During the week, some 160 members and their guests attended the first General Meeting of the Muslim Business Network at the Brisbane Abruzzo Club in Carina.
Conceived just seven months ago under the leadership of gynecologist, Hanief Khatree, MBN's period of gestation has, in a short space of
time, seen it develop into a visible and vocal player in the local community to the extent that it now can boast a membership in excess of 250.
Following hard on the heels of its recent successful launch, Wednesday's meeting was an opportunity for the hard working Executive Committee to report on its many achievements to date and to solicit the views and gauge the mood of the membership.
In keeping with its name, MBN's main presentation of the evening centered on Shariah compliant investments. Competing valiantly against the after effects of carbo-loaded Italian fare, a Melbourne-based representative of Muslim Community Cooperative (Australia) did exceedingly well to explain the machinations of Halal investment to a captive audience, some of whom appeared distinctly worse for wear as the evening progressed.
The hard sell did not fall short of warning of the eternal damnation likely to befall all those who failed to consider the products on offer.
As someone in the audience so rightly pointed out, the professionalism with which MBN functions have been organized thus far rated them amongst the best the Muslim community had staged in recent times, due, in no small measure, to the sterling work of the MBN team.
And with his uncanny ability to seek out exotic but inexpensive meeting venues we look forward to what MBN Exco member Hassan Quorane has to serve up next.
Australian Imams to sign up to new values code
Muslim clerics in Australia will deliver more sermons in English and set up a training programme for Imams in a move aimed at stopping radical preachers from promoting violence.
A weekend meeting of Imams and Muslim community leaders also resolved to speak out more against violence and militancy, to better explain their religion to non-Muslims and to set up a national board of Imams to oversee the nation's mosques.
Prime Minister John Howard welcomed the measures, saying the changes would make the Muslim community more open and would help curb the small number of Muslims who preached violence.
"We continue to worry that there is a section of the Islamic community, a very small section, that is not serving the interests of anybody with some of the things that they've had to say," Howard told Australian radio on Monday.
Australia has about 280,000 Muslims, making up about 1.5 percent of the nation's population. Most live in the two largest cities, Sydney and Melbourne.
Howard has regularly called on the Muslim community to do more to condemn radicalism, saying a small number were resisting integration in Australia and risked stoking religious fanaticism.
The meeting of Imams coincided with a fresh push by the government to ensure all immigrants have a solid grounding in the English language and can pass a test about Australian values before they can become citizens.
In a communique issued after the conference, the Imams said they were committed to promoting a better understanding of Islam, promising more open days at mosques and doing more to distance themselves from violence and militancy.
"The Imams have condemned all forms of terrorism, hatred and extremism in the past and will continue to do so," the communique said.
They agreed to set up a national centre for Islamic studies in Australia, which would be open to Muslim and non-Muslim students, but said they did not want to exclude future Imams from training overseas.
Federation of Islamic Councils chairman Ameer Ali said on Monday the new national body would help local Imams keep track of potentially radical preachers.
"There are lots of Imams claiming to be Imams. We don't know their credentials and we can't monitor what they are doing in their mosques," Ali told Australia radio.
"If you have an organised structure at a national level, then the Imams themselves will be able to monitor these people, and they will know who is who and where they are operating. So they will be responsible to monitor what happens in any mosque."
We have received another release of prime seats for sale to CCN readers at the special early bird rate of $43.90 (normal price $49.90).
Email us with your name, quantity and address and either:
POST a cheque made out to Crescents of Brisbane Inc. to:
Crescents of Brisbane Inc.
P O Box 4603
Eight Mile Plains 4113
EFT the funds to:
SUNCORP Garden City
BSB # : 484-799
ACC # : 160335037
Crescents of Brisbane Inc.
Use your surname as reference
At the Bazaar
The annual Brisbane Indian Bazaar was in full swing at the Mt Gravatt Showgrounds during the past two days.
Conspicuous by their absence was the usually sizeable support from the local Muslim community. Many of them stayed away to prepare themselves for the possible sighting of the moon last night and the start of the fasting month of Ramadaan.
