Preface ( Perception of Islam in Japanese Schools)
序/企画趣旨(<特集II> 学校教育におけるイスラーム)

2005 Annals of Japan Association for Middle East Studies  
Since the September 11 event in 2001 and the Iraqi War in 2003, topics related to the Middle East and the Islamic world are usually discussed in the context of International politics, and the news distributed via the mass media of television, newspapers, and internet websites catches the attention of ordinary citizens and even pupils in elementary schools. In Japan, however, understanding of the Middle East and the Islamic world has not improved in spite of increasing infbrmation and knowledge,
more » ... seeming instead to go in the opposite direction. The Japan Association for Middle East Studies issued the fo11owing presidential statement after the September 11 event: The tragedy [of September 11] poses a challenge to those of us who specialize in Middle East studies. The motives are of course still under investigation, but we believe that the factors that led up to September 11 cannot be attributed simply to political and economic affairs. We suggest that our attitude towards the Middle East and the Islamic world thus far, characterized by unconcern and inadequate understanding, may have played a part. And sadly, the event of September 11 may cause even more apathy and less understanding, instead of marking a change in attitude. In fact, this trend is unfortunately already apparent in, for example, post-September-11th mass media coverage, when no distinctions are made between the Islamic world, the Middle East, the Arab world, and other areas. . .. People of many religions, ethnicities, languages, and values coexist in what we call the Middle East and as a result, it is a fact that a rich multifaceted culture has been developed and will continue to be developed. We are afraid that this fact and many urgent issues in the Middle East such as the peace process wi11 be, as a result of tihe September 11 attacks, overlooked by the average Japanese person. UAMES Newsletter no.89, and re-issued at the JAMES website] Again, at the beginning of the Iraqi War in March 2003, we announced the fo1lowing presidential issue: 'Ihe process of decision-making related to this war was argued in the United Nations, as it was in Japan, on a level of discussion different from the Middle East and the Islamic world 169 Special lssue 11: Perception of lslam in Japanese Schools NII-Electronic Mbrary
doi:10.24498/ajames.21.2_169 fatcat:pnxu3cuarbekncmherwnp5i3jm