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



Sunday, 5 April 2009

 .Newsletter 0230


News you won't find on CNN!




CresWalk'09: The Countdown Begins!


Sunday 17 May 2009

Orleigh Park, West End

Register online


Registration form

A Celebration of Cultural Diversity


Last Sunday's Multicultural Harmony Day Dinner to raise funds for the Milperra State School and Mathew Holland was attended by some 200 people representing a number of different communities.


Held at Michael's Oriental Restaurant the event was put together by Crescents of Brisbane and the Lions Club of Kuraby and was well supported by the local Muslim community.


For the new Minister for Disabilities and Multicultural Affairs, Annastacia Palaszczuk MP, the occasion was a baptism of fire as both roles of her portfolio were the centre of focus on the night but the keynote address she delivered gave an early indication that she was up to the task.


A long list of prominent local politicians, community leaders and businessmen was also present with Brisbane's Deputy Mayor, Councillor Graham Quirk also displaying extraordinary auctioneering skills with his trusty gavel.


A very engaging young Mathew brought a tear to an eye or two as he thanked everyone for the support he was being given.


Ms Tania Balil-Lozoya, a music therapist at the Milperra school, was a delight to watch and listen to as she sang native Spanish songs on her guitar through the evening.   


Ms Adele Rice, Principal of the Milperra State High School, spoke passionately and in glowing terms about her pupils, many of whom had arrived in Australia deprived of any previous education having suffered war and family loss. She also acknowledged the work of her dedicated staff and volunteers who helped out at the school each week.


But the coup de grace was delivered at the end of the proceedings when Mr Peter Carroll, President of the Sunnybank Community & Sports Club and and his General Manager Mr Michael Callaghan handed Anna Holland (mother of Mathew) the keys of a maxi taxi registered in her name.


(Left to right) Michael Callaghan, Anna Holland, Mathew Holland and Peter Carroll

(left to right) Lewis Lee of sponsors the Lions Club of Brisbane Chinese receives a certificate of appreciation from Mathew Holland with David Forde looking on

(left to right) Faisal Hatia of sponsors HP Corporation receives a certificate of appreciation from Mathew Holland


(left to right) Bill Glen of sponsors the Lions Club of Kuraby receives a certificate of appreciation from Mathew Holland



Ms Susan Al-Maani and Mr. Faisel Essof (left) presented a cheque of $12 606.60 to the Executive Director of Muslim Aid Australia Mr. Iman Partoredjo (right) on behalf of the Muslim Community of Queensland who contributed to the Victoria Bush Fire Appeal.

NEW ZEALAND: Asian Muslims Tell Their Own Stories


SYDNEY, Mar 16   (IPS)  - A new book and accompanying exhibit provide rare insight into the lives of Asian Muslims, who have become an intrinsic part of New Zealand's diverse community since the first Muslim Chinese gold miners landed on its distant shores 130 years ago.

'The Crescent Moon: The Asian Face of Islam in New Zealand' largely focuses on Muslims from the Indian subcontinent, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Fiji, with the aim to create a better understanding and appreciation of Islam and the various Asian cultures that have enriched New Zealand's socio-economic and cultural fabric.

The first Muslims in the country were 15 Chinese gold miners working in Dunstan on the South Island, according to the New Zealand government census of April 1874, and by 1950 there were still only 150 followers of Islam. The 1996 census registered a Muslim population of less than 14,000.

But since 2001, the Muslim population in New Zealand has increased by 52.6 per cent. According to the last census conducted in 2006, there are 36,072 followers of Islam, most of who hail from Asia, where more than half of the world's Muslims reside.

Author Adrienne Jansen and photographer Ans Westra travelled across the island nation for over two years to create the book that features disarmingly candid interviews and photographs of 37 Asian Muslims, hailing from ethnically, culturally and theologically diverse groups, who have made New Zealand home.

There is the halal butcher Yakub Khan, who came to New Zealand from Fiji in 1981 and whose sausages do a roaring trade among Muslims and non-Muslims alike in Wellington, and Mahmood Bhikoo's grandfather, Ismail Bhikoo, who was the first Indian Muslim in New Zealand.

Today, Mahmood and Fatima Bhikoo, whose grandchildren are fifth generation New Zealanders, own and operate the Hollywood Dairy in Auckland.

Another of the interviewees is Najib Lafraie, who served as Minister of State for Foreign Affairs in the government of Afghanistan and now teaches politics at the University of Otago.

