Latinos emerge as fastest-growing group of Muslims in US: report

There are an estimated 150,000 converts to Islam among the Latino community in the US

News Desk December 30, 2015

More and more Latinos are converting to Islam and have emerged as the fastest-growing group of Muslims in the United States, according to official measures.

According to a California newspaper, an estimated 150,000 have converted to Islam among the Latino community in the United States.

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The Islamic Society of North America has been tracking the trend of Hispanic converts to Islam, which in 2006 stood at an estimated 40,000.

Some community leaders said the recent growth of the demographic has its roots in a shared experience of immigration and the negative political rhetoric that advocates have deemed as anti-Muslim.

Mark Gonzales, a Muslim poet and artist in California, said that immigration officials' targeting of Mexicans and Muslims after the September 11 terror attacks helped the two demographics find common ground. “Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the world, and Latinos are converting to Islam at a rate higher than any other [ethnicity],” Gonzalez, who converted to Islam 12 years ago, said.

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Most Latino Americans belong to the Roman Catholic Church, according to religion data tracked by the Pew Research Center. But the Catholic share of the Latino population has declined, while the number of Latinos who are Protestant or report no religious affiliation has risen.

Jihad Turk, president of Bayan Claremont, an Islamic graduate school in California, said that Islam is most similar to Catholic beliefs. “Muslims not only believe in God and the Ten Commandments, but also in Jesus as Christ born to the Virgin Mary and her story is told in the Quran in more detail than it’s told in the Bible,” Turk said.

As a result of the increasing number of converts, organisations have formed in the US to assist in the merging of Latino and Muslim communities.

Rida Hamida, president of the Arab American Chamber of Commerce in Orange County, California, has been working with Latino Muslims to highlight the merging of cultures.

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A series of public events have also been scheduled for the new year which will focus on the time of Muslim rule in Spain and Portugal, from 711 and 1492, when Muslims, Christians and Jews cohabited along the Iberian Peninsula.

This article originally appeared on International Business Times


Ayaz Munir | 8 years ago | Reply @curious2: My dear, there are 2 billion Muslims , with hardly 100,000 terrorists , i hope you wont call Muslims terrorist as well, since you consider proportions so much Important. Love and peace
Ayaz Munir | 8 years ago | Reply @powvow: Just one reply to your comment dear, that you show nothing but more ignorance and more hatred.
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