Japanese Muslims to Counter Linking Islam with Terrorism

Chiba, 26 Dzulhijjah 1437/28 September 2016 (MINA) – Muslims in Chiba of Japan embarked on a big mission to counter linking Islam with terrorism and protect communities at the same time by setting up a crime prevention patrol group.

Chiba Mosque started the patrol unit to promote exchanges with local residents and, as a result, eradicate prejudices and misunderstandings about Islam amid the frequent occurrence of terrorist attacks by radical Muslims around the world, IINA quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

Neighborhood patrol groups are usually set up voluntarily by local residents, but it is rare for a mosque in Japan to set up such a unit, according to the Chiba prefectural police and the Japan Muslim Association (JMA), based in Tokyo’s Shinagawa Ward, The Asahi Shimbun Japanese newspaper reported.

About 50 members of the group are Muslims who travel from within Chiba and other prefectures to attend the mosque for worship. On the unit’s launch day on Sunday, 19 members walked in residential areas and parks in Inage Ward wearing a uniform of caps and sashes.

Residents of a local neighborhood association and police officers also participated in the patrol. “I hope that they will also participate in local events to deepen friendly relations with residents,” said Masatoshi Saito, age 74, chairman of the local neighborhood association, speaking of his Muslim neighbors.

From his side, Director of JMA Mimasaka Higuchi, said: “I want the patrol watch to become a good example to establish relations of trust with local residents. I hope that similar activities will spread to other areas.” (T/P004)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)