”The focus of this project was to represent that large group of Muslims of Asian descent who are part of the middle ground of New Zealand society who are rugby players, farmers, IT trainers, artists, scientists - all of those - and just getting on with their lives”, Jansen told IPS.

The book certainly doesn't cover the whole range of Asian Muslim voices in New Zealand.

As Jansen says, ”Well, it never could, they are very diverse. There are definitely some voices missing. The most conservative voice isn't there. But as a number of people commented during the project, when you are a minority in a country and you are on the margins of that minority, you are generally going to be very careful about what you say in public”.

While most people were very open, some were not so comfortable. ”When I took the photographs, I tried to get something that showed the subjects in their normal daily activities,” Westra, a renowned documentary photographer with a career spanning 50 years, told IPS.

”They often had great reservations about that and would only pose. So there is a great variety in the images, which perhaps tells us something more about the individual subjects,” she said.

”They thought the book and exhibition a worthwhile project enough to participate in this way. There were some restrictions of course. Photographing inside the mosque during a prayer session kept me as a woman for instance on the door step,” says Westra, who was born in the Netherlands and migrated to New Zealand as a young adult.

Alme Jacub was born in India, married an Indian man from New Zealand and followed him to the island nation in 1949. Her daughter Asmat Ashraf relates the story of her mother, who lost her husband early but didn't remarry.

Alme lived in the small town of Manunui for the next 23 years where ”it didn't matter what people's religion was, it was never really a topic of discussion and everyone just got along,” until the 9/11 terror attacks in the United States changed the way Muslims began to be perceived the world over.

Shegufta Molla, whose family had migrated to the United States from Bangladesh in 1973, said ”9/11 was very painful because America had been my home since I was four years old, but I didn't want my kids growing up thinking they were bad because they were different, so we came to New Zealand.”

But New Zealand, like the rest of the world, was also deeply affected by the attacks. ”It was important to help build ‘mutual interest and mutual respect' in this country, too,” Jennifer King, Director of Culture at the Asia New Zealand Foundation, which commissioned the book, told IPS.

”Following the London bombings (of the transportation system in 2005), there were a few anti-Muslim incidents here, so the book and exhibition project was designed to let participants open up a bit and tell their own stories. Participants were encouraged to say what they wanted - we never set out to create a ‘warm fuzzy' book,” she added.

While interviewing, Jansen found many people commenting on the media's coverage of Islam and terrorism.

”When a young religious studies student (whose parents are from New Zealand and Malaysia) says 'I'm constantly having to tell people I'm not going to blow myself up' - although she's being tongue in cheek, there's a definite undercurrent of seriousness, of real concern about misrepresentation of Muslims,” says Jansen, who has been a long-time teacher of English to new migrants and was co-founder of one of the first home tutoring language programmes in New Zealand.

Tayyaba Khan, who was born in Pakistan, raised in Japan and came to New Zealand at the age of 10, says since the events of 9/11, ”young people have formed an identity of what it means to be a Muslim. Some went the other way and didn't want to have anything to do with it and others like me defined themselves more specifically as Muslim.”

Jansen says, ”Many of the people I interviewed made a clear distinction between Islam and ethnicity, and wanted that well understood. There were many comments that certain practices that are widely seen as Islamic are in fact cultural.”

Yoko Shafi, who was born in Japan to a Buddhist family and met her husband, a Muslim from Pakistan, while working in New Zealand, feels people confuse religion with culture. Despite 30 years of living in New Zealand, she says, ”I'm Japanese and Muslim.” Shafi had to convert to Islam to marry her Muslim husband. She feels religion is a personal thing and that no one should be forced to follow a certain religion.

Today, New Zealand is home to Muslim migrants from about 40 different countries, including 3000 Pakeha (European) Muslims and 700 indigenous Maoris.

There is a small but growing conversion to Islam among the wider New Zealand population, and Islam is the fastest growing religion amongst the Maori community. The 2001 census figures show the number of Maori Muslims increased from 99 to 708 in the 10 years to 2001.

Some of the people interviewed for the book are third and fourth generation New Zealanders, who regard themselves totally as 'Kiwi' while at the same time paying attention to their ethnic heritage.

Warning that there is always a danger that ethnic minorities will become isolated, Jansen says, ”There are also people in this project like Tariq Ashraf who so integrates his New Zealand life and his faith that he talks about how the design of mosques in New Zealand could show the influence of the Pacific fale (house) or the Maori wharenui (meeting house).”

