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Eid-ul-Adhaa Official Announcement

The Eid -ul-Aadhaa will be on Tuesday 16th Novemeber 2010. This announcement is based on the moon being sighted in Saudi Arabia. With the begining of Dhul-Hijjah starting Sunday 7th November, we enter upon the best 10 days of the year to perform good deeds. Ibn Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet (pbuh) said: There are no days during which good deeds are more beloved to Allah than these days”; meaning the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. (Al-Bukhaari)

Monthly - Independent

Striving for Excellence

RESCENT T IMES Australian Muslim Newspaper

E FRE

Strengthening Our Community

Issue N 25 November 2010

www.crescenttimes.com.au Email: info@crescenttimes.com.au

Why We Can’t Rely On American Intelligence? read on page 15

WA: A Second Islamic School Director Guilty Of Fraud read on page 4

Crescent Times’ Editor And All The Editorial Team Wish Australian Muslims

Eid & Hajj Mubarek Happy Eid

GLORY OF THE HOUSE OF PEACE Blue strikes me as a colour for peace, especially the deep blue in the last hours of the night. In this artwork, the serenity is complemented by the purity of white. The cube-like building is al-Ka’abah or Baitullah, the House of Allah. Muslims who can afford it are encouraged to go to Mecca to perform hajj the fifth pillar of Islam. In this artwork, within the mosque, hangs a series of the calligraphic word ‘al-Nur’, which means ‘the Light’. This refers to the attribute of Allah. With light in their hearts, Muslims strive with their resources and energy to perform the hajj. One of the rituals in hajj is circle the Ka’abah on foot several times in the simple attire of two pieces of white cloth for males and decent attire

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for females. In this state of piety every Muslim is reduced to the status of a servant of Allah. The white crescent moons symbolise purity in a repentant man. Enclosed within each crescent is a combination of calligraphic words chanted in prayers. The first is ‘Subhaanallaah’ which means ‘Glory to Allah’, below it is the word ‘Mohammed’ and at the tip of a stem is ‘Hu’ a short form of ‘Hua’ which means He (which can only be referred to Allah). The whole design represents the submission of man adhering to his religion in the state of glorifying his Lord. The Quran 3:17 describes servants of Allah as: “Those who show patience, firmness and selfcontrol; who are true (in word and deed); who worship devoutly; who spend (in the way of Allah); and who pray for forgiveness in the last hours of the night.” From the book Let’s Celebrate Islam in Poems and Art by Kamariah Ahmad- Published by Haritha Artworks

Review Of The Taxation Treatment Of Islamic Finance Products read on page 9

Extreme Does Not Belong To Islam read on page 10


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Issue 25, November 2010

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Issue 25, November 2010

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Abalone Season Abalone season runs on a Sunday commencing 7 November until 12 December 2010 between 7.00am - 8.00am

Parking Parking Local Law 1998 If you are parking your vehicle whilst fishing for abalone within the City of Joondalup, please be considerate of the residents in the area. DO NOT ƒ Park on residential lawns, gardens or verges without consent from the property owner ƒ Park any portion of your vehicle on the footpath ƒ Park on any median strips or traffic calming devices ƒ Park facing against the flow of traffic ƒ Park in or block any driveways OBEY ƒ All signage If these suggestions are followed, then you will avoid receiving an infringement.

Beach Foreshore Reserve / Sand Dunes Local Government & Public Property Local Law 1999 40(c) ƒ Access to the sand dunes is limited. ƒ Please only use the designated pathways that lead to the beach. ƒ Traversing through the dunes outside the designated pathways and through the protected areas may incur a $100 infringement. www.joondalup.wa.gov.au


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Issue 25, November 2010

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QLD: Miss Islamic Fashion Space WA: A Second 2 Muslimah Project An Apparel Indulgence! Islamic School Director Fai’zah Butcher Ebtisam El Najjarine* Queensland Guilty Of Fraud ay! thd llence Bir nd f Exce o c Se ey O rn Jou

Crescent Times Perth Yet another fraud scandal has rocked the Muslim community of Western Australia with the director of Muslim Ladies College of Australia in Kenwick found guilty of falsifying student numbers to fraudulently obtain state and federal government grants. In the District Court in Perth on 28 October 2010, Anwar Sayed was found guilty by a jury on two counts of fraud. The 50-year-old was found guilty of falsifying student numbers to fraudulently obtain part of $1.125 million in state and federal government grants. The school received about $164,000 from the state government and about $961,000 from the federal government that it was not entitled to. Sayed, from Canningvale in Perth’s south, is the director of Muslim Link Australia, which runs the school. The court heard that Sayed signed a declaration that, in the 2006/07 census year, more than 180 students were enrolled in the school when there were 80 to 100 fewer than that. The case became notorious in August 2010 when the presiding judge, Shauna Deane, ruled that a witness who customarily wears the niqab must uncover her face to give evidence. The witness, known only as Tasneem, ultimately gave evidence via video link in the presence of a female support person and a female officer of the court. The court room was cleared of all unnecessary male members of the public and journalists during her evidence which was given over a period of about 15 minutes. Crescent Times has attempted to contact Mr. Anwar Sayed on several occasions prior to the verdict without success. Following the verdict, Mr Sayed was remanded in custody for sentencing on November 30 2010. The directors of the school had previously appeared before the District Court of WA on charges of stealing money from the school. The directors of the school, brothers Anwar and Zubair Sayed established the Muslim Ladies College of Australia, in Kabul Afghanistan in 1997. The college in Kenwick is a sister college and both provide an educational service to children. The Australian branch of the Muslim Ladies College of Australia was opened with a $1.2 million contribution from the personal finances of Anwar Sayed. Over the course of the succeeding years, he continued to support the school with personal funds. In October 2009, the District Court in WA was satisfied that the school still owes Anwar $1.5 million and cleared the brothers of stealing money from the school. In our November 2009 issue, Anwar Sayed told Crescent Times: “The bank statements showed clearly that the deposits came from me. Instead the police focussed predominantly on one withdrawal which was in fact a repayment of part of the debt.” “This (withdrawal) was used for something most needed, to provide education to some of the 60,000 mainly Afghan orphans on the streets of Kabul” he explained. Crescent Times with additional information regarding this case are invited to contact the editor.

A new youth group for Muslim girls has started in Logan Central, Brisbane. Suheyma, one of the founding mothers, stated “The boys have always had lots to do. Miss Muslimah was started to give the girls an opportunity to do fun activities in a halal manner free of the restrictions of the mosques.” The girls meet every Sunday from 2-5pm at the UMB centre on Kingston Road. Activities for the girls include makeup demonstrations, sewing, cooking and self defence with a number of outings planned such as ten pin bowling and possibly a girls camp. “We really want it to be very hands on. The girls tell us what they want to do and then we do it. Simple as that” Suheyma explains. “We also do an Islamic topic each week which is researched and given by the girls themselves. These girls are our next generation of Muslimahs, it is important for them to share their thoughts and understandings of Islam.” Miss Muslimah also caters for all levels of Islam as Suheyha states “We want all girls to be comfortable coming here. Anyone who considers themselves a Muslim or wants to share in the activities is welcome. Miss Muslimah is a place to share positive influences and experience and to have fun.” Miss Muslimah is targeted at 12-20 year olds but all women are welcome. If you or someone you know is interested call Suheyma on 0433 377 986 Meetings are held Sundays between 2-5pm at the UMB Centre, Kingston Road, Logan Central Upcoming activities include bowling, hair design, jewellery making, all Muslim girls welcome.

There’s no excuse for a husband to complain about his wife shopping, yet once again. There’s no excuse for a mother to stop her whinging children asking for more clothes. There’s no excuse for anyone to say they don’t need any new clothes....its Eid Time! Yes, I hope you went out and splurged on something new....you deserved it, you earned it. And as the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) did himself wear something special on Eid day, why not enjoy the fact that it is part of the sunnah to wear something special yourself. Ibnul-Qayyim said: “The Prophet (peace be upon him) would wear his best clothes to go to the Eid prayer. He had a cloak that he wore specifically on the two Eids and Friday. Sometimes he wore green cloaks, other times he wore a lined red cloak - not solid red as some people think, but it had red lines like the Yemenite lined cloaks.” And Ibn Hajar said: “Ibn Abu ad-Dunya and al-Bayhaqi reported, with an authentic chain of narrators, that Ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) would wear his best clothes on the two Eids.” With so many ways to shop on offer, its been rewarding to see excited children pick out their Eid

City Circle and Freedom of Religion: Article 18 of the ICCPR

clothing, women going through aisles of fabrics, choosing the right hijab for their outfit, and men tolerating the items that are being chosen for them to wear for Eid, by their wives. To see a group of boys shopping together for clothing is something you rarely see! And online shopping has never been so popular with increasing numbers of people buying their Eid clothing from e-shops online world wide....the world is their oyster for those who like to shop this way. There is a lot more variety from shopping online. Whichever way you chose to buy your Eid clothes this year, it’s good to know it’s one of those few times during the year when you can definitely indulge in spending money without feeling guilty...and better still have your loved ones compliment you about what you bought, too! Ebtisam El-Najjarine is the Sydney editor of Crescent Times. She created Sissta Designs in 2005 to meet the needs of Muslim women and import quality designed cloting that would suit the needs of men, women and children. Her website is www.sissta. com.au. Entisam can be reached on: ebtisam@crescenttimes.com.au

international speaker with worldwide academic and professional networks. Professor Saeed has also published numerous works ranging from Islamic law and freedom of religion, Quranic hermeneutics, Islamic thought in Indonesia and Muslim communities in Australia. When: Sunday 28th November, 11.30am (Sharp) – 1.15pm Where: Yasuko Hiraoka Myer Room, Level 1, Sidney Myer Asia Centre, University of Melbourne (corner of Swanston Street and Monash Road). Snacks will be provided There are trams from Melbourne Central to this location. Street side parking is available. The university grounds also have parking for a $7 fee. Please contact Hyder Gulam if you have any queries on hyderg@yahoo.com.

Date: Sunday 28th November 2010 Topic: “Freedom of Religion: Article 18 of the ICCPR - its interaction with Islam” Who: Professor Abdullah Saaed: Professor Abdullah Saeed is the Director of the National Centre of Excellence for Islamic Studies and the Sultan of Oman Professor of Arab and Islamic Studies at The University of Melbourne. He is a highly sought-after http://citycircle.weebly.com/

Contributors NOVEMBER 2010: Umar Abdullah - Amirudin Ahamed - Kamariah Ahmed - Abdullah Alajlan - Shayma Alshakshir - Fa’izah Batchelor - Peter Broelman - Tarek Chamkhi - Linda Delgado - Ebtisam El Najjarine - Can Erimtan - Janine Evans - Neve Gordon - Hyder Gulam - Yasser Khan - Joanne McKeown - Debora McNichol - Hisham Moustafa - Abdul-Razaq Musa - Judy Nelson-Eldawy - Yvonne Ridley - Nur Shkembi - Aisha Stacey - Shakira Salahudeen - Harun Yahya - Irfan Yusuf PUBLISHER: Crescent Press Pty Ltd

EDITOR IN CHIEF: Tarek Chamkhi

editor@crescenttimes.com.au

DEPUTY EDITOR/ PRODUCTION MANAGER: Joanne McKeown joanne.mckeown@crescenttimes.com.au MELBOURNE EDITOR: Shayma Alshakshir

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SYDNEY EDITOR: Ebtisam El Najjarine

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QUEENSLAND EDITOR: Aisha Stacey

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ADELAIDE EDITOR: Janine Evans

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LEGAL AFFAIRS EDITOR: Hyder Gulam

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MELBOURNE OFFICE: Rashid Alshakshir

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WA: Gosnell’s City Council Closes

Thornlie Mosque

Tarek Chamkhi, Perth

T

he Gosnell’s City Council in Perth has rejected an application by Australian Islamic College’s Thornlie Campus to allow its school hall to be used as a place of worship for the Muslim community. The school is located in Tonbridge Way and has been in use by Australian Islamic College since the property was purchased from Sacred Heart School in 1991. In September 2009, the school applied to the Council for permission to build a replacement library and additional classrooms. In November 2009, the council voted to defer a decision on the application until existing compliance and parking issues were resolved. E s s e n t i a l l y, the Council was concerned that activities at the school were in breach of council conditions namely that the school premises must not be used as a place of worship. The council also passed resolutions requiring the school to stop use of amplifying equipment on the premises, remove unauthorised commercial vehicles from the premises and make a formal application for the use of the hall as a place of worship. An application for the use of the hall as a place of worship was subsequently lodged and following a council report was rejected on the grounds that the proposal represents significant over intensification of

land use, the traffic generated by use of the premises for public prayer is in excess of what can be handled by the existing residential streets and there is a shortfall of parking for worshippers. The facility is still available for use as a prayer facility for staff and students associated with the school. Gosnell’s Council continues to work with representatives of the school to identify alternative facilities for public worship. The college’s religious leader imam Burhaan Mehtar says it is disheartening that the council has failed to recognise the needs of the community. “We are a

community and we have some 275 families who attend the school. Our prayer is part of our extra curricular activities so they obviously need a place to pray.” Imam Burhaan Mehtar told Crescent Times that “The community has been given three months to make alternative arrangements for Friday Jumuah Salaah.” He explained that “In the last two years we have purchased two pieces of land in the area and they have refused both applications for a place of worship” and said that the school will appeal the council’s most recent decision.

In the debate about Australia’s participation in the war in Afghanistan Hizb ut-Tahrir says:

Western Governments Are The Real Terrorists Debate on Australia’s involvement in Afghanistan continues this week in the Senate. As was the case in the House of Representatives, the vast majority of contributors have backed the bipartisan stance of the Government and Opposition in support of the war, whilst a handful of senators have dissented. Invariably however, the premise of the argument as to the rationale of the invasion is the same across the board: the need to combat ‘Islamist terrorism’ which finds a base in Afghanistan, and the need to assist the people of Afghanistan, in particular its women, who are repressed by ‘Islamic extremism’. In noting the fallacious and deceptive nature of this premise, Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia states the following points: 1. Western Governments – with the US and UK at their head – have the worst records globally of oppression, exploitation and war in modern times. They are responsible for more civilian deaths than any other individual or group the world over. They are known for the instigation of unjust wars, torture, exploitation of the resources of weaker nations, support for repressive regimes when expedient, and the general disregard for human life in the pursuit of political and economic interests. Claims by such regimes of combating terrorism are only taken seriously by those who miss, or choose to ignore, the blatant hypocrisy.

Scholarship for study in Brunei Darussalam Muslims Australia (AFIC) has been working in close cooperation with various overseas governments and other agencies locally and internationally to provide opportunities for Australians as well as Australian Muslims to study at various institutions locally and abroad on scholarships. We are pleased to bring to your attention the annual scholarship programme being offered courtesy of the Government of Brunei Darussalam. The aim of the scholarship awards is to provide students, with the opportunity to study at one of the prestigious Universities in Brunei Darussalam, Universiti Brunei Darussalam [UBD], Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali [UNISSA] or Institut Teknologi Brunei [ITB]. We advise you to contact the University directly if you are

2. Worse still, Western Governments in their ‘War on Terror’ are led by the American administration, whose uniform is decorated with badges from its recent exploits: Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, Baghram, torture by rendition, waterboarding, the wanton destruction of Iraq and Afghanistan, Blackwater… and the attempt to cover all this up, as is confirmed yet again through documents published by Wikileaks. With a resume this like, it is America that needs ‘regime change’ more than Afghanistan. 3. The shortcomings of the Muslim World – which is indeed a shambles – will not be corrected by the ill-intentioned intervention of those with even more shortcomings. They will rather be corrected by the ending of Western interference and imposition so that Muslims can decide their own political destiny in line with their way of life, history and values. 4. It is not ‘Islamic extremism’ that the world needs to fear but Western extremism. Humanity has nothing to fear from Islam, a centuries-old way of life that has contributed much to civilisation and its intellectual progress. Rather humanity has much to fear from secular liberalism whose contribution of material progress comes at the unacceptable expense of spiritual, moral and humanitarian values.

Source: Hizb ut-Tahrir press release

interested in registering for the programme or require other information not provided here. Please contact one of our AFIC offices for any further information if required. Successful applicants may undertake a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Master’s Degree, Honours First Degree, a Higher National Diploma, or a Diploma of Health Sciences, under the Brunei Darussalam Government Scholarships for Foreign Students for 2011/2012 academic session at the following national education institutions: 1. Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD); 2. Sultan Sharif Ali Islamic University (UNISSA); 3. Institute Technology Brunei (ITB). More information can be obtained from the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Brunei Darussalam: www.mfa.gov.bn/scholarship. For enquiries relating to this offer, please email students@brunei.org.au. Completed applications and supporting documents can

Issue 25, November 2010

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Australia’s Muslim Federal MP:

Advancing Australia – 2 Tapping Into The Talents Of Our Diverse Nation

ay! thd llence Bir nd f Exce o c Se ey O rn Jou

The new Federal Member for Chifley, Ed Husic, delivered his maiden speech in Parliament on 28 October and spoke of multiculturalism as being the key to Australia’s success as a nation, and as a vehicle for continued prosperity and progress. “To me, multiculturalism represents a vast reservoir of energy this nation can tap into. When we harness all the good will and talent across all the corners of this land, from our first owners to the recently arrived, we build one of the greatest countries on the planet”, Mr Husic told Parliament. Mr Husic said that he was humbled and honoured to represent his electorate of Chifley in Western Sydney, which is the third greatest economic region in Australia. From Marayong, to Minchinbury, Mt. Druitt and Marsden Park, and from Riverstone to Rooty Hill, and from Doonside, Plumpton and Emerton to Bidwill and Blackett, Chifley is one of the most populous and diverse electorates in the country. (36% of its constituents are born overseas, 30% born in non-English speaking countries, and 26% speak another language other than English). With one in four people living in Australia born overseas, and 45% of all Australians either born overseas or with one parent born overseas, Mr Husic acknowledged that every Australian regardless of their race, religion, faith or focus, has a part to play in building our social fabric as an individual and collectively. “My overarching desire is to ensure our collective actions can help individuals and their communities reap their full potential”, he said. Mr Husic advocated the need for balance, tolerance and a willingness to be open to people with alternate views and values as a way of tapping into the vast skills and services of all Australians. “We should celebrate our different skills and ideas, while realising that at some point we must combine our energies and efforts for the sake of community and country”, he proclaimed. With one third of Chifley residents under the age of nineteen, Mr. Husic spoke of the importance of community, family, and

education in seizing every opportunity to help the future generation fulfil their promise and potential.

