Students from Chukyo University were invited to join SYM for a cultural exchange event.
Date & Time: July 20th (Sat) 6~7pm
Place: Masjid Nagoya Café
Participants: 6 from Chukyo University (Professor and Student) & 6 Young Muslims

University students that visited the Masjid in June, visited again to meet with young Muslims. With tea and snacks provided, it was a time where participants can ask each other questions and exchange thoughts. The conversations continued even after the event, at a Halal restaurant nearby until 9pm.

Below are some of the conversations they had.

Q Muslim ->University Student: What made you have an interest in Islam?
A: I wanted to know how people with belief in something live.
    I had negative thoughts because of IS, but I grew an interest in
    the Middle-Eas after taking world history classes.
    I thought Muslims, who pray for peace 5 times a day, were greater than Christianity.

Q University Student ->Muslim: Are there any struggles at school?
A: It’s quite difficult to find the right timing to come out (It’s difficult to
    refuse going to eat Ramen when invited by friends after school)
    I am uncomfortable with the news regarding IS. I can’t come out,
    thinking that people may be scared.
    Back when I was in elementary school, I couldn’t talk back when bullied,
    but now I can explain and I also try to show through my own actions.

Q Muslim ->University Student: Were you scared of Islam, when IS was in the news?
A: I thought there was a country called “Islam-koku (IS in Japanese)”.
    I was completely fell for their plans.
    I grew an interest and started researching about them.
    I eventually saw a dream where my friend was killed by IS.
    I think there will be more people showing an interest in Islam because of IS.

Q University Student ->Muslim: Do you usually eat meat?
A: Halal meat is available in wholesale markets.
    It’s sad when I trust and buy a snack, then see the word “pork” on its package.
    There was a menu I always used to eat at a family restaurant,
    but they changed how they make it, and now it has bacon in it.
    That was quite sad to know.

Q. Professor ->Muslim: I hear that in Christian Churches, the youth don’t really come.
    Is it the same with Masjids?
A: I want to come to the Masjid because I can meet friends with the same background.
    There are friends in the Masjid that I don’t need to hide anything to,
    and can be completely open with.


Below are comments received from the young Muslims that participated.
・It felt good when they said “Muslims aren’t scary” at the end of the event.
  (3rd Year of High school, Boy)
・Being asked what we think of other religions was a very new experience for me,
  as this is something I don’t get asked normally. (3rd Year of High School, Boy)
・It made me happy when they said “that’s cool!” after they tried the Islamic way of greeting.
  It again made me feel glad to be born a Muslim. (1st Year of College, Boy)
・It was a very rare experience, and even though we were on the answering side of the questions,
  I also learnt many things! (18 Years Old, Boy)
・I’m glad that by sharing experiences and thoughts of young Muslims, everyone could understand that   Muslims are just like any ordinary person. (20 Years Old. Boy)

It is difficult, yet certainly important, to put our thoughts and emotions into words. For the brave participants that spoke today, well done. It was an amazing Dawah.