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Sunday 29th of November 2020
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Iran's Islamic Revolution Caused A Return to Islam in Argentina

The History of Muslims in Argentina goes back over a century ago to 1850.The first immigrants were mostly from Syria/Lebanon who sought to escape the Ottoman rule. They were registered as Turks due to the fact they had Turkish travel documents at that time.
Iran's Islamic Revolution Caused A Return to Islam in Argentina


The History of Muslims in Argentina goes back over a century ago to 1850.The first immigrants were mostly from Syria/Lebanon who sought to escape the Ottoman rule. They were registered as Turks due to the fact they had Turkish travel documents at that time.


 
 
The first official registration of Syrians as Arabs was in 1899. By mid 20th century, it was estimated that over 100,000 ethnic Arabs lived in Argentina. The high rate of intermarriage and the desire to integrate lead the new immigrants to adopt Catholicism as their new religion. As a result, numbers of second generation Argentinean Arabs who define themselves as Muslims dropped by `. And, the Arabic language mostly disappeared from Argentinean-Arab households, by the time the third generation was born.
 
Muslims in Argentina represent several sects including Sunni and Shia. There are also Druze and other communities. Muslim leaders estimate community member’s numbers to be about a million Muslim, while others argue the count is much lower. Most Muslims live around Buenos Aires and only the town of La Angelita has a Muslim majority.
 The Islamic Center of Argentina (CIRA) was founded in 1931, eighty years after the first arrival of Muslims. The Mosque is a religious, cultural and educational non-profit society. In 1981, CIRA built the first masjid with Islamic architecture style in Argentina. CIRA is composed of three bodies: The Al Ahmad Mosque, the Arab- Argentinean collage, and the social and administrative headquarters. According to the Center’s leadership, they represent the majority of Argentinean Muslims. All Muslim sects are welcomed to worship there.
 Imam Omar Abboud served as an officer in CIRA’s Culture center. It is not clear if he has any present connections with the Center. While in office, he worked to affirm CIRA’s role to nurture the community’s “Islamic identity with Argentine characteristics.” He was quoted: CIRA is the “mother institution of all Muslims” and the one that represents the community to the State. In December, 2013, CIRA board members met with President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner to discuss ways to help the Syrian refugees in Argentina.
 According to Abboud, “the first generation came to make money, the second generation dedicated themselves to spending it, and the third generation, profoundly Argentine, decided to return to Islam.” Professor Ricaardo Shamsudin attributes the “return to Islam by the third generation to the impact caused by the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979.”
 Other smaller mosques serve the Shia community and the Alawites (second largest Arab community in Argentina).
 Today, Muslims in Argentina have no umbrella organization dedicated to unify them. The headquarters of the Islamic Organization of Latin America (IOLA) is located in Buenos Aires. IOLA’s mission is to promote unity among Muslims living in Latin America.
 


source : irib
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