Grand mufti hopes defamation win ‘first step towards improved harmony’ between Muslims and media

Australia’s grand mufti hopes his defamation win against two News Corp articles on Friday becomes “the first step towards improved harmony between Muslims and the media”.
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Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed took legal action in the NSW Supreme Court last year over two stories published in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph newspaper, which attacked his response to the terrorist attacks in France 18 months ago.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks around Paris in November 2015, killing more than 130 people.

The grand mufti alleged two stories, including a front page depiction of him as three “unwise” monkeys, wrongly implied he was an apologist for the incidents, and had sought to shift blame away from the perpetrators.

One of the articles in question included a front page depiction of Dr Mohammed with his ears, eyes and mouth covered. The accompanying words included “sees no problems, hears no concerns, speaks no English”.

???The second article was headlined: “Even Hamas condemn the Paris attacks so why won’t Australia’s Grand Mufti Ibrahim Abu Mohammed?”

Initial court appearances indicated News Corp was defending the publications as “substantially true”, and they had argued some of the defamatory imputations were opinion honestly held.

But as the case returned to court on Friday, Justice Lucy McCallum was told the matter had been settled, in confidential terms. A verdict was recorded for the grand mufti, with no order as to costs. The case was otherwise settled confidentially.

In a statement released after the verdict, the National Imams Council welcomed the result.

“The Grand Mufti Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed holds the highest religious post for an Islamic scholar in Australia,” the statement said.

“He has dedicated his life to the pursuit of knowledge, justice and peace, and is proud to continue to represent the religious views of the vast majority of Australian Muslims.

“It is hoped that the outcome of the proceedings is the first step towards improved harmony between Australian Muslims and the media in the future.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.


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Why do people volunteer?

Today’s volunteers are increasingly in better health, with a better incomeand more interested in the community aspect than making friends.
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Statistically:

41 per cent of all Australian adults undertake volunteer work each yearMore Australians aged 35-44 volunteer- youngest and oldest contribute mostSingle parents and people in positions of responsibility are more likely to volunteerAlmost half of all part time workersdo volunteer workThe three most prominent reasons for volunteering were ‘to put my spare time to good use’ (53 per cent), ‘to improve the lives of older people’ (42 per cent) and because ‘someone asked me’ (40 per cent). More than a quarter had volunteered for nine or more years and most of these longstanding volunteers were women.

Getting involved helps maintain essential work skills like teamwork, communication and discipline. Volunteering can also give people access to work experience and training opportunities in employment-related areas like administrative skills, safety and first aid.

Other advantages of volunteering: builds self confidence, feel useful,meet new challenges, support a cause, be a role model, re-enter society,meet new people, give backandhelp others.

It’s also beneficial for businesses, as it’s good for staffmorale and employees learn about other people.

The volunteers come from all walks of life. Two thirds of the volunteers reported that they owned their own home with one-fifth having a spouse and a quarter with an adult child living at home.

Thirty-six per cent of the men and 40 per cent of the women lived alone so had more time for volunteering and a need for company.

Seniors form a large part of this voluntary force and demonstratethat older citizens can provide, as well as receive, voluntary services.

Volunteers should be conscientious, punctual, undertake what they agreed to do, be reliable and let the co-ordinator know if theyare unable to work.

They should also maintain confidentiality,be a team member and know theirown limitations relating to time available, finances, physical ability andfamily.

Beneficial: The opportunities for volunteering are varied, from fundraising and taking part in a particular charity event to donating money on a regular basis and caring for family and friends.

Just over half the volunteers reported difficulties withjugglingvolunteering with the family commitments, health problems, work or study commitments.

Volunteering hubs provide referral servicesand support to non-profit organisations.

Rewarding in many ways.


Bendigo’s role in the book of Safran

John Safran takes photographs at the first anti-mosque rally in Bendigo in August 2015. He has written a book about his experiences with extremism in Australia.WHEN John Safran arrived in Bendigo for the first anti-mosque rally in 2015, it wasn’t hard to find the action.
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“It’s cool how you don’t need Google Maps for these protests, you just stroll towards the distant shouts of ‘Nazi scum off our streets!’”

He had only just started field research for his next book,Depends What You Mean By Extremist,and it was one of his first direct encounters with the United Patriots Front.

Those familiar with Safran’s television, radio and print work will know his style–put yourself in situations anyone would find cringeworthy, or dangerous, and just keep pushing. And, in parts, become the story.

That was certainly the case in Bendigo.

He followed the UPF crowd into a local pub after the rally, and after a few hairy encounters, was able to endear himself to the group. So much so, some of their leaders eventually tried to form a rap troupe with him.

Safran devoted an entire chapter, and a little more, to his visits to the anti-mosque rallies in Bendigo.

His ability to become embedded on all sides of the“conflict”–from Danny Nalliah’s Catch the FireMinistries, to the Melbourne AnarchistClub–gave a unique insight into the rise, and partial fall, of Australia’s far-right.

Safran was also able to explore some of the deepest and darkest corners of Australian radicalism. Without prejudice, his experiences flow from one key playerto the next.