As the son of migrant parents, Ed dedicated his speech to his parents and the sacrifices they made as loyal, hard working members of the community to provide a life better than their own. Mr Husic also acknowledged and admired the struggle and success migrant families faced in his electorate and said he was privileged to represent them. Mr Husic looks forward to working closely together with people from all backgrounds and beliefs, to serve and to represent their core issues and ideas as he joins his Parliamentary colleagues in their national mission for the national good. With an ear to history and a heart for the future, and by embracing the ethic, efforts, service and sacrifice of all Australians he declared: “Ultimately we are all in this journey together. We will make sacrifices together and we will be enriched together”.

Documentary: Village of the Forgotten Widows 2010 marks 15 years since the end of the Bosnian-Serb War. Many thousands lost their lives, but the loss was most tragic during the final showdown. In a massacre orchestrated by Radovan Karadzic, 8000 Muslim men and boys lost their lives. Tragically so many of these men’s bodies have not be recovered, still lying in unmarked graves across Srebrenica. The wives and families of these murdered men are still living in makeshift housing, still unable to go back to their homes. The very people who promised to protect them have forgotten these women.

Film makers Alexander Herget-Mehic and Anne Mason are currently in Bosnia to remind these women that there are people in the world that still care. But the project needs your help. Without financial help, the film makers will not be able to support the local Bosnian crew, or bring this story to the public eye and will not be able to give these women, the forgotten victims in this war, a voice. If you can help in any way, please visit www.villageofforgottenwidows. com to contribute to the production of this important project. For more information about the project please call Erin on 0404046470 or email on erin@ villageofforgottenwidows.com

be forwarded to the High Commission of Brunei Darussalam as follows: High Commission of Brunei Darussalam 10 Beale Crescent Deakin, ACT 2600 The closing date for applications is 15 December 2010.

2010-2011 academic year we are hereby announcing the programme and inviting applications. The annual quota of five scholarships are to be allocated in the following fields of study: • Medicine • Engineering • Agriculture • And affiliate subjects for undergraduate study only. Please forward applications to admin@afic.com.au by 10 December 2010. Muslims Australia is humbled by the confidence of the IDB and seeks the support of Muslims in ensuring the success of this endearing scholarship programme. We also thank Allah SWT for providing guidance to Islamic Development Bank, Muslims Australia and others.

Islamic Development Bank scholarship:

Muslims Australia (AFIC) has been appointed as the counterpart organisation (CPO) of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to introduce scholarship programmes in Australia. Muslims Australia will take full responsibility as the CPO of IDB scholarships in Australia and we will be making further announcements in due course. In the interest of implementing this programme for


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Issue 25, November 2010

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CT 2 Hot Topic: Australian Islamic Education Investigation ay! thd llence Bir nd f Exce o c Se ey O rn Jou

Are Islamic Schools Necessary For Our Children?

Kamariah Ahmad*

No parent can answer this question until their children have grown up and they can see for themselves the results of their offspring’s journey through the secular school system. Secular means void of religious beliefs. The ill-effects of a Godless educational system void of spirituality sees headlines such as ‘School bashings up’ by 40% in 2009 involving 140 assaults in the first half of the year with three being done by children under nine. In another report the government of Australia will be spending $8m for out of control kids in a special program for disturbed children and teenagers – some of whom pose a danger to the public. Secularism makes a mockery of spirituality and sees no need for religion in the molding of a person. In this fast changing world innocent children are exposed to the influences of mobile phones, internet and TV, body piercing, tattoos, free sex lifestyle and a shameless culture of freedom with no limits. Commitments to a healthy family social structure cannot be taught separately in the void of spirituality in a secular school. It is a Ga-Ga world turned upside down – as parents watch how their children grow up against what they had aspired for them to be. Against democracy - religion has sometimes been viewed as undemocratic as places restrictions

on the ways in which people may behave. Enticing mankind with the word ‘democracy’ is a new world order. It gives freedom to ‘do as one wishes’ within a set of laws and legislation designed by man’s limited mind. Secularism is a system corrupting the mind to be forgetful of the real purpose of a man’s existence; that is to check injustices and install dignity. To be in ‘politics’ is to be aware of the ‘agendas and programmes’ installed by the ruling politicians; whether it is for the benefit of the society or vice versa. To be a ‘politically aware person’ one has to be knowledgeable, upright, disciplined, sober and focused; knowing the path to take with a mind frame of healthy world views to know what is real and what is false. Reality in life is not at the pub or dressing up half-naked in designer clothing. It is however democracy which has prescribed such lifestyles including living in ‘de facto’ relationships between man and woman, gay marriages and single mothers. At the end of the day secularism takes away the fear and trust in God’s laws. Anyone who keeps up with the news will see reports of stabbings, assaults with broken glass, pub brawls, riots at youth parties and even calculated moves to murder the parents for their insurance and savings. In Australian news, hardly a weekend goes by without reports of outbreaks of wanton brutality that leave many people wondering just what the hell is happening in society. When

HYDER’S CASE OF INTEREST:

people lose the feeling of shame – it is equal to being ‘uncivilised’. Trusting the secular school will be best reflected by knowing that for 8-hours a day - for 5-days a week - for 12-months a year - for 12 or more years of their life the child will be in a environment that rejects the presence of God, nurtured by non-believers indoctrinated and secularised to believe Western culture is the ‘best and only’ way to achieve success. Being fearless of God, humans turn to be undisciplined and unruly which becomes obvious when the child reaches puberty. ‘Living as a Muslim’ starts right from the time we wake up from sleep – brushing our teeth, shower, take wudhu and keeping clean physically and spiritually till the time we go to bed which includes adhering to Islamic practices such as the obligatory five daily prayer, the way we behave; talk to our parents, friends and elders. It also includes the way we think and do only righteous things believing God is watching our every move and intentions. Best of all how we are going to plan our path? Are we going to the pub or to the mosque to submit to Allah; or do we believe in the presence of Allah as our creator or do we believe we exist just by ourselves evolving from monkeys and apes? To the question “what about after school hours Quranic lessons and other private religious courses, won’t they be sufficient along with ordinary schools?”

Tarek Chamkhi

East - West Crescent Times is continuing our investigation of the halal industry in this country. Our brilliant colleague Shayma will present the third part of her series in the next issue. In the meantime, from this issue we launch out next hot topic - Islamic education in Australia. I suspect many readers have questioned the performance of Islamic schools in Australia and elsewhere. We have all heard of the recent Western Australian fraud cases. And of course some of us have been delighted with the success of our children in well known Islamic schools across the country. Our second hot topic investigation, will focus on the following questions which reflect the concerns of Muslims in secular countries: - are Islamic schools necessary for our children? - what about after hours Quran lessons and other private religious instruction, is that sufficient alongside education at a secular school? - are Islamic schools in Australia as efficient in academic teaching as non

Is Islamic Education a family’s safety net?

religious schools? -do Islamic schools encourage integration of Australian Muslims? do they perform a bridge between Muslims and non Muslims or do they deepen the isolation of our children? -what about the fraud cases and legal troubles in Australian Islamic schools in recent years? Do these represent ordinary mistakes that anyone could make or do they indicate a particular tendency of those running these schools? -what about the huge successes claimed by some Islamic schools? Are these reports accurate or just propaganda? -what about the allegations of sexual abuse cases at particular Islamic schools? are our children safe there? Is there a culture of covering up offences or protecting perpetrators from mainstream investigation and law enforcement. -what about the protests that inevitably occur when a new Islamic school is proposed? Is this just Islamophobia or are our leaders failing to maintain good public relations? -what is taught at Islamic

schools? Do the schools teach authentic Islamic philosophy, Islamisation of knowledge? Do the schools make real academic achievements in religious instruction or do they just tack on a few hours of Quran teaching here and there and that’s it? -from the financial perspective, do those who run Islamic schools consider that the schools are waqf and belong to the entire Muslim community or are they considered private property that belongs to a particular family or association? What about those schools that were started following public fund raising in our mosques and communities? Who do they belong to? Many questions will no doubt be raised along the way. Dear readers, writers and commentators, please take this important issue into account and contribute with whatever you know of the truth. May Allah guide us all to the pure truth. Editor in Chief.

continued on page 13

In this month’s Crescent Times Legal Affairs I will discuss how the niqab has recently been viewed by the courts of two common law jurisdictions; Australia and Canada. Australia In Perth earlier this year, Sister Tasneem, was a key

material witness in a fraud trial. Sr Tasneem wanted to wear the niqab in court because there would be men there who were not her blood relations. She had worn a burka covering her face, all her adult life, and had worn the niqab at her Australian citizenship ceremony. Relevantly, Sr Tasneem had lifted the niqab for passport checks at the airport, for her driver’s licence photo and for medical and dental treatment. Defence lawyers for the accused (who has since been convicted) raised concerns that the jury would not be able to properly assess her evidence unless her facial expressions could be seen. District Court Judge Shauna Deane ruled that she did not consider it appropriate for Sr Tasneem to wear a niqab while giving evidence. She ruled that Tasneem should give evidence with her face uncovered because the jury should not be impeded in its ability to assess her demeanour. However, Justice Deane said her decision was in no way binding on any other court, as there was no reason for her to examine or discuss the Islamic religion, or to determine the practice of wearing certain garments. Justice Deane stressed the importance of upholding a fair trial and saying the head covering could be misleading for the jury when assessing the evidence of the witness. Canada In Ontario, Canada, the Court of Appeal also had

to balance religious rights with fairness in a trial. The Canadian case was a criminal case where the victim of an alleged sexual assault was ordered to remove her niqab during the trial of the accused. Even though both are common law jurisdictions, Canada has enacted the Charter of Human Rights, whereas Australia has not. The Canadian Court held that Muslim witnesses wearing a face-covering niqab must remove it to testify if the covering would truly jeopardise a fair trial. Given the seriousness of the crime (child molestation) and the potential punishment (jail time), it was crucial to allow the defence to assess the demeanour of the niqab wearing witness during testimony. The Court stated that some safeguards when giving evidence without the niqab would be: •having as few people in the courtroom as possible, and ensuring that most or all of them are female; •where constitutionally permissible, an order that a witness be cross-examined by a female lawyer; •if necessary, the court could be closed to all male persons other than the accused and his lawyer; The Court emphasised that defence lawyers cannot simply assert the right to have a niqab removed without first making a strong case for why it is necessary. So, what can we conclude from the above two cases? The first point is that during any trial proceeding, while it is unsafe to base conclusions solely on the

demeanour or facial expressions of a witness, it is a reality that these facial nuances play an important role in the overall truth-seeking process for a court, for example how a witness answers a question, and reacts to cross examination. As we all appreciate, non-verbal communication is very important. The second is that every case of a niqab wearing witness must be examined on its own facts. The third is that it is not possible to craft an absolute solution, since the right to religion and the inviolability of a fair trial are extremely powerful rights that cannot overshadow one another. Simply put, each matter has to be decided on a case-by-case basis. It is fitting that the last words of this article should go to Sr Tasneem, whose comments were both sensible and reasonable. Sr Tasneem said she accepted the judge’s decision and said she had never demanded to wear the niqab, but had merely asked to dress as she normally would in front of people she did not know. “I am a proud law-abiding Australian and I am not trying to change the Australian way of life. I am simply trying to live by my beliefs.” Interested readers may wish to view the Muslim Legal Network briefing paper for the community about the Niqab/Burka – see here to obtain a copy: http://hydergulam.com/mln-burka-paper-version-2 *Hyder can be contacted at: hyder.gulam@crecenttimes.com.au

Prayer Schedule November 2010 Perth, Western Australia

Prayer Schedule November 2010 Sydney, New South Wales

Prayer Schedule November 2010 Melbourne, Victoria

Prayer Schedule November 2010 Brisbane, Queensland

Niqab in Two Anglo Saxon Courts

Hyder Gulam* Legal Editor

Date Day Fajr 1 Mon 3:51 2 Tue 3:49 3 Wed 3:48 4 Thu 3:47 5 Fri 3:46 6 Sat 3:45 7 Sun 3:44 8 Mon 3:43 9 Tue 3:42 10Wed 3:41 11 Thu 3:40 12 Fri 3:39 13 Sat 3:38 14 Sun 3:37 15 Mon 3:36 16 Tue 3:35 17 Wed 3:34 18 Thu 3:34 19 Fri 3:33 20 Sat 3:32 21 Sun 3:31 22Mon 3:31 23 Tue 3:30 24 Wed 3:29 25 Thu 3:29 26 Fri 3:28 27 Sat 3:28 28 Sun 3:27 29Mon 3:27 30 Tue 3:27

Sunrise 5:19 5:18 5:17 5:17 5:16 5:15 5:14 5:13 5:13 5:12 5:11 5:11 5:10 5:09 5:09 5:08 5:08 5:07 5:07 5:06 5:06 5:05 5:05 5:05 5:04 5:04 5:04 5:04 5:03 5:03

Dhuhr 12:01 12:01 12:01 12:01 12:01 12:01 12:01 12:01 12:01 12:01 12:01 12:01 12:01 12:02 12:02 12:02 12:02 12:02 12:02 12:03 12:03 12:03 12:03 12:04 12:04 12:04 12:05 12:05 12:05 12:06

Asr 3:40 3:40 3:40 3:40 3:41 3:41 3:41 3:41 3:41 3:41 3:41 3:42 3:42 3:42 3:42 3:42 3:43 3:43 3:43 3:43 3:44 3:44 3:44 3:44 3:45 3:45 3:45 3:46 3:46 3:46

Maghrib 6:42 6:43 6:44 6:44 6:45 6:46 6:47 6:48 6:49 6:50 6:51 6:52 6:52 6:53 6:54 6:55 6:56 6:57 6:58 6:59 7:00 7:00 7:01 7:02 7:03 7:04 7:05 7:06 7:07 7:07

Isha 8:05 8:07 8:08 8:09 8:10 8:11 8:12 8:13 8:14 8:16 8:17 8:18 8:19 8:20 8:21 8:23 8:24 8:25 8:26 8:27 8:28 8:30 8:31 8:32 8:33 8:34 8:35 8:36 8:37 8:39

Date Day Fajr 1 Mon 4:24 2 Tue 4:22 3 Wed 4:21 4 Thu 4:20 5 Fri 4:19 6 Sat 4:17 7 Sun 4:16 8 Mon 4:15 9 Tue 4:14 10 Wed 4:13 11 Thu 4:12 12 Fri 4:11 13 Sat 4:10 14 Sun 4:09 15 Mon 4:08 16 Tue 4:07 17 Wed 4:06 18 Thu 4:05 19 Fri 4:04 20 Sat 4:03 21 Sun 4:02 22 Mon 4:01 23 Tue 4:01 24 Wed 4:00 25 Thu 3:59 26 Fri 3:59 27 Sat 3:58 28 Sun 3:58 29 Mon 3:57 30 Tue 3:57

Sunrise 5:55 5:54 5:53 5:52 5:51 5:50 5:49 5:48 5:48 5:47 5:46 5:45 5:45 5:44 5:43 5:43 5:42 5:42 5:41 5:40 5:40 5:40 5:39 5:39 5:38 5:38 5:38 5:37 5:37 5:37

Dhuhr 12:39 12:39 12:39 12:39 12:39 12:39 12:39 12:39 12:39 12:40 12:40 12:40 12:40 12:40 12:40 12:40 12:41 12:41 12:41 12:41 12:41 12:42 12:42 12:42 12:42 12:43 12:43 12:43 12:44 12:44

Asr 4:21 4:21 4:22 4:22 4:22 4:22 4:22 4:23 4:23 4:23 4:23 4:23 4:24 4:24 4:24 4:24 4:25 4:25 4:25 4:26 4:26 4:26 4:26 4:27 4:27 4:27 4:28 4:28 4:29 4:29

Maghrib 7:23 7:24 7:25 7:26 7:27 7:28 7:29 7:30 7:31 7:32 7:33 7:34 7:35 7:36 7:36 7:37 7:38 7:39 7:40 7:41 7:42 7:43 7:44 7:45 7:46 7:47 7:48 7:49 7:50 7:51

Isha 8:49 8:50 8:52 8:53 8:54 8:55 8:57 8:58 8:59 9:00 9:02 9:03 9:04 9:05 9:07 9:08 9:09 9:10 9:12 9:13 9:14 9:15 9:17 9:18 9:19 9:20 9:22 9:23 9:24 9:25

Date Day Fajr 1 Mon 4:35 2 Tue 4:34 3 Wed 4:32 4 Thu 4:31 5 Fri 4:29 6 Sat 4:28 7 Sun 4:27 8 Mon 4:25 9 Tue 4:24 1 0Wed 4:22 1 1Thu 4:21 12 Fri 4:20 13 Sat 4:19 14 Sun 4:17 15 Mon 4:16 16 Tue 4:15 17 Wed 4:14 18 Thu 4:13 19 Fri 4:11 20 Sat 4:10 21 Sun 4:09 22 Mon 4:08 23 Tue 4:07 24 Wed 4:06 25 Thu 4:06 26 Fri 4:05 27 Sat 4:04 28 Sun 4:03 29 Mon 4:02 30 Tue 4:02

