During the sweltering summer NEWS@UOS went to a mosque while sweating like a bull. Negative press about Islam such as kidnappings of Korean nationals by an Islamic military commander became a hot topic in the newspapers. In addition “A sword in one hand and the Koran in the other.” is a common expression.
This expression made by the western Christian religion is not a true representation of the followers of Mohammed. Recently, Islamic nations in the Middle East have expanded their economic influence. They are the second religion, by the number of believers, in the world and the number of believers are increasing faster than those of any other religions. Before long they will be the largest religion in the world.
However; we just know of the Koran, Arabic-which we can’t read and have the preconception of Islam being a bad religion. So to beating the preconception and to better understanding, I went Hannam-dong Islamic Mosque.
I reached the entrance of the compound. It was smaller than I thought. First I saw there was the phrase saying “There is no god other than god. Muhammad is his teacher.” When I saw this phrase I felt it was a solemn and religious place, not just simply cultural. A mosque is composed of two steel towers and a large dome in which to worship. Islamic thinking is differing from that of other religions that everyone is equal in the presence of god.
So there is no altar or priest as in other religions. In this place, many Muslims bow in the direction of Mecca five times a day. The Islamic mosque compound is a place of worship for Muslims.
There were many new sights to see. Around the mosque, there are many restaurants that serve Islamic cuisine, and butcher’s shops that sell halal meat butchered following the Islamic rules. And a store that sells groceries imported from abroad caught my eye. Canned goods and beverages seldom sold around here were more reasonable than at other stores.
The Islamic mosque is not a just place of worship, but a place to gain a sense of a different culture. We can share different thoughts and meet a different point of view. In the midst of globalization, a trip to a mosque can be an important experience for the UOS student.
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