Chapter

Mexican Muslims in the Twentieth Century: Challenging Stereotypes and Negotiating Space

Theresa Alfaro Velcamp

in Muslims in the West

Published in print April 2002 | ISBN: 9780195148053
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849277 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195148053.003.0019
Mexican Muslims in the Twentieth Century: Challenging Stereotypes and Negotiating Space

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The first Muslim immigrants began this process of negotiation with Mexican society once they decided to settle and become part of the Mexican nation. Questions remain, however, about who really were the first Muslims. Some experts have suggested the first Spanish conquerors included some Muslims; however, little has been found to substantiate this claim. Most scholars indicate that the first Muslims were Arabs who came at the end of the 19th century from the Ottoman Empire. How Mexican Muslims negotiate their religious space is directly linked to what is perhaps their biggest challenge, namely the “turco” stereotype that is associated with Muslims throughout Latin America. The construction of Arab identity, which is inextricably linked to the issue of Muslim identity, can be understood in terms of its historical development and the place of Arabs and Muslims in the national discourse.

Keywords: Muslims; immigrants; Mexican Muslims; Arabs; Ottoman Empire; turco; stereotype; Latin America; identity

Chapter.  8115 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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