HomeCommunity IssuesTwo Circles: Film documents sad chapter in South Asian American history

Two Circles: Film documents sad chapter in South Asian American history

An American Mosque South Asian Americans have a long history in the United States dating back more than a century.

A little known, but more recent chapter in their history, happened in 1994 when arsonists burned down a mosque under construction in Yuba City CA that was nearing completion.

Despite the setback, the community rallied to rebuild it.

The story is documented in a new film An American Mosque by David Washburn.

Washburn is currently raising money through Indiegogo to reach out to PBS stations across the country to get the film shown.

Two Circles recently interviewed Washburn about the project.

“I was deeply affected by anti-Muslim rhetoric following 9/11. I thought, “Here we go again,” just the next minority in a long line to be cast as the “the enemy.” It happened to Japanese Americans after WWII, I know because I have written about it and researched this history here in California. Of course, my own background as a Jew, tells me that this bigoted language, Islamophobia, is dangerous and is the first step towards dehumanizing a group of people and ultimately results in violence. We have witnessed this. To counter this trend, we need to tell stories that show our common humanity to reduce the distance between members of different faiths. That’s where I can play a role as documentary filmmaker.”

You can read the entire interview on Two Circles and see a clip below. You can learn more about the Indiegogo project here.


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