursday,
Iktimal Hage-Ali also denied telling the officers: "How
embarrassing, you must have all been laughing".
The 24-year-old is suing the state of NSW, claiming she
was wrongfully arrested and detained in Sydney on
November 6, 2006.
The arrest occurred eight days before Ms Hage-Ali, a
member of former prime minister John Howard's Muslim
Community Reference Group, was named NSW Young
Australian of the Year, a title she later relinquished.
She was released without charge hours after her arrest,
having told police she was a cocaine user, but had never
supplied the drug.
Peter Bodor QC, for the state of NSW, suggested she said
the following to police officers before an interview was
"I am supposed to be a role model, I am a finalist in
the NSW Young Australian of the Year.
"I spoke at your multicultural day, how embarrassing,
you must have all been laughing.
"Will the media find out? Will my work find out?"
Ms Hage-Ali denied saying those words.
Mr Bodor also suggested that when she was arrested at
her family's home, her mother said: "Not Iktimal, she is
a good one, you must have got it wrong".
Ms Hage-Ali also denied that her mother said those
The hearing is continuing before Judge Michael Elkaim.
you can't wait for the Simpsons' Mypods and Boomsticks that was
reviewed in last week's
CCN0213 to get
to our screens you can watch the episode by copying and
pasting the following link in your browser:
Unfortunately, at this
stage you will only be able to view the episode using the
Mozilla Firefox browser.
Objections to Islamic school overruled
AN ISLAMIC school catering
to more than 1000 students in Sydney's south-west has
been approved, despite thousands of objections by
The NSW Land and Environment Court yesterday granted
approval for Salamah College to be built in Bass Hill,
questioning whether such a strenuous challenge would
have taken place had the school been built by members of
another religious group.
More than 1800 objections were made when the
development, which will include room for 1200
kindergarten to year 12 students, a gymnasium, school
hall and separate 30-place child-care centre, when it
was first advertised by Bankstown Council.
That number dropped to 1400 after further amendments
were made to plans for the private school, to be built
on a block adjoining Bass Hill High School.
Six hundred people wrote to the council in support of
the school. However, the council objected to the
The solicitor representing the school, Jane Hewitt, said
most of the written objections were sent on pro forma
letters photocopied and signed by locals. There were
comments about noise, traffic congestion and on whether
another school was needed in the area.
"They didn't clearly raise the Muslim issue [but] it was
always a hidden agenda," she said.
In his judgment, Senior Commissioner John Roseth said he
believed the objections were largely because it was an
Islamic school, and he wondered whether the same number
of objections would have been made had it been the
Commissioner Roseth granted approval to the development
but asked for the plan to be amended slightly, including
that the school hall be set back further from the road
to allow landscaping.
Mohamed El Dana, the principal of its sister school Al
Amanah College, in Liverpool, and who lodged the
development application, said he expected the
development to be completed quickly.
El-Fatatry (pictured left),
an Egyptian working out of Finland,
reckons now is a excellent time to
create a world aimed at Muslims.
is the man behind the two-year-old
Muxlim, a kind of MySpace for
Muslims, visited more than 1m times a
month by members in almost 200
countries. And this week his latest
Muxlim Pal, a virtual world similar
to Second Life, opened its doors to
El-Fatatry is an entrepreneur with an impressive track
record for tailoring technology to the Islamic diaspora
in innovative ways. More than a decade before popular
photo-sharing websites such as Flickr, he was creating
personal web pages where he and his friends could
publish and comment on photographs, and by the time he
was 16 he was teaching web development at the Emirates
Institute of Technology.
Muxlim Pal are the latest in a series of
Muslim-orientated web projects that
began with the
DigitalHalal portal, leading one
profiler to describe El-Fatatry - still
in his early 20s - as "the
Linus Torvalds of the Muslim world".