Several people, including Mohammad Amir, who was born in Mubarakpur in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh and is the imam of Wellington's Kilbirnie mosque, talk about how they need to accommodate the practice of their faith to the New Zealand context.

King feels most Muslim migrants have integrated well into the mainstream and that the mosques have become a melting pot. She is hopeful the exhibition that accompanies the book will travel to Islamic countries where New Zealand has diplomatic posts.




Algester Mosque Construction Commences



Excavation has started at Algester mosque marking the beginning of the first construction phase.


Fences have been erected around the site, asbestos removed from the original building and tonnes of soil have been trucked away to make way for a new-look Algester mosque.


Nine acres was initially purchased a decade ago but parcels of land have been sold off, reducing the size of the original site.


The proposed project includes a new mosque site, town house complex and Muslim community amenities on the Learoyd road property.


Algester Mosque madrasa student, Mohammed Burhan Ismail said he hoped the building upgrade would increase attendance at the mosque.


Committee member of the Islamic Society of Algester, Abdul Rahman Deen (pictured left onsite) said planning for the future was necessary for a growing community.


"Whenever you build a mosque you must build it for this generation and the one coming," Mr. Deen said.


During Friday sermons at Algester mosque, the building is full with devotees and on public holidays it is common for people to pray outside the existing building.


The ambitious building project requires ongoing funds from the community to finance the project.


Mr. Deen said Australian Muslim communities lack the commitment to produce vibrant religious communities. 

With Kennedy-inspired rhetoric Mr. Deen said, “Why aren’t people saying ‘what can I do for the Muslim community not what can the community do for me?’”.


Goodness Gracious Me!



CCN gets Up Close and Personal with......... Silma Ihram


Silma Ihram is the founder of two Islamic schools in Sydney.


She made headlines when she fought a long hard legal battle against Bankstown Airport over contamination of one of her school sites.


The legal fight was shown in a televised documentary called Silma’s school.


Highly sought after, Silma is often called upon to represent the Muslim community in the media.


As an author, documentary maker, administrator, and with a foray in politics, you would think she would be happy to rest on her laurels.


But there appears to be still a long list of things to do for Silma Ihram.


New to Brisbane, Silma has now relocated here and is the current Principal of the Australian International Islamic College in Durack.



Why did you decide to come to Queensland?

I came reluctantly as I have children in 3 other states, and it has been a learning experience for me, I wanted to contribute my skills to the Muslim community. The school is growing, it’s successful, it has got land, facilities and a great dedicated and enthusiastic staff.


Why did you decide to sell the school in Sydney?

(The Noor Al Houda Islamic College in Sydney was one of two schools Silma established, however, it had a long hard battle to fight. After discovering the land it was built on was a contaminated site, Silma went to court to fight for her rights. The land was leased to her with the knowledge that it was contaminated land and a lengthy legal battle pursued.) I wanted to teach the government a lesson but unfortunately it cost us a horrendous amount of money.  A trip overseas to find someone to rescue the school was unfortunately not met with success.  The cost in the end crippled the school, and it was decided to give it to a rival and larger school to manage. (It’s a loss that still appears to be unresolved today. Her perseverance couldn’t match the unsurmountable expenses the school was collecting daily). The school had little assets, and good will and initiative are not enough to make a good school, if you don’t have assets.


What do you see as your major challenges for this school?

Some of the major challenges facing the school are that we need to increase confidence in the school. That’s confidence both within the school, and in the community for the school. The school itself is excellent, the staff are fantastic and with good leadership it should be easy to restore the confidence.


Tell me some of the schools strengths?

The staff, the facilities are developing, we have programs that are on par with private schools. The school has so much potential. Currently we have an extensive program to increase literacy and numeracy – with two specialist teachers working fulltime to lift the standard of those students whose literacy is low. We also have an expanding sports and training program. One of the best aspects of the school is the passion the kids and the teachers have for Islam. We are looking forward to an extensive Islamic program with the latest audio visual and library resources to supplement our daily activities of Quran reciting and dua. We are also building a strong component of leadership training into our senior years.


What is your vision for the school?

Every Muslim school should provide security, care and guidance to give students the skills necessary to survive in a difficult world. We have to give our students the life skills to turn them into responsible adults with an Islamic outlook. The problem with most Muslim schools is that it only focuses on the academic aspect, it’s not only an academic focus we need, we also need to provide leaders for the community. We need to focus on ethics and leadership schools need to assist the students, not students having to assist the school by getting the highest marks.


