crime

Muslim man goes on hunger strike after being served pork at Yokohama immigration center

44 Comments
By Corey Gold, RocketNews24

A Muslim man being detained at a Yokohama immigration center was served pork and has gone on a hunger strike in protest.

The 48-year-old man from Pakistan who is being detained for unknown reasons was served a hot meal that contained processed ham on the evening of Aug 3 and has now been on a hunger strike for two weeks. People of Islamic faith are forbidden to eat any kind of meat from pigs.

The man is currently only consuming water and nutritional supplements but immigration officials say the man’s health is not in any danger.

A similar incident occurred last year in August where another Muslim man was served a salad with bacon pieces. On this occasion the Yokohama area immigration apologized for the “administrative mistake”.

A group defending the human rights of foreigners visited the immigration department this week to request that actions are taken to prevent this kind off incident from occurring again.

A representative of the group said, “The immigration office has the responsibility to provide meals with religious customs in mind, and we request that this doesn’t happen again.” The immigration department responded by saying, “We regret that this has happened and we are swiftly investigating the cause”.

Sources: Hachima Kiko, NHK

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Muslim man accidentally served bacon while being detained at Japanese immigration office -- New Japanese karaoke parlor welcomes Muslims by introducing traditional halal menu -- Barack Obama inadvertently galvanizes anti-immigration sentiments in Japan

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

44 Comments

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Big deal. Why respect a faith and religion that routinely shows none for others? He's on hunger strike but he could've just asked for something else the next day.

26 ( +40 / -14 )

Why is he in the slam in the first place? There is more to this story of course but the pressing issue is the menu selection.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

It is not incidental mistake - I guess . some authorities do not respect differences . So Pork is not the conflict , religion is not too. Imagine somebody with gluten allergy goes to detention center or hospital , his meal with be (the last dinner) .

-6 ( +14 / -20 )

He was offered food. If he refuses , let him starve. He won't be missed.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It is this seemingly sadistic obsession with locking people up ,usually from some back-water countries for unknown reasons that really grinds my gears. And the government is all over those countries pontificating about friendship and development. A viper couldn't be a better friend!

-15 ( +11 / -27 )

Hunger strike?

Let him go hungry.

On his way back to Pakistan ...

20 ( +32 / -12 )

Can't have the poor fella go without food. I am sure 3 mugs of the amber fluid daily would put him on the right track again. Will be a very happy person then forever.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Just pray you guys never have the misfortune of being caught up in an immigration dragnet. If you've ever jaywalked in Japan you could end up in there with that guy.

The lack of compassion or outright racism and prejudice shown by posters here is ridiculous. Just because he is from Pakistan does not mean he automatically deserves to be served pork in his food, an insult of huge proportions to any muslim or jew who takes their religion seriously.

Detainees at these centers do not get to choose what they eat, the meals are prepared by external contractors.

FYI they say his health is not in danger because the doctors contracted by the immigration facility will forcibly sedate him and inject him with nutrient solution if his blood pressure goes too low or his weight drops too much.

-6 ( +18 / -25 )

Muslims believe that Allah is very forgiving and very merciful and they believe they should forgive each other. If eating pork was a sin then you repent to God or Allah and not commit the sin again and request Allah to forgive you. So the immigration center made an honest mistake. This man doesn't seem to talk the talk, walk the walk.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

It is this seemingly sadistic obsession with locking people up ,usually from some back-water countries for unknown reasons that really grinds my gears.

Japanese immigration rules are clear enough, we all have to jump through various hoops to stay here legally and the consequences of not doing so are known to us all so why should there be any exceptions? Comply with the rules and you're OK, fail to comply and they lock you up pending deportation.

18 ( +23 / -5 )

Just because he is from Pakistan does not mean he automatically deserves to be served pork in his food, an insult of huge proportions to any muslim or jew who takes their religion seriously.

He doesn't deserve anything let alone a healthy serving of pork. It's funny how they can't seem to respect the rules of other cultures yet they are so anal about some rules that a camel herder came up with in a cave in the dark ages.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Harry_Gatto

Spot on. I highly doubt this man was detained just for nothing, there are rules and he broke them. And after that he demand special treatment with his food? What next, somebody will claim he is on caviar diet and demand caviar every day?

