under fire after leaving 'Christmas' off flags
A NORTH Queensland Council that
dodged using the word "Christmas" on its festive
season flags has been accused of pandering to
Muslim fundamentalists and of taking political
correctness to the absolute limits.
The Whitsunday Regional Council has been dished
up a yuletide serve from religious leaders over
its omission of "Christmas" on flags
hanging in Bowen, Proserpine and the party town
of Airlie Beach.
far as the
Father Chris Yule from the
Anglican Parish Whitsunday said he was
personally offended by the meaningless messages.
He said Christmas was about the birth of Jesus
Christ and not about holidays. Father Yule said
the only people who objected to the word -
Christmas" were fanatical Muslims. He said for
the vast majority of Australians, Christmas was
a much-loved part of the lifestyle and culture.
"We are getting more and more non-Christian
people coming into the country, but the only
ones who kick up a stink are the more fanatical
Muslims," Fr Yule said. "There are fanatics who
try to block the Christmas message. "It is
political correctness gone mad to change from
'Merry Christmas' to 'Season's Greetings'. "This
is our culture, our lifestyle. Who gave the
council the right to change the wording? It
doesn't have any right to change it."
Islamic leaders contacted had no
issues with Christmas. Islamic Council of
Queensland president Mohammed Yusuf(pictured
right) said neither he nor his organisation
were offended by the word "Christmas". He said
he would be happy if the Whitsunday Regional
Council had hung banners bearing the words
"Merry Christmas". "We respect everyone's
religion, their cultures and their festivals.
There is nothing offensive to Muslims as far as
the celebration of Christmas is concerned," he
Mr Yusuf said that Islam and
Christianity came from "the same roots" and that
Jesus was a respected Islamic prophet. "We
respect Jesus the same as Christian people.
Jesus is one of the most respected prophets in
Islam. We give Jesus more respect than a lot of
the Christians who mock and ridicule him. We
would never do that. It offends us when people
mock or denigrate Jesus in any way. We would
never make jokes about our prophets," he said.
Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor
Mike Brunker said the banners were not meant to
be offensive and he was surprised at the
controversy they had created. He said there had
been no deliberate attempt at political
correctness on the part of council.
"The people who are complaining
should come and have a look at our Bowen council
building. It's got Merry Christmas signage on it
that lights up at night," he said.
Reverend Terry Ayling, the
Uniting Church's Whitsunday Tourism Chaplain
based on Hamilton Island, said in a letter to
the Whitsunday Regional Council that its festive
season message had been "poorly thought out". He
said he understood the need for sensitivity, but
that when it came to Christmas "the baby should
not be thrown out with the bath water".
but at home
we have a
We do this
Rev Ayling told council it should
consider changing the word "holidays" on its
banners to something less contentious. "(The
word) 'holidays' comes from the religious notion
of Holy Days. May I suggest council uses 'Happy
Annual Leave' or for people working in the
travel industry, 'Happy Work Day on Less Than
Generous Penalty Rates'. "Not content with a re-badging
of "holidays", Rev Ayling said council might
also want to reconsider using the word 'happy'
as well. He said that for many people, Christmas
would be far from happy.
Townsville Muslim community
leader Rahila Talic said it would not worry her
if the Whitsunday Regional Council had put
"Merry Christmas" on its banners. She said
Muslims respected Jesus and that his name was
mentioned in the Muslim holy book, the Koran.
"We don't celebrate his birth, but at home in
the Philippines we have a holiday on Christmas
Day and close shops. We do this out of respect
to the religions that celebrate Christmas," she
Father Yule said he hoped council
would throw the banners out and put up ones with
a proper Christmas message next year.
Hazleton's views on the Quran!
Lesley Hazleton (born 1945) is an
award-winning British-American writer whose work
focuses on the intersection of politics,
religion, and history, especially in the Middle
East. She reported from Israel for Time, and has
written on the Middle East for numerous
publications including The New York Times, The
New York Review of Books, Harper's, The Nation,
and The New Republic.
Hazleton was born in England, and became a
United States citizen in 1994. She was based in
Jerusalem from 1966 to 1979 and in New York City
from 1979 to 1992, when she moved to her current
home in Seattle WA, originally to get her
pilot's license. She has two degrees in
psychology (B.A. Manchester University, M.A.
Hebrew University of Jerusalem).