Sunrise 6:13 6:12 6:11 6:10 6:09 6:08 6:07 6:06 6:05 6:04 6:03 6:02 6:01 6:01 6:00 5:59 5:58 5:58 5:57 5:56 5:56 5:55 5:55 5:54 5:54 5:53 5:53 5:52 5:52 5:52

Dhuhr 1:04 1:04 1:04 1:04 1:04 1:04 1:04 1:04 1:04 1:05 1:05 1:05 1:05 1:05 1:05 1:05 1:06 1:06 1:06 1:06 1:06 1:07 1:07 1:07 1:07 1:08 1:08 1:08 1:09 1:09

Asr 4:51 4:52 4:52 4:52 4:53 4:53 4:53 4:53 4:54 4:54 4:54 4:55 4:55 4:56 4:56 4:56 4:57 4:57 4:57 4:58 4:58 4:59 4:59 4:59 5:00 5:00 5:01 5:01 5:02 5:02

Maghrib 7:55 7:56 7:57 7:58 7:59 8:00 8:01 8:02 8:03 8:05 8:06 8:07 8:08 8:09 8:10 8:11 8:12 8:13 8:14 8:15 8:17 8:18 8:19 8:20 8:21 8:22 8:23 8:24 8:25 8:26

Isha 9:27 9:28 9:30 9:31 9:33 9:34 9:36 9:37 9:39 9:40 9:42 9:43 9:45 9:46 9:48 9:49 9:50 9:52 9:53 9:55 9:56 9:58 9:59 10:01 10:02 10:04 10:05 10:06 10:08 10:09

Date Day Fajr 1 Mon 3:33 2 Tue 3:33 3 Wed 3:32 4 Thu 3:31 5 Fri 3:30 6 Sat 3:29 7 Sun 3:29 8 Mon 3:27 9 Tue 3:26 10 Wed 3:25 11 Thu 3:25 12 Fri 3:24 13 Sat 3:23 14 Sun 3:23 15 Mon 3:22 16 Tue 3:21 17 Wed 3:20 18 Thu 3:20 19 Fri 3:19 20 Sat 3:19 21 Sun 3:19 22 Mon 3:18 23 Tue 3:17 24 Wed 3:17 25 Thu 3:16 26 Fri 3:16 27 Sat 3:15 28 Sun 3:15 29 Mon 3:15 30 Tue 3:15

Sunrise 4:57 4:56 4:55 4:55 4:54 4:53 4:53 4:52 4:51 4:51 4:50 4:50 4:49 4:49 4:48 4:48 4:47 4:47 4:47 4:46 4:46 4:46 4:45 4:45 4:45 4:45 4:45 4:44 4:44 4:44

Dhuhr 11:32 11:32 11:32 11:32 11:32 11:32 11:32 11:32 11:32 11:32 11:32 11:33 11:33 11:33 11:33 11:33 11:33 11:34 11:34 11:34 11:34 11:34 11:35 11:35 11:35 11:36 11:36 11:36 11:36 11:37

Asr 3:05 3:05 3:05 3:05 3:05 3:04 3:04 3:04 3:04 3:04 3:05 3:05 3:05 3:05 3:05 3:05 3:05 3:05 3:05 3:05 3:05 3:05 3:06 3:06 3:06 3:06 3:06 3:07 3:07 3:07

Maghrib 6:07 6:07 6:08 6:09 6:10 6:10 6:10 6:12 6:13 6:13 6:14 6:15 6:16 6:16 6:17 6:18 6:19 6:19 6:20 6:21 6:21 6:22 6:23 6:24 6:25 6:26 6:27 6:27 6:27 6:29

Isha 7:26 7:26 7:27 7:28 7:29 7:30 7:30 7:32 7:33 7:34 7:35 7:36 7:37 7:37 7:39 7:40 7:41 7:42 7:43 7:44 7:44 7:45 7:47 7:48 7:49 7:50 7:51 7:52 7:52 7:54


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Australia Wide Community Events: New South Wales

Personal Leadership (sisters only) Date: 27 and 28 November 2010 Time: 9am - 4pm both days Location: ISRA Centre, Level 3, 128132 South Parade AUBURN NSW 2144 Opposite Auburn Train Station Cost: $50 per person, $30 Students Islamic Sciences and Research Academy is pleased to offer its popular Personal Leadership course comprising of a detailed presentation of key knowledge involving discussions over practical dimensions and in class activities to hone the art of personal leadership. Including: Difference between management and leadership; 4th generation time management techniques; emotional intelligence; relationships, listening and influencing; building trust and working in teams that work. Morning tea and lunch will be provided. Registrations: www.isra. org.au or email: info@isra.org.au or phone: (02) 9649 9040.

Multifaith Future Leaders Program Date: 21-23 February 2011 Are you a committed member of a faith communityMuslim, Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, anything? Are you a dynamic young person, around 18 to 26 years and see yourself as a future leader of your community? If so, you may be eligible to join the Multifaith Future Leaders Program. A Participants begin with a free three-day leadership training workshop and then join a range of activities from learning public speaking to encountering other faiths. Best of all, they meet and network with other young people from different faith communities. For more details and to apply, contact reception@ antidef.org.au or click on the link at www.antidef. org.au

University Certificate in Islamic Studies Information Session Date: Sunday 28th November 2010 Time: 6pm – 8pm Venue: ISRA Centre, Level 3, 128-132 South Parade Auburn NSW 2144 Cost: Free Designed and taught by independent Muslim scholars and academics for the first time in Australia, Charles Sturt University and ISRA Australia are pleased to announce the University Certificate in Islamic Studies – the first stage of a full Bachelor Degree in Islamic Studies program. This University Certificate is a structured course program for Islamic learning. Those successfully completing the course will attain a fully accredited Certificate from Charles Sturt University. The Certificate also offers the opportunity to continue to a full Bachelor degree in Islamic Theology and Law (Shariah).HECS/ FEE HELP applicable and lectures will be held in Auburn, Sydney. A special information session on 28 November will answer all your queries. For more information or to make an appointment contact us on 02 9649 9040 or info@ isra.org.au

Required: Stories in the Park 2011 Team Stories in the Park is an event for young and old set in beautiful Coburg Lake Park where the best storytellers in Melbourne share amazing stories of the Islamic tradition with the public out in the warm open air after Magreb prayers. Find out more at www.storiesinthepark.com.au The team at Stories in the Park Melbourne is looking for a project manager and people to support the Summer 2011 story series of events. The project manager job will entail completing or overseeing duties to ensure the preparation and logistics for the event, (liaising with council, arranging storytellers, promotion and procurement), and managing the events on the night. The 2011 series will commence on Friday 18 February and finish on April 1 2011. Some preparation will need to commence in later 2010. If you are uncertain about your project management capabilities, do not fear! You will be mentored through the process by experienced team members from last season. You can apply with a brief expression of interest outlining who you are and your desire to join the team to hisham.moustafa@icv.org.au. Alternatively, if you just want to help out on the nights, please also send through an email expressing your interest and capacity to help. We’re always looking for inspiring and entertaining story tellers. If you are one, or know of someone, please let us know: hisham. moustafa@icv.org.au

YMA 19th National Senior Muslim Youth Camp Date: 11-19 January Location: Rubicon Valley Cost:$380 all inclusive For brothers and sisters age 16 and over. A time to get together, and escape to reality. Come join in the muhabbah and establish a connection with your community. Everyone’s looking for a deeper meaning to life. Something to hold on to through the darkest days, something to cherish and remember in the happiest moments. Activities including: Horse riding, Kayaking, Night camping. Don’t miss out on this year’s camp! Whether you’ve come before or you’re a first timer! For application forms go to www.yma.org.au. Enrolments close on 20 December 2010.

Curtain Muslim Student Association Youth Dinner Date: Saturday 28 November Time:7:30pm Location: Bentley Community Centre, Nyanup Way, Bentley Cost: $25 per person Dinner is being held to coincide with the Perth lectures of Loon, an African-American rapper formerly part of P. Diddy’s Bad Boy Records, he reverted to Islam in December 2008 whilst on tour in Dubai, UAE and is now known as Amir Junaid Muhadith. His inspiring story of rising up from the ghettos of Harlem, NY to street-hustling and later making it in to the rap game and eventually realising the truth of Islam and becoming Muslim, is quite a tale.

Victoria

Western Australia

Last month the Federal Government announced plans to move asylum seeking families with children to the unused army accommodation at Inverbrakie in the Adelaide Hills. A media frenzy ensued seeking furious people on the streets of the small town of Woodside which borders the proposed Detention Facility, and at first they could not find them. I breathed a sigh of relief – SA people were decent people after all, we would show the rest of the country what being an ‘Aussie’ really meant; acceptance, a fair go, kindness, compassion. I did not bet on the migrant population of Woodside. A Town Meeting was called and every racist from near and far attended. The Department of Immigration sent their SA Director to face the angry mob who shouted about not being consulted, about their anger over overcrowding at their children’s school, about queue jumpers, devaluation of real-estate and called for the head of the PM. They shouted loud and made sure their opinions were heard. I attended the meeting with my sister, who is a local resident, and to my shock and horror a large number of the loudest voices were themselves new migrants. They were predominantly English shouting about how they had left England because they did not like the way it had accepted refugees, claiming that ‘these people’ were taught to steal before they could walk, or that the children of these proposed families would become terrorists ‘but it was not their fault – they

Editorial2

The Journey so far: Two Years of Excellence!

Vive la Diversité!

Congratulations from America, Crescent Times, for achieving another year-full of useful news and commentary for Australian Muslims. Insha Allah, may you have many more. Since starting writing for Crescent Times, I have appreciated the fact that the publication is open enough and strong enough to represent the diversity of the Australian Muslim community. I have appreciated being able to get intelligent debate and perspective from Australian Muslims. And from my American standpoint, I have found it enlightening and sometimes amusing to discover what Aussie Muslims think of America. Regardless of my own opinion, however, consider the fact that the United States has two Muslim Congressmen. (Two out of 435 ain’t bad, I guess.) If Congress can make room for Muslims, then Australian Muslims can make room for divergent opinions on polygamy and political participation, right? Readers, please continue to support Crescent Times by reading, sharing, and distributing it around Australia insha Allah. Write us and let us know what you think, too! (You know, in a nice way…)

Deborah McNichol

When I first saw Crescent Times… Being a foreigner visiting Australia in December 2008, brought many questions to my mind. One of it was regarding the status of Muslims in this beautiful country; how they are living as a minority group; going about their

Woodside Welcomes Refugees – The Real Story

Janine Evans Adelaide

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Issue 25, November 2010

just don’t fit in here’. My sister challenged one lady who was determined to have more than her one turn on the microphone; she was from Israel and migrated to Australia to escape war and violence. My sister pointed out that this was exactly the reason these families were seeking asylum – she responded by saying she had paid her way and her property’s value was now going to fall. The media had their story, the Opposition had their slogan and the mob had their 15 minutes of fame and were reveling in it. But this is not the whole story – media reports stated over 500 attended the meeting and they voted unanimously against the facility. Yes 500 people were there – the hall was full and so was the car park. More than 50 percent of the attendees did NOT oppose the centre – they were dismayed that they were being represented and that people who had themselves settled there from overseas were now dictating to their community. One lady said ‘oh you got in now no one else can’ and explained to us she had lived near the site all her life and she was ashamed of this response. Another man said that he had known the people in the area for many years and they were welcoming and would not oppose this move but this view did not fit with the media’s story. The people of Woodside know they have this opportunity to get it right, to be an example to the rest of the country on the humane treatment of people in need. I have faith that the good will of the people of the Adelaide Hills will prevail and long after the shouting has ended these people will continue to act with justice, compassion and love.

*Janine Evans is an author and director of ASMA (Assisting Shift in Multicultural Australia). An active member of the South Australian Muslim community working extensively in Cross Cultural/Religious Dialogue, she is often invited to speak on her journey from mainstream Christian Australian to minority Muslim Australian after embracing Islam.

life and holding on to Islam. It was not until I picked up my first free copy of Crescent Times at Perth Mosque that I felt a fresh feeling of hope and jubilation at the success of Muslim ummah in Perth and Australia at large. I felt instantly in touch with the aspirations of the brothers and sister here. At that moment I was wondering how the publisher will sustain the cost of free publication. Where will the funding come from? It was not until I saw the appeal for donation at the corner of a page I then realised the need for fund raising. Besides discovering Crescent Times at Perth Mosque I met Yakoop - a youth who reverted to Islam at the young age of 15. He relates that before conversion his mind was in confusion as he kept asking himself ‘there must be a true God that teaches man to be good’ as he witnessed his countrymen stumbling through their life intoxicated by liquor and indulging in various vices in their attempt to reach for happiness. I believe Crescent Times can provide insights into Islam and the Muslim community for new Muslims and non-Muslims alike. I received another edition during my visit to Al-Hidayah School. I could not miss the stack of Crescent Times on the table in the administration office for distribution to parents and students. For now, the least I can do is to share views as Crescent Times has given us a voice – the voice for ‘unspoken words’ buried in the hearts of Muslims living as a minority in Australia. It has successfully

ay! thd llence Bir nd f Exce o c Se ey O rn Jou

highlighted the aspirations of Muslims as an intellectually proactive community wishing to practice their faith peacefully. We will be able to build a strong and progressive community by supporting one another…Insha Allah!

Kamariah Ahmad

Thinking back to the first edition of Crescent Times, it hardly seems possible that it was two years ago. I should have known that the journey was going to have its ups and downs along the way - pressing the “Revert to Saved” button instead of the “Save” button provided an early lesson in patience in the face of adversity! Following the first edition there have been successes and failures who could forget the outcry that followed publication of a news item regarding a gay imam in the USA (first prize for the most controversial article) or the seven electronic editions of one issue that just wouldn’t settle down - the front page story just kept developing to the point that we almost couldn’t keep up! Those in the Crescent Times office will also recall the Anwar Ibrahim virus, the result of which was replacement of all nine photos on one page with Anwar’s picture - alhamdulillah someone noticed that before we went to print! Along the way there has been plenty of blood, sweat and tears (literally and figuratively) and insha Allah there will be more to come!

Joanne McKeown

It’s Uk’s Most Popular Boy’s Name, But Different Spellings Cost Mohammed Official Top Spot Mohammed was the most popular name for newborn baby boys in England and Wales in 2009, according to official new data. But 12 different spellings of the name, each listed separately, meant that Oliver officially topped the poll. The name Oliver, given to 7364 children, ended Jack’s 14-year reign at number one, with Harry, Alfie and Joshua rounding out the top five in the figures published by the Office for National Statistics. The two most common spellings of the Muslim name Mohammed came in at 16th and 36th place, a total of 7549 baby boys, making it the most popular name overall. The most common spelling, Mohammed, was the number one name in its own right in the West Midlands region of central England which includes the city of Birmingham, and number four in London. Olivia, meanwhile, remained the most common girls’ name with 5201 children of that name, followed by Ruby, Chloe, Emily and Sophie. The highest climber in the girls’ top 100 was

Maisie, up 29 places to number 34. Austin showed the largest rise of any name in the top 100 for boys, surging from number 160 in 2008 to 100th place in 2009. England and Manchester United footballer Wayne Rooney’s son Kai was one of 1012 born last year, making it the 68th most popular boys’ baby name. Alfie was the highest climbing new entry to the boys’ top 10, up 60 to number four over the past ten years. More generally, the last 10 years showed a resurgence of popularity among names popular around the start of the 20th century. In another development, there were 16 newborn Kings in 2009, three King Davids, 68 Princes, eight Dukes, 11 Earls, four Barons and four Lords born. Amongst the girls, there were 12 Queenies, seven Queens, 109 Princesses and five Ladys. Florence, the name of Prime Minister David Cameron’s new baby, was at number 80 last year. There were 706,248 live births in England and Wales in 2009. Source: The Daily Telegraph


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Issue 25, November 2010

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2

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CFN 17891

‫أضحية العيد‬

Eid Sacrifice (Qurban)

130

$

COUNTRIES INCLUDE :‫قال ر�سول اهلل �سلى اهلل عليه و�سلم‬

»‫ اإن على كل اأهل بيت يف كل عام اأ�سحية‬،‫«يااأيها النا�س‬ ‫اأخرجه اإبن ماجة والرتمذي‬

“Oh people, it is compulsory for every household to make a sacrifice yearly” (Narrated by Al-Tirmithi & Ibn Maja) To participate in the Eid Al Adha Sacrifice (Qurban) project, you can choose one of the following donation payment options: • By Phone: 1300 760 155 • Online: www.humanappeal.org.au • By Mail: Please make all cheques and money orders to: Human Appeal International PO Box 406 Lakemba NSW 2195 • In person: Sydney office: 119 Haldon St Lakemba NSW 2195 Tel: (02) 9750 3161 Fax: (02) 9750 2524

Melbourne office: 149 Sydney Rd Coburg VIC 3058

Tel: (03) 9386 4677 Fax: (03) 9386 4688

• Lebanon • Palestine • Egypt • Iraq • Jordan • Sudan • Somalia • Indonesia • Bosnia • Kosova • Pakistan • Kashmir • Bangladesh • Afghanistan • Sri Lanka • Fiji • Eritrean Refugees • Albania


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Issue 25, November 2010

Review of the Taxation Treatment of Islamic Finance Products Hyder Gulam FRCNA* Most Crescent Times readers would be well aware that on 26 April 2010, the then Rudd Government announced that the Board of Taxation (‘Board’) would be undertaking a comprehensive review of Australia’s tax laws to ensure that, wherever possible, they do not inhibit the expansion of Islamic finance, banking and insurance products. In late October 2010, the Board announced the release of a discussion paper on the its review of the taxation treatment of Islamic finance, banking and insurance products. The Board was asked to: •Identify impediments in current Australian tax laws (at the Commonwealth, State and Territory level) to the development and provision of Islamic financial products in Australia; •Examine the tax policy response to the development of Islamic financial products in other jurisdictions (including the United Kingdom, France, South Korea and relevant Asian jurisdictions); and •Make recommendations (for Commonwealth tax laws) and findings (for State and Territory tax laws) that will ensure, wherever possible, that Islamic financial products have parity of tax treatment with conventional products. To facilitate public consultation, the Board has developed the discussion paper as a basis for further discussion. The closing date for submissions is Friday 17 December 2010, and I urge all Crescent Times readers to make a submission. Copies of the Board’s discussion paper are available from www.taxboard.gov.au. Principles Underlying Islamic Banking & Finance

