ISLAM and MUSLIMS IN ARGENTINA
National name : República Argentina
Land area : 1,056,636 sq mi (2,736,690 sq km); total area: 1,068,296 sq mi (2,766,890 sq km)
Population (2008 est.) : 40,677,348
Capital and largest city (2003 est.): Buenos Aires, 13,349,000 (metro. area), 2,768,772 (city proper)
Other large cities : Córdoba, 1,486,200; Rosario, 1,276,900; Mendoza, 988,600; Mar del Plata, 683,700
Monetary unit : Peso
Languages : Spanish (official), English, Italian, German, French
Ethnicity/race : white (mostly Spanish and Italian) 97%, mestizo (mixed white and Amerindian ancestry), Amerindian, or other non-white groups 3%
Religions : nominally Roman Catholic 92% (less than 20% practicing), Protestant 2%, Jewish 2%, other 4%
National Holiday : Revolution Day, May 25
Literacy rate : 97.2% (2001 est.)
Economic summary : GDP/PPP (2007 est.): $523.7 billion; per capita $13,000. Real growth rate: 8.5%. Inflation: 8.5% official rate; actual rate may be double the official rate.
Second in South America only to Brazil in size and population, Argentina is a plain, rising from the Atlantic to the Chilean border and the towering Andes peaks. Aconcagua (22,834 ft, 6,960 m) is the highest peak in the world outside Asia. Argentina is also bordered by Bolivia and Paraguay on the north, and by Uruguay and Brazil on the east.
First explored in 1516 by Juan Díaz de Solis, Argentina developed slowly under Spanish colonial rule. Buenos Aires was settled in 1580; the cattle industry was thriving as early as 1600. Invading British forces were expelled in 1806–1807, and after Napoléon conquered Spain (1808), the Argentinians set up their own government in 1810. On July 9, 1816, independence was formally declared.
Islamic History and Muslims
Islam in Argentina is represented by one of Latin America's largest Muslim minorities. Although accurate statistics on religion are not available (because the national census does not solicit religious data) the actual size of Argentina's Muslim community is estimated between 2-2.5% of the total population (800,000-900,000).
Early Muslim immigration
Recent Immigration and Conversion More recent Muslim immigration is comprised mostly of immigrants from South Asia. Reports of conversion to Islam amongst Argentines has grown in recent years, although no accurate data exists with regard to their numbers.
Islamic Institutions In Argentina
New Muslim Stories
Mo’ámmer Mouhiddín Darman
This it is the history of how did I know the Islam, and of what things I saw in it that caused they felt me that had found the best of the roads. The first time that read on the Prophet, its history passed completely inadvertent to my thoughts among those of other historic personages. But with the years I could recall clearly to have felt a strange longing for somewhat indefinite. My parents were atheists, cultured and educated people that had lived with worry and sensibility the political events of their epoch, and the already common and permanent interventions of United States in Latin America. They taught me a critical image of the catholic Christianity, to the which they saw, not without reason, like a religion of white rich that collaborated with innumerable dictatorial states, but also they had a skeptical position on all the religions in general.
My parents responded to all my questions without lying me, and already to short age they began to speak me as to an adult on questions ethics, political or philosophical that the remainder of the parents of family would have omitted like talking point with their children, and of that way they faced me crudely to the problems of the surrounding reality. With the years, I came I understand that was that harshness the one that permitted me to understand to the world and to the people, and not to be an ignorant one drowned in the sterile entertainments, like there is so many. And I understood that not to face the children to the reality is a crime that engenders the worst wrongs for the company.
In tuning with their way to think, they instilled me the love by the reading of political, historic, and scientific themes. At home there was not no book of religion neither comic strips of superheroes. My first readings were on paleontology and history, through a collection of magazines for boys that exposed the universal history in the shape of comic strips, call "there was once the Man….", since the apparition of the dinosaurs to it was modern. The part 6 was called "The Conquests of the Islam", and I read there, to the age of 7 or 8 years, a brief outline on the life of the Prophet that remained in my memory for always, along with a comment of Lamartine on the greatness of Muhámmed.
