Regarding the Sept. 9 JIJI article “Muslims here feel misunderstood”: I would like to add that it seems to me that “feeling misunderstood” is inherent to a certain faction of Muslims all over the so called Western world. That some Muslims feel “misunderstood” increases with their percentage of the population.
“Kyoko,” the Japanese convert to Islam cited in the article, is forming a judgment on how Muslims “feel misunderstood” based solely on her experiences and only after having been pushed to do so by the interviewer. The whole article is a mixture of very different observations and happenings and has no scientific/sociological foundation. From offers of pork from her friends to “leaked information” by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department and “Islamic relief” volunteers making onigiri for survivors of the Tohoku earthquake — it is misleading to present the issue in this way. It is the duty of a newspaper to try to dig deeper.
As for Kyoko’s statement that “They don’t really care,” I can only add: Why should anybody care about another’s religion?! Religion is a private matter and no one should never ever “care” for someone else’s religion. Very often Muslims dress, live and socially interact in a way that is very foreign to their chosen countries, so it seems to me that they want to make the statement “Look, you don’t understand us, we feel misunderstood,” when they are not actually doing enough to make themselves understood and to integrate.
I suggest that Kyoko move to Brussels or any other major city in Europe. There we have large communities of Muslims and she will feel understood. Once there, she can counsel those “natives” who feel misunderstood in their own country.
Commenting on Muslims’ views is always a difficult undertaking, but I think that only by doing so will the world move on and become a better place.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.
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