Why should our children go to Muslim schools?

In public schools students are unsure of who they are. Muslim schools are a base for the Muslim community. We impart knowledge so they can then be confident going into society. It is a safe base for confident, capable Muslims.


Will you be also the Principal of the Gold Coast school?

Not as far as I am aware.


Do you think our Brisbane community is different from that of Sydney?

Very different, I was very involved in the Lebanese community down there. They have a more established community, with third generation Australians, whereas here, there are a lot of first generation migrants. They still have links to their homeland.


You have run for both State and Federal elections, why did you decide to run for Parliament?

I wanted to see how the political system works. It was a great learning experience. There is no prominent Muslim political representation in government and I have been fortunate to have had good media so I thought I should run. Politics can be an excellent place to bring about change in the services provided to the Muslim community and to enhancing our reputation.


Which do you prefer, Local, State or Federal and would you run again?

I will keep my options open. I was also interested in Local government but I was quite disappointed with how the local government (Auburn) works.  It has a large number of Muslims on the council and I wasn’t happy with the way matters were conducted. I was the Secretary of the NSW Democrats, and was asked to be the State President. I have no confidence in the ALP or the Liberals, and the Greens I find to be too radical. The democrats need to grow again, I think the young democrats have a future.   


What are your plans for the future?

I want to do a good job to benefit the community. I am still doing my Masters on Lebanese Youth and Leadership, and I want to do my PHD on Integrated Diversity and Leadership. The concept of multiculturalism no longer is popular in Australia, so I think Integrated Diversity may be an alternative.


The Deadly Dozen


1. The job I’d love to have is ... one that is challenging and fulfilling

2. Some kids really ... make me proud

3. I refuse to tolerate ... pettiness

4. My guilty pleasure is .... a latte every morning

5. My favourite politician is ... Bob Brown

6. My family love it when I .... stay home and cook

7. If they undercharged you at the checkout would you tell them... I’d go back and tell them (and they are usually shocked)

8. My computer is... a tablet laptop and goes everywhere with me

9. Do you really believe we will use algebra after leaving school ... No

10. I really could win at... Scuba diving

11. If I don’t do this every day, I get annoyed ...  have time to reflect

12. I know all the words to.... the 99 names of Allah

13. I would love to meet ... Nelson Mandela


Aid for Zimbabwe

Shahina Omar


Zimbabwe has a population of about 11 million people and a recent United Nations report claimed that 7 million Zimbabweans need food aid. The political impasse over the coalition government has stranded Zimbabweans in a prolonged economic crisis, with hospitals, schools and sanitation infrastructure left to collapse. The recent cholera epidemic has killed more than 3000 people, a crisis which could have been avoided if the government had taken care of its people.


Zimbabwe’s economy has shrunk by more than 45% over the past 5 years, leaving half the urban population to rely on remittances from friends and family overseas. It had the world’s highest official inflation, 11.2 million per cent,  these frightening figures emerged as President Mugabe admitted defeat in the fight against dizzying inflation and now allows business to be done in US dollars and bank notes of neighbouring countries. But this has still not relieved the plight of the poor as the fundamentals are not in order, how do the poor get access to US dollars, how do they generate income when their basic needs cannot be met, their need for food, clean water, sanitation and shelter is not provided by the government.


We would like to assist by raising much needed funds for the poor of Zimbabwe. Inshaallah this money will be sent to help them with food items, and medical supplies.


Earlier in January 2009, Southern African citizens launched a hunger strike to press for justice and democracy in Zimbabwe. Desmond Tutu and Graca Machel joined the campaign and pledged solidarity with the Zimbabwean people. To find out more, check the 'Save Zimbabwe Now' campaign which has support from a wide range of groupings including the South African Council of Churches, Cosatu, Civicus and Social movements from across the region.


Help Us In Relieving The Plight Of The Zimbabwe People. Jazakallah for your donations.


Kindly Donate to the following people :

Faisel Essof  Tel :0402575410

Shahina Omar  Tel: 0431162844

Yasmin Ahmed  Tel: 0405217682

Aisha  Ahmed Tel: 0421715061  



Women in Business

The Lord Mayor's Multicultural Unit has organised a free workshop for women in Business on Friday 24 April 2009.


