Third Symposium on Asians in the Americas
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
New Brunswick, NJ

The Community Church of New York
28 E. 35th Street
New York, NY 10016

June 14, 2013

The Jerusalem Fund
2425 Virginia Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20037

March 23, 2013

San Jose Peace and Justice Center
(between Santa Clara and San Fernando)
48 South 7th Street
San Jose, CA

2012 has been a breakthrough year for Enemy Alien as well as for Life or Liberty's next project, the Tule Lake Documentary.

Screenings and Events

Bring ENEMY ALIEN to the classroom!

Indiegogo campaign launched to support outreach and complete classroom version!

Enemy Alien was completed as an 81-minute feature documentary in 2011, and has been screening at festivals and community organizations across North America. In its first six months of educational distribution, the film was acquired by ten universities.


But the film’s impact has been greatest in the educational and community outreach screenings that have brought together students, Asian American, Arab and Muslim community organizations, legal students and practitioners, and activists.

Much has been accomplished with this film to engage audiences and communities, but more is possible, with your help.

This campaign's chief goal is to make Enemy Alien fully available for community and educational use, and to continue the work of Life or Liberty in bringing stories of resistance to wartime incarceration to light.

Funding is needed to pay for:

  • Educational and community outreach in the next year
  • Editing of a 60-minute classroom version
  • Vital equipment upgrades for Life or Liberty postproduction suite
  • First stage of research for the Tule Lake Project

Engagement with audiences has been especially keen in community and classroom settings where I can be present for discussion to share what I’ve learned making the film and studying the pertinent issues. Many deserving venues have only limited funding to support travel and outreach expenses.

For classroom use, documentaries need to be 60 minutes or less to allow time for viewing and discussion. Funding is also needed for producing a study guide for for educational use.

In April, the aging edit suite on which Enemy Alien was completed broke down. Thus, support is urgently needed for equipment and software to complete the educational version and continue on to Life or Liberty's Tule Lake project.

Your contribution brings you into the ever-expanding circle of people and organizations who have supported this film on its challenging journey to completion, which began when Farouk was in prison and the outcome of his struggle was in doubt.

Thank you gifts include:

  • Full-color prints of the photos my grandfather took in Topaz incarceration camp
  • DVDs and downloads of Enemy Alien and other Life or Liberty projects
  • Your name honored as a Sponsor of the educational version
  • amusing and disturbing Homeland Security documents from Farouk's case

When all looked darkest in Farouk's struggle, I found inspiration learning about my grandmother's resilience and seeing, for the first time, the stunning photographs my grandfather took of camp life, despite the War Relocation Authority's ban on photography.

Though many reading this may have learned something about the World War Two incarceration of Japanese Americans, this university student’s testimonial shows how important Enemy Alien is in making this history and its lessons for today known:

"I was unaware of the injustices shown to Japanese Americans during WWII. .... I had heard all the propaganda about terrorism and the (Arab American) business owners (sending) their money home to make bombs to kill Americans. I am embarrassed to say how ignorant I was but it is the truth. …Enemy Alien affected me deeply and made me revisit some of my preconceived notions and beliefs. I have shown the video to a number of my friends who were also unaware of the injustices shown Japanese Americans. “

The film has enjoyed recognition from filmgoing audiences as well, including the Toronto Palestine Film Festival, the Maysles Film Center in NYC, and DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon, where the film received a Jason D. Mak Social Justice Award. This year I was also honored to accept, on behalf of Farouk, a Courage Award from the Pacific Asian Community Alliance.

Farouk was driven by a profound conviction of solidarity, always connecting the struggles of the wide range of communities he moved among to form grassroots alliances. The story of his ultimate struggle against state violence continues to fulfill his life purpose through this documentary. Your support will insure that Enemy Alien can reach and fully engage its audience.
Please give what you can, follow Enemy Alien on social media, and spread the word about this campaign!

For online contributions we are fiscally sponsored by Fractured Atlas, so your contribution is tax-deductible. Because this campaign is run on flexible funding, your contribution will help the project even if the goal is not reached.