She has described herself as "a Jew who once
seriously considered becoming a rabbi, a former
convent schoolgirl who daydreamed about being a
nun, she is an agnostic with a deep sense of
with Dr Haneef
Dr Mohammed Haneef, the
former Gold Coast doctor, who was accused, in
2007, of terrorist-related activities and
subsequently exonerated, his wife Firdous
and their 3-year-old daughter, Haniyah
attended a dinner held in their honour this week
at the d'Lahori Restaurant.
Master of Ceremonies, MustafaAlly, said that the dinner was a
celebration party, "a celebration of a case that
became a cause célèbre, and a defining moment in
Australian politics that saw us plummet to the
depths of despair only to rise to heights that
would restore our faith in the country, its
media and its political and legal processes."
"There were more than enough people in the
country wanting to see Dr Haneef get a fair go,
and sufficient mechanisms in place to ensure
that justice and due compensation would
eventually prevail," Ally told the guests.
Amongst the list of speakers
Mustafa Ally called up on the night were lawyer,
Peter Russo, who has been by Dr Hanneef's
side from the day the saga started, and Roy
Sommerville, the first person to offer to
post the $10000 bail money for Dr Hanneef in
2007. Each took pains to point out the role that
the local Muslim community played during the
time of Dr Haneef's arrest and how they
spontaneously rallied to the cause.
Overcome by the support and
goodwill shown to him and his family, a
naturally quiet and unassuming Dr Haneef
expressed his gratitude to the community and the
Almighty for standing by him during his trails.
Dr Haneef and his family, who
arrived in Brisbane last week for mediation
talks that saw him reach an amicable settlement
in the way of an apology and compensation from
the Australian Government, returned to the
Emirates on Friday where he is presently
Muslims Celebrating Educational Excellence
The Islamic College of Brisbane
is celebrating its second OP 1 student, Ms
Sydney's Malek Fahd Islamic
School achieved the highest results in the
Bankstown Education district and was positioned
15th in the State, with eight premiers awards.
"The outstanding results in our
schools make us proud of the achievements of the
students," Mr Ikebal Patel, told CCN.
"These results are a clear indication of the
ongoing delivery of improved facilities and in
conjunction with an emphasis on staff training,
accountability and greater transparency across
Hip Hooray! For Nandos' a jolly good franchise...and so
say all of us
Naseera and Laaiqah
prepare to cut the birthday cake
The Ally family,
Mohammed, Mairoon and their three
daughters, Laaiqah, Naseera and
Nasreen, had much to celebrate last Sunday
when their Nandos outlet in Mt Gravatt achieved
its 10th year in business.
Amongst the first of the popular
franchises to open in Australia offering halal
fastfood, the restaurant would serve as the
springboard for a number of outlets around the
country with Brisbane alone boasting over eight
To mark the occasion, Mohammed
and Mairoon opened their doors to a celebratory
party last week, and despite some inclement
Brisbane weather, hundreds turned up to partake
in the endless servings of burgers, chicken
wings and chicken wraps as well as giveaways and
should replace vacuum
When the title of ''Multicultural
Affairs'' was dropped from the Department of
Immigration and Citizenship, the sector may well
have cried, ''Et tu Brutus!'' This was the last
bastion of multiculturalism, which had been
forced to slink away from the powerful offices
of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in its heyday
into forgotten corners of immigration and
citizenship issues. Australians are shocked when
they are portrayed as an intolerant society. Yet
that is what the image of Australia has become
and this reputation of intolerance is growing at
an international level.
The rhetoric of the past two elections has not
helped the situation.
Indeed politicians on both sides of politics
gave permission for race and culture to be
vilified. Australia's last multicultural policy
expired in 2006.
Even before this, multiculturalism had been in
retreat. Today it is only discussed in short
term political issues such as immigration.
Recently the Parliamentary Secretary for
Immigration and Citizenship, Kate Lundy, who is
responsible for the nameless multicultural
affairs portfolio, announced that a new
multicultural policy is imminent.
After a policy vacuum in this sector, we need a
new policy that will finally embrace the reality
of Australia's cultural diversity. That's why
over 100 organisations recently gave their
support to the Reclaim Multiculturalism
statement which calls for a policy that will
manage cultural diversity for all Australians.
We do not want ''culture by any other name''
including terms such as social cohesion, social
harmony and access and equity.
tourism on the fast track
A CLASH between the holy month of
Ramadan and Muslims' traditional holiday time on
the Coast is expected to cause Arab visitor
numbers to shrink over the next few years.
