NCRR members attend Muslim Public Affairs Council picnic in May.

By Mike Yanagita and
Kathy Masaoka

Since the candlelight vigil in Little Tokyo, the NCRR 9/11 Committee has been actively developing closer relationships between Muslim and Arab American community organizations. Aside from the “Break the Fast” event at Senshin Buddhist Temple, in early December we joined the Burbank/Glendale chapters of MPAC at a picnic in Sierra Madre. Reverend Mas Kodani invited the attendees to the Senshin obon in July and a few were able to join the dancing. MPAC also invited our members to its Awards Dinner where individuals were recognized for their contributions to positive media images of Muslims. NCRR was thanked for its support of the Muslim community.

We have been involved in an ongoing process of educating ourselves and people in our own community about the issues facing Muslim and Arab Americans. After the Day of Remembrance program, ”l942 and 2002 - Without Due Process,” the committee sponsored a program on peace in the Middle East with Kamal Abu-Shamsieh, an Israeli speaker, Yosshi Khen and Cr. Mahmoud lbrahim of Cal Poly Pomona who explained the history of the current conflict and the efforts to establish a lasting peace. We hope to better understand these issues so that we may be a viable force in protecting and ensuring the civil liberties of all people and help promote peace in the Middle East.

Little Tokyo candle lite vigil for the victims of 9-11.
We feel it is important for everyone to understand these issues as it affects our relationship with other communities. We need to guard against another mass relocation of a people based solely on race does not occur again since the basis for the camps has not been overturned. There are still many in this country who look upon anyone who comes from a different country, religion or culture with suspicion and fear. This can easily Iead to another mass hysteria should any other terrorist attack happen. The better educated we are, the more communication we establish and the more understanding we have of each other, the more protection we will have from further injustices.

The NCRR 9/11 Committee plans to continue to deepen its relationships with MPAC,ADC,CAIR and SAN through such events as a women’s gathering, a “Break the Fast” during Ramadan. The committee is open to helping with speakers and educationals. The next event will be a film showing of hate crimes against South Asians sometime in the fall.

NCRR Muslim gathering join in discussion of breaking the fast.
Some things people can do:

1) Get involved. There are lots of organizations which are actively working to promote peace in the Middle East.

2) Log on to the websites of these organizations:,, icujp

3) Write / e-mail your congressperson-communication through the internet has become a powerful tool.