ENEMY ALIEN at Tule Lake Pilgrimage 2012

Saturday, June 30, 2012 - 8:00pm

Tule Lake site and vicinity

Enemy Alien DVD cover
Enemy Alien DVD cover
Enemy Alien DVD cover
Many of the most egregious violations of human rights of the World War Two incarceration of Japanese Americans happened at Tule Lake Segregation Center, but also many of the most resonant acts of resistance. The director will be participating in the pilgrimage, screening Enemy Alien and discussing it with participants, and furthering research for the Tule Lake Project.

When Enemy Alien was a nearly completed work-in-progress, it was a powerful experience showing the film, which touches on the history of Tule Lake, to men and women who lived it at the 2010 pilgrimage. (as shown in pictures). This pilgrimage promises to deepen this experience in presenting the completed film and continuing to learn.

Website of the Tule Lake Committee, organizers of the pilgrimage

ENEMY ALIEN Garners Awards and More at DisOrient 2012

Communing with socially engaged university students, Nikkei and Palestinian folk.

It was exciting to learn the DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon chose Enemy Alien as their centerpiece film, and when they expressed their hope that I could attend the festival it was clear this would be an important part of the film's outreach as well as a great festival experience. The festival has a strong ties with the University of Oregon, and the Multicultural Center at UO hosted a meet-and-greet with the Arab Student Union and MEChA, who engaged me in an incisive discussion of the film and the discoveries I made about the continuity between the WW2 incarceration of Japanese, Italian and German Americans and today's racialized immigration detention regime.

Each screening of Enemy Alien has forged serendipitous links between communities. This time I had the pleasure of getting to know local personage Ibrahim Hamide, a Palestinian who has lived in Eugene for decades. In addition to being a dedicated human rights organizer, Ibrahim is the most beloved restaurateur in town, with three amazing restaurants.
Ibrahim Hamide and Konrad Aderer at DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon 2012

I was honored to have Ibrahim introduce my film at the festival and participate in the discussion following. He also happens to be the brother of one of the L.A. 8, a group targeted in an infamous 20-year witch hunt against pro-Palestinian free speech in the U.S.

I was also deeply touched to receive an honor on behalf of Farouk Abdel Muhti. The words on the award are well chosen: “PAC Alliance Award for courage / presented to Farouk Abdel-Muhti / Whose bright courage can never be dimmed by tyranny.”

And then on the closing night of the festival I was uplifted and humbled to receive a second award in my own name, the Jason D. Mak Award for Social Justice. I feel I also share this award with Farouk, but it is great to have received this recognition for my Enemy Alien, my first feature, as I develop my second.

Konrad Aderer receiving Jason D. Mak Social Justice Award for Enemy Alien

There was yet another surprise Palestinian connection in Eugene. I found out that Shadia Mansour was performing at a Muslim Students Union event at UO the day after my screening. I’d met her sister Nancy in September when she participated in the panel for post-screening discussion at Alwan for the Arts.

So I finally got to see "the first lady of Arab hip hop" live and experience what an instinctively engaging performer Shadia is. She and Nancy also do great work with Palestinian youth and are raising money to cover this summer’s tour: Existence Is Resistance Voices and Visions Tour 2012

With the help of this exceptional festival, I feel more connected with the West Coast Nikkei and Asian American community and can continue making the most of Enemy Alien outreach at Tule Lake Pilgrimage and Japanese American National Museum. I also made some key contacts for the next Life or Liberty project, a documentary on the Tule Lake Segregation Center.

ENEMY ALIEN at DisOrient Film Festival, Oregon

Saturday, April 28, 2012 - 8:00pm

Bijou Art Cinemas

492 East 13th Ave

Eugene, OR

DisOrient poster
DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon

Filmmaker Konrad Aderer will be in attendance at the screening. The day before the screening, the University of Oregon's Arab Student Union, the Asian American Pacific Islander Student group and students organizing BDS work will hold a meet and greet with Konrad (Friday, April 28, 4:30pm at the Multicultural Center).