The workshop will focus on figures and financial information to assist women to build on their business skills.

RSVP by 15 April 2009 or contact Georgiana Poulter on 07 3365 6487 for more information.




Crescents Cup Cakes & Coffee


(left to right) Mariam Essof, Jameela Omarjee, Sameea Essof, Fathima Adat,

Zuleiga Goder, Zaheer Suleman, Mohammed-Shafiq Suleman






Crescents of Brisbane's CresCafe was in full flight at the Harmony Day Twilight Festival at Runcorn Heights State School on Friday night raising $400 for the School in the very short trading time.


Crescents' CresCafe co-ordinator, Zuleiga Goder, told CCN, "Even though it was a little rocky start with no power, several treks through the mud, and chocolate icing on someone's shirt it was all part of the fun!"





Dine with the Stars!


Calling all BABA ALI fans!!!  Ten lucky people will have the opportunity of a lifetime to meet, mingle and dine with Internet celebrity BABA ALI, and the rest of the stars of the upcoming “Not Just For Laughs comedy show, including NAZEEM HUSSAIN.  


Tickets to the dinner, which will take place on Friday, 1st May 2009, will be charged at $250 per person.   So be bold, as a rare and privileged opportunity awaits you. 


Call 0405 230305 to reserve your seat, but act fast as only ten tickets are available!


“Not Just For Laughs” features BABA ALI, along with a troupe of local and talented comedians fronted by NAZEEM HUSSAIN, writer and performer of the acclaimed comedy “Fear Of A Brown Planet”.   The line-up includes Scott Fraser, Mohammed El-Leissy and Khaled Khalafalla.  This night of fun, entertainment and giveaways, will take place on Friday, 1st May 2009 at the Chandler Theatre in Chandler.  All profits will be donated to the war-victims in Gaza.   Get your tickets today by calling 0405 230305.



A Taste of Baba Ali

Young Indonesian Muslim Leaders to seek Friendship, Understanding in Australia


A delegation of young Indonesian Muslim leaders from Lombok, East Kalimantan, Yogyakarta and Jakarta depart for Australia on Sunday on a bilateral exchange program aimed at strengthening understanding and links among faith leaders of both countries.

Australian Ambassador to Indonesia Bill Farmer said he hoped the visit would contribute to a better understanding in Indonesia about multiculturalism in Australian society and the role of Islam in Australia.

“Islam in Australia is a dynamic, evolving story with a rich history, and one of which our country can be extremely proud,” the Ambassador said.

“Australia’s 400,000 Muslims, made up of over 70 different ethnic backgrounds – including Indonesia - have made an enormous contribution to the success of contemporary, diverse Australia.”

The program aims to provide opportunities for emerging leaders in the Indonesian Muslim community to engage their counterparts in Australia on a range of important issues affecting people in both countries.

Strengthening such people-to-people links was one of the goals of the recent successful conference, Australia and Indonesia: Partners in a New Era, held in Sydney in February.

This is the first of three delegations from Indonesia scheduled to visit Australia under the Young Muslim Leaders Exchange Program between March-June 2000.

In May 2009, five young Muslim leaders from Australia will make a reciprocal visit to Indonesia to learn firsthand about Indonesia’s diverse, democratic and tolerant society and to meet community, education and religious leaders, academics, government officials and media representatives.

The Australia-Indonesia Exchange Program for Young Muslim Leaders was established by the Australian Government through the Australia-Indonesia Institute in 2002.

Over the past two decades, the Institute has fulfilled a unique and vital role in fostering friendship and understanding between Australia and Indonesia through projects in the arts, music, education, youth, civil society, interfaith, media and sport.



The CCN Centre Link


ACCES Services INC

Muslim Job-seekers with the following skills/qualifications are in search of employment

• Fork-lift license
• HR & MR License
• Qualified Accountant seeking Australian work experience (voluntary or paid position)

If you are seeking to recruit staff with the above skills/qualifications or with skills in other fields please contact Ahmed (3412 8222, 0407 698 312) or Safia (3412 8222, 3412 8239) at ACCES Services INC.

CCN Supporting Local Enterprise


Around the Muslim World with CCN


Muslim smokers worse than cows: Malaysia cleric


KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Muslims who smoke and try to portray themselves as pious are worse than cows which defecate in the street, a top Malaysian Muslim cleric and politician said.


