Chapter

The Act of Remembering: The Reconstruction of U.S. Latina/o Identities by U.S. Latina/o Muslims

Hjamil A. Martínez-VÁzquez

in Decolonizing Epistemologies

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780823241354
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823241392 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823241354.003.0007

Series: Transdisciplinary Theological Colloquia (FUP)

The Act of Remembering: The Reconstruction of U.S. Latina/o Identities by U.S. Latina/o Muslims

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This chapter, written by Hjamil Martínez-Vázquez, describes the conversion of some Latinas/os to Islam as acts of re-membering, or reconstructing memories, in order to construct a new identity that challenges the orthodox narrative. Against the view that Latinas/os are descendants of the Iberian Spaniards who came to the Americas in order to impose their “Hispanic” culture, Muslim Latinas/os argue for a pre-Hispanic, Iberian identity that acknowledge and celebrates the Moorish and Jewish, or Marrano, histories. Martínez-Vázquez shows how contemporary Latina/o identity is predicated on the uncritical acceptance of a Hispanic latinidad that excludes, erases, and denigrates a Muslim past that in fact was very rich and determining for the basic elements of Latino culture. The essay aims to articulate the power of acts of remembering as deliberate acts of fashioning new cultural identities and resisting the tendency to produce homogenizing identities that exclude and oppress.

Keywords: Latino/a; Marrano; Moor; Iberian Identity; Latinidad; Muslim

Chapter.  8879 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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