Nicolas Gattig on Islam in Japan. Off course ignorant Islamophobic wingnut Bryan Fischer Is happy they “don’t” allow Muslims in Japan. Man is he going to be upset if he reads this.
A piece of home: The multinational congregation at the Tokyo Camii attends Friday prayer. | COURTESY OF TOKYO CAMII
Long ago, in another life, I went to a mosque in San Francisco to attend Friday prayer. More than the calling of Islam, it was a Libyan woman who beckoned me, and for the sake of family blessing, I considered a love conversion.
Enamored and clueless, I checked out the scene — an alabaster agnostic among dark-skinned and bearded believers, who eyed me wonderingly as we kneeled to pray.
Face down with my arms outstretched, my behind in the air and my nose smelling the prayer rug, I could feel that a prostration is a submission — a concession of smallness in front of a higher power. I could feel that as a humble servant to the only one god, Allah, you are no longer boss of the spectacle that is you. It was a gut-level challenge.
As I was leaving the mosque, saying goodbye to the regulars who had warmed to the newbie, I started liking these people and their humility. But with the exotic aroma of spices and the muezzin droning the Arabic verses, there was a sense of an alien reality. “If I get in too deep here,” I mused in private, “I might lose myself.”