(SACRAMENTO, CA, 4/22/08) – On Saturday, April 26, the California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CA), in cooperation with the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), and Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress (NCRR), will lead a group of Muslim community members and leaders to visit the first camp established to intern Japanese-Americans during WWII.
The group, including the imams of some of the largest mosques in the area, will take part in the 39th Annual Pilgrimage to Manzanar, an event intended to raise awareness of civil rights abuses in our country’s past with the aim of preventing them from being repeated. Formerly known as “Manzanar War Relocation Center,” the central California site was one of ten internment camps that held more than 10,000 innocent Japanese-American men, women and children during the war.
SEE: Pilgrimage to Manzanar (InFocus)
This year’s pilgrimage marks the 20th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which granted an official apology and reparations to Japanese- Americans interned, without due process, during WWII.
With the theme “Continuing the Legacy,” the daylong program will feature talks from internment camp survivors, their children and interfaith and community leaders. A film screening, interfaith prayer service, open mike session, and performance by UCLA Kyodo Taiko will also take place at the camp.
“The Japanese American internment period reminds us that we must continue to be vigilant and stand up against injustices taking place in our society,” said CAIR-CA President Masoud Nassimi.
CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR-LA Communications Coordinator Munira Syeda, Tel: 714-776-1847 or 714-851-4851, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR-SV Executive Director Basim Elkarra, Tel: 916-441-6269, E-Mail: email@example.com