But on, all my interests concentrated fundamentally in reading on disciplines of the science done not contemplate by the religion, like astronomy and relativity, quantum mechanics, paleontology, evolucionismo, etc.
Was not but until I was about 16 years old that I had again contact with the culture of next East, through a beautiful work that I continue reading regularly: "The Prophet", of Jalil Yibrán. Through this book, I related me for the first time with a vision of the not oppressive religious life, that I associated immediately with the Arabian culture, and that was very in tuning with the ideas humanists on the human Being and the company that my family taught me. But by above all, he was done me evident something that had always felt without being able to verbalize it: the deep refusal and repulsion that caused me the predominant European spirituality in my country.
Not a lot of time spent until I began to stir along with some friends in every culture and old and distant religion: the buddhism, the Hinduism, the esotericism, the culture and beliefs of the American aborigines, the rastafarismo, etc. All these disciplines left me strong teachings and convictions that were me moving away progressively of the atheism of my education, but none constituted for me an integral religion, understood as a form of life. Only the Islam and the Judaism strangers for me remained.
A lot of time spent until I could read for the first time a translation of the Sacred Koran. It lived alone in the city of Cordoba, Argentina, and I did me associate of that of the Popular Library to remove material of study for the school. I asked for a list of books that since time ago he wanted to read and he did not obtain, and among them was the Koran. It was a translation of a western Christian author, Hernandez Catá, previously translated of the Arab to the French in the middle of the 1700 and retraducida to Spanish at the beginning of the 20th century. It contained quantity of imprecisions, and some negative comments of the translator. I remember to have read in one of those comments: "Mohammed fought the idolatry, but he sowed new errors therefore he fought the Trinity
When there was read a third of the Koran, and in spite of the negative comments of the translator, after a life of active antireligious education, without to have known never an Arab neither to a Moslem, not even to a Jew that could have spoken on the unit of God and the not-divinity of Jesus, I already was firmly convinced that I was Moslem, of that he had found The way of life that I wanted to continue.
A week later was asking questions in the city Hall of the City of Cordoba to locate a mosque. When I arrived there for the first time, a gentleman attended me very shy and distrustful peguntándome what wanted. I told him with every audacity and conviction: "Hello… I am Moslem, and I want to learn more on the religion". The elder did not seem very convinced. He treated me with arrogance, he asked me how had known the Islam and thought that what I there was read was no use at all. Then it sent me to the Arabian Company Moslem of Cordoba. There I began to concur to the yumu' to, the common prayer of the Friday.
When I converted me to the Islam, for a long time I caused I convinced it that the Koran was something as well as a testament of the Prophet, by an error of translation of my book, I believe that in Surat go-nisá, where said: "The Koran is the word of the Faithful Messenger", versicle that alludes to the angel Yibril, but that the author believed that alluded the same Prophet, to whom also he is mentioned like the Messenger. By oversight or apathy of the old Arabs that received me there, did neither I pronounce my testimony of faith set against two witnesses, as to a year after considering me Moslem and to have begun to practice regularly the salah
It subtracts me to do then a summary of reason I elected it, and what things they impressed me of the Islam. My election of the Islam as the most beloved discipline itself due to the exquisite proportion with which contains all that that know about the world and that I consider important. The Islam is for me as a spacious house in the paradise, in whose corners all the good thing lives together that have seen of this world, and a reasonable promise and cord to know what do there is beyond my death. And, I am nothing original in this, I felt upon knowing the Islam that I had been always Moslem without knowing it, and were few the things that I should change to adapt my customs to him.
