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Abe hosts Ramadan dinner for envoys from Muslim world

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Abe is the No. 1 politician in the world. This can be done only by Abe and other Japanese politician cannot even imagine to do. In this way, Japan diplomatically can alleviate anti-Moslem atmosphere prevailing in the western world.

-24 ( +5 / -29 )

 "...the spirit of Islam is in common with the values held dear by Japanese people."

Indeed, I'm reminded of that when I walk past my Tokyo neighborhood's unabashed "soap" and "health" business area or when I see cups of alcohol (sake) offered at Shinto shrines as a sacred elixir for the Gods, or the flocks of unattached young girls walking freely in Shibuya in their micro-mini skirts. The "spirit" of the two worlds is indeed the same.

24 ( +27 / -3 )

I'm sure even his guests were like "What the..."

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Not to pick on Islam specifically but I really wish politicians and governments kept away from all religious activity.

33 ( +34 / -1 )

Abe is the No. 1 politician in the world. This can be done only by Abe and other Japanese politician cannot even imagine to do. In this way, Japan diplomatically can alleviate anti-Moslem atmosphere prevailing in the western world.

Sarcasm runs deep in this one me thinks!

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Is this a sad joke or something? Japan accepts all of two dozen refugees a year while the world burns.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

I'm more baffled by how stupid some comments are in this comment section. Lol, so if someone wants to host a dinner party he can't do it because those are moslims? I know far right biggots have some screw lose above but this confirms it even more. Go drown in your hate. Meanwhile the world keeps on turning and people do their business.

-14 ( +7 / -21 )

the spirit of Islam is in common with the values held dear by Japanese people.

Prosperous, peaceful, free, liberal, tolerant, educated, creative and democratic societies such as Japan have little or nothing in common with the spirit of Islam. Of course, diplomacy requires us to pretend otherwise.

6 ( +17 / -11 )

I wonder if the food was Halal.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Abe is the No. 1 politician in the world. This can be done only by Abe and other Japanese politician cannot even imagine to do. In this way, Japan diplomatically can alleviate anti-Moslem atmosphere prevailing in the western world.

Im sorry, you are kidding right?

12 ( +15 / -3 )

I know this is entirely about diplomacy and business but it nevertheless bugs me when government and religion intermingle in any way. I'd feel exactly the same if this event were Shintoist, Buddhist, Christian, Jewish.... You want to share a halal meal, breaking bread and building ties with the states hosting more than a billion adherents to Islam, fair enough. It's simply shrewd diplomacy that's already paying off--tourist numbers from Muslim countries are booming. But blathering on about "the spirit of Islam" being similar to the "values held dear by Japanese people" is sheer nonsense. Both concepts are meaningless.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

Prosperous, peaceful, free, liberal, tolerant, educated, creative and democratic societies such as Japan have little or nothing in common with the spirit of Islam.

Abe himself is hardly a fan of many of the ideas you listed.

The repression of freedom of speech would be an idea he likes very much.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

But none of the ladies are covering their heads and are standing with the men!

Abe has got a lot to learn about Islam.....

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hosted Friday an "iftar" dinner party at his office in Tokyo,

aka an after-party.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Abe san have done good job

but so sad when people comments mixing religion with politics

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

but so sad when people comments mixing religion with politics

Religion and politics should be kept separate. People are commenting on that.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Nothing wrong with this dinner at all. Shows Abe can occasionally do the right thing.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Prosperous, peaceful, free, liberal, tolerant, educated, creative and democratic societies such as Japan have little or nothing in common with the spirit of Islam.

Nor with comments like yours.

But none of the ladies are covering their heads and are standing with the men!

Abe has got a lot to learn about Islam.....

According to your post it is YOU who needs to learn ALOT more about Islam

You want to share a halal meal, breaking bread and building ties with the states hosting more than a billion adherents to Islam, fair enough. It's simply shrewd diplomacy that's already paying off--tourist numbers from Muslim countries are booming.

Very true. Excellent point.

But blathering on about "the spirit of Islam" being similar to the "values held dear by Japanese people" is sheer nonsense. Both concepts are meaningless.

agree. most human beings around the world share universal values and ideals. Whether they are Japanese, Middle Easterners, or Westerners. Its the bigots- the Uyoku, the Muslim extemists, the Islamophobes- that ruin the world for everyone else.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Nothing wrong with this dinner at all. Shows Abe can occasionally do the right thing.

