Last August I wrote of my surprise when I discovered that there are Muslims in Japan. Most are foreign visitors or diplomats, but some are converts. There aren’t many of them, but enough to have mosques, community centers, and press spokesmen.
This morning I learned about Muslims in South Korea. According to Asia News, the first Islamic Elementary school in the country will open this year:
Seoul (AsiaNews) — The Korea Muslim Federation announced yesterday the planned opening of the first Islamic elementary school, which will open its doors within a year, with the objective of helping local Muslims to understand their religion better, thanks in part to an official educational formation. The federation also hopes to open “within three years” a cultural centre, a secondary school, possibly even a university.
Kim Hwan-yoo, secretary general of the organisation, explains that the institute will be named after Saudi sultan Bin Abdul Aziz: “We will present the official request to the government as soon as possible, but there shouldn’t be any problems. Many Koreans have distorted information about Islam, since many years ago some Muslims did not behave well, forcibly converting some of the natives”.
Ah yes, forcible conversion: Islam’s stock-in-trade. Some Muslims “did not behave well” in the past — presumably they’ve seen the light since then and changed their ways.
Therefore, Kim adds, “the main goal is that of correcting a distorted view of our religion. School is not only for children: for us, it will be a mission”. According to the plan that will be presented to the education minister, the courses will include the study of Arabic and English. In any case, “Students will not be obliged to worship, which will take place twice every day”.
Why is it that Islam is perpetually obliged to “correct a distorted view” of itself? You don’t hear about Christians and Buddhists exerting that much effort to change others’ perceptions of them. Yet the OIC just spent an entire conference worrying about how to correct Western misperceptions about Islam.
When they weren’t condemning the racist and genocidal policies of the Zionists, that is. I suppose they’ll have to exert even more effort to correct our distorted view of that one.
So where is all the money for this coming from?
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The project has “the full support of the Saudi government”. Abdullah al-Aifan, Riyadh’s ambassador in Seoul, has given 500 thousand dollars to the foundation as “a gift on the part of his government”, and has spoken of “active support for all of the upcoming initiatives as well”.
Aha! The Saudis. I might have guessed.
That means there’s a good chance of a reversion to “not behaving well”, since Wahhabist money and violent jihad go hand in hand.
There are about 150,000 Koreans of the Islamic faith: according to the few local mosques, the fault for this low number lies “with society as well, which has not guaranteed the adequate social infrastructure for the development of our religion”.
So the Korean government and people are to blame for there being so few Muslims in the country? Are they obliged to proselytize for a foreign religion? Or maybe just to pay for it?
As a matter of fact, the Korean government already has bankrolled some of the Islamic infrastructure on the peninsula. According to a Korean tourism website:
The first masjid in Korea opened in 1976 in Seoul, on a plot of land donated by the Korean government, which also provided some financial assistance in the building of the mosque.
Situated between Mt. Namsan and the Han River, the Seoul Central Masjid stands today as an expanded three-storey building complete with a conference hall, classrooms, offices as well as boardroom.
This was followed by a mushrooming of more masjids in other Korean cities, including Busan, Gwangju (Gyeonggi-do), Anyang, Jeonju, Daegu and Jeju.
How many of these mosques were funded wholly or partially by government money?
The website goes on to say:
Although the Muslim population stands at a modest 50,000 in Korea today, an increasing number of Muslim restaurants have sprung up in Seoul, mainly in Itaewon and Gangnam-gu.
So according to the tourist office there are 50,000 Muslims in Korea, but Asia News puts the number at three times as many.
Is this figure up for grabs? Perhaps it’s fungible, like the number of Muslims in the USA — two million or three million or six million or seven million, depending on whose figures you believe. Or the number of Muslims in the world: a billion, or 1.3 billion, or 1.4 billion, or — in the latest OIC announcement — 1.5 billion.
When infidels need to be soothed and reassured, there are very few Muslims, just a handful here and there, a misunderstood and discriminated-against minority.
But when it’s time to intimidate the kuffar, 7.39 sextillion angry and offended Muslims are ready to take to the streets and set things on fire.
Visit the Korean Muslim Federation to find out more about Islam in Korea. Their website has a section in English.
Finding out about Korea and Japan made me wonder about Muslims in other places I wouldn’t normally think about. For example, the last figure I heard for Iceland was 300.
What about North Korea? Or Uruguay? Or Sri Lanka? How many Muslims are in Panama? Or Laos? Or Zimbabwe? Or Cuba?
However many there are, I’ll bet they’re offended.
And also demanding government subsidy.
Hat tip: insubria.