The characters are all allowed to speak for themselves.

Safran is bemused as Musa Cerantonio recites Monty Python lines, he walks through Lakemda’s Haldon Street wearing a Jewish skullcap,attends a truce meeting between Reclaim Australia and No Room for Racism, and watches an ISIS videoin an Islamist’s loungeroom.

At times, it shows the human face that is often behindextremism. At others, it exposes some of the hypocrisy present in the entire“anti-Islam” debate, with some patriots’real motives laid bare.

Spoiler: it might not be all about Islam in the end.

And, as has been the case for several years, Bendigo just happened to be caught up in the middle of it all.

Bendigo Advertiser


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Knights end talks with SKD over drug scandal

PARTY’S OVER: The Knights have put on hold contract talks with Shaun Kenny-Dowall after the Roosters centre was busted with cocaine at a Sydney nightclub. Picture: Getty Images.NEWCASTLE Knights have gone cold on Shaun Kenny-Dowall after the Roosters centre was allegedlybusted with cocaine in a Sydney nightclub.
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Police said Kenny-Dowall was allegedly caught in possession of 0.46 grams of cocaine when the 29-year-old was searchedat The Ivy nightclub at 1am on Friday.

The New Zealand international was issued afield court attendance notice for possessing aprohibited drug and is due to appear in Downing Centre Local Court on June 21.

Off contract with the Roosters at the end of this season,Kenny-Dowall hadbeen in discussions with the Knightsand met with coach Nathan Brown at a restaurant in The Junction last month.

The Knights were yet to extend a formal offer to the backline utility but were understood to be only days away from tabling a three-year proposal.

However, the NewcastleHerald has learned thatnegotiations have been put on hold until the drug matter is finalised in court.

It is unlikely they will pursue the flyer unless fully cleared.

Kenny-Dowall previously faced domestic violence allegations during his 2015 season, but was fully acquitted of all charges.

“We havealready gone through enough pain,” a club insidersaid on the decision to halt talks.

Kenny-Dowall had ticked a lot of boxes for the Knights.A premiership-winner and veteran of 224 NRL games, he can play a number of positions in the backline and boasts a big frame.

​He has won a Four Nations titlewith New Zealand and, although overlooked for the ANZAC Test against the Kangaroos on Friday night, has 20 caps.

The Kenny-Dowall drug scandal continues a troubled run for the Knights in relation to recruitment targets.

The club was preparing a three-year $2.7 million offer for Queensland Origin and Test starMatt Scott when the Cowboys prop ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee.

“We thought he’d be the perfect leader for our younger players coming through,” Brown said at the time.

Scott subsequently resigned with the Cowboys.

The Knights were also in the box seat for the signature of Jack Bird before the Brisbane Broncos came from left field to sign the Cronulla match-winner.

Canterbury captain and England firebrandJames Graham is now at the top of their shopping list.

Confirmation on Wednesday of a four-year suspension for Jarrod Mullen for a doping violation has freed up more space in the salary cap.The Knights are looking for reinforcements but Brown said thisweek that he wasnot overly confident of bolstering the roster before the June 30 deadline.

Mullen, who wasfound guilty of taking the banned steroid Drostanolone by the NRL’s anti-doping body, hasbeen paid about half of his $750,000 salary for this season.

Knights captain Trent Hodkinson spoke to a“shattered”Mullen on Thursday.

“I saw him yesterday and he’s obviously disappointed with the outcome,” Hodkinson said on radio station2KO.“He was hoping for the two years but unfortunately it didn’t happen.”


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A fishing trip with the kids now has a nasty hook

Grandchildren grow up and, as sure as night follows day, they will want to fish.
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Fishing means licences for grandparents, and a recreational fishing licence comes with a warning if you are fishing in Sydney Harbour.Years and years of industrial activities around this beautiful harbour have led to industrial wastes contaminating the water. The result is that fish and other seafood caught west of Sydney Harbour Bridge should not be eaten because of their contamination byindustrial chemicals called dioxins.

A Claytons fishing trip – a welcome relief to the grandparent who really does not like scaling, cleaning and cooking fish – but a stern reminder to us all that we are leaving a contaminated world for our grandchildren. It’s aslightly better story if you fish east of the bridge. Depending on the species of fish you catch, your limit for eating per month will range from 50grams for sea mullet to 150grams for bream and tailor to over a kilogram for flounder. But don’t ask the fish if it has crossed under the bridge!

Sharon Bader’s book Toxic Fish and Sewer Surfing published in 1989 set down in print the facts that were all too apparent to the swimmers and surfers of the day: that the beaches had become open sewers. She detailed how megalitres of almost raw sewage mixed with toxic industrial waste were being dumped daily into the sea off Sydney right next to the iconic beaches of Bondi and Manly, fouling bathing waters and contaminating fish.

The intervening decades have led to a dramatic improvement in our ocean waters, but, even today, we are warned to avoid swimming for at least one day after heavy rain at ocean beaches, and at least three days at harbour beaches. It’s our legacy to our grandchildren and their children.

Professor Tim Roberts is the director of the Tom Farrell Institute for the Environment, University of Newcastle


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