But Arabian Gulf tourism
specialist Lawand Travel is preparing the best
possible spin on the overlap.
It will push the fact that
because Ramadan coincides with the Coast winter,
when there are fewer sunlight hours, Muslims
won't have to fast for as long as they do at
The company linked to about 90
per cent of inbound travellers from the region
says another selling point will be the cooler
weather, which will mean that the urge to drink
during the day won't be as strong as in the
blistering Gulf summer.
There are also plans to put on
free fast-breaking dinners three times a week at
a Surfers Paradise restaurant.
Lawand's Nassif Lawand says while
it may not convince Muslims to holiday Down
Under during Ramadan, it will at least create
goodwill towards the Goldie.
Source: Gold Coast Bulletin
[CCN Editor] Perhaps also
promoting the fact that a fine Mosque with
excellent ifthaars and taraweeh is only a short
distance away at 2 Allied Drive, Arundel might
also help here.
readers from around the globe
Great news for the Muslim community of Browns
Plains and surrounding areas! Five times salaat
and Juma are now being held at Al-Mustapha
Institute of Brisbane. Juma commences at
Al-Mustapha Institute of Brisbane is located at
39 Bushmills Court, Hillcrest Q 4118.
Suleman and her daughters (Safoora, Nazira,
Iffat and Hafizah) and families would like to
wish their father and grandfather, M.H
Alimahomed, a happy 100th birthday.
Otherwise known as Hoosni Fwa, Mr
Alimahomed lives in Leicester (UK) and he
celebrates his birthday on the 26th of December.
In his 100 years he has seen 12
grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren and 4
great, great grandchildren, SubhanAllah!
We pray that the Almighty grants
him the strength to see many more years,
Hoosni Fwa has already received a
letter from the Queen wishing him well
The Suleman Family of Brisbane
the Muslim World with CCN
Sarkozy to target Muslim prayers
Sarkozy will take another lurch to the Right
with a speech on New Year's Eve calling
Muslim prayers in the street "unacceptable".
FRANCE: After his expulsions of gypsies and
a crackdown on immigrant crime, the French
President will warn that the overflow of
Muslim faithful on to the streets at prayer
time when mosques are packed to capacity
risks undermining the French secular
tradition separating state and religion.
He will doubtless be accused of pandering to
the far Right: the issue of Muslim prayers
in the street has been brought to the fore
by Marine Le Pen, the charismatic new
figurehead of the National Front, who
compared it to the wartime occupation of
Her words provoked uproar on the Left, whose
commentators took them as evidence that far
from being the gentler face of the far
Right, Ms Le Pen, 42, is no different from
Jean-Marie, 82, her father, who has been
accused of racism and Holocaust denial.
According to his aide, Mr Sarkozy agrees
with the junior Le Pen that the street
cannot be allowed to become "an extension of
the mosque" as it does in some parts of
Paris, which are closed to traffic because
of the overflow of the faithful. Local
authorities have declined to intervene,
despite public complaints, because they are
afraid of sparking riots.
"People overreacted to Marine Le Pen's
comments," said the aide, referring to the
furore in which she was accused of
rabble-rousing racism. "She is right: this
phenomenon is unacceptable."
The tall, blonde Ms Le Pen is expected to
succeed her father as head of the National
Front at a party congress next month.
became a forensic crime scene investigator,
then a pilot, and now she is also an MBA
graduate. SIERAAJ AHMED fnds out why for
Fatima Jakoet the sky was not the limit.
AS A LITTLE girl growing up in Wellington,
near Cape Town, FatimaJakoet(pictured right) dreamed big: she
wanted to be a doctor, a spy, a pilot, a
supermodel … and though she may not have
ticked all those boxes, she has certainly
already attained a few landmark goals.
Jakoet (36) is not only a 2009 MBA graduate,
but she has also been a pilot for South
African Airways for the past five years. And
in the days before she took to the skies,
she spent six years working as a forensic
scientist and crime scene investigator.
She smiles as
she relates how her unusual career path
unfolded. “I wanted to study medicine, but I
wasn’t accepted, so I studied chemistry. I
worked in the field of forensic science for
a few years, but my childhood dream of being
a pilot was always in the back of my mind.”