As a refresher for readers, the principles underlying Islamic Banking & Finance as derived from the Shariah are: •Prohibition of paying and receiving interest: Interest must not be charged or paid on any financial transaction. •Prohibition of uncertainty

or speculation: Uncertainty in contractual terms and conditions is forbidden. However, risk taking is allowed when all the terms and conditions are clear and known to all parties. •Prohibition of financing certain economic sectors: Financing of industries deemed unlawful by Shariah – such as weapons, pork and gambling – is forbidden. •Principle of profit and loss sharing: Parties to a financial transaction must share in risks and rewards attached to it. •Principle of asset backing: Each financial transaction must refer to tangible, identifiable underlying asset. The Board is looking at the tax treatment of Islamic finance products based on their economic substance rather than their form. Where an Islamic finance product is economically equivalent to a conventional finance product, the tax treatment of the two products should be the same. If the Board concludes that amendments to the tax law are required, the Board will consider whether adjustments can be made to existing tax frameworks rather than the development of specific provisions directed solely at

Islamic finance products. Australian Tax Considerations So, in summary the tax considerations are: •Taxation of financial arrangements (TOFA) •Debt / equity rules •TOFA tax timing rules

•Hire purchase •Non-resident withholding tax •Interaction between CGT rules and finance taxation & securities lending arrangements •GST State and Territory taxes Australia’s National Interest Why is this issue so important for Australia? Well here are the following points why it is in Australia’s National interest to consider these amendments: 1. Attracting foreign Islamic banks and conventional banks with Islamic windows to establish operations in Australia; 2. Attracting investment in Australian assets and businesses from overseas Shariah investors and tapping into new funding sources through sukuk and other securitised issues; 3. Australian based banks providing from Australia a range of Shariah compliant investment and financing products and services to Islamic banks, corporations, institutions and high net worth individuals in the Asia Pacific and the Gulf regions; 4. Fund managers establishing Shariah compliant funds for Asian and Gulf institutional and high net worth individual investors; 5. Local exchanges providing Islamic listings platforms for domestic and international issues of Shariah compliant instruments; and 6. Australian based financial firms, professional services providers and educational institutions exporting their services into Asia and the Gulf. It’s a pity that some of our elected officials cannot see that it is in Australia’s National interest to ensure that the benefits of Islamic Banking and Finance flow to all Australians,

irrespective of race or religion. *Lawyer with Logie-Smith Lanyon

Lawyers. Hyder is a registered nurse, a qualified lawyer, an accredited mediator as well as a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing in Australia. He has post graduate qualifications in business/ management, law and nursing. He has served as an officer with the Royal Australian Air Force, both in

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EMAN ISLAMIC ACADEMY (North Brisbane, QLD)

WANTED

Primary Teachers & Teacher Aides Starting Safar, 1432 (Term 1, 2011) Full-time, part-time and casual positions available. Please email: info@lutwychemasjid.com for a full job description and selection criteria. Alternatively, see www.lutwychemasjid.com for more information. Terms of employment will be negotiated with successful candidates. Remuneration will be according to current Australian Award and Agreement. Applications deadline: COB Jumu’ah, 10th Muharram 1432 (17/12/2010). (Applications after this date may be considered under exceptional circumstances).

Australia a n d overseas. Force, both in Australia and overseas. He has published in areas such as trans-cultural nursing, health law, criminal law and military law. Hyder has also worked in indigenous health, paediatric nursing, aged care, as well as emergency and trauma. This article is for educational and general information purposes only and should not be relied on as (or in substitution for) legal, accounting, financial or other professional advice.


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Issue 25, November 2010

Web: www.crescenttimes.com.au

Notes from a Stranger 2 ay! thd llence Bir nd f Exce o c Se ey O rn Jou

Aisha Stacey, QLD editor Extreme Does Not Belong To Islam In the USA it has been suggested that President Obama raised the terror threat in order to affect the Senate and House of Representatives elections held earlier this month. How that worked for him and the Democrats I don’t really know. However the strategy made me contemplate just how difficult it has been for Muslims since the tragedy of 9/11. Apart from the tragic loss of life, the bombing of the World Trade Centre spun the world off into a chaotic, fear filled shadow of its former self. Well, at least for those of us who lived relatively easy lives, free from daily disease, decay and destruction. Terror alerts, paranoia, xenophobia, fear of everything: including neighbours, back packs, Muslims with backpacks or beards, burqas and strange packages has become part of everyday life. Heightened security, CCTV, the twenty first century is strangely Orwellian. In the light of this new world order, as opposed to the New World Order, we should take a fresh look at what Islam says about violence and terrorism and remind ourselves that Islam is the religion of peace and we, Muslims, are inherently not bloodthirsty and violent, despite the fact that some of us sometimes act that way. Islam was revealed by God for the benefit of humankind and wholeheartedly forbids harming innocent people in any way. This includes harm to their bodies, wealth, or honour. Islam teaches us to treat everybody, no matter what their religion, ethnicity, colour or social status, with respect and kindness. Islam forbids oppression of any kind and safeguards rights. It commands us to live in peace and harmony and uphold justice even towards our enemies and even in times of war. It is never permissible to kill a person who is not hostile.

Sadly not all Muslims understand and follow their religion. Culture all too often dictates action. It is essential to recognise that just because a person, a group or country is known as Islamic, that does not mean that they automatically follow the laws sent down by God. One of the problems facing the world is that people with very little real Islamic knowledge have become accepted as experts while the real experts are unable to have their opinions heard. Extreme groups preach extreme ideologies that have no place in the way of life that is Islam. Islam is the middle ground, and extreme anything is not from the teachings of Islam. The Quran is a gift for all of humankind and Prophet Mohammed was sent as a mercy to all of humankind. Any person Muslim or non Muslim is not more worthy of peace and security than any other person. Each human being is entitled to sustenance, shelter, and security and if some are denied their God given rights, it is the responsibility of the rest of humankind, to restore those rights, not blatantly take them away. Islam expressly forbids oppression of any kind. A Muslim, any Muslim, should be seen to be a person who stands up for what is right and for what is just. Islam is a way of life that condemns unjustifiable violence of any kind. In this new world where fear and insecurity are at the top of everyone’s agenda let us not neglect what Islam stands for – peace and security. Let us also not forget that it is our duty to demonstrate to the world, all the care, mercy and compassion our beloved Prophet demonstrated to us. * Aisha Stacey is a journalist and author based in the Gold Coast, QLD. She is Queensland editor of Crescent Times.

Email: info@crescenttimes.com.au


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Perth Lebanese Bakery Quality flat bread and groceries 117 President Street

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ussana has just been launched in Australia, working under it’s parent company Dukkaan Ltd. The concept behind the Hussana brand started in early 2008. After researching the market, we found very few, if any, body care and beauty products were Halal certified. The products that were available were mainly cheap imports from the Middle East, with very poor packaging, not widely available.

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The aim of Hussana is to introduce a Halal alternative to the current high street products, many of which contain alcohol and other Haram ingredients from different animal parts. None of Hussana’s range contains any alcohol or animal products. The range consists of Shampoo, Conditioner, Body wash, Moisturiser, Cleanser, Face scrub, Lip balm, Baby shampoo, Baby lotion, Baby oil and Baby bath. The range is suitable for use by both males and females.

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Issue 25, November 2010

*Flat bread *Halal pizza & savouries *Manakeesh *Nuts & grains *Middle Eastern groceries *Beans & dried fruit *And much more!

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Layla is a gifted student - she succeeds academically and is well regarded by her tutors and peers. Conscious of the world around her, she is also involved in a number of social and charitable initiatives. Layla strives to make a positive difference through her life and is a great role model for all, both Muslim and non-Muslim alike. Challenges However, during Layla’s first year at university, things were difficult. Layla often felt quite lonely, and sometimes depressed. She was concerned with the way Islam was portrayed in the media, and often hid the fact that she was Muslim. She was the first from her family to go to university and struggled to juggle her multiple identities. A new world One day, Layla went along to a social event for sisters and was delighted at the new world that opened up to her. A world full of students from diverse cultures, all filled with faith. Finally, Layla felt she had a safe space to explore who she was and better understand her faith. This world was the atmosphere created by the people of her Islamic Society (ISoc). An ISoc is like a home away from home – good company to spend time with, as well as a place to grow spiritually, socially and intellectually. ISocs are run by Muslim students for Muslim students, and can be a haven for personal development and success. Just like it has been for Layla.

Each year, the Muslim Community Fund (MCF) provides many of these societies with all kinds of support, all year round. From helping to deliver basic services like clean prayer rooms, to providing financial support for outreach and social activities, like covering the cost of a weekly session of sisters’ netball, the MCF supports Isocs to support their students. Year after year, MCF works to support ISocs to become the vibrant and relevant communities they should be, on campuses across the United Kingdom. In the academic year 2009–10, MCF provided support for over 40 Islamic Societies in the UK, as well as over 70 other youth/student focused projects. Amongst those supported by the MCF were Islamic Societies at prestigious universities like Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, SOAS, St Andrews, among others.

Our work There are over 140 Islamic Societies in universities across the United Kingdom & Ireland. Support us

Our work is only possible through the help and support of Muslims like you who give a small, but regular contribution. Every penny makes a huge difference, so why not start giving today? MCF is funded entirely from generous contributions from community members like yourself. MCF receives no funding whatsoever from government. MCF is also a registered charity in the UK, so you can be sure we are held to the highest standards in terms of accountability and transparency. Our Prophet said, “Allah loves those deeds done regularly, even if they are small.” What your contribution can do: • It can help us continue our unique support scheme, providing resources to support the work of Islamic Societies across the UK. • It can help facilitate weekly sporting and recreational activities for sisters and brothers, in safe environments, close to campus.

• It can help organise weekly study circles, helping students gain a relevant and balanced understanding of their religion. • It can help provide bursaries and scholarships to students who excel but don’t have the means to pursue further studies. Giving is easy and safe People from anywhere in the world can donate to us from their banks, in their own currency. International donors can use these details: Name: ‘MC Fund’ IBAN (International Bank Account Number): GB93MIDL40023301728253 BIC / Swift Code: MIDLGB2115A To more information on our organisation, projects or services, please visit: www.mcfund.org. uk


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Issue 25, November 2010

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The Black Seed: Nature’s Miracle Cure

Shakira Salahudeen*

‘A cure for every illness except death’ Prophet Mohammed(s), Hadith Sahih Bukhari - Volume 7, Book 71, Number 591

As we slowly transform into a generation that is pre-disposing ourselves to stress, pollution and poor diet, for many of us, this has led to poor health and an endless banquet of medication. While conventional medicine ‘treats’ the condition at hand, what we often forget is that our human body has a remarkable capability to heal itself. That’s where natural medicine steps in. For over 3000 years, the Black Seed (Nigella Sativa) has been traditionally used as a natural remedy for several diseases and ailments. The protective and healing properties of Black Seed oil are so remarkably comprehensive that for thousands of years people have regarded it as a miracle cure. Unlike conventional medicine, Black Seed oil, addresses health problems by working with our immune system. Black Seed Oil owes its potency to key components such as aromatic oils, trace elements, vitamins and enzymes. It contains 58% of essential fatty acids including omega 6 and omega 3. These play a vital part in the forming of Prostaglandin E1 which balances and strengthens the immune system giving it the power to prevent infections and allergies and control chronic illnesses. The long-standing knowledge of the healing properties of the Black Seed have been a focal point of interest to many researchers around the world. Since 1959, there have been over 200 different studies at universities and laboratories on the healing properties of Black Seed oil on various conditions and ailments. Findings from these studies have concluded that the

Black Seed has properties as an antibiotic, antitumour, anti-inflammatory, anti-histaminic, anti-bacterial, anti-bronchial and immune boosting agent. Significant results have also been yielded in the study of Black Seed Oil in the treatment of diabetes, high blood pressure and gastrointestinal problems. At the Cancer Research Laboratory of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, USA, one of the largest experimental studies so far, proved that Black Seed oil had enormous success in tumour therapy without the negative side effects of common chemotherapy. Research found that Black Seed oil increased the growth rate of bone marrow cells by a staggering 250% and inhibited tumour growth by 50%. Black Seed Oil stimulated immune cells and was also found to protect cells from the destroying effect of viruses. In 2008, researchers at the Kimmel Cancer at Jefferson in Philadelphia found that Thymoquinone, an extract of Black Seed oil, blocked pancreatic cancer cell growth and killed the cells by enhancing the process of programmed cell death. Similarly, researchers from Tulane University in the United States reported that Black Seed oil was found to kill prostate cancer cells in laboratory studies. As research continues into the healing properties of Black Seed Oil, it is a further example of modern science validating that which was foretold for us over 1400 years ago. *Shakira Salahudeen has a BA(Psychology) and holds a Master in Applied Commerce (HRM). She is currently head of Business Development at Axpo Pty Ltd, and also holds the position of Human Resource Manager at Mercy Mission Australia. Crescent Times advises that this article has been provided for general information only and must not be substituted for your doctor’s advice. Please consult your health practitioner with any health concerns.

A Visit To The Dentist Is No Laughing Matter!

Yasser Khan

Patient: Doctor, I am very nervous. You know, this is my first extraction. Y o u n g dentist: D o n ’ t worry, it’s my first extraction too.

A husband and wife entered the dentist’s office. The husband said, “I want a tooth pulled. I don’t want gas or Novocain because I’m in a terrible hurry. Just pull the tooth as quickly as possible.” “You’re a brave man,” said the dentist. “Now, show me which tooth it is.” The husband turns to his wife and says, “Open your mouth and show the dentist which Dentist: There goes the only woman I ever loved. tooth it is, dear.” Assistant: Why don’t you marry her? Dentist: I can’t afford to. She’s my best patient. “Open wider.” requested the dentist, as he began his examination of the patient. Patient to Dentist: “How much to get my teeth “Good God !” he said startled. “You’ve got the straightened?” biggest cavity “ Tw e n t y I’ve ever seen thousand the biggest bucks” Patient cavity I’ve ever heads for the seen.” door. “OK Doc !” Dentist to replied the p a t i e n t : patient. “Where are you “I’m scared going?” enough without “To a plastic you saying surgeon to something like get my mouth that twice.” bent.” “I didn’t !” said the dentist. Dentists can be “That was the frustrating. You wait a month-and-a-half for an echo.” appointment, and they say, “I wish you’d come to * Yasser Khan is a general dentist with special interest me sooner.” A woman phoned her dentist when she received a huge bill. “I’m shocked!” she complained. “This is three times what you normally charge.” “Yes, I know,” said the dentist. “But you yelled so loud, you scared away two other patients.”

in cosmetic and aesthetic dentistry. He has been actively involved with various organisations locally and abroad in promoting the awareness and importance of oral hygiene care. He works mainly in Mansfield north east of Melbourne and part time in Pascoe Vale South. Apart from dentistry he enjoys skiing, chess and travelling.


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Issue 25, November 2010

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Issue 25, November 2010

Email: info@crescenttimes.com.au

Al-Qaeda’s Al-Hidayah Islamic Slaughter of School: The Beginning Christians

2 Iraq:

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Web: www.crescenttimes.com.au

Crescent Times features the history of one of Australia’s most successful Islamic schools

Dr. Abdul-Razaq Musa Adelaide

T

people within their own church to score another political goal. As the Athan for Fajr started on my phone, my mind immediately went to the sounds of church bells in Baghdad ringing for the violent loss of life of the hostages who too would have been praying – for mercy. I am proud to be Muslim; but deeply saddened, ashamed of those terrorists who claim they are Muslims. We cannot be of the same faith for I work hard to save life and they mindlessly take lives with no respect for the teachings of the religion they claim to represent. They are brain washed fanatics who use religion as a political weapon, in the process dragging the name of Islam through the dirt. From Bali to Baghdad they kill in cold blood believing, wrongly, that their actions bring them closer to Allah (SWT). They will know their fatal mistake one day and they will suffer more than their victims insha Allah. I implore all Muslims to acknowledge and sympathise with the pain and suffering of our fellow human beings, the Christians, who died in this Baghdad Church. We must view all the perpetrators as evil irrespective of their religion or the background of their victims. We must stop these extremists, whose only goal is to create hatred and division among people, from spreading like cancer. Let us prevent those terrorists from achieving their evil goals. Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility.

uesday 2nd November, 3.00am, I respond to a request for my immediate return to the Paediatric Emergency Department, Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Adelaide where I work as a Doctor, a critically ill adolescent had arrived by ambulance. While I sped to the hospital, my mind flashed back over the events of the day before in Baghdad - a group of violent fanatics forced their way into the Lady of Saviour Church taking 120 worshipers hostage, starting their killing rampage with a bullet to the head of Father Thaeer, then his aide, killing 50 more people and sealing themselves in with their hostages. I became a Doctor because of a deep affinity with my Muslim beliefs – to hold each life as precious, belonging only to Allah (SWT) – it is forbidden to inflict harm, even on the smallest of animals and I have a duty to look after my neighbour irrespective of their religion or background. A Muslim perceives all human being as creatures of Almighty Allah (SWT) and to treat them as anything less is not acceptable, legitimate or justifiable. During the resuscitation process, I couldn’t erase the comparison from mind. I, a Muslim, was the team leader of 15 people trying to save this dying adolescent * Abdul-Razaq Musa is an Adelaide based and 24 hours earlier in Baghdad a group of medical doctor. alleged Muslims were beheading innocent

Christopher WAGSTAFF DATE OF BIRTH: 25-Oct-84 HEIGHT: 170 cm (5’7”) BUILD: Medium EYES: Green HAIR: Brown COMPLEXION: Fair

Where is Christopher WAGSTAFF? It is alleged WAGSTAFF was involved in a serious driving offence in North Melbourne in February, 2007. Warrants for his arrest have been issued.