Very true. I am one of Abe's most scathing critics. But here- my hat off to the man for showing more tolerance to these people than most of the rest of the world's leaders.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Well said, Aly Rustom. Bigotry needs curtailing and Abe has shown the way with this simple act. And it chokes me to send kudos his way!

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

"Shows Abe can occasionally do the right thing."

[Iftar dinners have been held at the prime minister's office almost every year since Junichiro Koizumi hosted one in 2005.]

Just out of curiosity, how many of these has he hosted himself?

"Is this a sad joke or something? Japan accepts all of two dozen refugees a year while the world burns."

Yes quite sad, but no joke.

Never the less, it was nice. Now more to the question what was discussed? Is Japan going to take in any more refugees who had no choice but to flee? Are they going to send more people to the Middle East to help out those who can not make the trip?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Not to pick on Islam specifically but I really wish politicians and governments kept away from all religious activity.

That's the key point. I don't think politicians of countries like Japan, a secular democracy, should be talking about the spirit of any religion in this way.

One of the reasons why Japan is a thriving country without often lethal divisions is that there is generally no strong spirit of any religion running through it.

This is one of Japan's beauties. Remember that, Mr Abe.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

the Islamophobes- that ruin the world for everyone else.

Let's talk about this word Islamophobia for a minute. In your opinion, how much time and effort does someone need to spend studying Islam or visiting the Muslim world before they are entitled to express a strongly held but legitimate personal opinion on whether or not the ideas within Islam pose some danger to the safety and flourishing of our societies? Surely there must be someone out there not motivated by an irrational fear who is entitled to express an opinion without being shouted down, right? So where exactly do you draw the line between a legitimate negative opinion of Islam and Islamophobia?

If the difference lies in a person's understanding of Islam, how then is it possible for you or anyone (as an anonymous participant on an internet forum) to ever have enough information to accuse someone of being an Islamophobe? For all you know, they could be a gay ex-Muslim who spends every day living in fear for his life. Who are you to tell these people that they are all Islamophobes? I think it's high time to retire this silly term 'Islamophobia' which is just intended to silence any discussion or criticism.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

According to the Foreign Ministry, Abe told his guests that the spirit of Islam is in common with the values held dear by Japanese people.

Because both treat men and women differently?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Is this a sad joke or something? Japan accepts all of two dozen refugees a year while the world burns.

i don't even think it was that much.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@M3M3M3

Spot on, The word 'Islamophobia' is used to try to shut down criticism of an idea.

Shutting down criticism of ideas is a bad, dangerous idea much loved by theocrats and despots.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

"...the spirit of Islam is in common with the values held dear by Japanese people."

I'm all for inclusion, and this is a pretty rare example of it, especially from Abe, but the notion that Japanese people hold Islam dear is a bit of a crock. Not that they wouldn't hold it dear, just that I don't think I know a single person who knows one wit about it, and I tried to engage in Ramadan activities in support of Muslims a while back and it was near impossible do to (granted, a lot of that is due to environmental and climate conditions). Again, ask a Japanese when Ramadan is, what people do on it, why, and what not and you'd be hardpressed to get any answers.

As such, while it's a nice thought, Abe is exaggerating extremely. Perhaps less about what is (or is not), and more about trying to make it an actuality would be nice. How about a little education.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@M3M3M3. One of the best comments of the year in my opinion.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

This is crazy. Politics should not be connected to any religion. If politicians of some country are invited to Japan, their religion is absolutely their private thing and should not be asked or regarded at all. Abe should hold a normal Japanese non-halal dinner and it is up to them if they join or refuse to join because of their religious beliefs.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@John Brown

I think Salman Rushdie, one of the greatest writers in the English language and a man who knows a bit about demonization, described the word 'Islamophobia' best:

"an addition to the vocabulary of Humpty Dumpty Newspeak. It took the language of analysis, reason and dispute, and stood it on its head"

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Islamophobia is as ridiculous a word as pastaferianophobia, chrstianophobia, etc, the news cycles are inundated with pictures of individuals with this religious beliefs ending lives of other people. If one freaks out at the sight of a moslem , its due to this very fact. Growing up ages ago, no one ever made a fuss because the level of fear was not as high as it is now. And for the billionth time, criticising this religion for the terrible entity it is is at par with criticizing any other mind washing cult, its not dislike of individuals seeing as they're victims, but the sickening ideologies they adhere to. Simple as that!! That said, politics and religion must always and forever be kept separate seeing as both serve the same purpose of division and conquering!!