"...a cow which defecates in the middle of the road, (we) cannot take legal action against it because it has no brain and cannot think," said Nik Aziz who is the spiritual leader of the country's Pan-Islamic Party (PAS).


"But human beings, who have brains, for them to do something which is wrong in religion ... when they are in an attire which symbolizes Islam, they can be regarded as being more despicable than cows," he said on Friday, according to Malaysia's state news agency Bernama.


PAS is one of the three parties in Malaysia's opposition alliance led by former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim.


Nik Aziz said that smoking was forbidden by Islam.


Recently, Indonesia's top Islamic body passed a fatwa or ruling banning smoking. Malaysia's top Islamic body has also banned smoking.


Despite the ban in Malaysia, where over half the population of 27 million is Muslim, 50 percent of the male population smokes according to World Health Organization (WHO) data.




Vatican offers Islamic finance system to Western Banks

The Vatican says Islamic finance system may help Western banks in crisis as alternative to capitalistm.


The Vatican offered Islamic finance principles to Western banks as a solution for worldwide economic crisis.

Daily Vatican newspaper, 'L'Osservatore Romano, reported that Islamic banking system may help to overcome global crisis, Turkish media reported.
The Vatican said banks should look at the ethical rules of Islamic finance to restore confidence amongst their clients at a time of global economic crisis.

"The ethical principles on which Islamic finance is based may bring banks closer to their clients and to the true spirit which should mark every financial service," the Vatican's official newspaper Osservatore Romano said in an article recently.


Author Loretta Napoleoni and Abaxbank Spa fixed income strategist, Claudia Segre, say in the article that "Western banks could use tools such as the Islamic bonds, known as sukuk, as collateral". Sukuk may be used to fund the "'car industry or the next Olympic Games in London," they said.

Read the rest.....


Report on Muslim Americans 


Muslim American women are second only to Jewish Americans in terms of educational attainment. Muslim American women are educated, active in the workforce and on an equal footing with men in terms of income, according to a report released Monday, which analysts said chips away at myths associated with Islam. "What we learned in the study is that US Muslim women are roughly equal to men and to women who are non-Muslims in America in their level of education, level of income, level of religiosity and mosque attendance," Ahmed Younis, a senior analyst at the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, told reporters. "The Achilles Heel that has always existed -- that Muslims are 'not like us' because their women are oppressed -- well, the data speak to the proposition that that is absolutely not true," said Younis.

The report, based on data culled from 946 people who identified themselves as Muslims out of a sample of more than 319,000 interviewed across the United States last year, showed that Muslim American women and the religious group as a whole are second only to Jewish Americans in terms of educational attainment.

Forty percent of Muslims have a bachelor's or graduate degree, compared with 61 percent of Jews and 29 percent of the US population as a whole.US Muslim women stand out, both compared to their global counterparts and women from other religious groups in the United States, in that they are statistically as likely as their male counterparts to have earned a university degree or higher. Forty-two percent of Muslim women had degrees compared with 39 percent of Muslim men in the United States.

Jewish women trailed Jewish men by six percentage points in the higher-education achievement realm, and for the US population as a whole, 29 percent of women and 30 percent of men had bachelor's degrees or better. The study also showed that Muslim American women tend to earn the same as men, both at the low and high ends of the income scale, giving the religious group the highest degree of economic gender parity.

Muslim women in the United States also frequent mosques as often as their male counterparts, "in sharp contrast to women in many majority Muslim countries who are generally less likely than men to report attending a religious service in the last week," the report said. And more Muslim women than men in the United States -- 46 percent versus 38 percent -- said they are "thriving", or categorized themselves as being at the upper end of a scale measuring life satisfaction.

Read the rest.....



Muslim island must give up polygamy as price of being part of France


PARIS: The mostly Muslim Indian Ocean island of Mayotte has overwhelmingly voted to integrate fully with France, a move that will bring financial benefits to residents but also outlaw practices such as polygamy and early marriages.

More than 95 per cent of voters said "yes" to becoming the 101st department of France, instead of its present status of an "overseas community", the Interior Ministry announced.

The change will force residents to raise the minimum age for women to marry from 15 to 18 and outlaw polygamy, the Interior Ministry said.

Read the rest.....



UN body OK's call to limit religious criticism


GENEVA - The UN's top human rights body approved a proposal by Muslims nations yesterday urging passage of laws around the world to protect religion from criticism.

The proposal put forward by Pakistan on behalf of Islamic countries - with the backing of Belarus and Venezuela - had drawn strong criticism from free-speech campaigners and liberal democracies.