Call us on: 1800 333 000 or visit: www.crimestoppers.com.au

Continued from page 6:

Are Islamic Schools Necessary For Our Children?

In reply to this suggestion, the effect can be seen in some of the second or third generation of Australian Muslims as well as in other countries where Muslims reside as minority groups. Stop and ask any parent about how their children turned out; to hear about shattered dreams, where their teenagers had left home to live with girlfriends and boyfriends. The effect of placing a child in two different environments will only create confusion as the child will think “Islam is only about Quran - Islamic practices - halal and haram - hellfire and heaven. Yet the truth is, Islam is also about teaching mathematics, sciences, creativity through arts and so on. Islam is about teachings on worldly matters to achieve happiness and progress in this world and in preparation for an eternal life in hereafter. The Islamic school curriculum merges both systems and the children who were nurtured with Islam in their heart and mind will know of their responsibilities towards their family and society. A disciplined morally upright child will be able to be focus on their goals; to concentrate on their studies to achieve success in their education. Their purpose and vision in life will be laid on a foundation for achieving progress in this world and hereafter. Discipline is the order of the day – a formula for success from ancient times right up until now. The Prophet’s life itself was an example for the qualities of a leader with many desirable virtues for Muslims to follow. The flowering or rise of Islamic

civilisation saw success when ruling Muslim leaders took great care to align their government with Islam. They supported the development of Islamic scholarship and disciplines, built mosques, and established schools. Their success was not by conquest but it was based on knowledge of trade, commerce, industry and agriculture. The enormous wealth and resources of the Caliphs eanabled them to create art and culture that became a legacy of Islamic civilisation obvious from the remains of the majestic architectural monuments of mosques - awe inspiring to the modern man, Muslim and nonMuslim alike. The success of the early Muslims was through their adherence to the teachings of Islam in the areas of virtues and values which were applied in many areas of their life. Their trust in God superseded uncertainty and their love and respect for Prophet Muhammad enabled them to believe and trust in Allah’s formula for achievement and success. Islam in its totality is a system of faith, practice and morality. There are rules, regulations and laws pertaining to practices at all levels. The system of life and laws prescribed by Allah cannot be compared to man made laws which see many failures resulting in the ills of society. The practical aspect is Islam moulding the individual to be successful spiritually and to contribute to society in every possible way. Concerns regarding isolation and/or integration between Muslims and non

Umar Abdullah * In 1989, not long after returning to live in Perth after ten years in Singapore, my daughter was enrolled in the Perth Community Muslim School in Brisbane Street, Perth; later to become the Australian Islamic College (AIC). She was commuting daily to and from the school by bus from Edgewater. When the school moved to Thornlie it was a much longer journey, but she never complained about the extra travelling time and we continued to support the School unreservedly because it was the only Muslim School we had. In mid 1992 I was very unhappy to learn that a nonMuslim had been appointed as Principal. I did not have a problem with the person concerned; I only had a problem with the fact that he was not a Muslim. I knew with certainty that if I was to visit every non-Muslim faithbased school in Australia I would not find one with a Muslim principal. When I approached the Director of the AIC to register my objection I was told that the man was highly qualified and would soon become a Muslim anyway(?); I had a major problem with this kind of rationale. In a subsequent conversation with someone who was more familiar with the workings of the Muslim community of Perth, it seemed apparent that any reversal of the situation was highly unlikely. It was suggested that the only thing to do then was to start another Muslim School. I was told that this idea had been floated already so I asked to be introduced to those concerned. After several informal meetings it was decided to have any further discussions openly in ‘public’ to allow any interested parties to join in. The venue chosen was the main hall of the Rivervale Mosque. It was the overwhelming consensus in these discussions that well run Muslim Schools providing high quality Islamically oriented education were essential for minority Muslim communities wherever they might be. In September 1992 a core group set about researching the Muslim community, information from the 1991 census was available, and addressing the all important issue of financial viability. Under the Federal Government of the day, independent schools starting up had to wait two years for federal recurrent funding Muslims can be overcome by introducing student exchange programmes and joining in nationwide activities. In the Quran 49:13, Allah says, “We made you into nations and tribes, that you man know each other (not that you may despise each other)”. This universal statement is for all to embrace; to accept that God purposely created us to be different in looks and culture. The concept of conformity to a standard system of lifestyle does not exist and cannot be implemented. Immersion and assimilation cannot be forced by the

assistance, and when it was available, it was limited to level six on a one to twelve scale; serious handicaps that needed careful consideration. It was obvious that even with full federal and state funding assistance, the charging and collecting of school fees would be essential to ensure that the new school would have sufficient income to efficiently provide education in both the government curriculum and Islamic studies. The community’s capacity to pay fees was therefore also carefully researched. While this was being done, criteria were being laid down as to the nature and character of the proposed new school, which was initially being referred to as the Perth Muslim School. Insha Allah, among other things, in addition to being an efficient provider of quality education, the school would be run according to the tenets of Islam within the framework of the law, only claiming for its legal entitlements in government funding assistance. It was decided that the principal would always be a Muslim, the Islamic atmosphere of the school would be a disciplined one suitable for any child in the community irrespective of background or origin and the fees would be set at a rate that would be affordable to any family in the secular system or any other system. We have to work towards understanding and accepting one another. To strengthen the ummah we must build on a base of quality Islamic education for young Muslims. The effect of dilution of Islam is the weakening of faith in a community where Muslims live as minority. *Kamariah Ahmad - Born in December 1955 she has been working with children as dental therapist for the more than 33 years in Singapore. For more than 15 years she has been involved in political, community and

community irrespective of financial circumstances. Parents who enrolled their children in the school would not be asked to contribute anything to the cost of running the school other than the payment of fees. In early October 1992 only two issues remained in question before a decision could be made: could the school survive operating for the first few years with deficit budgets, and would it be possible for the new school to come on stream without seriously affecting the existing Muslim school. When these two issues had been satisfactorily resolved it was decided to, insha Allah, go ahead, but to delay the start of the School until January 1994 so the School would only have to operate for one year without federal funding assistance. The very next decision made was to send a delegation to the Director of the AIC to inform him that an effort had been initiated to start a second Muslim School in Perth as an alternative to the AIC. It was also decided that the new School would be called the Al-Hidayah Islamic School. *Umar Abdullah is Chair of the School Board and was a Member of the Founding Group of Al Hidayah School.

Editor’ note: To be continued in the December edition of Crescent Times insha Allah.

humanitarian relief work. As an author, artist and publisher under Haritha Artworks among other books she published Let’s Celebrate Islam in Poems and Art. She received her Diploma in Islamic Studies from Int. Islamic University of Malaysia. Her aspiration: We have to take an interest in all forms of life around us especially the needy and the have-nots. Only then can we find happiness and self-fulfillment. On achieving success and striving to be the best one need to be sincere in intention.


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We Can’t Rely On American Intelligence, So Why Entrust Hostages’ Lives To Us Forces? Yvonne Ridley* The horrible death of aid worker Linda Norgrove in Afghanistan thrust me back to my own personal hell nine years ago when I was also held hostage by the Taliban. It was a terrifying experience and despite the unexpectedly kind treatment given to me by my captors I was still convinced they would execute me. Unlike Ms Norgrove, who was in the country legitimately, I had sneaked in wearing the allenveloping blue burqa on an assignment for the Sunday Express. And unlike Linda who was kidnapped, I was actually arrested for entering Afghanistan illegally without a passport and visa. The Taliban were in power at the time and officials did not believe that I was a journalist; they were convinced that I was a spy and so I faced the possibility of the death penalty. I doubted that I would be treated fairly and convinced myself that every day was going to be my last. At the time, the thought crossed my mind that Britain’s SAS might mount a rescue mission; I had written about the regiment’s modus operandi and, if a rescue was attempted, was confident that its daring soldiers would get me out alive. That, I believed, was my only hope for survival. I had no confidence that an American-led rescue attempt would succeed. I remember raising this very issue with my cell mates when I was transferred from solitary confinement in Jalalabad to a ghastly prison in the Afghan capital, Kabul, and they agreed with my assessment of US Special Forces’ abilities. The six women – three Germans,

two Americans and an Australian – were also horrified at the thought of a rescue mission being mounted by US troops because of their renowned gung-ho attitude and heavy reliance on sheer firepower to resolve any problem. We discussed this issue to such an extent that I remember looking around the cell for any hiding place should such an attempt be made, but there was nowhere to go. In the end, it was all academic, as no rescue attempt was necessary. Linda Norgrove, however, must have wondered how her own situation would be resolved and from speaking with some people who knew her I imagine the last thing she would have wanted was to be rescued by US Special Forces. She had, in her time in Afghanistan, developed a great love for and understanding of the Afghan people and spoke their language. Unlike me, she wasn’t culturally unaware and ignorant of the people who held her captive; she would have been able to engage her captors and may even have developed a bit of a rapport. My understanding is that she was held in a room where other women and children slept. I wonder what happened to

Issue 25, November 2010

them during the bungled rescue. Of course, it is very easy for me to sit in the comfort of my London home and speculate after the event. However, the truth is that US soldiers have an appalling record on hostage rescue; it is quite simply not their speciality, it is not what they train for and, in my view, they should not have been given the go-ahead for such a risky mission. Local Afghan officers on the ground were asking for more time and felt that their hostage negotiations and talks could resolve the situation peacefully. I do not buy in to the bull coming from the US that their intelligence said otherwise. US intelligence cannot be trusted and is often manipulated to suit political and military decisions. Let’s not forget the issue of WMDs in Iraq; the bombing of an aspirin

factory in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum; Red Mercury and Ricin plots; all of these disasters were written or spoken about with great authority using information from US intelligence. Faulty American intelligence costs lives, starts wars and sees innocents locked up and tortured. On such matters, US intelligence is simply a contradiction in terms.

Thought Crimes In Israel

Neve Gordon*

which have a good chance of being ratified, would make support for an alternative political ideology, such as the idea that Israel should be a democracy for all its citizens, a crime. A proposed amendment to the existing antiincitement bill, for instance, stipulates that people who deny Israel’s Jewish character will be arrested. This extension to the penal code, which has already passed its preliminary reading, incriminates a political view. Another bill lays the groundwork for turning down

promote, or publish material that might serve as grounds for imposing a boycott against Neve Gordon looks at a raft of draft laws Israel. According to this proposed law, which making their way through the Israeli parliament, has also passed a preliminary reading, anyone the Knesset, which if passed will seal Israel’s proven guilty of supporting a boycott will be transformation into a fully fascist state that ordered to pay affected parties about 8000 US persecutes and marginalizes everyone who does not without the plaintiff ’s need to demonstrate any subscribe to the official racially-oriented ideology. damages. Finally, eight Knesset members are proposing Would Meryl Streep, Spike Lee, Tim Robbins a bill to ban residents of East Jerusalem from or Susan Sarandon be willing to swear an oath operating as tour guides in the city, potentially of loyalty to the United States and its policies putting hundreds out of work. The rationale in order to receive public funding for feature films that they star in, direct “new Israeli citizens must declare loyalty to the state behind this is that Palestinian residents of Jerusalem should not be certified guides or produce? In Israel, the far-right Knesset member Michael Ben Ari and its laws, but the cabinet last month decided to because they do not represent Israel’s has proposed a bill that would require support (22 in favour, eight against) an amendment national interest well enough “and in an appropriate manner”. entire film crews to pledge allegiance to Israel’s citizenship law that would require all The sudden spate of these bills at this to Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, and to declare loyalty to its newly naturalized citizens to declare loyalty to the historical juncture is no coincidence. The laws and symbols, as a condition for Jewish character of the state. In Britain, this would struggle between the democratic demand that all citizens be treated equally and receiving public funding. It’s just one Zionism’s hyper-nationalist ideal seems be like requiring Jews, Muslims and atheists who of more than 10 bills to be discussed during the Knesset’s winter session wish to become citizens to declare loyalty not only to have been determined once and for all: Zionism’s aspiration to promote democratic that several commentators in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz have to the laws of the United Kingdom but also to the values is giving way to its nationalist ethos. Church of England.” characterized as proto-fascist. * Neve Gordon, born 15 June 1965, is a professor As in most countries, all new Israeli of Politics and Government at Ben-Gurion citizens must declare loyalty to the state and its laws, but the cabinet last month candidates for membership in communal University of the Negev, who writes on issues relating decided to support (22 in favour, eight against) settlements built on public land if they do to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and human rights. A an amendment to Israel’s citizenship law that not concur with the settlement committee’s third-generation Israeli, Gordon did his military service would require all newly naturalised citizens to political views or are adherents of a different in a IDF Paratrooper unit, and suffered severe injuries declare loyalty to the Jewish character of the religion. The point of this is to make it legal to in action, as a result of which he has a 42 percent state. In Britain, this would be like requiring deny the Palestinian citizens of Israel access to disability. During the first Intifada he served as director of Physicians for Human Rights, Israel. He is an active Jews, Muslims and atheists who wish to become Jewish villages. member in Ta’ayush, Arab-Jewish Partnership. He Still another bill that has already passed its citizens to declare loyalty not only to the laws of the United Kingdom but also to the Church of first reading stipulates that institutions marking identifies himself as a member of the Israeli peace camp, the Palestinian Nakba of 1948 will be denied has described Israel as an ‘apartheid state’ and supports England. The Association for Civil Rights in Israel has public funds. This is like denying public funding the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel warned that this amendment, which will soon to schools in the United States that wish to movement. become law, is the tip of an iceberg. Some commemorate slavery or to memorialise the **A version of this article was originally published in the of the bills now going through the Knesset, crimes perpetrated against Native Americans. London Review of Books, and is reprinted here with the Then there is a bill against people who initiate, kind permission of Redress.cc

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Personally, I would have taken the advice of the real experts – the tribal leaders ay! thd llence Bir nd f Exce who were working towards o c Se ey O rn Jou a peaceful outcome. My own spell as a hostage was resolved because Express Newspapers did exactly that; they went and talked and entered into negotiations using local experts. While I acknowledge that each situation presents different challenges, local intelligence sources were saying something quite different to those of the Americans. Sadly, local knowledge and wisdom was brushed aside and the rescue mission was launched in the dead of night. Any element of surprise would have been lost immediately because the rescue team used helicopters; I believe that at least one unmanned drone aircraft was also in the area and you can hear them approaching from miles away because of their whining sound, never mind the noise emanating from military choppers. British Prime Minister David Cameron was told by the US that during the failed mission Linda Norgrove was “killed by her captors” and “executed by the Taliban”; she died, we were told, when one of her kidnappers “detonated a suicide vest” with her rescuers “within seconds” of saving the Scottish aid worker’s life. As soon as I heard this I didn’t believe it, not for one second, and neither did many other people. We now know that a US soldier killed Linda Norgrove, albeit accidentally. My heart goes out to her family just as it does on a daily basis to the families of entirely innocent Afghan and Pakistani men, women and children also killed by American bombs and bullets. It should not end there. The US military lied deliberately about her death, lies which were repeated by a NATO spokesman and then by David Cameron and his Foreign Secretary, William Hague. I knew that they were lying as soon as the phrase “suicide vest” was uttered; it is synonymous with so-called Islamic fundamentalism and the Americans wanted the world to believe that Linda was killed by a Muslim fanatic. If I can give the Norgrove family any words of comfort it will be that their daughter would have been treated with respect by her captors, although this does not absolve them from any responsibility for her death. It was, after all, their criminal act of kidnap which started this whole incident on the path to its tragic conclusion. But let’s be clear about the motives of the Taliban in Afghanistan; most want nothing more than to defend their own land against foreign invaders just as previous generations of Afghans have done for centuries up to and including the Russian occupation; then the Afghan mujahedeen were heroes in the West and given financial and military backing, and included a certain Osama Bin Laden in their ranks. We need a full independent enquiry about the killing of Linda Norgrove, but we will not get this from the US military which bungled the raid in the first place and then lied to the world about it. So far we have been fed a pack of lies to fuel Islamophobia and prop-up the discredited War on Terror. Disciplinary action against one US Special Forces soldier who killed Linda by throwing a fragmentation grenade into the room where she was being held is not going to cut it either. The purveyor of the “suicide vest” story should be named and questioned about what he hoped or expected to achieve by his lie. In the meantime, David Cameron – who was clearly disturbed by the changing US narrative ‑ should if nothing else resolve to treat future US intelligence with a degree of scepticism of the kind that his two Labour predecessors did not possess and never, ever, leave the fate of a British citizen in the hands of the Americans again. *British journalist Yvonne Ridley is the European President of the International Muslim Women’s Union

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Issue 25, November 2010

ay! thd llence Bir nd f Exce o c Se ey O rn Jou

Web: www.crescenttimes.com.au

Email: info@crescenttimes.com.au

The Good Should Avoid Bickering And Unite

Harun Yahya

Nurse’s Notes:

Multicultural health issues!

