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More Muslim prayer rooms open in Japan, but relatively few takers

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Why can't they just put Muslim Prayer signs near the rooms that show a picture symbol? And list prayer rooms in the store directories, in the language where most of these Muslim visitors come from (Malay and Indonesian, Latin script so it shouldn't be hard).

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Great initiative. It’s wonderful when countries and cultures try to accommodate each other. Well done Japan

-8 ( +16 / -24 )

Agree with Karim

-9 ( +12 / -21 )

Religious tolerance is a good thing - nothing wrong with allowing people a place to worship.

1 ( +15 / -14 )

I don't get why the room is locked, that's probably the biggest reason why people don't want to use it, a hassle trying to find a staff member who probably doesn't understand anything but Japanese. And what's the problem with people just using it as a "resting room"? As long as people respect the rules of not speaking loudly and interfering with others or whatever let people use it however they want.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

And what's the problem with people just using it as a "resting room"? As long as people respect the rules of not speaking loudly and interfering with others or whatever let people use it however they want.

Well, the main problem with using it as a general rest room is that you cannot trust the general public to act respectfully in the best interests of all people. In an ideal world, sure, but there is no guarantee in the real world that people won't be using the prayer room to sleep all over the place and snore, chat loudly, eat inside, etc. That is most likely the main reason why the prayer rooms are locked in the first place, because all it takes is just one inconsiderate person to ruin it for everyone else.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Why no prayer rooms for Christians, Buddhists, Jews, or any other faith? Why just the one?

18 ( +30 / -12 )

It is always nice to be on the receiving end of tolerance. The next step is to apply the same principle to others. So if this move succeeds in widening the circle, instead of just serving as a welcome mat laid out for economic expediency, then I'm all for it.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It is a nice move by Japan. How about allowing this special treatment for all religions?

8 ( +12 / -4 )

TokyoM

Why no prayer rooms for Christians, Buddhists, Jews, or any other faith? Why just the one?

They don't need prayer rooms because they don't have to pray 5 times a day. And there are already facilities for them in Japan (churches, temples, synagogues). There are very few mosques. It is a practical matter, not discrimination.

6 ( +17 / -11 )

Excellent news. It shows the tolerance and kindness of Japan to minority groups. No surprise that tourism is at unprecedented levels with this level of service.

Why no prayer rooms for Christians, Buddhists, Jews, or any other faith? Why just the one?

These groups dont need to pray 5 times a day.

-17 ( +8 / -25 )

Why no prayer rooms for Christians, Buddhists, Jews, or any other faith? 

They're called churches, temples, synagogues, shrines, chapels, monasteries, meeting houses, and halls.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

I’ve got no objection to prayer rooms, as long as the taxpayer isn’t on the hook or the costs of operating them aren’t passed on to the customer.

The idea of people, not donors, paying money to accommodate other people’s religious opinions is unacceptable.

13 ( +19 / -6 )

They don't need prayer rooms because they don't have to pray 5 times a day.

Singapore and other cities have "multi-faith" prayer rooms in their airports, shopping complexes, etc. .

8 ( +9 / -1 )

A misallocation of resources!

Japan is not a Islamic country so I find it exceedingly strange why one religion has preferential treatment.

And....

Muslims can and do pray almost anywhere.

I have seen groups of Muslims at pray in the streets and parks of the UK!

Therefore,

the PC brigade is severely confused......

6 ( +18 / -12 )

Agree with kuri.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

A misallocation of resources!

These are commercial facilities providing an added on service to their customers.

Japan is not a Islamic country so I find it exceedingly strange why one religion has preferential treatment.

Because member of the religion tend to be visiting in Japan in great numbers and spending money in these shopping facilities.

Muslims can and do pray almost anywhere.

This doesn't mean they should not have a place to pray and make them pray in the streets and the parks.

I have seen groups of Muslims at pray in the streets and parks of the UK!

And i have seen surprisingly large number of mosques in UK.

Singapore and other cities have "multi-faith" prayer rooms in their airports, shopping complexes, etc. .

Actually this is a very good approach, we have similar multi-faith prayers room in our office and people from various faiths do use it.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Headline says it all.  Many Muslims from SE Asia are not so devout that they insist on praying 5 times a day.

And anyway in Islam you can pray anywhere as long as you have a mat and face Mecca.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

@goldeneagle

In Japan there is not the demand nor is there a need (as the article states) to offer segregated facilities for a single faith.

What occurs in your office (wherever that is) is not the norm in Japan.

Personally, I find time for a prayer on the train, going to work.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Lol "you cannot rest here only pray"

2 ( +4 / -2 )

While I personally don't like any religion that is overzealous (pray many times a day, dietary restrictions, dress codes), I think it is a good idea to offer a minimum necessary for Muslim tourists; same with pray rooms / churches for tourists of other religions. There is no big incovenience to anybody

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

What happens in Japan, stays in Japan. People can do whatever they want. Most people I have met from Malaysia and Indonesia in Japan are happy to be free from the social norms of their home countries and live how they see fit. Pretty common to see woman from Malaysia who are in Japan away from their families in a head scarf one day and a min-skirt the next.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Tokyo-m Today  09:35 am JST

Why no prayer rooms for Christians, Buddhists, Jews, or any other faith? Why just the one?

