World Bulletin/News Desk
Nearly 75 representatives of 40 Muslim minority countries, have come together in Istanbul for the first Latin American Religious Leaders Meeting with the discussion of the issues that surround Muslims that live in Latin America.
During the meeting, the issues surrounding lack of organizations to meet children's religious education and the lack of Spanish speaking imams was raised. Hosted by the Department of Religious Affairs under the title of "Building Our Tradition and Future" and attended by Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Venezuela, Peru, and Columbia, issues regarding the Muslim minorities in South America was discussed.
Other countries including Costa Rica, Haiti, Honduras, and Jamaica and other countries make up a population of nearly 4.5 million Muslims in South America as well as those in Brazil and Argentina. The issue of aiding the younger generation in warming towards Islam and to establish organizations to help meet their needs.
The summit was joined by five religious organizations, including the Eurasian Islam Council, the African Religious Leaders Summit, the Meeting of European Muslims, the Balkans Meeting of Religious Directorate Leaders and the World Islam Scholars’ Peace, Moderation and Foresight Initiative.
Need for Unity
The meetings that continued for four days highlighted the need for Muslims in the South American to be united. once the census is complete the number of Muslims residing in South America is estimated to be nearly 30% of the population of South America. This count, according to the American Muslim Association President, Mazen Mokhtar, indicated that there is a high rate of conversion to Islam amongst those of Latin American descent and that this meant that there was a pressing need for Spanish and Portugese speaking imams.
Islamophobia in South America
Muslim representatives said that in contrast to the West, there is very little Islamophobia and that the Muslim minorities did not have as many problems as the Muslims in other Christian countries and that the geography reflected a peaceful Islam. the United Cuban Islamic association leader Yahya Pedro Lazo Torres, said that they were free to practice their religion in the communist run country.
Establishing the first Islamic Centre nearly 20 years ago, Torres explained that Muslims were recognized under the constitution socially and politically and were permit to teach Islam and Islamic Sciences. Cuba, who does not allow personal wealth however time to time has made it difficult to accommodate for building space for the Islamic organizations, provide Islamic reference material and halal food. They agreed that by supporting each other and having a united system would provide for a better outcome for Muslims in South America.
Last Mod: 15 Kasım 2014, 16:29