Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Hispanic women are converting to Islam

Tampa Bay Online:

Perez's sentiments seem to resonate with U.S. Latinas, who are embracing Islam in increasing numbers. They join a faith dominated in the United States by blacks, who make up about half the estimated 6 million followers, according to a 1990 study by the American Muslim Council, the most recent available. Followers of South Asian and Arab descent constitute about 35 percent.

Numbers of Muslims are difficult to determine since faith is not included in the U.S. census, but there is abundant anecdotal evidence that more Hispanic women are adopting Islam.

"We're definitely seeing more Latina converts," said Ahmed Bedier, director of the Central Florida Office of the Council on American Islamic Relations. "It's really a phenomenon because the stereotype is that Islam oppresses women, so why would they want to choose a religion that would restrict their lifestyle?"

Helping fuel the growth is an increase of information available to Hispanic converts, Bedier said.

Korans written in Spanish and other works are available, and distribution has been on the rise, he said.

There is support online for Hispanic Muslims from groups such as the Latino American Dawah Organization and Hispanicmuslims.com.

Mohamed Moharram, head of the local Muslim American Society, is not surprised by the growth in Latina converts.

"At the last open house we had four Latinas in one day convert to Islam," he said. "The fact is, Islam elevates the status of women. Muslim women see it [the faith] as a liberation from undue hardships that society puts upon them."

Is this what liberals mean when they say that Hispanics are assimilating into the American mainstream culture?

2 Comments:

At 9:06 AM, Anonymous Stuka said...

If all they have is "anecdotal evidence," I bet the numbers of Latinas converting to Islam are fairly small. I think this is another propaganda piece designed to scare White people.

 
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