The Latino community is often thought to be staunchly Catholic – and more recently tied to evangelical protestantism – but our community actually makes up a sizable percent of the Muslim population. According to WLRN, Latinos are the fastest-growing group within the US Muslim community. Some estimates put the figure as high as 10 percent. To boot, many Latin American countries boast growing Muslim communities thanks to concerted evangelization efforts and an increasingly large body of religious literature available in Spanish. But despite all of this, we don’t pay nearly enough attention to this demographic. That’s why, PEN America is hosting its second-ever chat on being Muslim and Latinx.
Using the hashtag #LatinxRamadan, PEN America “[invites] Latinx Muslims to discuss their experiences and share their cultural traditions during Ramadan.” The conversation will feature Eren Cervantes-Altamirano, Antonio De Jesus Lopez, Hazel Gomez de Crain, Mark Gonzales, Ramon Mejia, and Nahela Morales.
The conversation is part of PEN’s The M Word, which focuses on all aspects of the Muslim-American experience. “The M Word seeks to elevate, amplify, and celebrate the diversity of Muslim-American voices,” The M Word site reads.
As several occurrences have shown us just this year – most recently with 22-year-old Darwin Martinez Torres killing 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen – Islamophobia exists within the Latino community. And now more than ever in a political climate that brazenly demonizes both Latinos and Muslims as encroaching threats, we need to stick together and work to dismantle Islamophobia within our own community. The #LatinxRamadan conversation is one step forward. Tune in on Twitter at 1 p.m. ET today.