Muslim demographics

Muslim demographics

 Tokyo Jama Masjid(Image)

Islam was thought to have first come to Japan in the early 1900s when Muslim Tatars were escaping Russian expansionism. The Muslim community in Japan has a history of over 100 years, although some sources contest more than this amount. In 1909 it was documented by historian Caeser E. Farah that Abdul-Rashid Ibrahim was the first Muslim who successfully converted the first ethnic Japanese, and in 1935 Kobe Mosque - Japan's first Islamic building - was constructed. Some sources have stated that in 1982 the Muslims numbered 30,000 (half were natives. Many of the ethnic Japanese during the economic boom of the 1980s converted when large swathes of immigrants from Asia came and integrated with local population. The majority of estimates of the Muslim population have been put at around 100,000 in estimates. Islam remains a minority religion in Japan, and there is no evidence as to whether Islam is growing or not. Conversion is more prominent among young ethnic Japanese married women, as documented by the Japan Times as early as the 1990s. Furthermore in 2000 Keiko Sakurai had estimated the number of ethnic Japanese Muslims in Japan at 63,552, and around 70,000 - 100,000 foreign Muslims residing in the country. However according to essayist Michael Penn states that 90% of Muslims are foreign and about 10% are ethnic, but the true figure is unknown and this is just another speculative estimate. In Japan the government does not take religion into account as part of the demographic concern under religious freedom. As Penn states, "The Japanese government does not keep any statistics on the number of Muslims in Japan. Neither foreign residents nor ethnic Japanese are ever asked about their religion by official government agencies


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