Arts and Culture

Join in Building Bridges With Colorado's Muslim Community on Saturday

On this holiday weekend, and after the recent events in Brussels, you couldn't find a more appropriate way  to spend Saturday afternoon than at Building Bridges with the Muslim Community, an event dedicated to fighting the ignorance and fear of Islamophobia and learning about Islam and the Muslim Community.

The event, sponsored by Mile High Japanese American Citizens League and the Coalition for an Inclusive Colorado, runs from noon to 3 p.m. at the Colorado Muslim Society, 2071 South Parker Road.

Explains Gil Asakawa: "I've been concerned about the anti-Muslim atmosphere of Islamophobia ever since the Paris attacks and subsequent San Bernardino shootings sparked talk of refusing refugees and banning Muslims. I initially made the connection with the Japanese American incarceration during WWII, but frankly, the situation today has the potential to be even more awful," says CIC's Gil Asakawa (who happens to have been Westword's first music editor. "I began planning an event and then teamed up with Robin Yasui, the niece of the legendary Denver civil rights leader Minoru Yasui, who coined an ad hoc group called the Coalition for an Inclusive Colorado."

The group made its public debut on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and began planning tomorrow's event well before the terrorist attacks in Brussels. At noon, Mayor Michael B. Hancock will welcome the crowd before a panel discussion titled: "How to Accept People Who Are Different From You," featuring Asakawa; Mostafa Hokoumi of the Colorado Muslim Society; Rev. Tezenlo Thong from the United Methodist Church; and Paul Juneja from the Colorado Sikh Community.

After a prayer, the group will move into two rounds of break-out sessions, covering everything from Islam 101 to hate crimes to explorations of faith and history. The event closes with a discussion of action steps to continue working toward cultural insight and community.

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