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Posts Tagged ‘Latin@’

ALHAMDULILLAH

Another one of Jewelize444’s videos: I love this girl. The whole time I was watching this video I was like, “Diles Mama!” (Tell’em girl! in Spanish).She is taking big strides for us Latin@ Muslims everywhere. May Allah bless her for education others about being Latin@ and Muslim. Ameen!

Here’s her blog, it’s awesome check her out! Us hermanas (sisters) need to support one another 🙂
http://www.angeljewelz.blogspot.com/

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Found this as I was getting ready to go to my last day of work before I go back to school (what the what?!?!). She has other stuff on her channel too. Check her stuff out. JAK to the sister for making a video about being Latina and Muslim!

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La Mission

WATCH IT.

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Islam is supposed to be a universal faith and I truly believe it is.

My favorite Qur’anic quote is: “O mankind! We created you from a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes that you may know and honor each other (not that you should despise one another). Indeed the most honorable of you in the sight of God is the most righteous.” – The Holy Qur’an (Chapter 49, Verse 13)

I always think to myself: If God had so chosen, we could have been of all one race, one culture, one ethnicity. But He didn’t do that. He didn’t make me a descendant of the Incas for nothing. However, sometimes it’s sometimes difficult to remember to appreciate these differences. At a past event, a Muslim speaker was talking about difficulties he/she had crossing borders to get to events and he/she said, “I feel like a Mexican!” Everyone laughed and I sat there, not believing what I had heard. It probably wasn’t intentional, but really dude?

This encourages the stereotype that all Mexicans are undocumented and also makes a joke out of undocumented status and fear of deportation, something that is a very serious, very painful, and very real matter to many families. Even though us Latin@ Muslims aren’t the biggest presence, we’re there and we deserve to have our cultures and struggles respected as much as other traditionally Muslim cultures.

To end on a higher note, here are some sources of inspiration to look to if you’re having a down moment because you might be feeling a little of an identity crisis. Somos completamente Musulmanes y completamente Latin@s. Being Muslim is part of your Latinidad and being Latin@ is part of your Islam.

Yannina Casillas of UCLA went through periods of feeling like she had to over compensate for her Latinidad but is finding her way as a Mexican Muslim woman. http://lagente.org/2011/02/19/confessions-of-a-muslim-latina/

Mark Gonzales is part of the Human Writes Project and is also Mexican and Muslim:

Because Allah ta’ala made me both…

By MusliRican

http://muslirican.blogspot.com/

Hejab on my head
With a machete dangling from my neck
I’m not a terrorist
Just a bonafide Boricua with coquis on my mind
I love the flares of salsa skirts
With claves and congas singing to my heart’s content
While I prostrate on the sands of Rincon
Awaiting the whales to make their presence
Borinquen is my paradise
Allah is my creator
Yes–I can inhabit both spaces
And when bachata comes on the radio
I move three steps lift
Three steps lift
And when the azhan is called
“Allahu Akbar” and “Bismillah” run out of my mouth
Give me some piraguas with a side of dates
A little of sunlight with a dash of breeze
As the scarves surrounding me beckon to worship
I can dance merengue in the privacy of my room
As mis hermanas talk about who is cuter in the group
Because–we are Boricuas loving our land
We are boricuas dancing our traditional beats
We are boricuas wearing our big fluffy skirts
We are boricuas eating our arroz con habichuelas
We don’t have to occupy one of your little boxes
Entrenching our identities into something you can
label
We don’t have to deny our abuelitas and our salsa
beats
So I can’t eat pernil anymore.
It’s okay–pork has never been my thing any ways
But I can still enjoy las playas as I wet my feet on
Caribbean oceans
Because I am more
More than your dichotomies
More than your ideologies
I am not just a Boricua
Or someone who worships Allah
So if you need a label to satisfy your curiosity
I’ll give you one now
With Qur’an in hand
Y bandera in the other
I am beyond your words
Because I am a MusliRican

Taken from LADO newsletter, The Latino Muslim Voice January-March 2010 issue. LADO is the Latino American Dawah Organization which gives out info about Islam to Latin@s and gives Muslim Latin@s a place to talk Islam. Definitely check them out.

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I wanted to start blog 1) things important to me and happenings in my daily life to those out there that care but also because I 2) want to help dispel stereotypes about Muslim and Latina converts. My conversion journey took two years. Not only was I educating myself about the faith and such but also because I was worried that my culture wouldn’t fit with Islam very well. I am very, very proud of my latinidad. As we would say in high school and middle school, “I didn’t ask to be Latina, I just got lucky.” And I’m very blessed to have been born into my culture. But how would I fit in as a Muslim? Some sites aimed specifically at Latino converts enforced that I could no longer attend family parties, baptisms or weddings (“Haram, sister.”) nor could I keep my name, because it’s supposedly a Christian name, I should change my name if I didn’t want to commit a grave sin (“Ya haram.”).

But wait, hold up. Gabriella comes from the name Gabriel, a Hebrew name which means “God is my strength.” What’s non-Muslim about saying that God, Allah (SWT), is my only source of strength and sustenance? Furthermore, what could possibly be haram about being named after Jibril, the angel who told the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) to recite and therefore, revealed to him the words of God, which are the Holy Qur’an. Additionally, Jibril told Maryam aka Mary (AS), that she would give birth to Isa aka Jesus (pbuh), one of the holy prophets.

So I freaked out. I couldn’t do this. No way would I be willing to give up my name, my family and my culture. However, then I came across this article:

http://muslimahmediawatch.org/2008/04/no-mas-por-favor-stereotypes-of-latina-muslims-2/

I’m not going to recap the whole thing but it is really, really interesting. It basically talks about the way Latinos Muslims are stereotyped into a box. Yes, some Latina Muslims decide to change their names but some don’t. Some Latina Muslims decide to wear hijab and some don’t. Some still go to all family events, and some decide not to participate in some gatherings. Some Latina Muslim converts decide to get married immediately and some decide to hold off. There is diversity in the Ummah, and this also goes for the Latinas. I no longer felt awkward about being myself and being Muslim. I didn’t want to change my identity and I didn’t. I was a Muslim all along and God just reminded me of the fact about 4 months ago. And Alhamdulillah, I’m so blessed.

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