9 ( +16 / -7 )

So did he eat it, or just hunger striking for having it served to him? I tend to just pick food off or decline to eat it if I don't like something.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

no problem at all.. he has no reason to get free lunch anyway

1 ( +10 / -9 )

His own problem if he doesn't want to eat. A reasonable person would say "yeah, I can't eat x for y reasons" and go on with life. But nope, he has to make a whole drama out of it.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Then let him eat a diet of tofu and national.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

They are just sadistic. Period. Not only do I know so,butt various reports by human rights Commissions and Rapporteurs have said so in their reports about these detentions. Ever heard of what happens to detainees at Ushiku in Chiba?Even in my pedestrian position, I aver, I can recommend a few ways to mitigate this sadistic behavior by the J authorities. What is being done is nothing less than an abuse to their human rights and dignity. Sadists,they are.

-10 ( +9 / -19 )

a Yokohama immigration center... who is being detained for unknown reasons

What is unknown ? He has not shown them a valid visa. That's how you become an inmate there

Comply with the rules and you're OK,

Believe that. That could happen to any of you, even the righters than thou. Pickpockets steal you're passport, you're checked in at that Yokohama Ryokan. And even if he had used false documents or whatever, is that a reason to bully him ?

A reasonable person would say "yeah, I can't eat x for y reasons" and go on with life.

No, it's not reasonable to trust in such conditions. I don't eat pine nuts, I tell it. If you hide some in my food, you know that I could get sick or die. Your action is like putting poison in it and say ''oops sorry that one was for the gokiburi...".

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

GarthgoyleAUG. 20, 2016 - 08:36PM JST His own problem if he doesn't want to eat. A reasonable person would say "yeah, I can't eat x for y reasons" and go on with life. But nope, he has to make a whole drama out of it.

Given that Japan claims to be a country that respects freedom of religion, even at the constitutional level, forcing prisoners of certain religions to eat food which violates their religion would be a serious breech of law by the very people who claim to be enforcing it.

Now as I understand Islamic dietary law, yes, it's totally okay for him to eat haram food if that's all that's available. The point is however, it's his choice to make. We aren't stakeholders in his decision. And given the fact that we're talking about this case and it's receiving press attention, I'd have to say that though I loves me some bacon and don't really get why someone would turn away from it, he's succeeded in his mission. In fact, if his hunger strike actually gets a meaningful change in policy to actually be enforced, then I daresay he'll have accomplished more for the benefit of foreigners in Japan than anyone participating in this conversation, myself included.

Perhaps that's why he's getting so much resentment: He's actually trying to make a difference. Next time someone sits me at a table with nothing but uni and pickled squid bollocks, I may salute him.

-9 ( +9 / -18 )

Japanese immigration centers give detainees several options for food:

If you are muslim they are not supposed to serve pork nor alcohol (i.e. mirin in tamagoyaki)

if you are sikh they aren't supposed to serve meat

if you are allergic to XYZ item they are not supposed to serve XYZ item.

But in reality, the contractors are VERY sloppy. cross contamination is not something they understand, and i would guess with fair confidence that most of the "haram" meals contain pork or pork broth or alcohol in some form or another regardless of the requests of the detainee.

despite being morally wrong this is in direct violation of several treaties japan has signed regarding the treatment of refugees and prisoners.

as for why the guy was in there, who knows? does it matter? what if he applied to be a refugee, does that make him subhuman to you? if it does, maybe you should consider your own humanity for a while. nobody deserves to be treated like scum just because of where they were born. your parents would probably be ashamed to see what you're writing on the internet behind your veil of anonymity. don't post stuff you wouldn't be willing to post with your name out in the open. if it's too rude to post with your real name, keep it to yourself. these are human beings we're talking about.

0 ( +13 / -13 )

As a vegetarian I can sympathise with him to a large extent. If immigration is serving non-pork meals, they shouldn't come with any unwelcome surprises.

However, I do wonder why he didn't carefully inspect his food and notice the processed ham before taking a bite? Especially since he takes his food so seriously. As a vegetarian I constantly do this with every single restaurant/cafeteria meal, particularly when I'm in a foreign country. It seems like both he and the immigration office probably share some responsibility for what happened. People often lash out in anger and blame others when they are partly responsible for their own misfortune. Maybe that explains his rather OTT reaction? I just hope he never discovers that pig fat is an ingredient in all commercial toothpastes here in Japan.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

However, I do wonder why he didn't carefully inspect his food and notice the processed ham before taking a bite?

It doesn't say he ate a bite, only that he was served pork.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Rule number one: Eat whatever you are given, especially if you're in prison. Even Allah can make exceptions....

6 ( +11 / -5 )

@Strangerland

It doesn't say he ate a bite, only that he was served pork.

Thanks, that's a good point. But if he didn't mistakenly consume any pork, don't you think that makes his reaction even more unreasonable? If his religious sensibilities are so easily offended, I don't think Japan is the best place for him. I can't count how many times I've been served a "vegetarian" meal containing pork here in Japan (since many people/restaurants only consider beef to be "meat")

5 ( +8 / -3 )

as for why the guy was in there, who knows? does it matter?

