Actor and activist George Takei of “Star Trek” fame is expected to present more than 300,000 petition signatures to leaders of the Muslim Public Affairs Council Monday to show solidarity at a City Hall event scheduled to be attended by Mayor Eric Garcetti.
The presentation — meant as a demonstration of support to the Muslim community — is to be held at Los Angeles City Hall at 6:30 p.m. and comes after President Donald Trump issued an executive order on Jan. 27 that temporarily banned immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries. The order has since been halted by the federal courts and may end up before the Supreme Court.
Garcetti is scheduled to speak at the presentation, which the mayor’s office called the “Never Again” event, borrowing language often used to refer to the Holocaust.
The 79-year-old, Los Angeles-born Takei is a Japanese American who was held in U.S. internment camps during World War II beginning when he was five years old and who wrote in the petition that he sees parallels between that experience and what is now happening in the country.
“During that time, fear and racism drove government policy, creating a living hell for over 120,000 innocent Japanese Americans, most of whom were U.S. citizens,” Takei wrote. “I have spent my life trying to ensure something like this never happens again. But dark clouds once more are gathering.”
Takei also wrote about the possibility that Trump may create a registry of Muslims.
“It starts with a registry, with restrictions, with irrationally ascribed guilt, and with fear,” Takei wrote. “But we know well where it might lead.”
Takei’s petition can be found on the Care2 Petitions website, which says the petition has a goal of 320,000 signatures, with 317,041 having been collected.
Trump was asked about a Muslim registry by reporters during the campaign and on several occasions suggested that he supported the idea. In November 2015, when asked by an NBC reporter if he would implement a registry as president, he said, “I would certainly implement that, absolutely.”
After the election, a spokesman for Trump issued a statement maintaining that the president never advocated for the idea of a Muslim registry.
“National security must never again be permitted to justify wholesale denial of constitutional rights and protections,” Takei wrote. “If it is freedom and our way of life that we fight for, our first obligation is to ensure that our own government adheres to those principles. Without that, we are no better than our enemies.”
—City News Service