“I have always been greatly
inspired by a saying attributed to Islam’s
prophet, Muhammad: ‘Seek knowledge from the
cradle to the grave’,” Jakoet says of her
latest milestone. “When I started flying, I
knew I wanted to give back to the community
in a more ‘big picture’ way, and I thought
an MBA would be the perfect grooming tool to
sharpen my skills, teach me new ones, and
prepare me to interact with people on a
One thing Jakoet quickly had
to learn to deal with is other people’s
opinions about a Muslim woman working in two
industries that are still seen as the domain
“Sometimes I wonder how I
would cope in a female-dominated
environment, after all these years in
male-dominated environments!” she says. “!e
way I deal with pre-judgments of me as a
Muslim woman has become so automatic
that I don’t even think about it
anymore. It’s about attitude and how
you see yourself: if you’re not confident,
people will step all over you, whether
you’re a man or a woman. Pilots have a
saying: ‘Your attitude determines your
altitude’. Whatever your attitude,
that’s where you’ll find yourself.”
the full article
awarded UN prize for human rights
Human rights defender Asma
Jahangir has been awarded the Bilbao Prize
for the Promotion of a culture of Human
leading human rights defender, Asma
Jahangir, has been awarded the Bilbao
Prize for the Promotion of a Culture of
Jahangir received the UN
award, which includes a $25,000 cash
reward, a diploma and a trophy at a
ceremony in Bilbao, Spain, on the
Human Rights Day [December 10].
According to a UN
Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organisation (UNESCO) spokesman,
Jahangir was awarded for “her commitment to
fostering inter-religious and inter- ultural
dialogue, tolerance, mutual understanding
and cooperation for peace.”
Jahangir was nominated by
UNESCO Director, Irina Bokova, in
recognition of her work in Pakistan’s
Supreme Court where she championed the
rights of religious minorities, women and
Jahangir is the President of
the Supreme Court Bar Association of
Pakistan, a founding member of the
Human Rights Commission of Pakistan
and served as its Secretary-General
Internationally, Jahangir is
known for her roles as the UN Special
Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or
Belief, and the UN Special Rapporteur
on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary
In 2005 she was nominated for the Nobel
Peace Prize as part of the 1000 Women for
withdraws from Turkey event after protest on
his ‘anti-Islam’ views
Writer V S Naipul pulled out of the
European Writers’ Parliament in İstanbul
after several Turkish writers threatened to
boycott the event if he attended,
citing what was considered to be his
anti-Islamic remarks in the past.
invited to deliver the opening speech
on November 25.
Trinidadian writer of Indian descent
who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in
2001, offended many Muslims in 2001 when
he compared the religion’s effects to “the
colonial abolition of identity.”
He said it
“has had a calamitous effect on
converted peoples” following his visits to
Iran, Pakistan, Malaysia and Indonesia,
claiming that Islam had both enslaved and
attempted to wipe out other cultures.
the Muslim News
discover a new planet
new planet orbiting a distant star, has been
discovered by a Qatari astronomer and
scientists in the UK and US
Qatar-1b (see artist's impression right),
a new planet orbiting a distant star, has
been discovered by a Qatari astronomer and
scientists in the UK and US, Qatari media
The ‘hot Jupiter’ adds to the growing list
of planets orbiting distant stars, or
exoplanets. The team from the universities
of St Andrews, Leicester and Keele in the
United Kingdom and the Harvard-Smithsonian
Center for Astrophysics (CfA) in the United
States submitted their results to the
journal, Monthly Notices of the Royal
“Qatar is proud to contribute to the search
for planets around other stars. The
discovery of Qatar-1b is a great achievement
– one that further demonstrates Qatar’s
commitment to becoming a leader in
innovative science and research,” said Dr
Khalid Al Subai, leader of the Qatar
exoplanet survey and a research director at
Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and
Community Development. “The discovery of
Qatar-1b marks the beginning of a new era of
collaborative astrophysics research between
Qatar, the United Kingdom, and the United
States” he said, quoted by Gulf Times.
ISLAM TV this week
If you are unable to view Islam
TV here open this CCN newsletter in Firefox or
About Muhammad: The Other Western
Perspective on the Prophet of Islam
Edited with an Introduction by Abdelwahab
Review by Muhammad Khan
editor has collected excerpts from the works of twelve
Western writers, focusing primarily on the life and
teachings of the Prophet of Islam.
anthology of Western writings on the Prophet of Islam is
a useful addition to the literature on the subject. By
compiling this anthology, the editor hoped to
“…further the dialogue between the adherents of
Islam and other faiths by showing Muslims that not
all Westerners harbour implacable hostility to
Islam, and by offering others a different
perspective on the life of the man who is still
the “most talked-of person in the whole range of
human history,” as one author recently put it.