Yes, it does matter. I would like to know why he has been detained. In my 15 years in Japan, I made sure that I had a valid visa, followed Japanese laws and customs. I never had a problem with the Japanese authorities. In fact, the few times I had to interact with the police, I had very pleasant exchanges.

I find the political correctness in the world today to be nauseating. If you do not agree with the social media justice warriors, you are a racist and a bigot. That is why many use pseudonyms when commenting on the Internet.

15 ( +19 / -5 )

KIck his ass out,pronto!-He ain't in the can for nothin'!

4 ( +9 / -5 )

I respect his discipline. Muslims simply do not eat pork or pork products because God has prohibited it. (Conservative) There is a psychological inhibition to eating pork, even among non-Muslims. Pigs are usually kind creatures and make excellent pets.

However, Muslims in Kerala, India do eat pork. Southern Kerala is very (Liberal) and the animals are now considered both clean.. and tasty!

it doesn't matter what you eat as long as you have faith in the PRINCIPLES of your religion (if you have one), which are love and respect for one another. Make up your own mind!

But with all due respect, being "detained for unknown reasons". Pakistan used to be liberal, now it is conservative. It is what it is.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

I disagree with most here.Knowing that eating pork was against his beliefs, they should not have served it to him. It's easy just to serve fruit and vegetables.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

if he didn't mistakenly consume any pork, don't you think that makes his reaction even more unreasonable?

It's hard for me to say, as I can't really put myself in his position. For one, I love pork. And two, I think the idea of not eating food due to some religious obligation is pretty ridiculous - for myself. As such, I'm not able to understand just how reasonable or unreasonable his reaction may be.

But, if that's his religious obligation, then I think the jail has a responsibility to respect it.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Don't worry, his "hunger strike" will last only as long as he's getting press for it.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Why someone gave expensive foodd to irritate Muslim people? Feed Ordinal Japanese breakfast like rice, tofu, misloup, for every morning. Tsukamoto will complement.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

If you are muslim they are not supposed to serve pork nor alcohol (i.e. mirin in tamagoyaki)

The prohibition is against intoxication. If you're going to fuss about mirin, then you'd need to avoid ripe fruit, which also has alcohol.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I do not understand the restrictions regarding Islam, but those keeping kosher must know that the kitchens and utensils where food is prepared are completely free from what is unclean.

On the other hand, human life is sacred, and if something unclean must be consumed to preserve life, then there is no problem whatsoever. Is someone with knowledge of these things talking with this man?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Most Pakistanis here are car dealers and many of them overstaying their visa and some of them got visa by fake marriage.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Because being thoughful, kind, and fair is what civilized people strive for. It's what we all should do, and it doesn't really matter who the recipient is. Even death row inmates should be treated fairly, and with as much kindness as possible. Your actions show who YOU are. In this case, the request is simple enough, and it shouldn't cause you any pain to act like a human being..

Be careful of these social justice web warriors, they can be very smooth, yet vague enough, with their attacks as to not draw the Mods attention, yet will use assumptions (just like the original post) and be very insulting.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Methinks he doth protest too much. Tis absurd to prolong the offense to a sensibility slavishly accepted as a birthright.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Mods - I'll be contacting Fuji TV-Lab tomorrow and complaining directly about your moderation policies. Say goodbye to your moderation job.

Which is a good thing, since you obviously don't have intelligence to be able to moderate according to the policies of the website, and instead let your personal opinions get into it.

Moderator: You have only been suspended for 24 hours. The rules state quite clearly that the moderators' decisions are final at all times. All readers are obliged to follow the rules and they agree to that when they register. If you have a specific complaint, then contact the editor at editor@japantoday.com.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So this Muslim was eating the chicken and beef? Bet it wasn't halal.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Why is this story in the crime section?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

he could have simply have asked for different meal that had no pork righ? no he didnt. because that is not what religious fanatics do

3 ( +5 / -2 )

He is just illegal immigrant! Who are you? Given food u should be thankful..

3 ( +5 / -2 )

he could have simply have asked for different meal that had no pork righ? no he didnt

Didn't he? The story isn't clear on that.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The immigration center should have been more careful about the menu for its detainees.

But the guy is mistaken if he thinks that he can get away with his immigration law violations by going on a hunger strike. Living in a foreign country with different culture and religion from your own involves certain risks and inconveniences. Japan is not a Muslim country. The best solution in this case would be immediate deportation of the Pakistani man.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Why should Japan apologise for this kind of ? Tell this he can just off and mind the door doesn't hit him on the way out!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

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