Whether you’re an athlete, delegate, or a Muslim watching the Olympics, a Japanese company has created a mobile mosque to serve your religious needs.
According to a report by Japan Inside, a company called Yasu Project has created several mobile mosques to welcome Muslims and to make them feel at home in a country where other religions dominate the landscape.
While the report says that 100,000 to 200,000 Muslims currently live in Japan, the number of available places of worship that can accommodate the influx of new Islam practitioners may not be enough. The CEO of Yasu Project, Mr. Yasuharu Inoue, has said that the mosques can travel to key places during the massive sports event to provide for the needs of Muslims in Japan at the time.
What do these mobile places of worship for Muslims look like?
From the outside, it would seem that the mobile mosque looks like a large, luxurious trailer or an elegant truck. The report said that the measurements of the vehicle are basically a 48-square-meter (515-square-foot) room that can accommodate 50 people.
Painted in white, the back of the modified 25-ton truck flipped up to reveal an entrance and technology able to double the width of the truck. The vehicle is also equipped with outdoor taps for pre-worship cleansing characteristic of usual mosques.
According to Islamic websites, the mobile mosque also has the facility to make wudhu as the engineers have placed the taps and washing tub inside the truck, so a person should not wander in the search of making wudhu.
Why create a mobile mosque?
The vehicle was unveiled in July this year outside of a popular soccer stadium in Japan, which promoters did so in the hope of fostering peace.
What started as an idea Inoue had a few years ago, has turned into a series of vehicles that he hopes would allow religious infrasturture to reach those in need. Aside from being deployed in sporting or international events with heavy Muslim participation, the company hopes that it can also provide for the needs of Muslims in locations where there is a gap in religious infrastructure.
In an interview, Inoue said that, “Going forward, I would be so happy if people from Indonesia, Malaysia, Africa, the Middle East and, for example, refugees who are coming from Syria are able to use the mosque as a tool to promote world peace.”
The representative of an Osaka retail company commented that, “Looking in from the outside at the people in the mosque, they looked very happy.”
Indonesian students participated in the unveiling of the mobile mosques. These were students who were affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami disaster.
Inoue also said, “As an open and hospitable country, we want to share the idea of ‘omotenashi’ (Japanese hospitality) with Muslim people.”
What do you think of this mobile mosque? Let us know in the comments!