(OAKLAND, CA, 4/16/08) - The San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Council on American Islamic-Relations (CAIR-SFBA) cooperated this past weekend with The Enemy Alien Files Consortium & Partners to launch "Inalienable Immigrant Rights" as a multicultural effort and intergenerational dialogue on challenges to civil liberties during World War II and post-9/11. The event, which was hosted at Oakland Museum of California, featured youth voices with personal stories, videos and cultural performances.
Guests had the opportunity to listen to the stories of civil liberties and human rights violations experienced by immigrants of Japanese, Italian and German descent in America and from Latin America, identified as "enemy aliens" during World War II - along with stories by Arab, South Asian, Muslim, Latino, African, Asian Pacific Islander and other youth today, impacted by post-9/11 policies and practices.
A panel of expert respondents including; Lawrence DiStasi, Laura Rivas, Hiroshi Shimizu, Adeel Iqbal, Arnoldo Garcia, and Karen Parker, educated the group about the hidden internments of World War II and post-9/11 and current efforts to secure government accountability and redress.
CAIR-SFBA Civil Rights Coordinator Mahrukh Hasan said, "It is only by hearing the personal stories and experiences of each of our diverse communities that we may recognize the similarly devastating human impact of such government policies that violate our most precious civil liberties. It is our hope that those who attended the program have left with a renewed commitment to upholding human dignity and justice and for all."
Members: American Italian Historical Association, German American Internee Coalition, Japanese Peruvian Oral History Project, National Japanese American Historical Society.
Partners: American Muslim Voice, Council on American-Islamic Relations and National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. Major funding provided by the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program
CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.