Buy tickets

DisOrient Asian and Pacific Islander American Film Festival of Oregon is a social justice film festival dedicated to deconstructing the media stereotypes of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans as “Orientals.” We believe in the power of film-as-art to educate, heal and improve the lives of people by giving voice to their experiences.

New York Supporters Mark 10th Anniversary Of Local Palestinian Activist’s Arrest

See video

Contact: David L. Wilson,
For Release: April 24, 2012

Friends and supporters of the late Farouk Abdel-Muhti are meeting in Lower Manhattan the evening of April 26 to remember the New York-based Palestinian activist on the tenth anniversary of his arrest by U.S. immigration authorities. Abdel-Muhti remained in detention for almost two years despite an intense campaign for his release. He died of a heart attack just three months after he was finally set free.

Additional background on Farouk Abdel-Muhti:

Film screening and discussion to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the arrest of Farouk Abdel-Muhti
Time: Thursday, April 26, 7:00pm
Location: A.J. Muste Memorial Institute, 339 Lafayette Street, New York, NY

Among the participants in the April 26 event will be Center for Constitutional Rights attorney Shayana Kadidal, who since working on the Abdel-Muhti case has served as Senior Managing Attorney for the Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative; MacDonald Scott, now a legal representative with No One Is Illegal Toronto; and filmmaker Konrad Aderer, who produced a documentary on the case, “Enemy Alien.”

The film, which connects Abdel-Muhti’s imprisonment to Aderer’s own family history and the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, will be shown as part of the program.

Abdel-Muhti’s arrest drew attention at the time in part because the government detained him about a month after he began producing live interviews for local radio station WBAI with activists in Gaza and the West Bank.

The campaign for his release was also significant as a test of the Supreme Court’s 2001 decision in Zadvydas v. Davis, which set a six-month limit in most cases for the detention of immigrants awaiting deportation. As a stateless Palestinian, Abdel-Muhti could not be deported. The government knew this, but still managed to keep him imprisoned for two years in a process that the federal judge in the case described as “Kafkaesque.”

Abdel-Muhti’s supporters say the arrest is still relevant now, at a time when the New York Police Department tries to justify spying on Muslims engaged in peaceful activities and a ranking House Republican, Lamar Smith of Texas, feels free to joke that immigration detention is a “holiday.” “It’s not clear how much we’ve learned in the past ten years,” Abdel-Muhti supporter David Wilson says. “We still have a lot of work to do.”

The participants will be available for interviews by arrangement.

Resources: Website:
Twitter: @enemyalien
Additional background:

ENEMY ALIEN at Chicago Palestine Film Festival

Sunday, April 22, 2012 - 5:15pm
Wednesday, May 2, 2012 - 8:00pm

Gene Siskel Film Center

11th Annual Chicago Palestine Film Festival
From April 20 through May 3, the Gene Siskel Film Center collaborates with the Chicago Palestine Film Festival to present the eleventh annual festival representing the spirit and mood of contemporary Palestinian life. This festival is dedicated to exhibiting film and video work that is open, critical, and reflective of the culture, experience, and vision of the artists.
Sun, Apr 22nd at 5:15pm
Wed, May 2nd at 8:00pm
Gene Siskel Film Center
164 N. State Street (between Lake and Randolph)
Chicago, IL

Anniversary screening of Enemy Alien at A.J. Muste Memorial Institute

Thursday, April 26, 2012 - 7:00pm

A.J. Muste Memorial Institute
339 Lafayette Street, corner of Bleecker Street, Manhattan [map]
Muste room, third floor (buzzer #11)

A special screening of Enemy Alien to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the arrest of Farouk Abdel-Muhti, in the very room where his core supporters regularly met to organize the fight for his freedom. Screening will be followed by an open discussion with the filmmaker and people who were involved in the case, including Center for Constitutional Rights attorney Shayana Kadidal, who now serves as Senior Managing Attorney for the Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative, and MacDonald Scott, legal representative with No One Is Illegal, Toronto.

