OPINION: Taiwan Welcomes Islam with Open Arms

Taiwan’s religious tolerance, especially towards Islam is, sadly, exceptional.

The News Lens
Date: 2018/10/02
By: Jules Quartly

Credit: Jules Quartly

Last year in Kaohsiung I was invited to visit the city’s mosque, watched as the mostly migrant workers performed their afternoon prayers and was introduced to the imam. Husein Abu-yasin is an erudite, softly spoken gentleman who smiles a lot and talks about creating understanding and friendship.

It was all business, peace and love on the occasion of the inaugural International Halal Expo, which promotes food and drink permissible according to Islamic law. The event will take place once again this month in Taiwan’s second city, from Oct. 25-28.

Taiwan has rolled out the welcome mat to Muslims and it’s an approach that is winning hearts and minds. The money is rolling in and the Muslim population is steadily growing – but unlike many countries, this is not perceived as an existential threat.

Muslim migrant workers are building the economy, caring for a rapidly graying population and enriching the nation’s cultural tapestry through the introduction of Muslim festivities. The president is courting Muslim countries as part of a major diplomatic initiative; and Muslim tourists are positively encouraged to visit, with the promise of halal-approved restaurants and Islamic prayer rooms in hotels.    [FULL  STORY]

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