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Vigilance Against Injustice


Sunday, April 2, 2017 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm

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Event to bring together Japanese American, Jewish, and American Muslim communities
Organizers aim to discuss concrete actions based on lessons from incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, Holocaust in Europe

On Sunday, April 2, an event at the Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS) will bring the Japanese American, Jewish, and Muslim communities together for a night of reflection and solidarity.  The discussion event aims to uncover lessons from the Incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II and the Holocaust in Europe, and the parallels that we can draw from those events to the bigotry and irrational fear of minority groups that is spreading today.  Representatives from each community will share their stories and provide insight into what we can learn about the past so that we can build a stronger future together.

The event is a joint collaboration between the Islamic Center of Bothell (ICOB) and the Muslim Association of Puget Sound. 

“It’s vitally important that we take a look at everything that is going on in this country, and how minority groups are coming under attack. The most important thing we can do is come together and support one another, because when ordinary people stand by idly and do nothing, or give into irrational fear and hatred, that's when society fails. We have to take the examples of the tragedies that came before us and understand how we can learn from them so we don't repeat our mistakes,” said Ryan Welton, who is the Director of Interfaith and Outreach at the Islamic Center of Bothell and also the lead organizer for the event. 

Welton also provides his thoughts on the role of American Muslims in the fabric of American society:

“American Muslims share the same American values and freedoms that we all cherish, knowing that we are all in this together and uphold the Constitution and the laws of the United States. American Muslims share our country’s strong family values, dedicated to raising and educating our children, and want to succeed in the traditional American way – by working hard and supporting our families. American Muslims deserve the same opportunities as all Americans – to build better futures for our families and children.”

Details: Sunday, April 2, 2017 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS)
17550 NE 67th Ct. Redmond, WA 98052

Event Speakers

Aneelah Afzali (event moderator and MC) is the Executive Director of MAPS-AMEN (American Muslim Empowerment Network), an organization that seeks to spread awareness about Islam, build coalitions with other faith and activist groups, and empower youth to reach their full potential as leaders.  Aneelah is a graduate of Harvard Law School and worked as an attorney for several years, before dedicating her career to interfaith advocacy work.

Kenji Onishi is a Japanese American who lived through the camps in World War II, and was 15 years old when he was incarcerated. After graduating from high school he was drafted into the military and served in the US Army until 1946.

Dale Watanabe is an International Advisor at Seattle University and has served on the Board of Directors for the Friends of Minidoka National Historic Site.  He has given presentations at Seattle University on the history of Japanese American Incarceration during World War II, and the lessons to be drawn from it.

Ron Friedman is an attorney who serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Holocaust Center for Humanity in Seattle, whose mission is to combat bigotry and bias through the lessons of the Holocaust.  Ron is the son of a Holocaust survivor.  Ron was a federal prosecutor in Seattle for many years prior to entering private practice, and has done work for Muslim Advocates, a national legal advocacy group, educating individuals as to their civil liberties.

Tarek Dawoud is the President of the Washington Chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations of Washington State (CAIR-WA), and also the President of the Interfaith and Outreach Committee at the MAPS.  He works in the technology sector and has been educating others about Islam for 15 years in the Seattle area.


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