Islamic prayers mingled with the bustling sounds of traffic as he prostrated himself in prayer in a little mosque in Havana, Cuba, recalls Diego Santos, a Cuban-American who traveled to the communist state not long ago to visit his family.
A recent convert to Islam and a writer who prefers not to use his real name, Santos says that Islam in Cuba—like in America—is becoming more visible and that during his stay he found no attempt to repress it. In fact, after jum’a, Friday prayers, Santos talked openly in Spanish about Islam with fellow Muslims while strolling down the crowded streets of old Havana, even passing the government offices of the Cuban Community for the Defense of the Revolution, which has a notorious reputation for being the snitch center for Cuban rule breakers. "Nobody was hiding their Islam in Havana," says Santos.
Back in Los Angeles, Santos attends meetings of the Los Angeles Latino Muslim Association (LALMA), an organization working to help inform the Latino community about Islam. Santos says as a Cuban-American that he has been well embraced by the Muslim community in America because his conversion confirms Islam as a universal religion. Santos hopes that more people will understand that Islam is for everyone whether they live in Europe, America or even Cuba.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
from cross to crescent
From Cross to Crescent: Why Latinos are increasingly converting to Islam by Anthony Chiorazzi is another typical human-interest story on Latinos and Islam. This article stands out because it offers a glimpse of Islam in Cuba: