Since there was a chance to receive students from Meijo University Senior High School and let them exchange (their thoughts) with Muslim junior and senior high school students who gather at mosque, here is a report about that.
Date and Time: 29th of April (Saturday) between 16:00 and 17:30
Place: prayer room in forth floor of Masjid Nagoya.
Attendants: High school Japanese students 7 persons,
Muslim junior and senior high school students; 6 males and 6 females
In the beginning, we performed a screening party about the program called “MICHITABI” which was broadcasted through NHK in February. It was a documentary program which established an environment of knowing Islam through a (story of a) Japanese student from a female high school who started from the keyword “Halal”, visited a mosque and made a home stay at the Muslim house of a (Muslim) high school female student like her. By talking directly with the Muslim student, that Japanese student noticed that she could talk usually just like talking to her friends at school. Then she said an impressive word; “I arbitrarily used to make a barrier of religion”.
Also in this exchange meeting, Muslim students after they received direct questions from Japanese students about matters such as females’ scarf, school’s lunch box, and fasting and Hajj, they answered (those questions) exerting themselves to the utmost and using their own words. We believe it was a good chance to let Japanese students kindly know again that there are no barriers between them and their fellow Muslims.
During answering the questions, Muslim students said words like “Islam is not to go to paradise through ascetic practices, but rather it is to aim at paradise while living the everyday life”, “to start from the thing you can and then progress by studying little by little”, and “I don’t have an intention to enter another religion”. And there was even a Muslim student who said that Allah repeated “For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease. (5) Indeed, with hardship [will be] ease. (6)” in Qur’an (Surah No. 94, Ayah number 5 and 6). We praise the Muslim students who, by repeating the exchange meetings with Japanese students of the same generation, got skilful in conveying their thoughts.
Below are the impressions of participants from Muslim student:
I am surprised to the fewness of persons who know the meaning of the word “Halal”. Although there are many persons round me who know it, I have really felt that there is still much to do to tell a lot of things in Japan. (third grade female high school student)
I am glad they kindly learned about Islam. I want much more people to know about our matter too. (second grade female high school student)
After I saw the program I learned again about the idea or way of thinking of non Muslims towards Muslims. I hope that all barriers between non Muslims and Muslims will be removed. (third grade male high school student)
It was a good chance to let them have objective view of us. I want to do my best to let the people surrounding me understand well me as a Muslim. (third grade male high school student)
It was a very good chance to have our matter understood (by Japanese) and to know the matters of each other through exchange meeting. (first grade female high school student)