Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Japanese American's Voice Support for American Muslims.

The Washington Post (8 March 2011) reports on the support Muslim's in America have received from the Japanese community at what is becoming a difficult time for people. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King (New York) is launching a series of hearings on radical Islam in the US saying that the Muslim American community has not always been cooperative with the FBI and other law enforcement authorities in countering the growth of radical Islam. The Washington Post describes one of the outcomes of the alliance:

During the chaotic days after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Basim Elkarra was passing by an Islamic school in Sacramento when he did a double-take: The windows were covered with thousands of origami paper cranes - peace symbols that had been folded and donated by Japanese Americans.

Amid the anger and suspicions being aimed at Muslims at that time, the show of support "was a powerful symbol that no one will ever forget," said Elkarra, a Muslim American community leader in California.

Spurred by memories of the World War II-era roundup and internment of 110,000 of their own people, Japanese Americans, especially on the West Coast, have been among the most vocal and passionate supporters of embattled Muslims. They've rallied public support against hate crimes at mosques, signed on to legal briefs opposing the indefinite detention of Muslims by the government, organized cross-cultural trips to the Manzanar internment camp memorial in California and held "Bridging Communities" workshops in Islamic schools and on college campuses.

As King's congressional hearings have drawn near, Japanese American groups have condemned him. Last week Mori co-authored an op-ed with Deepa Iyer, executive director of South Asian Americans Leading Together, that said the hearings "will do nothing but perpetuate an atmosphere of alienation, suspicion and fear."

You can read the full article here.

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