The Ties That Bind: Muslim Americans Join Japanese Americans on Manzanar Pilgrimage

May 2, 2008

Author: Emily Leach

Source: Asian Week

More than 100 Muslim Americans from across California joined Japanese Americans for the 39th annual Manzanar Pilgrimage on April 26.

Many in the Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian community have found steady allies in the Japanese American community, both groups all too familiar with being the target of “anti-terror” xenophobia and discrimination during war time. The San Francisco, Sacramento and Southern California Japanese American Citizens Leagues and Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress have been working with the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the National Legal Sanctuary for Community Advancement, among others.

This year’s shared journey to Manzanar, in a desert 230 miles northeast of Los Angeles and one of 10 camps where more than 110,000 Japanese Americans were interned during World War II, highlighted the historical connection and modern relevance of the camps among Japanese American and Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian people.