151123マナビイニシアチブ (6)As an activity for understanding religion, and sponsored by a group of high school students called Manabi-initiative, a visit to the mosque was performed. 14 Muslim junior and senior high school students sat with the visitors. The following lines describe the situation (of that meeting).
Date and Time: 23rd of November (Monday, holiday) between 2:40 and 4:45 PM.
Place: prayer room in forth floor of Nagoya Mosque.
Attendants: 7 males and 7 females.

Visitors from Manabi-initiative group were a total of 11 persons from high school and university students. In the first half (of the meeting) we introduced Islam starting, as always, from (introducing) the mosque. Our talking covered the range from outlines of “what is Islam” till details about extremists, and showed the Muslim students our efforts to clear up the misunderstanding that the Japanese people embrace about Islam.

In the second half, the Muslim students themselves answered every following question of the visitors (by several answers) using their own words:

First Question: For what things do you think “fortunately I am a Muslim”?

  • There is an existence to Whom I can supplicate when I am in trouble.
  • Even if I face something I can not complete, no need to give up as there is a support from God.
  • As all Muslims over the world are just like a large family there is no feeling of loneliness.
  • Muslim fellows help each other where ever they are. A5: No matter how terrible the situation is now, the future is bright.

Second Question: What is inconvenient while living in Japan?

  • Schools those are not open-minded (towards Muslim matters). They prohibit using scarf, or prohibit using long tights that Muslim girls use to cover their legs.
  • Teachers who are not open-minded (towards Muslim matters). They try to make Muslim students stop fasting, or they repeat using (the word) “Islam” when explaining the terror accidents.
  • Clubs with fasting activities such as not drinking water.

In addition, there were the next opinions and impressions given by the Muslim students:

  • I need the understanding of my friends, or at least I hope to be understood by the teacher of social studies and English.
  • Difference in religion is my identity, and I am confident that the understanding of the environment will come into existence.
  • I am vexing and irritated by (Media) reports which mix up IS and Islam.
  • Since Allah is there it is all right, no matter how badly we are abused.
  • I want to say to those who think there is no God that even if we can not see Him but we can see His creatures.

The program of the visit finished by performing Maghrib prayer, but because it seemed that the talking had not finished yet, all attendants (Muslims and non-Muslims) were divided into two groups ; males and females after prayer, and were allowed to exchange (talking) freely. The scene was impressive.

DSC_2294DSC_2290

It is difficult to turn ideas into words but it is still essential.
To all attendants: you did a great job saying your opinions bravely.
It was a splendid Dawa.(event).