The believers are brothers, so make peace between your brothers and have fear of God so that hopefully you will gain mercy. (Surat al-Hujurat: 10) Disputes, enmity, hatred and anger are the features of immoral conduct inspired by the evil. True Muslims never conduct themselves under the influence of these undesirable feelings; they have fear for God and are always modest, friendly, thoughtful and full of love in their relations. People who are not sincere in their cause may feel jealous of their closest friends and even of their own brothers and sisters. Another’s success may stir up feelings of envy in their hearts. On the contrary, a true Muslim takes pride in other believer’s successes, and is happy for them as if it were his own accomplishment, and feels grateful to God for the blessings He has granted believers. Furthermore, he supports them in their endeavour and offers guidance if necessary. Those lacking such morals, on the other hand, hamper the progress of others. Feelings of rivalry and jealousy spoil the good deeds engaged in to attain the good pleasure of God, and accordingly, ruins any beauty or blessings. God’s Messenger, the Prophet Mohammed (saas), also drew attention to this point and advised the believers to guard against such bad manners: Do not envy each other, do not bid against each other, do not hate each other, do not turn your backs on each other, and let none of you sell upon the sale of another. Be slaves of God, brothers. A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim, he does not wrong him, fail to assist him, lie to him nor despise him. (Imam an-Nawawi, The Complete Forty Hadith, p. 122) The solidarity of the people, who purify themselves of every form of worldly ambition, jealousy and competitiveness, who channel every positive feeling, every effort, and every activity for the good of others, without making it a matter of personal pride, will break the resolve of the alliance of the evil.

Judy Nelson-Eldawy*

Unity, cooperation, solidarity, friendship, self-sacrifice, support, and similar other qualities are some of the beautiful attributes which are the underlying foundation of the Quranic morality. This is stated in many sayings of Our Prophet (saas). One of them reads: ‘Believers are like the different parts of a building, each one supporting the other.��� Then he demonstrated what he meant by interlocking his fingers. (Hadith of Al-Bukhari and Muslim, Words of the Prophet Mohammed, p. 67) The religion of Islam ensures the establishment of a better world where there is love, peace, tolerance and understanding of one another. Societies possessing these features experience rapid development and achieve greater power. Once unity and cooperation are attained, individuals of such a society can channel their strength and energy towards goodness and good deeds rather than into disputes, fights, conflicts and wars. Essentially, a cause to which people commit themselves and devote all their effort, power, zeal and support, both material and spiritual, results in an ultimate success and beauty. What is more important is that God gives glad tidings that individuals working in unity and solidarity for good will receive God’s help, support and power. For this reason, God reminds believers not to dispute among themselves so as not to lose strength. The verse below makes this point clear: Obey God and His Messenger and do not quarrel among yourselves lest you lose heart and your momentum disappear. And be steadfast. God is with the steadfast. (Surat al-Anfal: 46) Establishing unity among the righteous is an exalted virtue recommended by God. Especially in a time where evil has permeated every aspect of society, not a single evil feature like peevishness, resentment or bickering should be tolerated among the good. Putting forth effort to remove such evil influences and adopting a compromising and To purchase the works of Harun Yahya, please visit www. conciliatory attitude is a great act of worship. bookglobal.net

Slaves or Servants of Allah? Amirudin Ahamed A Muslim is one who has totally submitted to God. He mortgages his intelligence to God. He would blindly accept all that Allah has permitted as good and all that He has prohibited as bad. Thus, he is an absolute slave of Allah. However, we humans have weak faith and hence instead of being the slaves of Allah, we end up as servants of Allah. A servant serves his employer only in certain aspects and during certain times. As for example, if my boss requests me to bash up his enemies, I would refuse to do so as it is not part of my job description. In addition, I would refuse to work for him after hours unless he pays me overtime. This attitude of Muslims began even in the time of the Prophet. There are Quranic verses which reprimand some Companions of the Prophet for their reluctance to fight the Unbelievers. Thus we find that some of the Companions drew the line in serving God. They were willing to pray and fast but not fight wars. Allah castigates them severely. Later, soon after the Prophet’s death, some Muslims were willing to serve Allah in all aspects except in the economic aspect for they were unwilling to pay zakat to the Islamic State. History tells us that Caliph Abu Bakr, realising that such a selective obedience to God would set a dangerous precedent which would completely undermine Islam, waged war on them until they agreed to pay the zakat to the State. If such a state of affairs existed even in the glorious days of

Islam, it should not shock anyone that such a situation would exist even today. There is likely to be more than one instance in which a Muslim – even an apparently religious Muslim – may disagree with Allah on whether a certain act is good or bad. It is not the intention of the present writer to detail all these instances, which in any case may vary from Muslim to Muslim. The aim of this article is to determine which ordinance of God is the most unpopular among Muslims. Actually, there cannot be any doubt or uncertainty in finding the answer to this question. An overwhelming majority of Muslims (almost all women and some men) do not agree with Allah on the issue of polygyny (i.e. a man having more than one wife). As Allah has permitted it, it must be good in the same way fornication is bad as He has prohibited it. Nevertheless, almost all Muslim women simply loathe polygyny. Thus a wife whose husband contracts a second marriage files for divorce immediately. For a Muslim lady searching for a partner, the fact that the suitor is already in a state of marriage instantly disqualifies him. She may even consider a Muslim who does not even attend Friday Jummah but never a married man. Even spinsters approaching half-acentury of their life or widows/ divorcees struggling to survive with dependent children are no exception. Conventional wisdom would say “something is better than nothing” but again polygyny is the exception. “No husband is better than half-husband” seems to be

the universal belief of Muslim women. This is why wives walk out of polygynous situations and single women continue to be single in preference to being a co-wife. Almost all revered heroes of Islam were polygynous. The Prophet and all his companions without exception were polygynous. The Prophet as well as Caliph Ali was monogamous when married to their first wives but soon after their deaths, contracted multiple marriages. Almost all Islamic scholars were polygynous. Thus in despising polygyny, Muslims are not only daring to disagree with Allah (some guts!) but also indirectly critical of the matrimony of their own heroes. In a divine system fornication would be difficult and marriage would be easy whereas in a manmade system fornication would be easy and marriage difficult (as in Australia!). However, when a (married) Believer lives in a man-made system, it seems he has to fear both God and society refraining from both fornication and (polygynous) marriage! Life is indeed straitened for him! A Muslimah who declares that she cannot accept polygyny is like a Muslim who declares that he would accept drinking alcohol. If she disputes that inverting a halal to haram is as heinous sin as inverting a haram to a halal, she is recommended to read 6:119-122 or 16:114-117 in the Quran. Why do women hate polygyny? Are they incapable by nature to share a husband with other women? But then God, Who knows human nature inside out

(because He created them), would not have permitted polygyny. The fact that He has permitted it proves that polygyny cannot be in disharmony with nature. Can any of your women readers explain, please? Editors note: readers who wish to respond to this article are invited to do so provided that their response directly relates to the question raised and does not include any personal references to the author of this article or any other authors of pro polygyny articles. References to works of scholarship or to the Quran are advisable and personal opinions must be clearly stated as such.

My husband and I disagree about health care for our children. I’m Australian and he is Egyptian and when our daughter sneezes,he is sure she needs antibiotics and if our son falls, a trip to the hospital for X-rays is warranted. I think this is a bit much and he feels I am not taking their health seriously,which hurts my feelings. What do you think? A Concerned Mum Dear Mum, There are a couple of different aspects to your question. First is the culturally conditioned approach you and your husband have to health care and secondly the question of when medical attention is actually indicated. Many Westerners have the wait and see approach to illness, perhaps due to the high cost of health care. They may have been taught to “tough it out” and perhaps use over the counter antihistamines, decongestants and analgesics. When they do go to the doctor, many times minimal amounts of medicine are initially prescribed. Although there is a trend to prescribe lots of medicines to older adults and to chronic patients, which is unfortunate and a different topic. Conversely, many Arabs go to their local pharmacy as a first line of defence. Pharmacies in the Middle East are staffed by doctors and antibiotics and most medicines are obtainable without a prescription, as are lab tests. When they do see the doctor, a list of medicines is usually given, including multiple antibiotics on the theory that these are not as strong as medicine manufactured in the Western countries. Obviously, not everyone falls neatly into either category. You and your husband need to sit down at a time when the kids are healthy and discuss your approaches to illness and agree on a plan of action for when illness or accident arises. This is a stressful time for you as parents and you don’t need the added stress of fighting with each other over what to do. Here is a list of symptoms that warrant going to the doctor or, in some cases, to the hospital emergency room (ER). Keep emergency room and doctor’s numbers (as well as poison control, fire and non emergency police numbers) posted near the phone or on the fridge so you don’t have to hunt them down. Emergency Room Visit -Fast or difficult breathing -Bluish skin color, most noticed in the nail beds and the lips. -Not interacting or wanting to wake up -Sudden and severe pain that doesn’t improve -Blood in urine, stool or vomit. Sometimes blood will look like coffee

grounds in vomit and be black and tarlike in stool. -Drastic and sudden change in personality and mood with attempts to hurt themselves or others -Superficial burns or scalds on face, genitals, hands or on a large surface area of body(30% or more) -Burns that are 2nd degree or greater-Bleeding that doesn’t stop or is hard to stop,puncture wounds -Broken bones Doctor’s Visit - Newborns to 6 weeks old with any change from normal -Fever: • under 3 months 38 C or higher • under 3 years 39 C or higher • 4 years and up 40 C or higher -Low grade fever lasting more than 24 hours for kids under 3 and 48-72 hours for older children -Any fever with a rash -Cold and flu symptoms - aches, cough, runny nose last more than 72 hours -Flu like symptoms that improve but return with fever and worsening cough -Dehydration - decreased or no urine output for 12 hours, crying with no tears, sunken fontanelles in babies, dry mouth, poor skin elasticity. You check skin elasticity by pinching or ‘tenting’ up some skin on the abdomen(in babies) or arm (in older kids and adults). If it snaps smoothly back into shape immediately, this is normal. A slow return means dehydration. This can be a tough callin babies and young children, I would advise going to the ER but with older kids and adults, call your doctor first. -Diarrhea or vomiting more than 2 -3 times in a couple of hours or daily episodes for 2 or more days. Dehydration is the danger here. -Pain - low level that does not go away in a couple of hours or intermittent pain over a day or two -Decrease in vision or hearing -Any change from what is normal for your child. If they look or act sick, they probably are. Trust your instincts as you know your child best. This list is far from comprehensive and is just a set of general guidelines. Call your doctor and discuss symptoms with the nurses to see if a visit is indicated if you are not certain what action to take. Also, many hospitals provide 24 hours advice lines free to the public.

*Judy Nelson-Eldawy is an American Muslim wife and mother who lives most of the year in Egypt. She has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and over 20 years experience in the fields of psych/mental health, medical/surgical and home health nursing. She advocates a holistic approach to health and the use of alternative therapies in conjunction with more conventional Western treatment modalities. **Information in this article is general advice only; in case of unexplained illness please consult your doctor or attend your local hospital emergency department.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Email: editor@crescenttimes.com.au SMS: 0414 155 366

Mail: P.O. Box: 628, Mirrabooka, 6941 WA

SBS Insight program on anti Muslim sentiment

The recent SBS debate was a hotch potch, no pointed questions were raised or answered and it remained inconclusive. These forums are good for us to explain our viewpoint but we too were not adequately prepared. The questions more or less could have been anticipated and we have used the opportunity to project our view. One lady said 60% of Quran was adverse and only the remaining 40% was good. The utility of day & night is obvious, both are good and necessary. Similarly Good and Evil or reward and punishment are equally highlighted in Quran. The “Good” is good and to describe Evil as bad and punishable is equally Good. So the Quran is all for Good. Being prejudiced she made it 60% instead of 50.

And in non-muslim countries Shariah is for the Muslims only. It is personal. In Muslim countries too, only the criminal or penal law has to be applicable to all as in all countries and there can not be any discrimination. Shariah “courts” in western countries are not parallel courts but only provide guidance and solutions in personal matters. They have been wrongly named by us to our own detriment. We must rename them as “Shariah Solutions”. This point must always be mentioned everywhere. The Quran in Surah Maedah verse 5:32 say : To kill a man is to kill all humanity and saving a life is as saving all humanity. Suicide and as such suicide bombing and killing innocents is strictly forbidden in Islam. Terrorism has therefore nothing to do with Quran or Islam. It is a sort of “Action and Reaction” - right or wrong which needs to be condemned by all.

Australia is a peaceful country. We understand it could not live in isolation from its fraternity. However its involvement in war made it vulnerable. The Muslim clergy may well be advised to guide Muslim youth in their sermons not to be misled and get involved in wrong methods of revenge forbidden in Islam. Killing innocents by suicide bombing or explosions is haram and leads to hell-fire not jannah as misconceived. The tragedy is that the Ulema remained unconcerned, thinking it was up to the politicians and the situation the world over worsened to affect every Muslim adversely. It’s never too late, let’s learn now and take stringent remedial measures with full vigour insha Allah. The religion of One True God, His Book and Islam can never be subjugated. Regards, Saiyid A Nabi, Kenwick , WA


Email: info@crescenttimes.com.au

PLANET IRF

Irfan Yusuf*

David Hicks finally gets to tell his story on his own terms There are many good reasons to buy David Hicks’ long awaited memoir Guantanamo: My Journey. One is to find out what happened to this young man without any adverse filtering from nasty pundits who would have us believe Hicks is the anti-Christ. Naturally not everyone is pleased with Hicks’ work. John Howard, the Prime Minister who left Hicks to rot at Guantanamo for years, recently said on the Q&A program that there was “a lot of criticism of that book from sources unrelated to me and I’ve read some very severe criticisms of that book”. Writing in The Australian, Sally Neighbour claims that Hicks hasn’t been forthcoming and honest. She writes: “Hicks’s firsthand account was awaited with keen interest by historians, academics and journalists who have followed these events. It has also been anticipated by the thousands of Australians who joined the Fair Go for David campaign for Hicks’s release. Hicks describes the book as the first opportunity to tell his story. In fact he’s had many such opportunities, in the form of scores - probably hundreds - of interview requests, all of which he has declined, choosing instead to write his story himself, thereby avoiding the discomfort of having his version of events questioned.” Having gone through years of abuse and torture culminating in the kangaroo court officially referred to as the “military tribunal”, one can hardly blame Hicks for refusing to undergo a trial by media. Especially from journalists who don’t venture into international trouble spots without interpreters and whose knowledge of militant groups is limited to the latest offerings from so-

Web: www.crescenttimes.com.au

called terrorism “experts”. It won’t surprise many Muslims to learn that Hicks’ first exposure to Islam was from some Tablighi Jamaat people in Adelaide. Some journalists would have you believe that the TJ are an extremist organisation with links to terrorist groups. I remember once receiving an angry phone call from a senior writer for The Oz about a posting on my blog in which I lampooned her characterisation of TJ as a “secretive group” with a hidden agenda. She claimed to have done thorough research on the TJ, yet did not know the six points of tabligh and was not even aware on which night and in which mosque the TJ met in Sydney. Still, enough media-bashing. Time for some lawyer-bashing. In his book Torture Team: Deception, Cruelty and the Compromise of Law, international law professor Phillipe Sands, QC, exposes unethical Defence Department lawyers joining forces with neo-conservative politicians to produce the Acton Memo. This document, signed by Donald Rumsfeld on December 2, 2002, enabled interrogators at Guantanamo Bay (and later at Abu Ghraib) to lawfully commit acts of torture in violation of Article 3 of the Geneva Convention. The Americans landed in Abu Ghraib partly because of “intelligence” provided by a CIA prisoner. Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libbi, is said to have been subjected to waterboarding that proved so effective that he provided false evidence of a link between al-Qaeda and the former Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein which led to the 2003 invasion. Al-Libbi made these fabricated claims as he was terrified of further harsh treatment. Still, that is all ancient history. President Obama is in power, embracing Muslims with open arms. The days of torture are gone. Or are they? The Washington Post reported on February 1, 2009, that Obama issued executive orders allowing the CIA to carry on with renditions. He further allowed the CIA to detain suspects in facilities used only to hold people on a shortterm, transitory basis. America will effectively now outsource Guantanamo-type operations to the generals, sheikhs, colonels, dictators and presidents-for-life who will no doubt torture not just those deemed terror suspects by the US but also domestic political opponents. Anyway, go out and by David Hicks’ book. Whether you believe him or not, his book makes riveting reading. * Irfan Yusuf is a Melbourne based lawyer and author. He recently published his first book: “ Once Were Radicals”.

Hadiths Are Our Link To Prophet Mohammed Kamariah Ahmed In a short term of 23 years as a Prophet, Mohammed s.a.w. had brought a great change to the Arab peninsula. From tribal law, the Arab’s of the peninsula grasped the understanding of Islam which transported them from an unremarkable culture into a period of great impact and successful inventions and discoveries. The progressive teaching of ‘seeking of knowledge’ in every sphere of life enabled the early Muslims to reach great heights and success. Discipline, moral values and dedication to submit to and obey Allah’s teachings and commands were the top priorities. The Tradition which is made up of Hadith and Sunnah handed down through the centuries is our only link to the historic Prophetic community. By living it we are confirming that the way of our noble Messenger is as valid till today as it was when Allah revealed His Mercy to all mankind 1,431 years ago through the religion Islam. Prophet Mohammed was chosen by Allah as a model to mankind, as an example of the best of behaviour for man to follow. Allah mentioned in many verses of the Quran the appointment of the Prophet (s.a.w.) the expounder of the Quran. In the verse 16:44 Allah says, “We have sent down the Reminder (the Quran) to you (O Mohammed), to enable you to make clear to mankind what has been sent down to them, so that they may reflect upon it.” Hadith on the five characteristics of a true believer Abu Hurairah narrates that Rasulullah said: Who, will learn these words from me, act upon them,

or teach these to others who will act upon them? Abu Hurairah said, O Rasulullah! I will. He held my hand and counting five characteristics said: (1) Avoid the forbidden, you will become the greatest worshipper; (2) be satisfied with what Allah has granted you, and you will be the richest of men; (3) be kind to your neighbour, you will be a true believer; (4) choose for others what you like for yourself, and you will be a Muslim; (5) and do not laugh excessively, for excessive laughter deadens the heart.* Note: On laughing excessively, this can be observed in groups of people, especially youth, idling in groups or adults sitting together over tea in cafés for hours on end laughing loudly in public places. This is not only a waste of time, it also disrupts the peace and disturb others. How do we measure if we have done well? Abdullah ibne-Mas’ud narrates that a man asked: O Rasulullah! How can I know when I do good and when I do bad? Nabi s.a.w replied: When you hear your neighbours say verily you have done good, then indeed you have done good; and when you hear them say verily you have done bad, indeed you have done bad. ** (Neighbour refers to anyone around us). Hadith references from Muntakhab Ahadith, Compiled by Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Yusuf Kandhlawi, Published by Imran Book Depot *Quoted from Tirmidhi, hadith 231 page 472 **Quoted from Tabarani, Majma-uz-Zawaid) hadith 232 page 472.

