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Laboratory of Islamic Studies

Date of establishment: October 1, 2013
Director: Yo Nonaka (Assistant Professor, Faculty of Policy Management)
Contact: Yo Nonaka Lab. yon[at]sfc.keio.ac.jp

Objectives

There are currently 1.6 - 2 billion followers of Islam (Muslims) in the world, and by some estimates, Muslims will account for one-third of the world's population in the near future. In Japan, there has also been a considerable increase in the number of Muslims visiting, staying, and living in the country for tourism, study, and work, thanks to the economic growth in Southeast Asia, flights on low-cost carriers, and more relaxed visa requirements. However, the image of Islam is not necessarily positive in Japan, and Japanese people cannot be said to have a full understanding of Islam and its followers.

This laboratory seeks to contribute to world peace by removing prejudices toward Islam and the Islamic world, and aims to achieve the peacebuilding and to create a harmonious society, respecting Islamic teachings. Specifically, we continue work on studies, education, and activities on the topics of Islam and the Islamic world that have been individually implemented at SFC, utilize our extensive overseas network, and publish our comprehensive research activities and results.

Research outline

The presence of foreigners is rapidly growing in Japan, and promoting understanding of Islam and its followers is an urgent task in this country. One of the key activities of this laboratory is studying the issues and possibilities accompanying halal (acceptable to Muslims) businesses and the acceptance of Muslim tourists in Japan. We collaborate with local governments and all types of business owners who aim to increase the number of Muslim tourists and search for better ways to serve them, and provide information based on the research results of the laboratory. We also create networks with Muslims living in Japan, and periodically hold the "National Muslim Meeting at SFC," a forum for Muslims to gather and discuss issues in their lives. These activities allow us to draw out the everyday issues that Muslims living in Japan deal with, and to make recommendations for all sides.

The laboratory will study a wide variety of topics related to Islam, including halal business, the values system, the view on national states, the Islam-like characteristics of Japanese society, education for 2nd generation Muslims, and study of and new interpretations of the Quran. Each member of the laboratory covers different geographical parts of the Islamic world and regions where Muslims live and utilize expertise of semantic spaces in the database, while handling these topics from three aspects: basic studies, regional studies, and applied studies. The following are summaries of each field of research.

  • Basic Studies of Islam: Review relevant statements about halal and haram (forbidden in Islam) in the Holy Quran and the Hadith. Organize and examine these statements with reference to the major works of this field.
  • Regional Studies of Islam: Survey the state of halal businesses and halal foods in Japan and overseas, making use of each of the laboratory members' specialized networks in the Islamic world, from Indonesia to Morocco. Present the results at ORF.
  • Applied Studies and Activities of Islam: Conduct "Seminars of 'Omotenashi' for Muslims" for local governments, the tourism industry, and the restaurant industry. Hold the "National Muslim Meeting at SFC." Create the Halal Manual, a situational guide for behavior toward Muslims. Continue involvement with the Aleppo reconstruction support project (in cooperation with the Japan Center for Academic Cooperation and the Graduate School of Japan Studies at the University of Aleppo, while keeping a watch on the current situation). Hold lectures for understanding Islam for the general public.

Memberships

Name Affiliation
o Yo Nonaka Assistant Professor, Faculty of Policy Management
Islamic area studies (Indonesia), Islamic applied research (halal business, Seminar of "Omotenashi" for Muslims, National Muslim Meeting at SFC, Malay & Indonesian language education)
Yoshiyasu Takefuji Professor, Faculty of Environment and Information Studies
Advisory support for research and activities from the perspective of IT and manufacturing
Yoko Hirose Professor, Faculty of Policy Management
Caucasus area studies, human resource development support
Yasushi Kiyoki Professor, Faculty of Environment and Information Studies
Advisory support for research and activities from the perspective of database research
Almansour Ahmad Visiting Lecturer (Full-time), Faculty of Policy Management
Arabic language education, basic studies of Islam, situation in Syria
Rawya Jamous Part-time Lecturer, Faculty of Policy Management
Arabic language education, collaboration with Malaysia
Mitsuko Sano Senior Researcher, Keio Research Institute at SFC
Islamic area studies (Lebanon)
Fumiaki Inagaki Senior Researcher, Keio Research Institute at SFC
Islamic area studies (Central Asia)
Saori Uemura Senior Researcher, Keio Research Institute at SFC
Basic Islamic studies, Applied Islamic studies (Aleppo restoration support, Seminar of "Omotenashi" for Muslims, Islam language course, human resources development, building of a base)
Natsuko Komaki Senior Researcher, Keio Research Institute at SFC
Applied Islamic studies (htional Muslim Meeting at SFCalal life plan, human resources development)
Keisuke Toda Senior Researcher, Keio Research Institute at SFC
Basic Islamic studies, Islamic area studies (Jordan), Applied Islamic studies (Seminar of "Omotenashi" for Muslims, National Muslim Meeting at SFC, Islam language course, human resources development, building of a base (Jordan))
QURESHI, Sarah, Yoshimi Senior Researcher, Keio Research Institute at SFC
Applied Islamic studies (National Muslim Meeting at SFC)
Megumi Kenjo Doctor Course Student, Graduate School of Media and Governence
Bouamal Hassan Doctor Course Student, Graduate School of Media and Governence
Hadi Hani Doctor Course Student, Graduate School of Media and Governence