Slowly, Argentina now more accepted Islam. The number of Muslims has reached three million people. Argentina name is always synonymous with football. A number of names soccer players of the world are born in this country. For example, Diego Armando Maradona, Gabriel Omar Batistuta, Mario Kempes, Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez, Maxi Rodriguez, and Gabriel Heinze. Maradona is one of the world’s best players of the 20th century, along with Edson Arantes do Nascimento, the Brazilian, who fondly called Pele.
Maradona is a very popular name in that country rather than the name of the president of Argentina. He even equated with ‘the Saviour’ for Argentina, thanks to the ‘hand of god goal’ which he created in the 1986 World Cup semi-final goal against England. And, thanks to a goal that also, Argentina advanced to the 1986 World Cup final, eventually became the 1986 World Cup champions. Some people think Maradona’s Argentina as a ‘god’.
However, on the other hand, not many people know the unique predicate that also carried the state which has an area of 2.7804 million square meters. Amid the euphoria of the people who love football, there are Muslims who live in the midst of a majority of Christians.
Yes, Argentina is one of the populous Muslim countries very much. In fact, the biggest compared to other countries in Latin America. Then, how many Muslims in this country? The question was certainly not feasible for juxtaposed and compared with Middle Eastern or Asian country, which is the largest Muslim country in the world. Because, Latin America is a Christian missionary territory since the area was conquered Europe in the early 16th century. And, amid the cold war between the West and the Islamic ideology today, exactly the teachings of Islam can flourish and thrive there.
Although the Muslim population in a country that has the official name of the Argentine Nation was ranked fourth, nuance and religious proselytizing Muslims is so high there. This can be evidenced by the establishment of a number of mosques in Argentina. In Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, has established a large mosque in 1989.The mosque is now a center of worship and proselytizing of Muslims there. In some cities in Argentina, now also stand firm mosques and stately. Number has reached tens. Islamic syiar increasingly widespread in Argentina after an Islamic studies center, named The King Fahd Islamic Cultural Center, built in 1996. Islamic studies center building is located in a middle-class neighborhood in Palermo, Buenos Aires. The project which is cooperation between the government of Argentina and Saudi Arabia was built on an area of 34 thousand square meters. This study center equipped with building a mosque, library, two schools, parks, and ample parking.
In this place, usually Muslims gather and assess about science and Islamic culture. Especially during Ramadan, chanting culture and values of Islam is so rife echoed. Growing rapidly regarding the number of Muslims in Argentina, it’s hard to find figure. Some data sources mention different figures. According to the records of The CIA World’s Fact Book, in 2004, of a total population of Argentina, who reached 39,144,753 people, only two percent who embraced Islam, which is about 782,895 souls, the rest are Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish. Meanwhile, Roman Catholic is the majority religion in a country known for dance tangonya it. However, according to one newspaper report in Argentina, Clerein, the new Argentine citizens to convert to Islam now increased to 900 thousand people. And, if the Muslim immigrants who were there added up as a whole, could reach more than three million people. Thus, estimates of Muslim population in Argentina increased from initially 700 thousand now become more than three million inhabitants.
Increasing Muslim populations in Argentina is recognized Centre for Islamic Studies in Argentina, Centro de Estudios Islamicos, institutions that focus on preaching and the study of Islamic culture in Argentina. The institute is mentioned in this century Islam growing rapidly in Argentina, the indication is the increasing number of adherents of Islam.
Much argentine society became Islam. Allegations that the United States intensively conducted and other Western countries to the Muslims, since the tragedy of 11 September 2001, as perpetrators of global terrorism, it could create suspicion of Muslims in Argentina. However, once after a two-way dialogue, tension and suspicion disappear by itself and many negative allegations posted on the Muslims, not so ignored Argentine society. While Muslims in Argentina, have shown spirit and nationalism. This is what makes passionate message of Islam is increasing there.
