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Muslims in the WestFrom Sojourners to Citizens$
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Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195148053

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195148053.001.0001

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Mexican Muslims in the Twentieth Century: Challenging Stereotypes and Negotiating Space

Mexican Muslims in the Twentieth Century: Challenging Stereotypes and Negotiating Space

Chapter:
(p.278) 18 Mexican Muslims in the Twentieth Century: Challenging Stereotypes and Negotiating Space
Source:
Muslims in the West
Author(s):

Theresa Alfaro Velcamp

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195148053.003.0019

The first Muslim immigrants began this process of negotiation with Mexican society once they decided to settle and become part of the Mexican nation. Questions remain, however, about who really were the first Muslims. Some experts have suggested the first Spanish conquerors included some Muslims; however, little has been found to substantiate this claim. Most scholars indicate that the first Muslims were Arabs who came at the end of the 19th century from the Ottoman Empire. How Mexican Muslims negotiate their religious space is directly linked to what is perhaps their biggest challenge, namely the “turco” stereotype that is associated with Muslims throughout Latin America. The construction of Arab identity, which is inextricably linked to the issue of Muslim identity, can be understood in terms of its historical development and the place of Arabs and Muslims in the national discourse.

Keywords:   Muslims, immigrants, Mexican Muslims, Arabs, Ottoman Empire, turco, stereotype, Latin America, identity

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