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

"an addition to the vocabulary of Humpty Dumpty [Newspeak]. It took the language of analysis, reason and dispute, and stood it on its head"

Doubleplusgood? Or doubleplusungood?

"If anyone's interested in learning about the truth regarding this cult, follow @Imamofpeace on twitter and get enlightened!!"

Guide US TV or Peace TV?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Wrong for Abe to fake loving sharing religious activities.

Does he celebrate Christmas going to church and so on for each religion ?

Islam is not a single religion idea nor organized system.

Islam asks requirements from you.

Islam includes political ideas.

Islam is complex to learn.

Japan is unique and based on absence of anything sticking out to provoke discomfort to others...

I doubt much Japanese ladies find Islam attractive. So do I as an open mind.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

LOL, some of you guys seem to be confusing being Muslim with being a resident of Saudi Arabia. I can understand someone utterly ignorant of world geography making that mistake because two of the most important sites to Islam are within Saudi territory, but it represents about 1.5% of the world Muslim population.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

PM Abe knows where the oil is coming from. What I wonder is whether representatives of both Saudi Arabia and Iran were there together or not. They seem to dislike each other. And was Qatar there?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I believe that the day will come when people can truly understand each other

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Freddy Watson: "I believe that the day will come when people can truly understand each other"

I wish you were right, but sadly I think the only way people with such different ways of understanding and inability to even learn about, let alone accept, each other, is in the ground. So, if and when that day comes, and it might be soon, it'll be when the nukes hit and we're all gone. Let's start with a little understanding first, then work from there.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Prosperous, peaceful, free, liberal, tolerant, educated, creative and democratic societies such as Japan have little or nothing in common with the spirit of Islam.

What a repugnant comment.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Prosperous, peaceful, free, liberal, tolerant, educated, creative and democratic societies such as Japan have little or nothing in common with the spirit of Islam.

What a repugnant comment.

Please tell us what the spirit of Islam is and who says so.

This is a real problem in the world today according to many Muslim and non-Muslim commentators.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Jimizo:

I think we are in agreement. However, the original poster is insinuating that Islam is incompatible with prosperity, peace, freedom, liberality, tolerance, education, creativity, and democracy. The poster used "spirit of Islam" because that is what was in the article, but meant Islam.

Am I missing something from your post because you seem to be disagreeing that the post I was commenting on is repugnant. Painting over 1 billion people with a broad stroke is repugnant.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

You've got to laugh at a community that can furiously protest that Islamophobia isn't real and is just a way to silence people...

...and then turn around and wharrgarbl that all Muslims are deceitful and out to murder you and also incompatible with democracy and if you let them into your country it will burn...

... all because the Japanese PM had a few over for dinner. Yeah, sure. Islamophobia is totally made up.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Great. Mr. Abe is a good example of great leadership. West should learn from him.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Seriously, to all of you who have never spent a day in the Middle East or an Islamic nation, please stop trying to educate anyone.

Really! like what the heck do you know???

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@thepersoniamnow.  I don't the think the issue is what is happening in the Middle East or an Islamic but rather what people who worship a certain religion from the Middle East believe and act upon once they enter a different country such as Germany, Sweden, the UK , etc.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Really appreiciate the gesture Abe-san. The values of Islam are really common with the values of Japanese. Since when does mini skirt became a value I don't know (as some peopled commented). I am talking about the values of helping others, leading your life in a humble way, honesty, punctuality, the whole concept of Japanese living style is so much in sync with the Islamic teachings.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Oh my goodness you guys. Can't we all just get along? Seriously.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Religion is a very private matter.

Law of the Land is very important.

It makes no sense that a non-Muslim hosts an Iftar party ( unless the host hires a Muslim cook who cooks halal food and a prayer is offered prior to breaking the Ramadan fast ) or even a non-Muslim to participate in the Iftar.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Welcome The great japanese prime minister has good path of way for iftar party them i love japanese great government .

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Painting over 1 billion people with a broad stroke is repugnant.

In other words, the larger the sample size of people and countries, the less entitled we are to draw any sort of conclusion. How does that make sense? The exact opposite is actually true. This is just another cop-out that is meant to shut down any discussion.