Issue 25, November 2010

Page 17

Backbiting: 2 Breaking the Addiction

ay! thd llence Bir nd f Exce o c Se ey O rn Jou

Fa’izah Batchelor*

Last month I wrote an article showing how backbiting can become an addiction. Breaking any sin should always start with Allah and sincere repentance. But as with everything in Islam, action is also required along with the firm decision to stop backbiting altogether. I have developed a three step guide to break the addiction of backbiting. The first step in breaking the backbiting addiction is realising that you have a choice. You are in control of your tongue and your mind. You choose the thoughts that you have and the things that you say. It is important to take 100% ownership of the things that you have said and done. Too many people blame their sins on Satan. However on the Day of Judgement you alone will be responsible for the sins you have committed. This is clearly stated in Surah Ibrahim verse 22 of the Noble Quran where Satan says “... I had no authority over you except that I called you, so you responded to me. So blame me not, but blame yourselves. I cannot help you, nor can you help me...” We all like to think that we are nice people, that we would be free from sin if only it weren’t for Satan. It’s time that we stand up and take responsibility for our sins because at the end of the day nobody forced us to backbite, at best it was only a suggestion, and we did the rest on our own. There was a time in the conversation when you had the choice to backbite, to simply talk about the weather - or better yet remember Allah. The second step is having something to say instead of backbiting. It becomes very easy to fall into backbiting when your life consists of nothing more than other people’s lives. It is important to have interests other than gossip. Maybe a good place to start is to stop reading those gossipy magazines as this encourages, teaches and glorifies backbiting.

I recently researched the endings of famous children’s fairy tales and was very surprised by their sinister and often gruesome endings. At the next gathering I attended I spoke about this interesting topic relaying the true ending to such stories as Sleeping Beauty and so on. Everybody was really interested and it sparked a conversation about instilling morals in our youth. What topics or interests could you discuss at your next gathering? When in doubt I discuss cleaning (clichéd I know but Muslim women do love a clean house) or cooking - actually any non specific domestic problem is great and it sparks an interesting conversation every time. For example “I just can’t get those grass stains out of my son’s sport’s clothes, any ideas?” The third and final step is seeing everyone as inherently good. Every human descended from Adam the first man. We are all brothers and sisters (whether Muslim or not). Everyone’s motives are good. Most people unintentionally hurt others. It becomes harder to backbite someone if you believe that they are a good person. If we can remember that people are just doing what they think is best it becomes a lot easier to forgive. Backbiting is a curse that has permeated this Ummah. Let’s stand up against it. Leave no room for doubt or suspicion. Stand next to your fellow Muslim in salat, shoulder to shoulder, toe to toe. Be an open book. Do good, think good of others and be good in your conduct. Don’t give people any room to backbite you. May Allah alleviate this affliction from us and those affected by it and may Allah forgive us and help us attain the forgiveness of those we have wronged. Ameen.

Backbiting is a curse that has permeated this Ummah. Let’s stand up against it. Leave no room for doubt or suspicion. Stand next to your fellow Muslim in salat, shoulder to shoulder, toe to toe. Be an open book. Do good, think good of others and be good in your conduct.

UN report: Norway best for the good life, Australia second Norway has been named by the United Nations as the country with the best quality of life for a record-matching eighth time. The UN’s annual A-to-Z of global wealth, poverty, health and education highlighted in its 20th anniversary edition that despite “growth surges” in the Asia-Pacific region, it is becoming ever more difficult to break into the rich club of nations. Oil-rich Norway, with its 81.0 years of life expectancy, average annual income of 58,810 dollars and 12.6 years of schooling, has now topped the Human Development Index (HDI) for all but two years since 2001. It is not the best in any individual category average income in Liechtenstein for example is a wallet-busting 81,011 dollars - but Norway’s allround performance gave it a crushing superiority in the UN Development Programme (UNDP) annual rankings. Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Ireland took the following places in the top five. Zimbabwe came bottom of the 169 nations listed, behind Mozambique, Burundi, Niger and Democratic Republic of Congo.

*My name is Fa’izah Batchelor and I am for improving relationships, all relationships. If you would like to improve the relationships in your life email me at faizahbatchelor@gmail.com you can also follow me on facebook and twitter.

Zimbabwe, where life expectancy is just 47 years and per capita income 176 dollars, has come bottom of the table for the past five years. The nations which have risen most up the rankings in the 20 years that the report has been produced include “growth miracles” such as China, which has risen eight places in the last five years to 89th, Indonesia and South Korea. But there is also Nepal, Oman and Tunisia “where progress in the non-income dimensions of human development has been equally remarkable,” the study said. The new good life nations have taken different paths to success. “Many countries have done well in the long term by emphasising health and education; others have strived for rapid economic growth, though sometimes with a high cost to environmental sustainability.” In six sub-Saharan African countries and three in the former Soviet Union, life expectancy is now below 1970 levels. Mainly because of HIV and tougher conditions for adults in former communist nations. And even though incomes have grown dramatically, the poor nations are not necessarily making the same economic strides as they are in health and education. “The divide between developed and developing countries persists: a small subset of countries has remained at the top of the world income distribution and only a handful of countries that started out poor have joined that high income group,” the report concluded. Source: UN Human Development Index report and media sources.


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Issue 25, November 2010

Web: www.crescenttimes.com.au

The 2 Kiki Principle: Debora McNichol* ay! thd llence Bir nd f Exce o c Se ey O rn Jou

Sore Winners The United States held its elections last week. Midterm elections typically act as a report card for the president, and this election has spoken volumes. Throughout the campaign season, Tea Partiers have denounced Democrats and all things Obam-ish, with Sarah Palin throwing her support behind extreme personalities all over the country. Obama has been to blame, according to non-Dem’s, for the failure of the economy to pick up sufficiently, for the deficit, and for the US’s new health care program. Obama campaigned furiously, begging for more time for his Congress and policies. Some Democrats distanced themselves from the president, attempting to salvage their careers after committing political suicide by backing conservative-hated “Obamacare.” As expected, Republicans took over the House of Representatives in a landslide. Contrary to campaign promises, Republicans will not be able to repeal Obamacare or any other law that has come into existence since 2009, due to the Democrats retaining control over the Senate. However, Obama will likely ride out the rest of his administration without being able to pass any substantive legislation due to Congressional lack of cooperation. As the saying goes, the only thing worse than a sore loser is a sore winner, and Washington will be chock full of them come January. Obama has already extended an olive branch to the Republican leaders in Congress, but Republicans are having none of it. Said Senator Mitch McConnell, “The White House has a choice: They can change course or they can double down on a vision of government that the American people have roundly rejected.” Sarah Palin herself (who put her in charge?) is encouraging Republicans not to compromise once they enter the Capitol building. There was some sanity in the election results. Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell, both Palin endorsees, were defeated by their Democratic opponents. Angle, running against hasbeen Harry Reid, was almost a shoo-in until her mouth got in the way. Christine O’Donnell, similarly, was a strong candidate, despite initially being viewed as vacuous, until it became too clear that, as well as being none too bright, that she was more ignorant of the American Constitution than a typical 1st grader. The two Muslim candidates, Andre Carson and Keith Ellison, both Democrat, were reelected. Ellison had a particularly nasty opponent, who accused him of everything short of flying planes into the World Trade Center. To its credit, his district stood behind him and overwhelmingly voted to keep him in office. What does this election mean for the next two years and the 2012 election? History says that presidents who lose Congress during the midterm will win reelection. However, the right has done a fantastic job of vilifying this president and will continue to vilify him until he is removed in 2013. This has been an odd election season, considering the fact that candidates who are incumbents and/or spend the most money usually win. That has not happened this year across the board. For instance, incumbent Tom Perriello of Virginia spent about twice that of his opponent, yet could not keep hold of his seat. Ebay’er Meg Whitman, who ran for governor of California, spent $142 million of her own fortune on her campaign, yet lost to Jerry Brown. Republicans are claiming that Obama has been unsuccessful over the last two years and that Republicans have taken over Congress because of America’s anger at Obama. Now that they have won the House, they are claiming to be helpless because Obama is still in office. The fact is, Americans are angry. The economy has not recovered to the extent that they expected in 2008. All in all, Obama has not done a terrible job on the home front, yet Tea Partiers have convinced America that he has done nothing except spend money and drive the country into the ground. (Funny, no responsibility for the previous eight years taken.) Obama is a liberal; his agenda concerns socialist programs by nature. In effect, he has sacrificed his political future for health care, and he’s proven that he’s been unwilling to play nice with Republicans - until now, when he has no choice. To be fair, though, Republicans were not going to like him, no matter what he did. Interestingly, the president and Republicans have refused to use the wars, Israel-Palestine, gay marriage, or immigration as talking points in this election. Obama has been saving these subjects to establish commonality with Congress for the remainder of his term. This approach was useless during the campaign season, but it may help him throughout the next two years if Congress sees political benefit in co-operation. What this means is the rest of the world will be at the mercy of Obama’s desire to get along with a Republican Congress. Allah help us. * Debora McNichol has written for Crescent Times since its first issue. Debora is an American Muslim lawyer, editor, restaurant manager, and writer, who lives in Virginia and North Carolina, US with her everso-patient daughter and husband. She practices business, intellectual property, and criminal law in those states. While not particularly fond of most things emanating from Washington DC, Debora makes a special exception for American football and is an avid Washington Redskins fan. To contact Debora, email her at DebMcNichol@hotmail. com, but don’t be surprised if she takes a while to respond—there’s a 14 hour time difference and she’s probably sleeping right now.

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Islamic Fiction (IF) Books and Islamic Schools in the USA

Linda D. Delgado*

Linda Delgado is a Muslim leader in the Islamic publishing industry both promoting the industry, and shaping the terminology and the principle of IF worldwide. Crescent Times requested this article in relation to her extended personal experience with IF and Islamic school administrations in the USA. I began writing Islamic fiction stories in early 2001. I wrote a 4-book series of ‘chapter’ style books for youth or children’s reading levels beyond the color illustrated picture books. Much to my surprise when I looked for a Muslim publisher I learned that most did not publish “fiction” books for children beyond the reading levels of color illustrated books. Next I learned that most Muslim publishers are also their own distributor and retailer. Most of the independent Muslim retail stores only buy books sold by the large Muslim publishers and most of the retailers were extremely hesitant to buy/list/sell books classified as Islamic fiction, especially for older youth, teens and adults. Fiction was and still is a word many professionals

in the Muslim book industry are unwilling to accept as a legitimate form of literature. This limits the availability of IF books that manage to get published. As a Muslim revert, born and raised in the USA, having grown up reading fiction all my life and finding it in school classrooms, in libraries and as part of language arts programs where I was tested on creative writing and comprehension for required fiction reading, well I was shell-shocked. So I turned to the Islamic school market to try and get my self-published Islamic fiction books to Muslim kids. I met another huge boulder in the road when contacting Islamic school, administrators, teachers and representatives. Month after month I got the ‘cold shoulder.” Nobody was responding to emails, letters, or phone calls. What gives? I asked myself. The few responses I did receive were not warm and inviting. Why? was my next question. Why would educators in Islamic schools prefer non-Muslim authored and published books over quality halal Islamic fiction books for students to read? It was like pulling teeth to get information, so I began doing research about Islamic schools in the USA. Some facts I learned: 10 Key Pieces of the Puzzle of Why Islamic Fiction Books are Not the Books of Choice in Islamic Schools: 1. The word fiction is not commonly used in the language of most Muslim publishers and retailers. Many publishers and retailers grew up without the benefit of reading fiction or being required to do creative writing in school. 2. Some scholars have issued “mistaken” opinions that reading fiction is a waste of time and many parents and teachers believe this to be true. 3. Many home schooling parents and even Islamic school teachers/educators grew up without the benefit of reading fiction. 4. Many parents, as emigrants living in westernised countries, grew up without the benefit of reading fiction in school or at home. 5. Most Muslim publishers do not publish fiction books for readers beyond the young children’s picture/illustrated book reading levels. 6. Most Muslim publishers, book retailers, educators, and even parents of children attending public schools do not realise that reading fiction and writing creatively are educational requirements of the public school systems in westernised countries and most of our Muslim children, especially teens, attend public schools in westernised-English speaking countries. 7. Islamic schools sponsor annual or bi-annual book

fairs where the school and teachers promote fiction book sales to parents and the community. The fiction books promoted are generally produced by Scholastic Books, one of the largest children’s book publishers and producers of educational products in the USA. This book publisher and retailer has thousands of fiction books available that are printed in volume making them very affordable and much cheaper than the Islamic fiction books being produced by small Muslim publishers, self publishers, and the few large Muslim publishers who produce limited numbers of Islamic fiction books. Scholastic Books also offers huge discounts which equates to increased profits for the schools, free shipping, and credit accounts whereby the Islamic schools don’t have to pay for the books shipped to them until after the book fairs. 8. Most Muslim publishers cannot compete with Scholastic Books when the schools, parents and community choose price over quality of content when book production values are equal. 9. Almost every Islamic Schools web site has a recommended reading list and for fiction books, few list any Islamic fiction or Muslim authored fiction books. 10. Teachers told me that ‘mainstream’ published fiction books often have accompanying teacher study guides which are helpful for busy teachers not having the time to read the fiction books/vet them before making them available to Muslim students in the classrooms or in the school libraries.

4. Through a professional Muslim organisation (IWA) I founded 7 years ago, the membership made a serious commitment to promote Islamic Fiction books and authors world-wide. 5. I developed a web site: Islamic Fiction Books dedicated to listing quality Islamic fiction books that meet the specific criteria for a halal Islamic fiction book. This web site provides a listing right now of over 350 IF books and 150+ IF authors and was created to help the Muslim public locate Islamic fiction books. 6. I maintain an Islamic Fiction Books blog to provide information about IF and post short IF stories. 7. To date I have given 18 Islamic schools free book awards each year for buying fiction and non-fiction books for their school libraries. There are many Muslims who now support Islamic fiction and promote the books and authors from their web sites and blogs. Islamic fiction authors work hard to get book reviews published in Muslim media resources. Many Muslim IF authors give interviews on the radio and through the Internet. I continue to contact Islamic schools and offer special pricing as incentives for including Islamic fiction books in their book fairs. To increase the volume of IF books for the book fairs I work with other IF authors that I haven’t published and include their books in the book fairs. Progress •We are gaining ground… inching that boulder out

A New Wrinkle Only a few months ago I learned that most public and private schools including Islamic schools participate in the Accelerated Reading program and purchase fiction books for students from the lists of books that are included in this program. Each book has an accompanying list of 10 to 20 multiple choice questions and answers about the books. The Islamic schools didn’t let me in on this secret... a good friend who happens to be in one of my writers’ egroups let me know. Muslim kids want to read fiction stories with book characters, themes, and settings they can relate to. They want to identify with the book characters and read about similar challenges and problems they encounter as Muslims living as minorities in a larger secular society…but nobody is listening to them except Islamic fiction writers/authors who have had very little Muslim book industry support or Muslim community-parent-educator support until the past couple of years. Question: Where is the ‘formal’ Muslim education ‘system’…the developers and approvers of our children’s educational text books when it comes to Islamic fiction books in Islamic schools? What is their involvement? What publishing efforts are they making to produce Islamic fiction books for our Muslim kids? Answer: I have been trying for almost a decade to get any Muslim educator involved in the ‘system’ to respond to phone calls, emails and snail mail letters. Absolutely no response from the organisations or the Muslims leading, doing, controlling, approving book content for Islamic school children at any reading/grade levels. Nada. So I really don’t know anything to tell you except I haven’t seen any Islamic fiction books on the market coming from this kind of book source. What Did I Do About What I Learned? 1. I began sponsoring numerous writing contests at Islamic schools and gave Islamic Fiction books as prizes along with cash. I gave school libraries free Islamic fiction books I authored and IF books authored by other Muslims. I began giving money to Islamic schools for unfunded library projects. 2. I began research to learn how to create my own Muslim publishing business in 2005 and in 2006 began publishing my own Islamic fiction books and IF books of other Muslim authors. 3. From 2007 to 2009 I gathered a team of Muslim experts: editors, teachers, and writers and between us we created five teacher study guides for IF books I had published. The Half Date.com organisation raised funds from around the world to help me pay the design costs for this project.

of our path, all thanks to Allah for His guidance and help. In the past two years I have had several Islamic school teachers contact me to buy IF books and the teacher study guides for use in their Islamic school classrooms. •IF Books in Islamic school reading programs now have their foot in the door of acceptance. The number of home schooling Muslim parents buying the less expensive pdf IF ebooks and accompanying TSGs I have published has increased in the last year. •The number of independent Muslim retailers using the word “fiction” to classify and list IF books on their shelves and online retail book pages is increasing •Some of the larger Muslim publishers have taken small steps to begin publishing more IF books for older youth, teens and even adults. We still cannot compete with the huge fiction selection and low pricing of Scholastic Books, but many Islamic schools are beginning to see that having Islamic fiction books available for students as well as the cheaper mainstream fiction books is possible and better than ignoring the still struggling IF books and authors. I will add that not all mainstream authored and published books are harmful for our Muslim kids. I think there is room for both Islamic fiction books and mainstream fiction books in our schools, libraries, and homes. What Can You do to Help Support Islamic Fiction Books and Authors? -Tell your school boards and PTO you want Muslim authored/Islamic fiction books in the classrooms, libraries, and promoted to your children. -Tell your schools you are tired of seeing recommended summer reading lists posted on school web sites and on papers sent home with students with only mainstream fiction books listed! -Contact Muslim book retailers in your neighborhoods and online and tell them you want more Islamic fiction books made available for youth, teens, and adults. -Write to Muslim publishing businesses and tell them you want them to publish more quality Islamic fiction for youth, teens and adults. -Buy Islamic fiction books so small publishers can afford to publish more Islamic fiction. *Linda D..Delgado is a Muslim revert, the ownerpublisher of Muslim Writers Publishing, Director of Islamic Writers Alliance and an awarding winning Islamic Fiction author and poet. www.MuslimWritersPublishing. com, www.IslamicFictionBooks.com, www. islamicwritersalliance.net, www.islamicfictionbooks. wordpress.com and widadld@yahoo.com


