by guest contributor Tariq Nelson, originally published at Tariq Nelson
There have been soooo many articles about Hispanics/Latinos (particularly Latinas) and their interest in Islam. Nothing else to write about? Why not yet another article on Latin Muslims? One has to wonder why so much emphasis has been put on Latino Muslims in the media lately.
I suppose since the biggest media issues have been Muslims and Mexican illegal immigration, this would be the perfect hybrid story. It’s just that they’ve gone there so many times…
With her hijab and dark complexion, Catherine Garcia doesn’t look like an Orlando native or a Disney tourist. When people ask where she’s from, often they are surprised that it’s not the Middle East but Colombia.
That’s because Ms. Garcia, a bookstore clerk who immigrated to the US seven years ago, is Hispanic and Muslim. On this balmy afternoon at the start of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month, she is at her mosque dressed in long sleeves and a long skirt in keeping with the Islamic belief in modesty. “When I was in my country I never fit in the society. Here in Islam I feel like I fit with everything they believe,” she says.
Garcia is one of a growing number of Hispanics across the US who have found common ground in a faith and culture bearing surprising similarities to their own heritage. From professionals to students to homemakers, they are drawn to the Muslim faith through marriage, curiosity and a shared interest in issues such as immigration. Continue reading