A simple majority of 23 members of the 47-nation Human Rights Council voted in favor of the resolution. Eleven nations, mostly Western, opposed the resolution, and 13 countries abstained.

The resolution urges states to provide "protection against acts of hatred, discrimination, intimidation, and coercion resulting from defamation of religions and incitement to religious hatred in general."

"Defamation of religions is the cause that leads to incitement to hatred, discrimination, and violence toward their followers," Pakistan's ambassador Zamir Akram said. "It is important to deal with the cause, rather than with the effects alone."

Muslim nations have argued that religions, in particular Islam, must be shielded from criticism in the media and other areas of public life. They cited cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed as an example of unacceptable free speech.

"Islam is frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism," the resolution said. Opponents of the resolution included Canada, all European Union countries, Switzerland, Ukraine, and Chile. The United States did not vote on the resolution because it is not a member of the council.

"It is individuals who have rights and not religions," Canadian diplomat Terry Cormier said.

India, which normally votes along with the council's majority of developing nations, abstained in protest at the fact that Islam was the only religion specifically named as deserving protection.

India's Ambassador Gopinathan Achamkulangare said the resolution "inappropriately" linked religious criticism to racism. The council is dominated by Muslim and African countries. Its resolutions are not binding.



CCN Reader's Discussion Forum


Have your say on www.ccnforum.ning.com


CCN Readers' Book Club: You are what you read!


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

Then simply email the title and author to thebookclub@crescentsofbrisbane.org


Double click a book cover to find out what others think of the book


CCN has set up an online Book Club at Shelfari to connect with CCN book readers at:


Using the book club you can see what books fellow CCN readers have on their shelves, what they are reading and even what they, and others, think of them.

The CCN Readers' Book Club

Kareema's Keep Fit Column





Q: Dear Kareema, my parents are elderly and both suffer from arthritis. Someone suggested they try Yoga or Tai Chi. They are familiar with Yoga but can you please explain what Tai Chi involves just to give them a better idea and help with their decision.

A:  Tai Chi is an ancient form of slow, gentle, rhythmic exercises.


The slow movements gently tone and strengthen the muscles and organs, improve circulation and posture and also helps with relaxing both body and mind. It's perfect for stress relieve and aims to restore balance in the body.

It's perfect for all ages and great for people with general joint aches and pains.


Those with arthritic conditions can also benefit from the gentle relaxing movements.

It would be a good idea for your parents to try both Yoga and Tai Chi, as they may find that one works better than the other, or they may enjoy both forms of exercise which may aid with greater relief sooner.


This may also help with their flexibility and they may even feel more energised and ready to take on more challenging routines sooner!



My Health and Fitness

Tel: 0404 844 786

(Accredited Member of Fitness Queensland)


Need an answer to a fitness related matter? Send your question to Kareema at  fitness@crescentsofbrisbane.org.

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


KB's Culinary Corner


   GINGER Loaf


125grams Butter
½ cup Castor Sugar
2 tbls Golden Syrup
2 Eggs
1/2 tsp each ground ginger, mixed spice and cinnamon
1 tsp Bicarb of Soda
3 cups cake flour sifted
1 cup hot water
1 cup chopped dates
1 cup chopped Pecans

Soak the dates in the 1 cup hot water. Cream the butter, sugar and syrup. Add the eggs one at a time. Fold in the flour, bicarb, spices and pecans (leaving some for sprinkling) date and water mixture. Pour into a greased loaf pan, sprinkle with chopped pecans and bake in a moderate oven – 180c for 1 hour

Do you have a recipe to share with CCN readers?
Send in your favourite recipe to ccn@crescentsofbrisbane.org and be our "guest chef" for the week.


The CCN Chuckle






When he was little Mula Nasruddin's school teacher asked him, "Now, Nasruddin, tell me frankly do you say prayers before eating?"

"No ustaad," little Mula Nasruddin replied, "I don't have to, my mom is a good cook!"