Muhammad Khan. M Khan is author of The Muslim 100, and
The Muslim Heritage of Bengal; he is a Founding
Director of Bengal Muslim Research Institute UK
KB SAYS:This is a very quick,
fresh and delicious meal which can be served straight
from the wok.
The vegetables could be prepared before hand and set
aside and stir fried only 15 minutes before you are
ready to serve. Great summer dish!
500g rump or
fillet steak fillets or chicken breast cut
2 tab olive oil
½ tab Sesame Oil
1 tsp crushed garlic and ginger
1tsp red chillies
½ tsp salt
¼ cup of cashews
Vegetables of your choice or:
2 carrots julienned
100g button mushrooms slice
¼ cabbage finely sliced
1 medium zucchini sliced
¼ cup bean sprouts
½ green and ½ red pepper sliced
110g snow peas, slice diagonally
1 onion finely sliced
230 can sliced water chestnuts
1 can of baby corn
2 tab of soy sauce mixed with 1 tab corn
2 tab sweet chilli sauce
1 tab lemon juice
1 tab hot chilli sauce
1 tab sweet and sour sauce or Mrs Ball’s red
1. Heat olive and sesame oil in a wok.
2. Add ginger,
garlic and red chillies and stir fry on high
heat for 1 minute
3. Add meat of
your choice, add salt and stir fry until
cooked and take it out of the wok and set
4. Now add all
the vegetables and stir fry on high heat for
approx 5 minutes.
5. Add the
cooked meat and then add the sauces.
6. Lastly add
the cashews, stir fry for I minute and then
add Singapore noodles, stir fry heating the
noodles can be found in the refrigerator
section of your supermarket or you could use
Angel Hair pasta.
Considering your resolutions for 2011? Then the
following may help you in setting some goals for the New
* Exercise is an excellent way to relieve tension in
your muscles and relax your mind. Try to do something
physical every day - even a simple walk will take some
weight off your shoulders.
* Swimming is great for upper body strength, especially
your back. The act of pulling yourself through the water
particularly targets the muscles in your back, which is
great for toning as well. It also effectively targets
your core (abs).
* You will achieve faster results if you are consistent
with your exercise and change your routine every 6 - 8
* When you run/jog your body's temperature increases,
encouraging your blood to move more quickly. Your body
will then begin to use your carbohydrate stores to fuel
your run. After about 10 minutes your body enters a zone
where you're running on autopilot.
* Soft drinks may give you an instant pick-me-up, but
the side effects are not worth the fizz. You can easily
become dehydrated within 40 minutes of having the drink.
Just one can contains seven teaspoons of sugar!
* You are responsible for what you put in your body -
make simple but smart diet choices and not only will you
feel great, your skin will glow!
All questions sent in are published here anonymously
and without any references to the author of the
The CCN Chuckle
and his wife, Gulsumbibi go out to dinner to
celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.
On the way
home, Gulsumbibi notices a tear in Mula Nasruddin's
eye and asks if he's getting sentimental because
they're celebrating 50 wonderful years together.
replies, "No, I was thinking about the time
before we got married. Your father threatened me
with a shotgun and said he'd have me thrown in
jail for 50 years if I didn't marry you.
Tomorrow I would've been a free man!"
Click on image to enlarge
Events and Functions
Islamic Programmes, Education & Services
Prep Year @ ICB
Due to popular
demand and parents' requests the
ICB intends starting a fifth
stream of Prep Year with only
ten places left for the fifth
khair. I would like to thank FLIGHT STAR & THE
STAFF & MANAGEMENT for selling me an excellent
package for Hajj 2010. It was a trip of my life
time. I would pray to Almighty to reward
each and everyone for there effort in making our
trip more enjoyable. Special thanks to QARI UMAR,
MAULANA NURUL-AL HASSAN and BROTHER YASEEN. May
Allah reward them all. Zahid
Just a short note to say thank you so much for
all the effort and hard work you, Fatima, Uncle
Omar and the team at Flight Star Travel put in
to ensure what I would describe as a most
beautiful Hajj experience. From my initial
enquiry, to obtaining visas, issuing of tickets
as well as the farewell I must say a very big
thank you of which we are most grateful and
appreciative of. Jazaakallah. Salaams and Duas.
Mohammed and Abdul Rashid Osman
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