Facebook event

ENEMY ALIEN recommended by Booklist, purchased by universities

We are pleased to report that the feature documentary Enemy Alien has been recommended for educational use by Booklist Online:

“This film, which allows us to see parallels between the treatment of Muslims following 9/11 and Japanese Americans in WWII, is a strong reminder of the fragility of human rights and an excellent discussion prompter.”

Read Booklist Online recommendation

Since its release by educational distributor Third World Newsreel in 2011, the documentary has been purchased for the collections of:

Bobst Library, New York University
Duke University
George Mason University
Loyola University
Ohio State University Research Foundation
San Jose State University
Tufts University
University of Washington

Enemy Alien director Konrad Aderer recently presented the film for discussion to a class in Immigration Law at Buffalo State University, and this year he'll also attend the post-screening discussions at the University of Oregon (April 27-28), the Tule Lake Pilgrimage (June 30 & July 3), and the Japanese American National Museum (September 8).

Detainee Mohamed Mahjoub Speaks at Toronto ENEMY ALIEN screening

Whose Borders? poster
Report from No One Is Illegal - Toronto on their public screening of Enemy Alien March 16:

People thought the film was very impactful, and they saw direct parallels to the Canadian context. Following the Enemy Alien screening, Mohamed Mahjoub (, living under a security certificate since 2000, spoke to the gathering about his case and said the film really spoke to his own personal experience.

A security certificate is an extraordinarily draconian measure in Canadian immigration law that enables non-citizens to be held, without charge, almost indefinitely, under vague allegations of being a "terrorist threat" and on the basis of secret evidence that is never shown to the detainee. Mahjoub, an Egyptian refugee and father of two, was detained pursuant to a "security certificate" in 2000, first in Toronto, then at the max-security Kingston Immigration Holding Centre. He was then placed under house arrest in 2007 and was only recently released from house arrest as he pursues his legal case.

This screening of Enemy Alien was the first of NOII's new film series "Whose Borders?" which was started to showcase films that speak to the violence of borders, and to highlight the ways in which communities struggle against those borders in defense of their lands/rights. Our goal is to always start with one film about indigenous struggles; this screening began with a short film about KI First Nation: and a speaker from the KI Support Committee.

Through this film series, which we hope to hold every 1-2 months, NOII wanted to showcase films of vital but seldom-told stories as a way to outreach beyond the Toronto left/activist scene. Toronto is host to a number of film festivals and we wanted to reach out to more mainstream audiences that frequent such events. Enemy Alien was an auspicious film to kick off the series in that it was a high-quality, well-produced and well-told story, that helped give our film series credibility.

No One Is Illegal screening of ENEMY ALIEN in Toronto

Friday, March 16, 2012 - 7:15pm

Palmerston Library

560 Palmerston Avenue

Toronto, Canada

Whose Borders? poster
No One is Illegal - Toronto Presents:

Whose Borders?
An evening of politics, popcorn and picture shows!

Facebook event


Enemy Alien (dir. Konrad Aderer, 81 mins.): The gripping story of the fight to free Farouk Abdel-Muhti, a Palestinian-born human rights activist detained in a post-9/11 sweep of Muslim immigrants. Told through the eyes of the filmmaker, the grandson of Japanese Americans held in internment camps during World War II, this documentary provides an intimate look at detention regimes past and present.

Kanawayandan D'aaki - Protecting Our Land (Praxis Pictures, 12 mins): Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) First Nation has governed and cared for their indigenous homelands since time immemorial. This is a short film about their ongoing struggle against the theft of their land and resources by resource extraction companies and the government, and a call for action, solidarity and support.

**Plus speakers from the Mohammed Mahjoub Support Committee and the KI Support Committee**

Join us for the first of a series of film screenings where we highlight issues of indigenous sovereignty, migration, resistance, and together ask "Whose Borders?"

No One Is Illegal (Toronto), a group of immigrants, refugees and allies who fight for the rights of all migrants to live with dignity and respect.