Jack The Ripper – Is the case really closed?

Source: The Illustrated Police News

Source: The Illustrated Police News

It’s a mystery that’s baffled the finest minds for over 125 years. In 1888, a series of brutal murders took place in poverty-ridden Whitechapel in London’s East End. The killer was given a nickname to match his grizzly deeds, but to this date the question remained: Who exactly was Jack the Ripper?

Molecular biologist Dr Jari Louhelainen believes he’s finally discovered the mystery murderer’s identity by analysing DNA and fluids from a shawl that businessman Russell Edwards bought in 2007.

But does the century old search really end there, or is this theory yet another red herring? Miran talks to Ipswich Councillor Paul Tully, a historian and “Ripperologist”, to find out more.






Online campaigns for consumer boycotts


By: Carlos Latuff

The ceasefire in Gaza may have come as a relief to many, but the countless lives lost and the mass destruction left behind are a reminder that there is an even longer road ahead in the plight for Palestinian justice.

In Australia, some activists have taken to social media to encourage the boycott of Israeli products as per the worldwide Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. To make the campaign easier to follow, however, they’ve taken to raising awareness of Australian-owned product alternatives.

With over 3000 subscribers on Facebook alone, the social media storm isn’t forecast to settle anytime soon. Miran and Tasnim talk to Sana Karanouh, the initiator of Facebook group ‘CC Boycott Israel Campaign‘ for some insight into the movement.


Spoken word: Lamees Abrahams

lamees abrahams11-year-old Lamees Abrahams popped into our studios this week to share a spoken-word poem she wrote in dedication to the orphan children from Syria and around the world. This fifth grader’s emotive performance certainly moved us!

If you’re keen on sponsoring an orphan, there are various registered charities you can look to. As good deeds go, caring for orphans is pretty well placed in Islam. As Imam Bukhari narrated, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

‘”I and the custodian of an orphan are like this (together) in Paradise”, and he joined his forefinger and middle finger together.’


Australia’s forgotten slave history

South Sea Islander indentured labourers clearing scrub at Farnborough in 1895 - National Library of Australia.

South Sea Islander indentured labourers clearing scrub at Farnborough in 1895 – National Library of Australia.

Australia is the third-largest global supplier of raw sugar, partially built on the hard labour of South Sea Islanders. What often goes unspoken, however, is the brutal way this labour was procured.

During the 1860s, about 60,000 South Sea Islanders were brought to Queensland against their will.  Most were kidnapped by a means called “blackbirding” and forced to work long, excruciating hours for little return.

This week, Australia’s Federal Parliament was presented with a motion that expresses regret over the treatment of the thousands of South Sea Islanders.

Deanna Hadid spoke with Emelda Davis, President of Australian South Sea Islanders Port Jackson (ASSI.PJ) for an insight into the history of South Sea Islanders in Australia, and whether this parliamentary motion is enough reparation for a group that faced more than a century of disadvantage.

Cyber-talking mental health

Image: Sander Van Der Wel

Image: Sander Van Der Wel

News last week was filled with eulogies for late comedian Robin Williams, who died on Monday after a deep struggle with depression. Unfortunately, the internet was not as kind about it. William’s daughter Zelda was forced to quit social media after being subject to nasty trolling on Twitter and Instagram. Around the same time, suicide prevention experts expressed concern about copycat suicides following the viral re-tweeting of a Robin Williams quote, “Genie, You’re Free.”

How should discussions of mental health issues be approached online? Deanna Hadid spoke to CEO of Beyond Blue, Georgie Harman.


If you need support, contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 or chat to them online at their website, http://www.beyondblue.org.au. Alternatively, call Lifeline for crisis support on 13 11 14.

Australia’s anti-terror proposals

Banksy protests government surveillance. Image: IvanSanchez

Banksy graffiti protests idea of excess government surveillance. Image: IvanSanchez

The Government’s new proposals for tougher and broader anti-terror legislation in Australia has met with much criticism from civil liberty groups. The Muslim community has been highlighted throughout the weeks of discussion, with several press releases issued by community organisations and groups in opposition of the proposed changes.

The Muslim Legal Network (MLN) is one group that provided the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security with feedback on the proposals.

Miran talks to solicitor Sarah Khan of the MLN about the controversial bill.


(Information on contacting Federal MPs can be found on the Parliament of Australia website here.) 

Annual Elderly Eid Gift Drive

Eid driveAssalamu’alaikum!

We’re approaching that special time of the year again, abuzz with excitement, imaan and a little too much sugar from iftaar time.

As we step up our game for this last phase of Ramadan, cramming in as much ibada and good deeds as we possibly can, we also hope to maintain our spiritual engagement once the month is gone…

And The Y Factor has just the opportunity for you to make good on that intention inshaAllah!

Bringing you our annual Elderly Eid Gift Drive, the Y Factor team invites you to join us in bringing company and solace to the esteemed seniors of our community in hospitals and nursing homes.

As the festive air and spirit of Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations draw nearer and we enthusiastically throw ourselves into baking sweets, buying new clothes, decorating our houses and organising family gatherings, it is important to remember that many an elder will be spending it alone.

Through our annual campaign, and with the support of Mission of Hope, The Y Factor’s volunteers visited more than 100 elderly persons in hospitals, nursing homes and their private homes bearing gifts and flowers every Eid-ul-Fitr for the last two years.

We pray that we are able to bring joy and smiles to our honoured elderly again this Eid, inshaAllah, and we would love for you to join us in this endeavor.

If you want to grasp this good deed opportunity, fill out this quick expression of interest. We will then touch base with you, inshaAllah, and put you on your way to post-Ramadan rewards.

May Allah bless you all for your good intentions, and Eid Mubarak in advance from The Y Factor team!


The Y Factor team
E: theyfactor876@gmail.com

Yvonne Ridley comes to town

IMG_20140705_123106Renowned British journalist Yvonne Ridley was in town last month, speaking at a number of events across Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide as a guest of the Australian Islamic Mission.

Miran caught up with the veteran reporter to find out her thoughts on Western military intervention, the current conflict in Iraq, her tips for budding Muslim journalists and much more.

Religious Violence erupts in Sri Lanka

By: Dinuka Liyanawatte

By: Dinuka Liyanawatte

Riots broke out in Sri Lanka this week in what some media outlets are referring to as the “worst acts of religious violence in decades”. A hardline Buddhist group called “Bodu Bala Sena”, which translates to Buddhist Power Force, led a protest march on Sunday against the Muslim dominated towns of Aluthgama on Sunday, which then spilled over into Beruwela and Draga Nagar. The protest erupted in clashes that left at least 75 injured and three killed on the day, 16 houses gunned down and businesses firebombed.

Sadly, it hasn’t ended there and the Muslim population of Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese-dominated South Coast have faced more injuries, deaths curfews and evacuations throughout the week.

Miran and Nav are joined in studio by Rafi Mubarak and Mohamed Fazli from the Austra Lanka Muslim Association, the representative body for Sri Lankan Muslims in Australia.

#Budget2014 – How will it affect youth?

Martin KingsleyOn Tuesday May 13, Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey announced the Coalition’s 2014 budget plan to much public controversy. Some economists have hailed the measures as necessary and not warranting the hype. Advocates and social welfare groups have, on the other hand, mirrored public concern that this budget will have have a heavy impact on the disadvantaged members of Australian society.

But how will young Australians in particular be affected when this budget takes effect? Naveen and Deanna spoke to journalist Antony Loewenstein and Deputy CEO at Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) Rebecca Vassarotti to find out.