Notice Board


Click on image to enlarge


Indoor Soccer Tournament

Ladies High Tea

Baba Ali

ICoB Springfete


Short Course for Reverts


Islamic Calligraphy Workshop

GUMSA Seminars

Course: Road to Recovery

International Food Festival GC Mosque


Islamic Classes for Teenagers


IWAQ Swimming


AMAL Muslim Helpline



The CCN Date Claimer







(Click on link)





5 April


MY Indoor Soccer Tournament


OZ Sports Springwood, 3269 Logan Rd, Underwood

0432 271 601

8.30am to 4.30pm

26 April


Ladies High Tea


Mt Coot-tha, Botanic Gardens, Lakeside Garden Cafe

0401 391 123


1 May


Not Just For Laughs - Baba Ali

Muslim Aid Australia in affiliation with Muslim Women And Friends

The Chandler Theatre, The Sleeman Centre

0405 448 045

7:30pm sharp

2 May



Islamic College of Brisbane

ICOB, Karawatha

0402 794 253

11am to 7pm

17 May



Crescents of Brisbane

Orleigh Park, West End

0402 026 786

7am to 1pm

31 May



Islamic Society of Gold Coast

Gold Coast Mosque

0412 601 152

10.00 till late

19 July



Lailatul Me'raj

26 July


Mini Tennis Tournament

Shabir Elias

Griffith University, Mt Gravatt Campus

0415 467 868


6 August



Lailatul Baraat

22 August



Start of Ramadhan

16 September



Lailatul Qadr

19 September



End of Ramadhan

20 September




26 September


MBN Eid Dinner

Muslim Business Network

The Coffee Club, RNA Showground



26 September



Eidfest Committee

Mt Gravatt Showgrounds

0418 722 353

All day

3 October


QPS/EECQ Cup: 2009 Qld Multicultural football tournament



0438 114 619

9am to 5pm

3 October


Eid Dinner

Islamic Society of Darra

Darra Mosque, 219 Douglas St, Oxley

0418 757 157


4 October







0438 114 619

9am to 5pm

24 October


Breast Cancer Awareness

Crescents of Brisbane


0404 296 297


27 November




18 December



Islamic New Year


To claim your date for your event email ccn@crescentsofbrisbane.org.




The ladies Taaleem programme this Thursday will be at the home of

Fatima Gutta, 13 Stiller Drive, Kuraby

from 11am to 12pm.

All Ladies Welcome!

Call 3219 8786 for more information

Sunnah Inspirations


Contact: 0408 270 421

University of Queensland,
323 Hawken Drive, St. Lucia


Every Monday

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


Every Friday

Subject: Fiqh Made Easy

Venue: Room E215 Building 1 (Forgan Smith), University of Queensland

Time: 6.30pm to 7.35pm

Every Friday

Subject: Tafseer al Qur'an (Explanation of the Qur'an)

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.


CCN @ Facebook


Catch Crescents Community News at


Please feel free to post an entry on our Wall, start up a Discussion thread and/or become a Fan.


Useful Links


Crescents Community News (CCN) Readers' Forum

 Discussion Forum & Social Network for CCN Readers

Queensland Muslim Historical Society Inc.

Promoting the study and awareness of the rich history of the Muslims of Queensland

Young Muslims of Queensland

Social network for young Muslims of Brisbane

Sunnah Inspirations

Providing information about Islam - its beliefs, culture, practices, dispelling misconceptions

Kuraby Mosque

Holland Park Mosque


Provide young Muslim women in Queensland with support and opportunities to express themselves

Gold Coast Mosque

New website

South African National Halaal Authority (SANHA)

Muslim Womens' Convert Support Group (MWCSG)

Network of Muslim women converts from the Brisbane and Gold Coast areas of Queensland.

Australian International Islamic College (Durack)

Eidfest 2009




If you would like a link to your website email ccn@crescentsofbrisbane.org.


Write For Us

The best ideas and the best feedback come from our community of readers. If you have a topic or opinion that you want to write about or want seen covered or any news item that you think might be of benefit to the Crescents Community please e-mail



Share your thoughts, feelings and ambitions for our community through CCN.


If there is someone you know who would like to subscribe to CCN please encourage them to send an e-mail to ccn@crescentsofbrisbane.org with the words “Subscribe Me” in the subject line.


Articles and opinions appearing in this newsletter do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Crescents of Brisbane Team, CCN, its Editor or its Sponsors, particularly if they eventually turn out to be libelous, unfounded, objectionable, obnoxious, offensive, slanderous and/or downright distasteful.


It is the usual policy of CCN to include from time to time, notices of events that some readers may find interesting or relevant. Such notices are often posted as received. Including such messages or providing the details of such events does not necessarily imply endorsement of the contents of these events by either CCN or Crescents of Brisbane Inc.