Instead of registering your moral outrage, why not disprove the poster's conclusion by providing a list of countries in the 'Islamic world' where there are free and fair elections, people are free to criticise religion and the state, where liberalism does strive for equality between men and women, where homosexuals and religious minorities are accepted rather than merely tolerated, where boys and girls are both educated to the highest standard, and where creativity is fostered through the highest levels of free expression. If the original conclusion was so wrong and repugnant, it should be incredibly easy to disprove. And once you've provided a list, or perhaps just one exception to the rule, can you tell us why you personally have not moved to any of these charming countries?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

"Abe told his guests that the spirit of Islam is in common with the values held dear by Japanese people"

Abe didn't lie.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Oh! Abe, you done it again.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

M3M3M3 June 10 12:33 pm JST

Let's talk about this word Islamophobia for a minute. In your opinion, how much time and effort does someone need to spend studying Islam or visiting the Muslim world before they are entitled to express a strongly held but legitimate personal opinion on whether or not the ideas within Islam pose some danger to the safety and flourishing of our societies?

A year. ANd your question is a loaded one since you started with the premise that islam is bad. So why bother even having a discussion?

Surely there must be someone out there not motivated by an irrational fear who is entitled to express an opinion without being shouted down, right?

If they are informed yes. If they are uninformed no.

So where exactly do you draw the line between a legitimate negative opinion of Islam and Islamophobia?

Depends on your credibility. How much time have you spent in the muslim world? Have you actually studied islam?

If the difference lies in a person's understanding of Islam, how then is it possible for you or anyone (as an anonymous participant on an internet forum) to ever have enough information to accuse someone of being an Islamophobe?

By their comments, which are usually uninformed and just plain wrong.

For all you know, they could be a gay ex-Muslim who spends every day living in fear for his life.

REally?? Hands up anyone who fits that description.

Who are you to tell these people that they are all Islamophobes?

Someone who knows what they are talking about.

I think it's high time to retire this silly term 'Islamophobia' which is just intended to silence any discussion or criticism.

What discussion? All I'm hearing here is anti-islam hysterical ranting. Happy to debate, but not share in hate spreading or fear mongering

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Seriously, to all of you who have never spent a day in the Middle East or an Islamic nation, please stop trying to educate anyone.

Exactly!!

Really! like what the heck do you know???

Nothing. Exactly WHY they make these statements

You've got to laugh at a community that can furiously protest that Islamophobia isn't real and is just a way to silence people...

...and then turn around and wharrgarbl that all Muslims are deceitful and out to murder you and also incompatible with democracy and if you let them into your country it will burn...

... all because the Japanese PM had a few over for dinner. Yeah, sure. Islamophobia is totally made up.

EXCELLENT Point Katsu!

M3M3M3. One of the best comments of the year in my opinion.

Katsu's was MUCH BETTER

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

You've got to laugh at a community that can furiously protest that Islamophobia isn't real and is just a way to silence people...

...and then turn around and wharrgarbl that all Muslims are deceitful and out to murder you and also incompatible with democracy and if you let them into your country it will burn...

... all because the Japanese PM had a few over for dinner. Yeah, sure. Islamophobia is totally made up.

So good, it's worth quoting again.

Well said.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

sf2k June 10  08:16 am JST

Is this a sad joke or something? Japan accepts all of two dozen refugees a year while the world burns.

i Think that's what Abe means by the spirit of Islam is in common with the values held dear by Japanese people.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Were the Qataris there? Would be interesting to see how they got along with the other Gulf representatives who have blockaded them

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm still wondering what the spirit of Islam is, who says so, and on what authority.

I've read the opinions of Muslim clerics and scholars, often with large followings, who give very different ideas ranging from the peaceful and tolerant to the muderous and intolerant.

As we know, there are well over a billion Muslims living in different countries around the world with different opinions on what the spirit of Islam would include.

Which one is it?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

JimizoToday04:32 pm JST

I'm still wondering what the spirit of Islam is, who says so, and on what authority.

I've read the opinions of Muslim clerics and scholars, often with large followings, who give very different ideas ranging from the peaceful and tolerant to the muderous and intolerant.

As we know, there are well over a billion Muslims living in different countries around the world with different opinions on what the spirit of Islam would include.

Which one is it?

The one that says, "That line was transparently a bit of diplomatic piffle that if you're working yourself up about, that's pretty clear proof that you have an axe to grind."

Politicians say silly things sometimes to make a crowd feel good. You shouldn't pay it any more attention than when you see an American president bowling.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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