Except for Yoshi, it has gone the other way: On this day, Ijima is teaching a class of small children in the tall, cramped building that is the Otsuka Masjid. Qureshi generalizes that Japanese people are inherently unprovoking. Today, her husband is a citizen, and most of their friends are Muslim. He began living as a Muslim, cutting out pork and alcohol, studying the Quran. Today, Nelson notes declining numbers of traditional templegoers and Shinto-shrine attendees — blame it on the modern attitudes of young people, who can find community outside parochial institutions. Bombs were going off, guns were firing, and he was crouched behind a car. While seeking, he turned to the Bible. Their ranks are growing — a paper by researcher Hiroshi Kojima put the total Muslim population at 5, in ; 30, in ; and 56, in Musa Mohammad Omer, a board member of the Islamic Center of Japan, gets called to inspect the facilities of companies seeking the halal label. Then there are a few fringe belief systems, like the doomsday cult Aum Shinrikyo, which drew from Indian and Tibetan Buddhism and gained notoriety for its sarin gas attacks in the Tokyo subway. Women can, but are not required to, sit on the second level apart from men. Near urban centers, you can find halal-certified restaurants, serving food permitted under Islamic dietary guidelines; in fact, there are around in Tokyo, many offering bento or other Japanese fare, according to HalalInJapan. Their stories are a twist in the postwar history of local women marrying white gaijin foreigners. So while Islam may not go mainstream, curiosity and even love have broken down traditional barriers for some 10, converts — many of whom are Japanese women who take the Shahada in order to marry foreign men. Suddenly, from behind him, he heard a voice calling, Allahu akbar. An Egyptian immigrant who has lived in Japan for 10 years, Elhamzawi says most of his students register for the class out of curiosity, or to conduct business with the Middle East.