Islam gives them independence because they do not have to be a slave of any man. It is confusing for her." (Japanese law uses the same logic, forbidding women to remarry within six months of divorce.) [In Islam the waiting period, _idda_, is shorter].
Japanese women who marry men from Islamic countries often face ostracism from their families and alienation from friends; living by Islamic laws requires major changes in nearly every every aspect of their lives.
An energetic face framed within her black _hijab_, Aysha says, "I wasn't born a Muslim, so I'm strict (about Islam). To become a good Muslim takes time, though."Although strict Islamic life may not be incongrous with lifestyles with lifestyles in Saudi Arabia or Iran, in Japan, Islam means accepting a life radically different from the ordinary Japanese.
Before I became a Muslim, I was the secretary to a company president so I drank alcohol, played, wore miniskirts, everything. Perhaps, for some, herein lies the appeal."Before I became a Muslim I didn't know what I was put here on earth for.
Although prohibited by the _Koran_ [Islamic scripture] it is all but impossible to run a restaurant in Japan without it.
One resourceful young woman who works for a major electronics company in Tokyo manages to pray in the company changing room.
Now I know that work is to nourish my body and I am here to live each day to praise Allah," said a woman in her 20's married to a Pakistani truck driver.
Others, like Noureen, a 30-year-old teacher of nursing at a women's university in Saitama, had tried other religions, including Christianity, which she found unsatisfying before finding Islam.
Still she worried that he might be taking food from other children.
"When he gets older, we would have to worry about him attending birthday and Christams parties and it would be sad for him and hard for him to make friends. Noureen says,"the problem is not just food, it's the concept: In Japan people think their body is their own, and that a child should stay up all night studying and only think about exams.