The creation of a 3D virtual world,
however, represents a different scale of
launched against the backdrop of a
global recession and only weeks before
Google plans to pull the plug on its own
(never very) "Lively" digital fantasy
world, it looks as if it could be a
struggle. El-Fatatry, however, is
undaunted. So far, Islam and the social
web haven't had a completely comfortable
relationship. YouTube, Facebook, Flickr,
microblogging network Twitter and
Google's own Blogger network - the brand
giants of user-generated content - have
all, at different times and in different
Muslim countries, fallen foul of the
Data relating to Muslim take-up of
digital alternative worlds is scant, and
anybody who doesn't identify themselves
primarily by their religion won't easily
be distinguishable by casual
observation. Clearly there are Muslim
communities in Second Life, arguably the
internet's best-known virtual world; but
they seem out of place. Then again, in
Second Life, doesn't everything seem out
What began as an experiment in the
socialising potential of an immersive
experience in cutting-edge technology
has degenerated into an ethically
ambiguous playground devoted to random
sexual encounter, violence and the
behavioural excesses largely denied in
Within this context, Muslim
communities aren't offered the
opportunity to express anything like a
normal, multi-faceted lifestyle; and to
encounter religious Muslims there feels
like stumbling across an Amish village
in Tokyo. They build virtual mosques,
visit a virtual Mecca and distract
themselves with an intense focus on
In Muxlim Pal, the focus will be
elsewhere, on what El-Fatatry calls "the
Muslim lifestyle". But how does the
Muslim lifestyle differ from the
non-Muslim lifestyle? "Ah," says El-Fatatry.
"That's it. It doesn't. We think of the
Muslim lifestyle as a very rich
experience which is not very different
to any other lifestyle out there. But at
the core are the core Muslim values."
These are the values, he says, that
will continue to guide the discourse on
Muxlim, keeping things polite; and
they'll guide the behaviour on Muxlim
Pal, too. They'll keep things nice.
Visually, Muxlim Pal's more Habbo
Hotel than Second Life. But how
specifically Muslim is it? "There's a
mosque social yard, but that's about the
only place related to religion," says
El-Fatatry. "Pal City does, however,
have a mall, a café, an arena where
virtual concerts will be held. It will
be an enjoyable experience for everyone,
whether they are Muslims or
Culture-specific elements include a
Pal's ability to pray; and female Pals
can - should they wish - wear
headscarves. What Pals do in the privacy
of their own rooms is their business,
but the technology for sexual activity
isn't provided - not for religious
reasons, says El Fatatry, but because he
wants it to be family-friendly, Other
than that, it will be entirely
And this is what makes the Muxlim
experiment so potentially fascinating.
While the combination of anonymity and
quick and easy publication has led many
read-write web projects into a
lowest-common-denominator mire, a waste
of their technological potential
(consider the comments section over at
YouTube), the shared values of the
Muxlim membership appear to have created
something like an intelligent consensus.
Inevitably, the elephant in this
particular room is religious extremism.
Has the Muxlim network been tested by a
fundamentalist element? El-Fatatry says:
"When something like that does happen,
users are very vigilant and they tell
us. If enough people report something,
the technology means it's automatically
buried. If it happens time and again,
the user account is removed. Honestly,
they would find more freedom to go and
express their views on YouTube. Here,
their voice just won't be heard. When
the power is in the hands of the
majority to self-moderate, you have
nothing to worry about."
El-Fatatry's argument is that the
mainstream remains the mainstream,
whatever fringe elements join or leave,
and a mainstream that operates with
shared core values will make Muxlim Pal
a tolerant and enjoyable place. As
Muxlim grows and reaches out, El-Fatatry
says he expects that the world will be
joined by security forces. Is he
concerned? "We welcome on board anybody
who'd like to come and look at Muxlim,
and look at the community in there," he
says. "Please come and create an
account, we invite you, and you will
find that this is a friendly,
accommodating and very enjoyable
experience that you might not find in
many other places."
There is already a non-Muslim
presence in Muxlim, says, El-Fatatry -
2% of the membership is not Muslim. He
wants to increase that figure to 10%.
But what about that business plan?
Two years ago, global advertising and
marketing giant JWT conducted the first
significant research into the Muslim
market, focusing on Muslims in the US
Ann Mack, JWT's New York-based
director of trendspotting, says that
what they discovered surprised them.
"Here was a global community who said
they felt ignored by the big brands.
They had money. They simply weren't
addressed by the marketing community."
Marketers have apparently sleepwalked
past what is possibly the largest and
and most wealthy emerging global market.
What the marketers lack, says Mack, is
an introduction to that community. El-Fatatry
hopes that Muxlim and Muxlim Pal will
bridge that cultural gap and so provide
While his vision is for a Pal City
that's Muslim in ethics and character,
he wants it to be global in brand
representation. To that end, in-game
advertising has been built into the
model from the start, and El-Fatatry
says he would be keen, for example,to
open a virtual Ikea store within Pal
However, these are early days.
