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CAIR Leader: Visit to Former California Concentration Camp ‘One of the Most Profound Trips I Have Ever Taken in My Life’

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/29/19) – More than 30 leaders from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, participated last weekend in the 50th annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, joining more than 1,900 Japanese Americans, other community members, activists and allies.

Manzanar was the first to open of the 10 U.S. concentration camps that unjustly held more than 120,000 Japanese Americans, including infants, children and families, during World War II.

Every year since 1969, people have traveled to the camp as part of a pilgrimage to understand this shameful chapter in American history and honor the strength and resilience of former incarcerees.

The California chapter of CAIR (CAIR-CA) has been partnering with the Manzanar Committee and various Japanese American organizations on the pilgrimage for the past 15 years.

SEE: Nearly 2,000 Visit The California Desert To Remember A Dark Chapter In American History

Over the weekend, CAIR leaders from across the nation heard from former incarcerees, learned about the history of racism that preceded the camps and shared their own stories as American Muslims facing similar rhetoric today.

CAIR leaders posted their reflections and moments from the journey on social media, using the hashtags #CAIRManzanar2019 #NeverAgain and #NeverForget.

Addressing a group of pilgrimage attendees, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:

“This trip, to me, was probably one of the most profound trips I have ever taken in my life ”¦ I feel that you are us and I hope that we are you. And your cause is my cause. Now I feel that we are in full circle. We bond. We connect. And our fight is a fight for justice.”

To find more photos, videos and posts from the weekend, search #CAIRManzanar2019 on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Visit CAIR’s Facebook page [] to find videos of some of the events in which CAIR took part.

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.


CONTACT: CAIR National Chapter Manager Asma Rehman, 202-909-3486,;”¯CAIR-LA Communications Manager Eugene W. Fields, 714-717-5015,; CAIR Strategic Communications Manager Arsalan Bukhari, 206-931-3655,”¯

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