Currently there are 250,000 Latino Muslims in the United States by Islam in Spanish, an organization working for the Latino Muslims. By 2020, according to the annual report presented by American Muslim Poll : Predicting and Preventing Islamophobia, Latino Muslims constitute 7% of the Muslim population of the United States.
According to WhyIslam.org, an Islamic organization, currently around 6% of American Muslims are Latinos out of which more than half are women. According to Dalia Mogahed, a prominent American Muslim scholar, there is a 700% growth in the population of Latino Muslims.
The relationship between Latinos and Muslims accounts for more than 1200 years. It is as old as the North African invasion of the Iberian Peninsula by the Umayyads (The Islamic Caliphate of 7th century) continuing till today, both Muslim and Latin immigrants living together in the urban neighborhood of the United States.
In classical Arabic, the Iberian Peninsula is known as Al- Andalus which comprises modern day Spain and Portugal.
In today’s post we’ll tell you about “6 reasons why Latinos are flocking to Islam in United States”.
1. Appeal To Women
More number of Latina women are converting to Islam than men. The reason is simple; Islam has given men and women equal rights unlike the male dominated Catholic churches which forbids women priests, birth control and divorce. Further, Islam has raised the status of women upto the extent that the “Paradise is beneath her foot for her sons. As a daughter, she is the key of paradise for her father, As a wife, she is the Queen of House, and a best friend and guide for her brothers.”
Apart from male dominant Catholicism there is ultra macho Latino society whose Spanish TV network still portrays women as spitfire sex pots. Contrary to this, Islam has given them dignity, respect and a unique identity of Muslim women with hijab. They are breaking the stereotype that all hijabis are Muslims and all Latinos are Catholics. According to a research, Latina women are converting to Islam after marrying Muslim men.
2. Arabic influence on the Spanish language
Muslims ruled the Spain for more than 800 years and left a long lasting legacy on Spanish language, In fact, there are more than 4000 words in Spanish that derives directly from Arabic such as ‘Camisa’ for shirt, ‘Pantaloon’ for pants and ‘Azucar’ for sugar. Further, every word in Spanish that starts with ‘Al’, for example alcalde, alcantarilla, almohada are directly derived from Arabic language.
3. Latinos exploring their Andalusian roots, when Muslims governed Spain
The Ummayad Conquest of the Visigothic Kingdom from 711 to 788 led to the destruction of Visogothic Kingdom and establishment of the Independent Emirate of Cordoba under Abd ar-Rahman I . In fact, this led to the expansion of Muslim rule into Europe. Muslim Empire flourished in the Spain for more than 700 years until the last Muslim Emirate, Granada was defeated by the armies of Castile abd Argon under Isabella and Ferdinand in 1492. Arabian Muslims ruled Spain for more than 700 years and made the Iberian Peninsula one of the most advanced civilization. The glorious past of Spain under the Muslims is an inescapable part of the Hispanic DNA.
4. Culture Affinity to the Muslim Culture
Latinos and Muslims highly values the extended family and offerings such as hospitality to strangers. In fact, Latinos are most amazing people having good nature. There are many similarities between both cultures. For some of the Latino reverting to Islam is something as they found their old traditions, customs and cultures that were kept hidden from them. It is like a discovery to their past.
5. Arrival of Muslim Immigrants From Middle Eastern Countries
After Independence from Spain, some Latin countries allowed migration from Muslim world. Today, there remains a significant portion of immigrants from Middle Eastern countries. Although most of them were Christian immigrants yet a small proportion of Muslim immigrants and their descendants are also living in Latin countries.
6. Simplicity In Islam
For many reverts, Islam is not just a religion but a complete form of life. They find Islam easy, logical, authentic and true unlike Christianity. Due to peace and uniqueness in Islam they saw it as proper religion which can bring stability into their disturbed life. The hectic life of Latinos in South America and vices in those societies led many of them to Islam. Drugs, alcoholism, gang war, robbery & crimes are so common and prevalent that people are moving in search of peace and tranquility. Most of the Latinos who reverted to Islam were the victims of the above mentioned vices. Luckily, they chose a true path.
Liked our article? Want to read more?
Subscribe us Now! Do comment your opinion below.