Internet penetration in many Muslim
countries is behind that in the
developed world. But smart companies
respond to a downturn by looking for
emerging markets. With more than 20
million Muslims in Russia, a similar
number in China, and a global presence
of more than a billion Muslims, many
located in countries better positioned
to ride out the economic woes, a
Muslim-friendly social web space seems
And if Pal City lives up to its
promise, it might provide an antidote to
the often antisocial web of the
Download and install the Quran and translations for
free from the iPhone AppStore.
"Richly featured and fully
interactive! Specially designed to allow easy reading
with easy scrolling, iPhone style. With excellent
built-in audio capabilities, iQuran utilizes these to
provide a very satisfying recitation playback
experience, excellent navigation and fast scrolling
support with verse for verse recitation along with
auto-scrolling and verse highlighting."
[CCN Editor] The
only snag is initially having to download each sura from
the Internet. So make sure you are using a wireless
internet connection to complete this task. There is an
option to download all the suras in one go.
BBQ to bring together the families of Muslim converts
was held at the Glindemann Park in Holland Park
Some 80 people took the
opportunity to meet and catch up with fellow Muslims.
The event was put together
by Dr. Daud Batchelor and Ms. Aisha Dennis.
Ms. Bayaan Weise
who maintains the
Women's Convert Support Group website told our CCN
reporter that ever since appearing in the CCN's Useful
Links column they have been receiving over 100 visitors
a day to their site.
The event was also an occasion to
promote a series of courses being planned and targeted
towards new Muslims.
It is envisaged the 13
topics will be covered over four alternate Saturdays (7,
21 March and 4, 18 April) from 9.30am to 4pm.
If you need further
information or wish to enrol or know someone who might
benefit from this program call 0413 067 160 or 0402 438
Victorian call for foster parents: Muslim families
Isomer Mosque (VIC) will next week host an information
session to encourage Muslim families to take on children
in foster care.
Mercy Mission's Muslim community development program
Daar Aasya and foster care agency Oz Child will run the
December 21 session.
Daar Aasya program manager Mohamed Elmasri (pictured
left) said the group hoped to train about five
Muslim foster families to care for foster children
either short or long term.
Daar Aasya estimates more than 100 Muslim children
require foster care in Victoria every year, but fewer
than five Muslim families are registered to offer care.
"Although there is a significant Muslim population in
Victoria, there is an under-representation of Muslim
foster carers available," Mr Elmasri said.
Muslim children had unique requirements when placed in
"This may include speaking the same language,
understanding their normal household routines and eating
The foster care information session is at the
Lysterfield Isomer Mosque, 1273 Wellington Road,
Lysterfield, 2-4.30 on Sunday, December 21.
Details/registrations: firstname.lastname@example.org or
Amla's beard attracts almost as
much attention as his batting. Which
is remarkable, given he will begin
his first Test series against
Australia with 1012 runs at 53.26
for the calendar year.
Fortunately, the South African
batsman has been happy enough to
field questions about his whiskers,
and the Muslim faith they denote, as
he has travelled the world gathering
runs and respect for his cricket
"I love it when guys ask me about
Islam or my beard. To share
knowledge is a duty," he told The
Guardian during the recent tour
of England, when he helped South
Africa to a historic series win and
was asked to compare his facial hair
with that of W.G. Grace. "I have
seen pictures of his beard but mine
is definitely shorter. The optimum
length for me, as a Muslim, is for
the beard to be of fist-length. But
it is not purely a tribute to Islam.
If you go back many years the beard
is a tribute to all the faiths
stemming from the biblical Abraham —
or Ibrahim, as we say in Islam,"
Amla said at the time.
"In the Christian tradition Jesus,
peace be upon him, has a beard. In
the Jewish tradition Moses has a
beard. And in Islam we have
Muhammad, whom Muslims believe is
the final messenger, and he kept a
beard because it was the tradition
of all the other messengers before
him. We see it as universal."
By the time Amla left England, with
a series average of 45 and an
effortless century at Lord's, he had
transcended the curiosity value that
comes from being the Proteas' first
cricketer of Indian descent, and the
only Muslim in the dressing room.
