Friday, August 27, 2010

The Manhattan Mosque Controversy through a Japanese American Lens

A recent blog points to a short interview with Scott Kurashige, Associate Professor of American Culture at the University of Michigan. Interviewed for Public Radio International's "The World," Kurashige is asked about comparisons between the treatment of Japanese Americans after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the controversy over building a Muslim community center near the site of the 9/11 attacks in Manhattan. Kurashige sees a parallel between the controversy over the center and efforts to block Japanese immigrants from building Buddhist temples and shrines in the decades surrounding World War II. (Kuroshige's own grandfather was arrested after the Pearl Harbor attack because he was a Buddhist priest.) The historian also wrote a trenchant editorial about "the use and abuse of historical analogy" by opponents of the proposed Muslim community center.

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