Set for Senshin Temple – Saturday, December 8th, 2001

Candlelight vigil on September 28th in Little Tokyo

A "Breaking of the Fast" will be held at Senshin Buddhist temple, located that at 1311 West 37th Street, Los Angeles, on Saturday, December 8th, 2001, from 4:00 p.m.. This program is part of a series of the events being organized by the Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress (NCRR) September 11 committee.

During the holy month of Ramadan, which began on November 17th, Muslims take no food or water from sunup until sundown and they are encouraged to break the fast and eat with extended family and friends.

The community is invited to participate in this "Breaking of the Fast" event in order to begin a dialogue with the Muslim community. This "Breaking of the Fast" program was proposed by the Muslim Public Affairs and counsel (MPAC) as an initial exchange where both communities could share their cultures and experiences in a more informal setting.

The event will begin with an explanation of the fast and Ramadan. Reverend Masai Kodani of Shenshin Buddhist temple, who spent some time in Afghanistan, will talk about Buddhism and how Buddhists, like Muslims today, were suspect that after Pearl Harbor.

The program will include prayer, poetry, cultural performances and a potluck dinner.
We hope that people will get to know each other on a more personal level and that this will be the beginning of many more exchanges, Kamal Abu-Shamsieh of MPAC

In response to the attacks in New York and Washington, 300 people gathered at a candlelight vigil on September 28th in Little Tokyo to express support for the victims of September 11, to speak out against the scapegoating of Arabs and Muslims and to oppose terrorism of any kind.

Several organizations sponsored the vigil and many expressed the desire to continue to give support and learn more. The NCRR September 11th committee was formed to help plan events that build understanding between the Japanese American-Asian American community and the Arab American and American Muslim communities.

Members have been meeting with the American Arab anti-discrimination Committee, the Muslim Public Affairs Council and the Council on American Islam relations and will be meeting with the South Asian network to coordinate and plan ongoing exchanges.

In November, the committee sponsored a presentation by the Afghan Women's Mission about the work of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan. This "Breaking of the Fast" is the second event and will be followed by another program on Civil Liberties and National Security in January.

Those interested in attending the "Breaking of the Fast" event are asked to bring food to share (please no pork dishes). For more information, call NCRR at (213) 680-3484.