As one of three South African
batsmen to have topped 1000 runs in
2008, he must be hoping for a
similar impact this summer, when he
will bat at first drop in the quest
for his country's first series
victory on Australian soil and, as a
prominent and proud Islamic
sportsman, carries more
responsibility than the average No.
"I am very much here with an open
mind," Amla said this week, his
green shirt notable for the absence
of beer logos worn by his teammates,
a request granted by Cricket South
Africa since his 2004 debut.
"I really don't see myself a role
model but … it would be very naive
(to think) that a sportsman is
anything but a real role model as
"I try to practise my faith to the
best of my ability. If people see
that in a positive light …
"Fortunately South Africa is a
country that is very understanding.
We do come from a difficult path
with the racial prejudices that did
exist … When I made the team and I
put forward the request (to remove
logos promoting alcohol) they were
very much accommodating."
is the son of a doctor and his
grandparents hail from Surat in the
Indian state of Gujarat.
He was anointed young, and led South
Africa to the final of the under-19
World Cup before enduring a
difficult introduction to the Test
team, averaging 25 in his first
dozen Tests. In an expansive
interview this year with South
African journalist Neil Manthorp,
Amla said his religion was
compatible with the discipline
required to reach the pinnacle of
He also said he had forgiven former
Australian batsman Dean Jones for
calling him a "terrorist" when he
thought the commentary microphone
was off during a match against Sri
Lanka in Colombo in 2006.
His responses in that interview,
published on the Cricket Nirvana
website, revealed a maturity that
helps explain why the 25-year-old is
regarded as a future South African
"We're only human. He (Jones) called
me afterwards to apologise and, in
the ways of our teaching, I forgave
him. Why make an incident of it? He
was genuinely sorry and I accepted
that," said Amla.
"When you're playing for South
Africa you know the spotlight is on
you. I've always believed that when
you're on the cricket field it's all
about performance …
"You want to do the country proud.
If people want to see me as an
Indian or a Muslim, that's up to
"But I'm a South African trying to
win a game for South Africa. I guess
I do stick out."
If he can prosper in Australia, it
will be his batting rather than his
beard that stands out.
The last 30 years in
Egypt have seen a rise in Islamic fundamentalism,
attacks on religious minorities, and evidence of
increasing right win militancy among some Christian
communities who are under attack.
And all this is occurring within a political context of
the suppression of opposition parties, and flagrant
human rights abuses of pro-democracy activists.
Egypt has been ruled under an emergency law since 1981,
which allows authorities to ban strikes, demonstrations
and public meetings; to censor or close down newspapers
and other media, and to monitor private letters and
But the internet generation in Egypt has begun to
organise and create new spaces for people and ideas to
meet, and they're not about to back down.
Here's Nadyat El Gawley on the growing debate around
secularism in Egypt, and the passions that drive it.
Parliament's 122 MPs were
sworn in during the week, 35 of them for the first time.
The proclamation issued by
Governor-General Anand Satyanand, summoning the 49th
Parliament, was read by Chief Justice Sean Elias and the
oath of allegiance was administered by the Clerk of
Parliament, Mary Harris.
All MPs declared their true allegiance to Queen
Elizabeth, her heirs and successors, according to law.
Most MPs swore their oaths on the Bible while others
chose to attest. Labour's
Ashraf Choudhary again swore an oath on the
Koran, as did other Muslim members.
Most Maori MPs took the oath in Maori, and the Maori
Party's Hone Harawira read his own declaration, which
included allegiance to the Treaty of Waitangi, before
reading the official version.
Labour MP Su'a William Sio had wanted to take his oath
in Samoan but was told it had to be in the official
languages of English or Maori.
However, he was allowed to speak it in Samoan before
taking the oath in English.
500 French-Muslim war
graves at Notre-Dame-de-Lorette desecrated
VANDALS daubed swastikas
and anti-Islam slogans on 500 graves of French Muslim
war veterans in an attack President Nicolas Sarkozy
condemned as "revolting."
It was the third time over the past two years that
Muslim tombstones were desecrated at the Notre-Dame-de-Lorette
cemetery, one of the nation's biggest military
graveyards, in northern France.
About 500 of the 576 Muslim graves were defaced on
Sunday, the eve of Islam's Eid al-Adha feast, and the
damage was discovered early on Monday by a passerby,
state prosecutor Jean-Pierre Valensi told reporters at
Europe's human rights
court has thrown out a complaint by two French Muslim
girls who were expelled from their school for refusing
to remove their headscarves during sports lessons.
