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Centro Islámico, the nation's first Spanish-speaking mosque, was founded just over a year ago in Houston. Photo: Univision

Latino Muslims Say Trump's immigration policies have 'changed everything'

Muslim Latino play a unique role as a bridge between the nation’s Muslims and Latinos, two groups in the crosshairs of the Trump Administration.

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Last month, Isa Parada became the first full-time imam at Centro Islámico, the nation's only Spanish-speaking mosque, in Houston (TX). The congregation, which counts among it dozens of Mexican Americans and other converts, serves one of the fastest growing segments of Islam in the U.S.: Latinos.

Now, with the president’s sweeping immigration changes through his travel ban and deportation push, those at Centro Islámico have been affected in ways few imagined when it launched just over a year ago on the far western edge of Houston.

"Man, he’s changed everything," Parada, a Salvadoran American, said of President Trump, as reported in the L.A. Times. “In some ways, he’s turned our world upside-down.”

According to the Pew Research Center, there are more than 100,000 Latino Muslims in the U.S, a small proportion of the 55 million Latinos living in the country. They’re concentrated in areas with large Latino populations such as California, Texas, Florida and New Jersey.  New York’s Alianza Islámicaopened a storefront mosque in mid-1990s, but it closed down by 2005. Houston’s Centro Islámico is among the first to organize since then, and has become the heart of the community. 

Muslim Latino play a unique role as a bridge between the nation’s Muslims and Latinos, two groups in the crosshairs of the Trump Administration. Representatives of both have taken to the streets and courts to battle the White House.

Read more in the L.A. Times

 

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