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Friday, June 21, 2013

A Japanese Muslim on Islam mission

 A Japanese Muslim on Islam mission

Finding Islam thousands of miles away from his home, a Japanese Muslim has devoted his life to spread the correct Islamic teachings and present the true image of Islam to his fellow citizens.
“I think Japan inherited a somewhat biased European view of Islam, and this has exacerbated this tendency,” Shimoyama Shigeru, a Japanese Muslim who works at Tokyo Camii mosque and Turkish Culture Center said, reported.

“For instance, a lot of people in Japan became familiar with the expression “Either the Qur’an or the sword,” and this has gotten in the way of a proper understanding of Islam.
Shigeru first came to know about Islam during his journey down to Nile river to Sudan as a young university student

There, he met different people who flooded him with hospitality though they did not understand a word of what he said.

“The Africans I met were Muslims, and their hospitality made a deep impression on me,” he said.“I was surprised to learn later that their kindness came from Islamic teachings.”

Returning to Japan, Shigeru met an Iraqi student at the University of Tokyo who gave him the final push he needed to revert to Islam.

“His kindness and brotherly love was intricately bound up with his faith as a Muslim,” Shigeru recalled.

“That experience was the starting point for the person I am today. To be honest, I never had much belief in God until I became a Muslim,” he said.

“But once I joined the Muslim community and started to worship alongside other Muslims of all races, side by side as brothers, I realized what a wonderful thing it is.”

Islam began in Japan in the 1920s through the immigration of a few hundreds of Turkish Muslims from Russia following the Russian revolution.

In 1930, the number of Muslims in Japan reached about 1000 of different origins.
Another wave of migrants who boosted the Muslim population reached its peak in the 1980s, along with migrant workers from Iran, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

 Japan today is home to a thriving Muslim community of about 120,000, among nearly 127 million in the world's tenth most populated country.

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