BNI response to the viral email re: ‘Islam and Japan’

There is a popular email going around that reveals how difficult the Japanese make it for Islam to take hold in Japan. Having lived in Japan some time ago, I have a bit of personal insight to add. So before you consider packing up and running off to Japan, take note of the following:

Did you Know????

Have you ever read in the newspaper that a political leader or a prime minister from an Islamic nation has visited Japan? (Hard to believe. Indonesia’s PM seems likely to have visited Japan)

Japan, a country keeping Islam at bay, Japan has put strict restrictions on Islam and ALL Muslims. (Japan puts strict restriction on ALL foreigners, period)

The reasons are:

a) Japan is the only nation that does not give citizenship to Muslims. (Japan makes it exceedingly difficult, if not nearly impossible,  for any foreigner, Muslim or otherwise, to become a citizen)

b) In Japan permanent residency is not given to Muslims. (Rarely, if ever given to any other foreigners either)

c) There is a strong ban on the propagation of Islam in Japan. (Not that I could find)

TURKISH MOSQUE OF TOKYO

d) In the University of Japan, Arabic or any Islamic language is not taught. (There is no ‘University of Japan,’ but there are many universities in Japan, one of which I attended. Back then, Arabic was not taught at Waseda Univ, but I doubt that is the case today in every university)

e) One cannot import Koran published in Arabic language. (False)

f) According to data published by Japanese government, it has given temporary residency to only 2 lakhs Muslims, who need to follow the Japanese Law of the Land. These Muslims should speak Japanese and carry their religious rituals in their homes. (It is reported there are some 10,000+ Muslims in Japan, many are workers from Indonesia who have work visas and others are Japanese converts to Islam. Yes, all must follow Japanese laws)

g) Japan is the only country in the world that has a negligible number of embassies of Islamic countries. (Absolutely not true. See list here: Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

h) Japanese people are not attracted to Islam at all. (Wrong, considering there are many Japanese converts to Islam)

i) Muslims residing in Japan are the employees of foreign companies. (Many are, but not all)

j) Even today visas are not granted to Muslim doctors, engineers or managers sent by foreign companies. (As stated before, working visas are hard to come by in Japan, but I am sure some have been issued to professionals listed above)

k) In the majority of companies, it is stated in their regulations that no Muslims should apply for a job. (Another point I find hard to believe)

l) The Japanese government is of the opinion that Muslims are fundamentalist and even in the era of globalization, they are not willing to change their Muslim laws. (Japan changes its laws for no one, Muslim or otherwise. All must obey Japanese laws)

m) Muslims can not even think about getting a rented house in Japan. (Preposterous)

n) If anyone comes to know that his neighbor is a Muslim then the whole neighborhood stays alert. (I have no idea how they come up with this information. The Japanese as a whole are very welcoming and friendly to foreigners living there)

o) No one can start an Islamic cell or Arabic Madarsa in Japan (There are several mosques in Japan)

MOSQUE IN KOBE

MOSQUE IN KOBE

p) There is no personal (Sharia) law in Japan. (True)

q) If a Japanese woman marries a Muslim then she is considered an outcast forever. (In many Japanese families, a woman is an outcast for marrying any non-Japanese)

r) According to Mr. Komico Yagi (Head of Department, Tokyo University) There is a mind frame in Japan that Islam is a very narrow minded religionand one should stay away from it. (Head of WHAT department? This is just common knowledge about Islam)

s) Freelance journalist Mohammed Juber toured many countries after 9/11 including Japan. He found that the Japanese were confident that extremists could do no harm in Japan. (I believe that Islamic extremists would have a harder time of making trouble in Japan than in other countries, but it’s not impossible. Remember the Sarin gas attack in the Tokyo subway some years ago?)

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