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‘No Muslim Ban Ever’

From left: David Monkawa, Kaz Matamura and her son, and Taiji Miyagawa were among the protesters.

A protest against President Trump’s Muslim ban on Oct. 15 in Downtown Los Angeles included a rally in front of the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo. Speakers included Rick Noguchi of JANM, former incarceree Kanji Sahara, and Kathy Masaoka of Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress, all of whom discussed the experience of Japanese Americans during World War II and linked it to the treatment of Muslim Americans today. Noguchi noted that the former Nishi Hongwanji temple building at First and Central was where local Japanese Americans had to board buses to go to camp. Masaoka talked about lessons from the redress movement of the 1980s. Sahara shared his memories of camp and vowed that Japanese Americans would protect Muslim Americans. The latest ban would affect various types of travelers from Syria, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Chad, Somalia, North Korea and Venezuela. Critics have charged that the latter two countries were added for the sole purpose of deflecting allegations of Islamophobia.


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