The name used in Japanese media to describe the extremist group in Iraq and Syria is “Islam-Koku” – meaning Islamic country/state. This term is spreading huge misunderstandings and prejudices, causing severe sufferings for the Muslims in Japan.
To the people in Japan, by repeatedly hearing the word, “Islam” associated with the terrorists and their activities, extremely negative impressions are sown in against Muslims and Islamic societies as a whole. It is making some regard the “Islam-Koku” as a representative or a reflection of the religion itself.
However, the actions of the group violate numerous Islamic teachings, and thus by no means shall it be representing the image of the Muslims and Islam.
The true Islam does not allow terrorist activities, unreasonable murder, slavery, or persecution at all. It is rather a truly peaceful religion, and it teaches to respect the rights for women and children.
The extremist group is therefore, completely different from the actual teachings of Islam, and the Japanese media must quit using the name “Islam-Koku” to prevent further expansion of the misunderstanding. The extremist group referred to as “Islam-Koku”, neither represents the idea of Islam, nor is it officially a state. They are merely a group of terrorists claiming to be one.
In September 2014, Azhar, the institution of highest authority of Sunni Muslims, criticized the extremist group for calling themselves an “Islamic State” and claimed that the name is an offence to the Muslims and the religion. The institution has also requested medias around the globe to stop using such term.
However, the Japanese media has been ignoring this request up to now.
As alternatives, names such as “Daesh”, “ISIS”, or “ISIL” could be used.
“Daesh” is an abbreviation of the group name in Arabic – “(Daula Al- Islamiya Fi Al- Iraq Wa-ssham)”, while “ISIS” and “ISIL” are abbreviations of the English translation of it – “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria”, or “Islamic State of Iraq and Levant”.
Examples outside Japan,
The American Military, at the end of 2014, officially announced to call them “Daesh”.
The French Government, in September 2014, has also decided to refer to them as “Daesh”.
Even though the word “Daesh” has not yet blended in enough around the world, “ISIS” and “ISIL” are commonly used in medias overseas with none using the actual word “Islam” to name them.
Recently inside Japan, going after the global movement, the Liberal Democratic Party and the Ministry of Foreign affairs has officially decided to call them “ISIL” instead of “Islam-Koku”. However, the Japanese media still shows no sign of reforming their naming. All Japanese media should follow the government’s effort and quit calling the group “Islam-Koku” as soon as possible.
We have to ask all people in Japan, “Please stop using the name Islam-Koku”.
It is leading to the emergence of huge misunderstandings, prejudices, and discrimination inside the country. It must be stopped.
※Evidence that actions of ISIL violate the Islamic teachings.
An Open letter sent to ISIL under joint names of Islamic scholars around the world.
-Added on Feb.1,2015-
In the Conference of Masjid Representatives conducted today in Masjid Otsuka, participated representatives agreed on all mentioned above. It was concluded that “Islam-Koku” is not an appropriate name and that ISIL should be distinguished from Islam. The hope for the change of the name “Islam-Koku” is joint under all names mentioned below including the conference participated representatives, and other Islamic institutions and Mosques that agree.
[Mosque / Masjid]
・Religious Org. Nagoya Mosque (Representative: Qureshi, Abdul Wahab)
・Religious Org. Masjid Otsuka (Representative: Qureshi, Haroon)
・Gyotoku Hira Masjid (Representative: Jamil, Ahmed)
・Niihama Masjid (Representative: Hamanaka, Akira)
・Beppu Masjid (Representative: Khan, Muhammad Tahir Abbas)
・Masjidul Hasanath Toyota Jummah Mosque (Representative: Mohedeen, Nizar)
・Religious Org. Annur Masjid in Niigata (Representative: Muhammad, Hisham)
・Al Mustafa Mosque (Representative: Imran, Ali)
・Shin Anjo Masjid (Representative: Fazli, Muhammad)
・Suzuka Mosque (Representative: Muhammad Rasheed Muhammad Marzook)
・Ogaki Jumuah Mosque (Representative: Fazar, Muhammad Shafi)
・Mohammadi Mosque Hamamatsu (Representative: Farnauddin)
・Islamic Cultural Center of Sendai – Sendai Masjid (Representative: Satou, Muhammad Noboru)
・Religious Org. Kobe Muslim Mosque (Representative: Arai, Aｈsan)
・Religious Org. Tokyo Camii (Representative: Alas, Muhammed Rasit)
・Tokushima Masjid (Representative: Zulfiqar Mustafa)
・Fukui Masjid (Representative: Alnajjar, Fady)
・Saitama Masjid (Representative: Rashid, Hafiz Awais)
・Toyohashi Mosque (Representative: Abdul Razzaq)
・Islamic Circle of Japan (Representative of Japanese Dept.: Maeno, Naoki )
・Ichinomiya Islamic Center (Representative: Kaldeen, Hanif)
・Shizuoka Muslim Association (Representative: Asadi, Yaseen)
・Kasugai Islamic Center (Representative: Umar, Muhammad)
・Mie Islam Bunka Center (Representative: Hassan, Abid)
・NPO Children and Women Islamic Association (Representative: Totani, Maryam Ryoko)
・Muslima’s Circle of Honey Kids and Mothers (Representative: Taniyama, Zahara Fumiko)
・Indonesian Muslim Association (Representative: Wibowo, Adi)
・Islamic Cultural Association in Nagoya University (Representative: Saad, Ahmed)
・Ishikawa Muslim Association (Representative: Sohail, Muhammad)
・Assalaam Foundation (Representative:Bah, Hady)
・Islamic Center Japan (Representative: Al Samarrai, Salih)
・Egyptian Students Association in Japan (Representative: Mosa, Ahmed)
・Japan-Celebes Kazokukai (Representative: Abdul Mujahid)
・Religious Org. Japan Muslim Association (Representative: Tokumasu, Kimiaki)
[University and Research institution]
・Prof. Atsushi Okuda’s Laboratory for Arabic Islamic Studies in Keio University SFC (Representative: Okuda, Atsushi)
[Other Support Organization]
・NPO Org.Resource Center for Multicultural Community Tokai (Representative: Doi, Yoshihiko)
・Sadaqa Syria (Representative: Tamura, Masahumi)
・Perhimpunan Kebudayaan Indonesia Di Nagoya (Representative: Nakajima, Sonoko)
・Central Islamic Organization of Guyana (Representative: Fazeel Ferouz)
・Suriname Muslim Association (Representative: Michel Soebhan)
・Darussalam Publishers in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Representative: Abdul Malik Mujahid)
・Darul- uloom Karachi, Pakistan (Representative: Rafi Usaman)
・Jamiyat Ahlehadith Sindh, Pakistan (Representative: Abdullah Nasir Rehmani)
・Central Jamiyat Ahlehadith Sindh, Pakistan (Representative: Muhammad Yousuf Qussori)
・Scholor of Ibtisam Illahi Zahir Foundation Pakistan Punjab (Representative: Ibtisam Illahi)
・Jamiyat-e- ulmae Islam, Pakistan (Representative: Abdul Kareem Abid)
・Ruieat-e-hilla Committee, Pakistan (Representative: Muneeb ur Rehman)
・Ghurba Ahlehaditjh Sindh, Pakistan (Representative: Muhammad Ansa Madni)
・Binoriya University Karachi, Pakistan (Representative: Muhammad Naeem)
・Jamate Islami, Pakistan (Representative: Asadullah Bhutto)
・Jamiyat Ulma-e-Islam, Pakistan (Representative: Khuwaja Abdul Mannan)
(As of March 21, 2015)