All the fun of a fair
Afzal & Shemina Ismail and Turnkey Solutions
Fozia, Friend, Fasseeha and Cassim Peer
Queensland Association of Fiji Muslims
Raising the Bar on Citizenship
A Federal Government proposal to change citizenship laws has generated a fair deal of community debate. The Southern Star (Wed. September 22) spoke to locals and community leaders to find out what they thought of the proposed changes.
Hanief Khatree, president of the Muslim Business Network (MBN), told the Southern Star that his group supported the idea that people should be able to communicate in English, but encouraged the Government to invest more in teaching English to all migrants as a solution. Mustafa Ally of Crescents of Brisbane Inc. questioned the benefits of extending the waiting period from two years to four before people could apply to be citizens.
"I'm not sure what purpose four years would serve that two years doesn't", Ally said.
Rape victim's BBC blog generates worldwide attention.
Mukhtar Mai was once an anonymous Pakistani villager - but that was before she was gang-raped, apparently on the orders of local elders in a neighbouring village. From then onwards she has been determined to bring them to justice, and her fight made her an international figure.
Some of the men she said attacked her were convicted, but then the appeal court in Lahore overturned their convictions, amid an outcry from human rights groups.
Now Mukhtar Mai, who is in her mid-30s, is writing her own internet diary, or blog, about her life and her concerns, as a woman from a remote village in southern Punjab.
Girls in Mukhtar Mai's village have her to thank for their education. Mukhtar Mai has become a familiar face on TV around the world. She established the school and others with compensation money awarded to her by the courts in her rape trial.
Mukhtar Mai is exceptional because she defied the shame of the gang-rape four years ago by not only bringing her attackers to justice, but also by fighting for a change in traditional attitudes towards women.
In that role, she hears many of the problems facing the women of her village. And she now contributes a weekly diary or weblog to the internet site of the BBC Urdu Service.
"Mostly I talk about incidents which are cruel and painful. I try to discuss only the most serious things in my blog: the poor treatment of women, sometimes leading to killing," she says.
Mukhtar Mai's blog is unique. Although she cannot read or write, she tells her stories to a local BBC journalist, who types it up as a web diary.
So the Federal government is placing pressure on the Islamic community to conduct all their services in English. Will the same apply to Chinese Christian, Buddhist, Greek Orthodox, Jewish Synagogues' etc ?
Why is this Federal government insistent in trying to give the impression of major problems with the Muslim community. As a non-Muslim who lives in a part of Brisbane that has a large Muslim community, I find them to be no more or less friendly and open than any other community, I can also say their generosity to charitable causes is second to none - and I haven't meet one who can't communicate in English (not that it is a real concern to me).
As for the debate on values, surely a simple statement stating; "the commitment to allow and respect others right to live in a free and democratic society and to live within the rule of law" would suffice - we are all different
Any government that deliberately sets out to marginalise one group in our community for their own political gain, deserves to be condemned.
Letter also published in the Courier Mail, Tuesday 19 September.
Thought for the Week
During his battle with AIDS, Arthur Ashe, the legendary Wimbledon player, received letters from his fans, one of which conveyed: "Why does God have to select you for such a bad disease"?
To this Arthur Ashe replied: The world over -- 50,000,000 children start playing tennis, 5,000,000 learn to play tennis, 500,000 learn professional tennis, 50,000 come to the circuit, 5000 reach the grand slam, 50 reach Wimbledon, 4 the semi finals, and 2 to the finals.
When I was holding a cup I never asked GOD "Why me?".
And today in pain I should not be asking GOD "Why me?"
A Word From Our Sponsor
Special Ramadan Iftar Menu
Soup Of The Day
with fresh Turkish Bread Olives
Vegetarian Pide slice
Cay (Turkish Tea)
1pc Shobiyet (sweet)
$35.00 per person
Strictly BOOKINGS Only
Shops 1-3, The Galleria Apartments, 15 Tribune Street, South Bank, QLD, 4101
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