In the Islam I saw summarized the great majority of the moral orders on the organization of the company, debates that in my house were common and that occupied always a pre-eminent place in my mind. In the Sacred Koran and in the stories of the Prophet, I found the better lessons on ecology, psychology, and human rights. George Bernard Shaw, writer and Irish thinker, said: "The Moslem right is 200 ó 300 advanced years to West".
And I found also with I please and surprise that the Moslem towns conserved with responsibility and severity those original teachings to understand or not its meaning, in such a way that so much through western historians as the orientals is possible to be done a real idea of the teachings of a prophet that gave to the world something more than miracles, and of the history of its community in the world. It impressed me of the Islam not only its rigorous and absolute respect by the monotheism, but also its prison sentence to the idolatry, the superstition and the obscurantism. During years, had believed that the religions were a backward form of culture and traditions, in which was taken for all types of truths myths and falsehoods and was worshipped with sinister affection dummies painted by hand, at times mutilated and torture victims. Seeing these things caused cultivated me an attitude extremely "antireligious", that years later jelled paradoxically in a form of living and to think known as religion.
Do not yet I leave my amazement upon being a witness of a religious community that does not have clergy, that fasts during all a month each year to know the hunger of the poor, that considers that every authority should be offered in consideration to the merit, that does not see the man a sinful and evil creature, and that offers glory and licitud to the basic rights of the human Being, as A family and to have an own criterion. That is to say, the right to have an own faith and a personal relation with God, without intermediaries. A religion that requires all these good things as only road to be consecrated to God, amazes me for its uprightness and wisdom, and even that moment did not believe that to exist something thus.
Through the Islam I found purity, not a purity based on the monastic isolation neither in the Puritanism, but in seeking the healthiest form of satisfying our needs and to relate to ours similar. But by above all, it fascinates me to verify in the texts of history of the own scholars of West that the Islam carried to the consummation of many plural and idealistic companies, and to its leaders to exercise the authority with a moral height that believed impossible in the human Being. The religions of West could never produce a company thus, save when the European towns lived in tribes and villages, origins that all the westerners we recall now with inexpressible nostalgia, through the epic movies. The religions of the empires of West only have brought pain and irrational abuses to the world, and no wonder that in our companies dominate now an absolute skepticism on the mutual solidarity and the survival of the humanity, and a childish and empty liberalism.
I believe really that the Islam will save the humanity, as saved and took refuge along the history not only to the Moslems, but to all the towns pursued and tormented by West, as to the Christians of the primitive churches and to the Jews. I believe in a religion that respects the limits of the individual rights, and the public and collective rights, condemning the exploitation of the man by the man and the oppression and the authoritarianism. I believe in the religion of a simple man that taught that all the people we are equals like the teeth of a comb, and ordered to pay the laborer its salary before the sweat caused by its work have itself evaporated of its front. The governments of West say to abhor the Islam by being a violent and obsolete religion. And many Moslem traditional towns, they say to abhor the ideas and the sciences of West by being opponents to the religion, and never they would put their children in contact with the socialist ideas of Latin America, with the evolutionary paleontology neither with the Theory of the Relativity of Einstein. And thus it seems divided the world, between hemispheres and apparently irreconcilable ways of life.
But I cannot understand that. I cannot take in serious the opinion of the common people besides what my conscience dictates me, besides the opinion of the wise of the history, even be wise westerners, and even less on that of the Koran and the Prophet. For me, to read and to continue the large thinkers and scientists of West carried me to consider seriously the mystery of the creation and the conscience, and I do not find which is the incompatibility with the Sacred Koran and the teachings of the Prophet. They will neither be able to explain never these and those how my atheistic education carried me to love the Islam, neither how the bloody invasions and the economic oppression are the result of a West illustrated, modern and autosuperado. This is because the truth is not in East neither in West, but in the history of the humanity and in the mystery that originated it. And who go me truly the human Being, never he cannot despise the mystery that surrounds us and that origin he gave him. That the peace and the blessings of God be with all you.
Islamic Centers and Organizations