Duncan Ryuken Williams

Duncan Ryuken Williams is a Soto Zen priest and Director of the Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Culture at the University of Southern California.

IdeasMagazine | Special Section

Camp Dharma

The recent talk of a Muslim registry isn’t the first time the United States government has targeted individuals based on their religion. Duncan Ryuken Williams shares the often overlooked stories of Buddhist Japanese Americans who were…

By Duncan Ryuken Williams

When Buddhists Were a “National Security Threat”

With Duncan Ryuken Williams

When Buddhists Were a “National Security Threat”

On February 19th, 1942, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued an executive order designating military zones along the West Coast and laying the groundwork for US authorities to remove citizens of Japanese descent from their homes and imprison them in camps. While it is widely acknowledged that racism was central to this shameful chapter of American history, the role of religious discrimination cannot be overlooked, says scholar and Soto Zen priest Duncan Ryuken Williams.

Here, Williams joins Tricycle Editor and Publisher James Shaheen to discuss his new book, American Sutra: A Story of Faith and Freedom in the Second World War, how Japanese Americans in internment camps stood up for religious freedom, and how this disturbing legacy of persecution has taken on new relevance.

Listen Now on Tricycle | iTunes | SoundCloud

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