Speaking as a Catholic, we don't need prayer rooms. We can pray anywhere.

We need a church or chapel for Mass, but for private prayer, no special room is needed.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Headline says it all. Many Muslims from SE Asia are not so devout that they insist on praying 5 times a day.

And anyway in Islam you can pray anywhere as long as you have a mat and face Mecca.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

As mentioned by various people on here. I'm completely for supporting people who want to express their faith, regardless of how that has to be. However, I draw the line when taxpayer money is being put forward for special needs of a select few people.

Private corporations putting in prayer rooms = no problem.

Government facilities putting in prayer rooms = problem. A while ago a local student group in Sendai requested the Miyagi prefectural government build prayer rooms for Muslim people and also cover the costs of operating it. Ultimately nothing happened because of it, but the audacity to ask for this peeved me off.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

My first thought is that this would be a way to keep them under surveillance but who knows!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I would like to thank Japanese government for allowing muslims to do their pray in the shopping centres .

We thank them for providing places of worship for Muslims.

Japanese are hard working people, they make the world happy with their products.

We pray to god to spread peace and prosperity to all countries in the world

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@ksteer

Good post. I think the idea of the taxpayer being asked to pay for religious practice is unacceptable, and as far as I’m aware, unconstitutional in Japan ( I’ll be happy to be corrected on this ).

I’d be very interested in hearing the views of those who thumbed down your post putting forward a case for taxpayer-funded religious practice.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I'm sure people will avail of it, eventually.

We had a prayer room in my old workplace, it's was multi-faith, even if you weren't religious, there was no issue with just taking a little time to contemplate and leave the pressures behind.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Jimizo

Good post. I think the idea of the taxpayer being asked to pay for religious practice is unacceptable, and as far as I’m aware, unconstitutional in Japan ( I’ll be happy to be corrected on this ).

I’d be very interested in hearing the views of those who thumbed down your post putting forward a case for taxpayer-funded religious practice.

I'm not sure if its unconstitutional per se, but it definitely doesn't have any precedent. The Japanese government is, legally, separate from religion. Apart from the obvious stipends to the Shinto association (however that's on historical cultural grounds) and all maintenance and running costs are generally handled by the shrine itself etc. Same for Bhuddist temples.

I'd be interested in hearing the views myself, but I have a feeling they are likely mostly from those of the Muslim faith who likely think its the duty of the government to provide these services.

If private corporations want to put forward the money to build, maintain and man these facilities than all the power to them. However, asking the general Japanese public to foot the bill for something that 99% of the population will never use, is extremely egregious and rude.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I hope one day, tolerance in Japan will also extend to people seeking all forms of enlightenment.

I'd like to think that exploring other experiences, philosophies, ways of life and appreciating the cosmos isn't just for worshippers of various faiths.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Excellent news. It shows the tolerance and kindness of Japan to minority groups. No surprise that tourism is at unprecedented levels with this level of service.

I hardly think that conformist Japan has much time for minority groups.

If a Muslim asked you for halal restaurants wouldn you know where to direct them? Most Japanese would probably think that taking the largest chunks of pork out of the stew would count as vegetarian. And the.miso soup would still end up with prawns in it.

And if you asked for food with no alcohol, would they understand that this included no mirin?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Catering to a particular ideology or group of people will only bring resentment to the ones being excluded. Why not call it any purpose or faith meditation room. This way it will be a silent prayer and nobody has to listen to somebody else’s loud prayers.

I agree with Kurisupisu. Took the words out of my mouth.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

In H.K airport., I've watched Muslims doing their Prayer thing, quietly out of the way behind stairways, etc. You don't need a special room - You just need to be assured that the local Society does not bat an eyelid what you do,so long as you do not cause significant trouble to them.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I welcome all sort of prayers, yet why so much attention to just one group?! This will snowball with other groups when they are not accomodated. I pray this won't excalate to serious altercations.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If a Muslim asked you for halal restaurants wouldn you know where to direct them?

In my area, yes. But not in wider Japan, obviously. In the fliers I have, the restaurants claim to be Muslim-friendly, so I can only take their word at that.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This will snowball with other groups when they are not accomodated. I pray this won't excalate to serious altercations.

What other groups, how exactly will it snowball?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

We need to accept that the awareness toward Islam and Muslims is still very low in Japan. As per some of the comments above, Muslims can pray anywhere as long the place is not dirty. Nevertheless, it is extremely awkward to pray in public in Japan, unlike in many other countries where Muslims are the minority group.

My family had experienced it first-hand when we prayed at the edge of the public park in Tokyo when a policeman came near to observe us until we finished. Even in semi-secluded areas inside of buildings, passers-by would stop to watch us. People would not bat an eyelid if we do it in London or Rome.

I absolutely understand if not everyone would agree with the above. We all have different upbringings, belief systems and tolerance toward others. As Ken Watanabe's character said in The Last Samurai - many of our customs seem strange to you. And the same is true of yours ...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I used prayer room in Narita and Haneda

Also thanks to Tokyo Disneyland which let us to pray in the main house even though no Water to wudhu we decided to do Tayamum before praying

Insya Allah more Muslim will use the prayer room properly.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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