Tokyo (AsiaNews) - The deeds of the Islamic State "are unforgivable acts of cruelty, which fall outside the true Muslim faith. Taking hostages is unworthy, and these terrorists must be condemned in the strongest possible way. With their fake 'holy war ' they do nothing but destroy Islam". This is the common position of the small Muslim community in Japan, which occurred after the kidnapping of two Japanese hostages in Syria at the hands of IS militants.
A video posted
on January 20 shows two men - Kenji Goto Jogo, a Christian, and Haruna Yukawa -
in the hands of an Islamic terrorist. The audio demands the Japanese government
pay 200 million dollars "within 72 hours", by the afternoon of
January 23: If the payment is not made, the two will be killed.
Shigeru Shimoyama, spokesman for the Tokyo Camii mosque (the largest in the country), explains: "According to the law of Allah, killing one innocent person is considered tantamount to killing all of mankind. The actions of the terrorists of the Islamic state are in contradiction with the basics of the Muslim faith or respect for human life. They are to be strongly condemned".
the spokesman, who converted to Islam about 10 years ago, the Islamic State is "destroying
our faith. In Japan, for so long the Muslims were viewed with suspicion and
were not understood. The abduction of these two compatriots will only fuel the
idea that Islam is a religion for terrorists. So I want to tell everyone that
the people who are behind this kidnapping are not Muslims".
There are about 127 million Japanese: 83.9% of these are of the Shinto faith; 71.4% follows Buddhism (the two religions can overlap, both being more a philosophy than a real cult); Christians are about 2%, for most part Protestants. Muslims are roughly about 100 thousand, with a further 70 thousand members of different nationalities. There are about 35mosques, but throughout the territory there are another 100 places of worship in areas where there are no traditional structures.
Interrupting his state visit to Jerusalem, the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe returned home to handle the emergency. This morning he made it clear that his country "will not bow to terror. Ours is a race against time, but the government will do everything possible to secure the release of our citizens. I asked the help of the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, of the Egyptian al-Sisi, the Jordanian King Abdullah and Turkish President Erdogan. The international community must help us. "