Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Nisa and I went to watch 'Temple of Dreams' on June 24. We both really like the film; it's funny, thought-provoking and moving. The director, Tom Zubrycki, was called to make a film about young Muslims because he was "incensed" about the way in which Muslims were treated nowadays.

The film basically revolves around a group of young Muslim Australians who spearhead an organisation called ICRA. ICRA, which stands for Independent Centre of Research Australia, aims to address the needs of the disadvantaged Australian Muslim youths.

ICRA's youth centre and gymnasium are located in Western Sydney and occupy the space formerly used as a Masonic Temple. Hence the title of the film.

The film, shot in 2006, features some of the organisation's activities. One that I find most interesting is the seminar series 'All Eyez on Youth' conducted by an ex-rapper, Napoleon. Napoleon, who hails from the US, is also a former gang member and a close friend of the late Tupac Shakur.

The film received very good feedback from the audience. SBS plans to screen a shortened version of the film later this year. So, hopefully, we all can watch it then :)

Until then, do watch the clip below. It's the talk by Napoleon in one of the seminars organised by ICRA. I really like the clip. After all, bukan selalu kita dengar ex-rapper bagi ceramah :)

Saturday, June 23, 2007


For those looking for something to do this winter break...

Here are some interesting events you might like to go to:

1) Temple of Dreams

A timely film which provides a very different take on the Islamic community in Australia. One of this year's Sydney Film Festival hits.

Date: Sunday, 24th June 2007
Time: 12.30pm
Place: State Theater (opposite Myer in Market Street)
Price: $11.50-$16.50

more info here

2) The Arts of Islam exhibition

This significant exhibition presents the finest display of the arts of the Islamic world ever seen in Australia. Over 350 masterpieces reveal the far-reaching contact between the Islamic empires and their conquered lands from Spain and Morocco, across Northern Africa and Egypt, the Middle Eastern nations of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Palestine and as far east as Mongolia, India and China. The Nasser D. Khalili Collection in London is recognised as the best private collection of Islamic art in the world.

Date: 22nd June - 23rd September 2007
Place: Art Gallery of NSW
Price: $15

more info here

3) Australian Muslims Public Symposium

As a framework for living with cultural diversity, the idea of multiculturalism has come under attack in recent years both in Australia and overseas. In the last two years, a subtle shift in policy and discourse has begun to take place involving greater emphasis on notions such as 'integration' and 'social cohesion'. This shift comes at a time of increased concern in some circles over the ability of certain ethnic communities, especially Muslims, to integrate into Australian society, despite Australia's reputation as a nation committed to the notion of a 'fair go'. This symposium will provide a platform for informed debate on these current trends in Australian multiculturalism.

Date: Friday, 29th June 2007
Time: 6.45pm for a 7.00pm start
Place: Mason Theater, Building E7B, Macquarie University
Price: $15

more info here

4) Sounds of Light concert

An Islamic concert organised by the Human Appeal International. Raihan is one of the 7 performers slated to perform.

Date: Saturday, 28th July 2007
Place: Acer Arena Olympic Park
Price: starts from $30

more info here

x x x

Wish that I could go to all of these events but... duit mcm tak cukup je...
We'll see how it'll go...

On another note, thanks for all the supportive comments given in the previous entry :)
I really appreciate them. I've just realised that I should have been bold & strong instead of feeling so vulnerable. But I'm all better now :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Suatu petang di Myer

Something very unpleasant happened to me yesterday. Fifa and I were accompanying Etty shopping. She was looking to buy watches for her mom and dad. While Fifa and Etty were busy choosing, a man approached me.

I noticed that he was giving us that "look" from afar. The "look" that Muslim women with headscarves get all the time.

He started to small talk with me: where I came from, where am I studying, etc... Then, he complimented my winter coat. Gesturing to my coat and Fifa's and Etty's windbreakers, he said: "You know, the infidels created them - infidels, not Muslims"

With that, he asked to shake my hand and left.

Fifa and Etty asked me what happened, and I related our conversation. We just shrugged it off. Apa2 je lah pak cik ...

BUT he had the audacity to come back.

"Remember me?" he said.

Dlm hati: How can I forget?

I was by myself again. Etty and Fifa were still dealing with the salesperson.

He questioned why Muslims hate the "infidels" so much. I tried to explain that that's not how the majority of Muslims feels. But he either didn't understand what I was trying to say or refused to.

He said that he came from a religious family background. There are 4 priests in his family but he himself is not religious.

"I want to be FREE. I don't believe in (making prostrating actions). And I want to sip a glass of wine sometimes. Is that wrong?"

He said a few other things but I couldn't make out what he was trying to say. His English was a bit difficult to understand.

When he left, I felt so overwhelmed. I was angry and sad all at once.

I was angry because he couldn't understand my explanation
I was angry that he attacked my faith and I FAILED to defend it
I was sad that people had such a distorted view of Islam

I cried in the midst of the Myer store for having the misfortune to meet such a hateful man.

To be personally attacked like that was a very unpleasant experience.

Throughout the bus ride home, I kept replaying the scenes in my mind. I kept thinking of the things I should have said and the ways I should have explained.

Moral of the story???

Saya pun tak tahu... :(

Thursday, June 14, 2007


I just bought a new book to read now that I'm officially assignment-free :)

The book is entitled: "Islam, the West and the Challenges of Modernity". It's written by Tariq Ramadan and translated by Said Amghar.

In his introduction, Tariq talks about the memory of his father, Said Ramadan:

A few months before returning to God, he said to me, with the strength of his sad, drowned look: "Our problem is one of spirituality. If a man comes to speak to me about the reforms to be undertaken in the Muslim world, about political strategies and of great geo-strategic plans, my first question to him would be whether he performed the dawn prayer (fajr) in its time"