[Note: Some readers, as usual, did not read the article before
posting comments. The article does not claim that there exist no Muslims at all
It merely states that the country makes it difficult for Islam to grow and
spread due to the wise Japanese conclusion that Islam is not compatible with
The Japanese do not feel the need to
apologize to Muslims for the negative way in which they relate to Islam.
By: Dr. Mordechai Kedar
There are countries in the world, mainly
in Europe, that are presently undergoing
significant cultural transformations as a result of Muslim immigration. France, Germany,
Belgium and Holland are interesting examples of cases
where immigration from Muslim countries, together with the Muslims’ high fertility
rate, effects every area of life.
It is interesting to know that there is a
country in the world whose official and public approach to the Muslim matter is
totally different. This country is Japan. This country keeps a very
low profile on all levels regarding the Muslim matter: On the diplomatic level,
senior political figures from Islamic countries almost never visit Japan, and
Japanese leaders rarely visit Muslim countries. The relations with Muslim
countries are based on concerns such as oil and gas, which Japan imports
from some Muslim countries. The official policy of Japan
is not to give citizenship to Muslims who come to Japan, and even permits for
permanent residency are given sparingly to Muslims.
Japan forbids exhorting people to adopt the
religion of Islam (Dawah), and any Muslim who actively encourages conversion to
Islam is seen as proselytizing to a foreign and undesirable culture. Few
academic institutions teach the Arabic language. It is very difficult to import
books of the Qur’an to Japan, and Muslims who come to Japan, are
usually employees of foreign companies. In Japan there are very few mosques.
The official policy of the Japanese authorities is to make every effort not to
allow entry to Muslims, even if they are physicians, engineers and managers
sent by foreign companies that are active in the region. Japanese society
expects Muslim men to pray at home.
Japanese companies seeking foreign workers
specifically note that they are not interested in Muslim workers. And any
Muslim who does manage to enter Japan
will find it very difficult to rent an apartment. Anywhere a Muslim
lives, the neighbors become uneasy. Japan forbids the establishment of
Islamic organizations, so setting up Islamic institutions such as mosques and
schools is almost impossible. In Tokyo
there is only one imam.
In contrast with what is happening in Europe, very few Japanese are drawn to Islam. If a
Japanese woman marries a Muslim, she will be considered an outcast by her
social and familial environment. There is no application of Shari’a law in Japan. There is
some food in Japan
that is halal, kosher according to Islamic law, but it is not easy to find it
in the supermarket.
The Japanese approach to Muslims is also
evidenced by the numbers: in Japan
there are 127 million residents, but only ten thousand Muslims, less than one
hundredth of a percent. The number of Japanese who have converted is thought to
be few. In Japan there are a
few tens of thousands of foreign workers who are Muslim, mainly from Pakistan, who have managed to enter Japan as
workers with construction companies. However, because of the negative attitude
towards Islam they keep a low profile.
There are several reasons for this
First, the Japanese tend to lump all
Muslims together as fundamentalists who are unwilling to give up their
traditional point of view and adopt modern ways of thinking and behavior. In Japan, Islam is
perceived as a strange religion, that any intelligent person should avoid.
Second, most Japanese have no religion,
but behaviors connected with the Shinto religion along with elements of
Buddhism are integrated into national customs . In Japan, religion is connected to the
nationalist concept, and prejudices exist towards foreigners whether they are
Chinese, Korean, Malaysian or Indonesian, and Westerners don’t escape this
phenomenon either. There are those who call this a “developed sense of
nationalism” and there are those who call this “racism”. It seems that neither
of these is wrong.
And Third, the Japanese dismiss the
concept of monotheism and faith in an abstract god, because their world
concept is apparently connected to the material, not to faith and emotions. It
seems that they group Judaism together with Islam. Christianity exists in Japan and is not regarded negatively, apparently
because the image of Jesus perceived in Japan is like the images of Buddha
The most interesting thing in Japan’s
approach to Islam is the fact that the Japanese do not feel the need to
apologize to Muslims for the negative way in which they relate to Islam. They
make a clear distinction between their economic interest in resources of oil
and gas from Muslim countries, which behooves Japan to maintain good relations
with these countries on the one hand, and on the other hand, the Japanese
nationalist viewpoints, which see Islam as something that is suitable for
others, not for Japan, and therefore the Muslims must remain outside.
Because the Japanese have a gentle
temperament, and project serenity and tranquility toward foreigners, foreigners
tend to relate to the Japanese with politeness and respect. A Japanese diplomat
would never raise his voice or speak rudely in the presence of foreigners,
therefore foreigners relate to the Japanese with respect, despite their racism
and discrimination against Muslims in the matter of immigration. A Japanese
official who is presented with an embarrassing question regarding the way the
Japanese relate to Muslims, will usually refrain from answering, because he
knows that a truthful answer would arouse anger, and he is both unable and
unwilling to give an answer that is not true. He will smile but not answer, and
if pressed, he will ask for time so that his superiors can answer, while he
knows that this answer will never come.
Japan manages to remain a country almost
without a Muslim presence because Japan’s negative attitude toward Islam and
Muslims pervades every level of the population, from the man in the street to
organizations and companies to senior officialdom. In Japan, contrary to the
situation in other countries, there are no “human rights” organizations to
offer support to Muslims’ claims against the government’s position. In Japan no
one illegally smuggles Muslims into the country to earn a few yen, and almost
no one gives them the legal support they would need in order to get
permits for temporary or permanent residency or citizenship.
Another thing that helps the Japanese keep
Muslim immigration to their shores to a minimum is the Japanese attitude toward
the employee and employment. Migrant workers are perceived negatively in Japan,
because they take the place of Japanese workers. A Japanese employer feels
obligated to employ Japanese workers even if it costs much more than it would
to employ foreign workers. The traditional connection between an employee and
employer in Japan is much stronger than in the West, and the employer and
employee feel a mutual commitment to each other: an employer feels obligated to
give his employee a livelihood, and the employee feels obligated to give the
employer the fruit of his labor. This situation does not encourage the
acceptance of foreign workers, whose commitment to the employers is low.
The fact that the public and the officials
are united in their attitude against Muslim immigration has created a sort of
iron wall around Japan that Muslims lack both the permission and the capability
to overcome. This iron wall silences the world’s criticism of Japan in this
matter, because the world understands that there is no point in criticizing the
Japanese, since criticism will not convince them to open the gates of Japan to
Japan is teaching the whole world an
interesting lesson: there is a direct correlation between national heritage and
permission to immigrate: a people that has a solid and clear national heritage
and identity will not allow the unemployed of the world to enter its country;
and a people whose cultural heritage and national identity is weak and fragile,
has no defense mechanisms to prevent a foreign culture from penetrating into
its country and its land.
Originally published at Middle East and
Terrorism under the title, A Country without Muslims. Translated into English
by Sally Zahav.
Japan: The Land Don't Allow Muslims and Is Truly Peaceful4.55SEEKER Tuesday, 22 December 2015 [ Note: Some readers, as usual, did not read the article before posting comments. The article does not claim that there exist no Muslims at...