AUSTRALIAN  PRAYER  NETWORK  NEWSLETTER – AUSTRALIAN NEWS 19th FEBRUARY 2014

  • ALMOST TWO SYDNEY WOMEN A WEEK ARE CONVERTING TO ISLAM
  • FATHERS CAN STOP VIOLENCE SAYS KINGS SCHOOL HEADMASTER
  • 40 DAYS OF PRAYER AND FASTING 5 MARCH – 13 APRIL 2014
     

ALMOST TWO SYDNEY WOMEN A WEEK ARE CONVERTING TO ISLAM

More than 100 people – most of them women – are converting to Islam in Sydney each year, and ­experts warn some new converts are more likely to adopt extremist elements of the religion. Such radicalism was highlighted by the recent death in Syria of former Queensland Anglican schoolgirl turned Muslim jihadist Amira Karroum, 22, who is believed to have been killed by rebel fighters in Aleppo alongside her US-born husband Yusuf Ali. Ms Karroum had adopted an extremist form of the faith, praising terrorist Osama bin Laden and supporting the violent Muslim riots in Sydney in 2012.

The pair were based in Granville before travelling to Syria to fight in December. Another Granville man, Caner Temel, 22, has been named as the latest Australian victim of the civil war in Syria. The Australian New Muslim Association estimates two-thirds of the converts they see each year are female, with more than 60% converting because of their husbands or partners. Julia Moukhallalati was just 18 when she swapped her Orthodox Christian upbringing for the mosques of western Sydney, converting to Sunni Islam. She met her Lebanese-Australian husband Raed while asking about halal meat in a restaurant. They married just three months later and live in a granny flat behind her in-laws.

Mrs Moukhallalati said her relationship with her family was still a “work in progress”. “My parents pushed me to be Orthodox but they never had answers to my questions,” she said, adding she had always been fascinated with Islam and believed it put women on a pedestal, rather than oppressing them. “As soon as I started studying it I knew I had to be a part of it,” she said. “I loved how a woman was treated. She is treated like a rare diamond, she is honoured in the family.” Mrs Moukhallalati said although she believed it was her duty to spread the word of Islam, she didn’t agree with travelling overseas to fight.  “It’s pretty sad. There are some Muslims who are extreme, but I believe in moderation,” she said. 

Mrs Moukhallalati said she did not feel obligated to wear the face-covering niqab but did wear a headscarf. “I put in more pride and effort with the scarf on. Now that I’m scarfed I feel more beautiful,” she said. Australian Muslim Women’s Association head Silma Ihram converted from Christianity during a trip to Indonesia in 1976 at 24. She said converts were sometimes guided by more extreme interpretations. That meant they fell out with their families and were susceptible to radical elements, she said.

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

 

FATHERS CAN STOP VIOLENCE SAYS KINGS SCHOOL HEADMASTER

The headmaster of an all-boys school that counted slain teenager Thomas Kelly as a student says young men need fathers and positive male role models if the “cycle of violence and inadequacy” in Australia is to be broken.  Tim Hawkes, who heads The King’s School in western Sydney, says he is aware there are many factors in the scourge of the “macho-posing young man given to king-hitting others” and that senseless violence cannot be explained by under-fathering alone. But, he adds, “it is worth asking what it is we can reasonably expect fathers to do to prevent their sons going to jail”.  Dr Hawkes says teaching boys how to love and how to control their impulses and anger is paramount.

“Too many of our prisons are filled with men who might not otherwise be there if they had learnt to count to 10,” he says. “Love should be expressed in more ways than providing and correcting. This is not always easy when the anaesthetic of the TV beckons after a day of irksome toil. However, the sacrifice of putting the family ahead of personal comfort will not be lost on a boy and may stop him having to prove his worth by belting up innocents on a Kings Cross street.”  Kelly was 18 when he was punched by Kieran Loveridge on a Kings Cross street, dying two days later. In sentencing Loveridge to six years’ prison, judge Stephen Campbell noted the teenager had a largely absent father who was also abusive.

“The offender grew up in his mother’s care and without the benefit of love, support and guidance from his father,” Judge Campbell said remarks. “On one occasion during the offender’s childhood, his father struck him across the face with a cane as punishment for a trivial misdemeanour. “He had a close relationship with his football coach, and I infer from his mother’s statement that man may have been something of a father figure to the offender. Unfortunately he died of cancer, which the offender’s mother said was very confronting for the offender.” Dr Hawkes said not every child had a father but a substitute father figure or role model could teach children “toughness need not be dissociated from gentleness”.

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

 

40 DAYS OF PRAYER AND FASTING 5 MARCH – 13 APRIL 2014

Forty influential Australians have contributed daily devotionals which will be followed by participants in the 40 days of Prayer & Fasting that is being held during the season of Lent beginning on 5th March and concluding on 13th April. The thrust of the devotionals is to claim, reflect, pray and act on 40 Biblical promises for our nation.  People are being invited to participate in this season of prayer and encouraged to pray for Jesus’ life-giving kingdom to transform all aspects of Aussie life!

People wishing to take part in the 40 days of prayer are invited to register at www.40daysofprayer.com.auto receive the daily devotions being offered, by email.

Source: Event Organisers