Muslims in South America

History, presence, and visibility of a religious minority in a Christian context

Authored by: Marco Gallo

Routledge Handbook of Islam in the West

Print publication date:  August  2014
Online publication date:  September  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415691321
eBook ISBN: 9781315794273
Adobe ISBN: 9781317744023


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The study of Muslims and Islamic presence in Latin America has been for a long time unsystematic if not completely neglected, but in these last years a renewed interest is appearing. This is due to various different reasons but, above all, to the growing public presence of Islam not only on a global scale, but also in Latin America. It is obviously difficult, if not impossible, to summarize this history and this presence; not only because Latin America is not a homogeneous region, but also because this new Islamic presence has produced a lot of different reactions and discourses: politics, religious institutions, universities, the media, and the internet above all are producing an impressive amount of data and new sources. These sources may have been analyzed on an urban, regional, or national level but still require a complete analysis. Furthermore, much of this data is coming from Islamic groups, and is often limited to an apologetic approach. This is also strongly related to the historical problem of the first Islamic presence in Latin America.

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