Like most Muslims in the world, Muslims in Argentina also made daily based on their respective professions. They worked from morning to evening. For the metropolis, they perform worship by not abandon their obligations as professionals. While those who live in rural areas, they live in harmony and coexistence. As dusk arrived, they gathered again at home. Generally, because the location of the mosque opposite the location of the house, they perform Maghreb prayer with the family in their homes.
the role of immigrants from the Middle East, like Syria and Lebanon, making the message of Islam in Argentina looks increasingly crowded. The fact that many migrants is introduce Islam to the population of Argentina. They migrated to the territory of Argentina in the early 20th century, and formed settlements in the midst of the native population. They live in harmony and peaceful without any sense of suspicion and hostility.
However, long before the arrival of Lebanese and Syrian immigrants, the Muslim community has been formed on Argentine soil. The arrival of the first Muslim immigrants has coincided with the arrival of Spanish explorers and Portuguese nationals in the territory of Argentina. The number of Muslim immigrants continues to grow after the Argentine became the colony of Spain.
Among the most famous Arab immigrant families Menem, who came from Syria and a Muslim? Former Argentine president, Carlos Menem, is one of the descendants of this family of Syrian immigrants. Although his ancestors were Muslim, he himself is a devout Roman Catholic. Because this is the religion factor, Carlos Menem allowed participating running for president of Argentina. In the prevailing constitutional rules, the president of Argentina must be a Roman Catholic. However, this rule is abolished in the 1994 constitutional reform.
It is estimated there are now approximately 3.5 million people of Arab descent Argentina. The Argentine Arab descent is not only converted to Islam, but also Christians and Jews. In fact, you could say most of the descendants of Arab immigrants are Christians and Jews, and perhaps just less than a quarter of the descendants of Arab immigrants who truly Muslim.
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As a country with the largest Muslim populations in South America, Islam has developed quite rapidly in Argentina. Therefore, the Muslim community in this country feels the need to introduce Tango figure of the Prophet Muhammad, the bearer of the message of Islam, to the people of Argentina. According to the latest research results pollsters the United States, the Pew Research Center, said that Argentina has 800 thousand Muslims. However, several other institutions mentioned, the number of followers of Islam in Argentina to reach three million people.
Islamic Center of Buenos Aires in cooperation with the Organization of the Islamic World, held a level of education to introduce the figure of the Prophet Muhammad to the people of Argentina. As the report released by Saudi Press Agency (SPA) in February 2009 and then, levels of education is one way to recognize the figure of the Prophet Muhammad.
The implementation of this education, as quoted by SPA, aims to study the sides in a case example of the Messenger of Islam. Thus, the expected non-Muslim communities in Argentina have come to know in greater depth the human figure the Great, the Prophet Muhammad.
Saudi Arabia Embassy in Buenos Aires is responsible for administering the program. Implementation of Islamic education program was conducted in the year 2009. More than 50 people from the mubaligh Muslims, mosque imams, and the committee of Islamic organizations throughout Argentina, will follow the education program.
In addition to the rather large population, the existence of Islam in Argentina can also be seen from a number of names of places and cities in this country, who use these terms rooted and derived from the language of Muslims, namely Arabic.
Dr. Youssef Mroueh, of the Preparatory Committee for International Festivals to celebrate the millennium of the Muslims arrival to the Amricas, in his essay entitled Precolumbian Muslims in America say; in the area of Argentina are the name of the cities of Cordoba and Bahia.
Cordoba is a city in the Islamic caliphate that had ruled Spain in the region today. In Argentina, Cordoba was the name the capital of a province in Argentina is located about 700 kilometers northwest of Buenos Aires.
While in the history of Islamic civilization, Bahia is one of the palace relics of the glory of Islam in the city of Marrakech, Morocco. While in Argentina, there is a town called Bahia Blanca. The city is located in southwestern Argentine capital, Buenos Aires. (badrislam.blogspot.com)
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