OPINIONS

Email: info@crescenttimes.com.au When we publish opinion articles in Crescent Times, we do not necessarily endorse their content. Opinion articles do not necessarily represent the opinion any of our team members, editors or publishers. However, we are not afraid of opinions. Our role

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is not to teach a particular package of opinions and beliefs to our readers. We do our best to provide space for all schools of thought, personal beliefs and directions of Islamic thought. All are free to submit articles for publication to defend and hold what they see as truth. The Editor In Chief

The war in Afghanistan: jihad, foreign fighters and al-Qaeda

Can Erimtan* This year, on the momentous date of Sept. 11, the English-language channel of the Arab broadcaster Al Jazeera aired a report on foreign fighters joining the jihad against the US and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) forces in Afghanistan. The report showed exclusive footage of a Taliban group in northern Afghanistan where foreign fighters, whom Al Jazeera’s Sue Turton called al-Qaeda, are bolstering the local forces. Turton interviewed ISAF spokesperson Brig. Gen. Chris Whitecross. Upon being asked about the identity of the outsiders strengthening the Taliban in Afghanistan’s north - a clear tactical counter-weight to ISAF’s presence in the south - Whitecross spoke without hesitation: “That means al-Qaeda and foreign fighters.” Given that the current war in the Hindu Kush was supposedly caused by Sept. 11 and that allied action in Afghanistan still aims to “disrupt, dismantle, and defeat alQaeda,” to use President Barack Obama’s alliterative war mantra, it is interesting to note the ease with which foreigners joining the Taliban jihad against the ISAF occupation are termed “al-Qaeda.” As such, this recent development, arguably scooped by Al Jazeera, shows the way in which the war effort in Afghanistan has come full circle in the space of 30 years. On Dec. 25, 1979, Soviet forces officially entered Afghanistan in an effort to support the Communist regime led by the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA). The Communists had seized power in April 1978 during the so-called Saur Revolution when Afghanistan’s first president, Mohammed Daud Khan, who had himself seized power in a bloodless coup in 1973, was killed. The Communist government in Kabul was highly unpopular in the conservative countryside and prone to fall prey to yet another coup or even an armed insurrection. Supporting one’s neighbor As a result, the Soviets deployed their troops to support a friendly regime in its southern neighbor. The director of studies at the Center on International Cooperation, Barnett Rubin, argues in his book “The Fragmentation of Afghanistan” (1995) that the Soviets had primarily entered Afghanistan with the aim of establishing a key position in Asia, one with trade possibilities and access to Gulf oil. But once the Soviets had installed themselves in the country, they “imposed military and social reforms that began to make enemies within different sectors of the indigenous population,” as related by journalist Sehrish Shaban. Afghanistan as a landlocked country in the Hindu Kush mountains is home to a whole host of different ethnic groups professing adherence to Islam. Islam thus really functions as the single unifying factor in Afghanistan, and as a benchmark of Afghan identity. The type of Islam practiced in the Afghan mountainside tends to be rather conservative and grounded in local tribal traditions and attitudes. As a result, the Soviets’ proposed “military and social reforms” could not but engender hostility among “different sectors of the indigenous population.” This resentment grew and grew into a fully fledged call for a jihad against the unbelievers - the Soviets being notoriously atheist. Nowadays the term jihad is much bandied about and used and/or abused at will by Muslims as well as non-Muslims the world over. The historian and Islam

specialist Mark Sedgwick maintains that the concept of jihad was developed in the eighth century, when it basically functioned as a “mixture of the Army Regulations and the Geneva Conventions, appropriate for the circumstances of the time.” At the time of the Islamic conquests (seventh-eighth centuries), the world was divided between the House of Islam (Dar al-Islam) and the House of War (Dar alHarb) and international relations between both spheres were primarily military in nature. But as the centuries progressed and relations between Muslims and the outside world achieved a quasi-peaceful status quo, punctuated by commercial exchanges and trade links, the idea of jihad changed as well. There is the well-known distinction between the greater jihad (al-jihad alakbar) and the lesser jihad (al-jihad alasghar), between a personal struggle in the way of Allah (crf. Surah 29:69) and an armed struggle to protect believers from oppression and violence perpetrated by unbelievers. In other words, jihad evolved from a code of war into a defensive mechanism, tantamount to a religious duty leading to religious rewards. In Afghanistan during the 1980s, the protection of the land from Soviet occupation warranted the execution of a jihad by locals and other sympathetic believers willing to participate in a meritorious act proving one’s commitment in the way of Allah (aljihad al-asghar). The US joins in But what about the Soviets’ main rival, the United States? Were they but passive observers of these weird scenes in the mountains? A few years ago, Hollywood reminded the world of the activities of US Congressman Charles Wilson, whom The New Yorker foreign correspondent Mary Anne Weaver called “one of the most enthusiastic supporters of the jihad on Capitol Hill.” The Hollywood movie “Charlie Wilson’s War” detailed Wilson’s role in organising and financing the Afghan mujahedeen against the Soviets throughout the 1980s. The Reagan administration, in conjunction with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Directorate for InterServices Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency, actively supported the mujahedeen fighting the Evil Empire. In 1985, US President Ronald Reagan even entertained the notorious Gulbuddin Hekmatyar as well as other mujahedeen in the White House, calling them “valiant and courageous Afghan freedom fighters.” At the moment, still leading the Hezb-i-Islami, Hekmatyar continues to fight - this time, his enemies are the US and ISAF forces, however. Back in the 1980s, in struggling for their country’s freedom, Afghans volunteered freely, alongside militants from nearly 30 counties- these foreigners were collectively known as “Afghan Arabs.” And now apparently, the unending war in Afghanistan has come full circle. Today’s mujahedeen, known as the Taliban, again seem to enjoy the support and fighting power of non-Afghan militants. The Taliban and these non-Afghan militants, whom ISAF refers to as “al-Qaeda and foreign fighters,” are once again engaged in a jihad to drive an occupying force of unbelievers from Afghan soil - but this time, these unbelievers are Americans and their allies. *Dr. Can Erimtan is an independent scholar residing in İstanbul, with a broad interest in the politics, history and culture of the Balkans and the wider Middle East. His publications include the book “Ottomans Looking West?” as well as numerous scholarly articles. Source: Today Zaman.

Issue 25, November 2010

Page 19

Imaginal Worlds: A Review

Nur Shkembi* and Hisham Moustafa Stepping through the front entrance and into the modest foyer of the lovely, heritage listed Moonah Arts Centre in the shire of Glenorchy in Hobart brings me to a set of heavy glass doors. Once opened, they reveal a large, light filled space where well worn floorboards and stark white walls provide a home to something quite striking and rather extraordinary for this neck of the woods. Imaginal Worlds, a full scale contemporary Islamic art exhibition, gently fills the gallery space, where a traditional style tent warmly greets you. This is the carefully decorated graphic design work of Hanifa and Jamaludeen Macfarlane; the talent, brains and soul behind this entire exhibition. The tent has four entry points. Once inside, tall, lean rods hold up the centre of the canvas roof. At that point, a circular mount of geometric patterns on a striking black background beckons your eye up and then back down the centre of the covered space. Here, you are quietly met by a shiny black cube decorated in glorious calligraphy reminiscent of the Holy Kaba. Sitting on top is a hand crafted copy of the Quran, inlaid fastidiously with mother of pearl which rests majestically on the equally radiant stand. This centre piece ingeniously catches the reflection off the light boxes which feature heavily on each wall, actively sharing the various positions of prayer. Moving beyond the tent, contemporary renderings of traditional Islamic pattern and design gloriously punctuate the walls. These are displayed within modern black frames along with the photographic images featuring geometric pattern overlays. Adding to the sense of serenity are the traditional style Turkish marbling with hand crafted calligraphic works on canvas by local Muslim artist Nafisa Menne as well as the Kufic inspired hand crafted calligraphy textiles by Fatima Graham. A series of beautifully crafted etchings cleverly tell the story of the travels of the great 14th century Muslim explorer, Ibn Battuta. Printmaker D Asma incorporates her mastery of the medium with a great sense of spirituality. I found myself returning to these etchings over and over, each time discovering a new word, phrase, image or line. Aesthetically beautiful and wise, Asma’s prints provide a tantalising glimpse into the great bounty of Islamic heritage. This is how the whole exhibition pans out. Walking through the gallery space filled with these original artworks, inspired by the great beauty and tradition of Islamic art, one gets the sense that important work has been done. A projection of a digitally created moving image of calligraphy rotates the Ayatul Kursi on the back wall. The speed of the rotation is timed exactly with how long it would take

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to make a contemplative and precise recitation of this glorious verse. This is enhanced by a central calligraphy of the Basmallah, also rotating in the time of one recitation. The movement pauses for a moment and then repeats over and over in this purposeful and methodical pattern, intuitively engaging the viewer in a type of visual dhikr. The mathematical genius of Hanifa’s video installation, and the virtuoso of Jamaludeen M a c f a r l a n e ’s geometric pattern work, highlights the intelligent beauty of all that Islam has offered over the centuries to Eastern and Western civilisations, in science, medicine, architecture and the arts. Along with this vast display of calligraphy and pattern are the cultural installations which provide a sense of familiarity and perhaps help reconcile this genius of traditional geometric pattern. The Seven Brides, an installation of ‘faceless’ forms attired in traditional ‘Islamic’ garb, wonderfully styled with glorious fabrics by young local Muslim, Rasheedah Bound, added some fun and a touch of mystery to the exhibition. It was creatively installed to provide a visual prompting for the story telling element of the school group presentation. Along with prayer beads, vases and a beautifully presented tanned hide with meticulous hand scribed calligraphy, the stunning hand knotted, antique Persian rugs, generously loaned by the local Independent Member for Parliament, Andrew Wilkie, offered an organic and rich feel to the installations in the rear of the gallery. This cultural element of the exhibition provided an interesting point of interaction and formulated part of the educational tour that Hanifa Macfarlane presented to a variety of school groups which attended the gallery as part as of their ‘cultural’ educational experience on Islam. Imaginal Worlds opens the mind, the heart and the soul to the great beauty and wisdom of Islam. Judging by the response to this exhibition from the Tasmanian public, one might conclude that sharing our spiritual visual heritage in this way can do much more for articulating the beauty of Islam than the streams of heated discussion that typically define Islam’s interaction with the broader community. In the arts we uniquely find a language common to all. Let’s hope the Australian Muslim community embrace, support and help us share this splendid dialogue through the arts. *Nur Shkembi is the Arts Officer of the Islamic Council of Victoria. Nur officially opened the exhibition at the Moonah Arts Centre in Hobart on Wednesday 13th October 2010 and was the keynote speaker alongside the Honourable Andrew Wilkie MP. A sample of Imaginal Worlds will be presented amongst the works of other contemporary Muslim artists in Melbourne, as part of the ICV’s annual exhibition, You Am I in February, 2011.

For more information on Imaginal Worlds visit: www. imaginalworldsislamicart.blogspot.com

What are the future requirements of Islamic Banking in Australia? Abdullah Alajlan Islamic banking is one of the fastest growing segments of the global financial industry. In 2009 the global Islamic finance industry was estimated at US$822 billion. At the same time, the Australian Muslim population has risen to 1.7 per cent of the total population. Beside this rapid increase in the Muslim population, it is well known that the Islamic banking and financial industry in Australia has a bright future. The Australian Government has examined this opportunity, and has invited some Islamic financial institutions to invest in Australia according to Islamic law. In a speech at the launch of the Austrade publication Islamic Finance in February 2010,

former Minister of Trade Mr. Simon Crean highlighted the opportunity presented for Australian-based banks and financial institutions to develop Islamic finance products for domestic and international markets, saying “We believe that Islamic finance can add to the depth and sophistication of our financial markets” If we look at Islamic financial institutions’ needs for the future we will find the main needs are: - To wisely apply consensus or Ijma’a as one of the main five Islamic sources. In other words, identify and select Islamic scholars from Islamic organisations and societies all over Australia to oversee fatwas or decisions related to Islamic banking products. If a product is deemed to

be shariah compliant by this board of scholars then local Muslims will have the opportunity to access products without claims that products are not shariah compliant. By supporting this Board, Islamic financial institutions will have a great opportunity to offer their products, and Muslims will have an opportunity to benefit from them with full confidence that they are halal. - Islamic financial institutes have to consider that the products they offer should be available to and useful to both Muslims and non-Muslims. This broad base of interest can be ensured by adding features to products that are still shariah compliant but also attractive to non Muslim clients.

* Abdullah Alajlan is a Sydney based PhD student.


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Issue 25, November 2010

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Napoleon: Once an outlaw, now representing Islam

Shayma Alshakshir Melbourne Napoleon, a former member of the Outlawz hiphop group, toured Australia to speak to youth about his journey to Islam, drugs, thug life and the fame he walked away from eight years ago. Born Mutah Wassin Shabazz Beale, Napoleon has had a rough life since he was barely three years old. Shockingly, he witnessed the murder of his parents and was quickly moved to live with his grandmother. “I remember biting at my mother, trying to wake her up,” he said. Living in the ‘hood’ wasn’t so easy. Drugs, alcohol, gang assassinations were part of the daily ‘gang’ lifestyle. For Napoleon, these ‘outlaw’ things were the drive behind his ‘success’ in the music industry as he put his frustration into his lyrics that reflected the nature of the ‘ghetto’ neighbourhood in which he lived in at the time. Peak of fame At the age of 14, Napoleon was initiated as a close member of Outlawz music group, headed by Tupac Shakur—who was murdered in a gang related killing at the age of 25. The Outlawz made records selling more than 40 million copies worldwide. Napoleon went from being a poor street kid to being overly rich. He says he had it all at one stage. “At one point, I had three houses, I had so much money coming in that I didn’t know how to spend it,” he said. But Napoleon says he felt that his life was missing something at the time. “I got to a time in my life where I wasn’t happy at all. I was looking for some type of tranquillity… some type of happiness. I went from a point in my life where I was successful when it comes so far as money, houses and fame…But every night I went to sleep I was depressed. So I got to a point where I said I give up on life.” This lavish lifestyle came to an end, when one time, Napoleon was highly intoxicated and suddenly his life was turned upside down. “I happen to one day with that mentality get into a fight with my little brother and a Muslim brother broke up the fight and invited me to come to the

Mosque and gave me literature about Islam and gave me an English translation of the Quran,” he said. Napoleon, a poet himself, observed the poetic Quranic language. “That first time I read it, I knew it was the truth and that it was from Allah (God)… I said this is what I need in my life, and this is what will bring me happiness.” Conversion to Islam In 2002, Napoleon left the luxurious life of hiphop and converted to Islam. He says he received a mixture of reactions from his family. “I was a leader at calling to evil…so my brothers thought I was weird and that I lost my mind. The rest of my family were supportive due to the fact that they saw positive change in my life,’’ he said. Upon his conversion, however, Napoleon became homeless. “When I walked away from the music industry, I struggled financially really hard. I went from getting cheques every 6 months to one day getting a fatwa (religious ruling) from one of the scholars that it’s haram (forbidden) to get this money due to the fact that its from record sales… I actually had to sleep on the floor at my brother’s house with my wife and three kids,” he said. A motivational speaker Now, Napoleon tours the world as a motivational speaker with many messages to deliver. “One of the reasons I got into the music industry is because I basically wanted to put a message out there. Now that I’m Muslim, I truly have something that I can call to.” “I try and warn the kids about the life that I once led, that there was nothing good that’s going to come out of that life, only destruction will come out of that lifestyle,” Napoleon said. Napoleon has travelled on both paths and reminds us that we should never feel embarrassed to identify as a Muslim. As a motivational speaker, Napoleon updates his

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knowledge and gains his inspiration from the life of Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) and the stories of the Companions (raa). Hip-Hop and Islam Napoleon considers hip-hop and Islam to be incompatible, because “they basically call for two different things” and that even if the song’s message is positive, “if it is not according to the Sunnah (teachings) of the Prophet Muhammad, then it is unacceptable”. “To try and spread Islam through rap would be innovating in the religion (of Islam). If Allah (swt) knew that music would bring people closer to Islam, he would have legislated it and gave us permission to use it (in that cause),” he said. Napoleon warns there are illusions associated with celebrity and rap culture, and especially when it comes to women. “I remember, back in the days, I had to choose the

woman that would expose the most of her skin… so the music industry, is an industry that is here to take away the shyness of women and to make them masculine.” Napoleon said. In 2009, Napoleon started his own clothing line called My Inspiration Isn’t Money (MIIM), and he is currently working on a documentary, titled Napoleon: Life of an Outlaw produced by Hollywood Actor and Comedian Mike Epps. Napoleon will be visiting Australia again in November to promote the documentary. He is also keen on visiting the Indigenous community in Australia and says these native people hold a special place in his heart and would love to speak to their youth. Napoleon’s Melbourne tour was organised by Islamic Information & Services Network of Australasia (IISNA). More than 2000 people, mostly youth, attended his 3-day lecture series and many left inspired. *Shayma Alshakshir is Melbourne editor of Crescent Times should could be contacted on: shayma@ crescenttimes.com.au.

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Crescent Times November 2010 edition