SEOUL, March 4 (Korea Bizwire) — The construction of a two-story mosque in a residential area in the neighborhood of Kyungpook National University in Daegu has been delayed indefinitely.
The construction halt occurred after residents staged a group protest against the construction of the mosque in their neighborhood.
Residents submitted a petition to the local district office, citing loud noise, offensive odor and the infringement of property rights as the reasons for their opposition.
The district office informed the building owner to stop the construction despite the fact that the building abides by all construction laws.
Some experts say that this kind of situation occurs simply due to an ambiguous sense of fear that is caused by misconception about the Islamic religion.
“Islam is the world’s second largest religion and covers a wide spectrum of beliefs,” said Han Seung-hoon, a professor at Northeast Asian Humanities and Social Science Research Center at Wonkwang University.
“Nonetheless, the image of extreme terrorism associated with groups such as the Taliban and the Islamic State is deeply etched in the minds of the people here.”
“When some Yemenis applied for refugee status on Jeju Island, many fake news reports circulated, including one claiming that sexual assault is permitted under Islam,” said Jang Ji-hyang, director of the Middle East and North Africa Center at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies.
“Such fake news played a key role in promoting the prejudice against Islam.”
Chances are high that such conflicts will occur more frequently during the stage where religious pluralism takes place in Korean society.
For Koreans, who have less experience in co-existing with other cultures, the tendency to see other cultures with a biased perspective rather than embracing them is strong.
Even though statistics are different by institution, the number of Muslims residing in Korea is estimated at about 200,000, with the number of believers on an upward trend.
J. S. Shin (email@example.com)