France, which takes secularism in state schools very
seriously, passed a law in 2004 banning pupils from
wearing conspicuous signs of their religion at school
after a decade of bitter debate about Muslim girls
wearing headscarves in class.
"The court observed that the purpose of the restriction
on the applicants' right to manifest their religious
convictions was to adhere to the requirements of
secularism in state schools," the European Court of
Human Rights said.
The two girls were 11 and 12 when they were expelled in
1999. After French courts ruled against them, they
complained to the European court that their school had
violated their freedom of religion and their right to an
20 young doctors graduate
in Somalia, first in years
They dodged fire-fights
on their way to school, manoeuvring through one of the
world's most violent cities. Yet 20 men and women
accomplished something that nobody in Somalia has done
in nearly two decades: They graduated from medical
With the men wearing
suits and ties and the women in Muslim headscarves, the
graduates smiled for a portrait and hoisted their
diplomas in the air after a six-year program. Given
Somalia's chaos, it is likely the medical degrees will
be recognized only in Somalia, not overseas.
many European municipalities and a few American ones
accommodating Islam is a big dilemma—but not an
IN CITIES all over
Europe, mayors are fretting about the coming religious
festivities. No, not just Christmas lights. They want to
ensure hygiene and order in the slaughter of sheep for
the feast of Eid al-Adha on December 8th. This remembers
the readiness of Abraham—the patriarch revered by all
three monotheistic faiths—to sacrifice his son. Muslims
often sacrifice a lamb, whose meat is shared with family
members and the poor.
In the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek, where the dominant
culture is that of Morocco, a circular from the district
authorities reminds residents not to kill animals at
home. It invites them to a “temporary abattoir” that
will function for 48 hours in a council garage.
Molenbeek is one of four areas of Brussels which have
set up makeshift slaughterhouses, each with a capacity
of at least 500 sheep.
gym at Bridge Academy is full of children playing floor
hockey. Boys and girls squeal as they chase the puck; a
helpless teacher looks on. A homely American scene,
except that most girls wear the hijab. This is
Hamtramck, a town within the borders of Detroit, where
the Muslim factor plays big in local politics.
In America as a whole, the fate of Muslims differs
confusingly from the situation in Europe. American
Muslims are in many ways better integrated and more
successful. The constitutional right to freedom of
religion protects their right to build mosques. But many
report a recent rise in anti-Muslim prejudice,
especially in parts of America where Islam is a
little-known “other”. Greater Detroit is different;
Islam is a formidable force in public affairs.
Michigan’s first Muslim state legislator served in the
1960s. The first female Muslim legislator was elected
last month. In Hamtramck, two out of six councillors are
Book Review at Shelfari: Is the
modern West lost in a crisis of meaning? Or are events
like those surrounding the death of Princess Diana,
signs of something else? Could they be the expressions
of the drive to find a myth we can all believe in? Ego
and Soul is an engaging and lucid look at where Western
society is heading as we approach the new millennium.
Modern preoccupations such as work, sport, computers,
cars, and the celebrity cults of Marilyn Monroe and
Elvis Presley are sifted through classical themes as
John Carroll finds evidence we are in our everyday lives
inhaling that deepening sacred breath.
Would you like to see the cover of
your favourite book on our book shelves below?
University of Queensland,
323 Hawken Drive,
Event: Weekly Learning Circle: Sharh
Riyad-us-Saliheen (An Explanation of
'Gardens of the Righteous'
Venue: Prayer Room, University of Queensland
Time: 6.45pm to 7.30pm
Fiqh Made Easy
Room E215 Building 1 (Forgan Smith),
University of Queensland
Time: 6.30pm to 7.35pm
Tafseer al Qur'an (Explanation of the
Venue: Room E215 Building 1 (Forgan Smith),
University of Queensland
Time: 7.45pm to 9pm
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.
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particularly if they eventually turn out to be libelous,
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It is the usual policy of CCN to include
from time to time, notices of events that some readers
may find interesting or relevant. Such notices are often
posted as received. Including such messages or providing
the details of such events does not necessarily imply
endorsement of the contents of these events by either
CCN or Crescents of Brisbane Inc.