Latin Arabia

A World You Never Knew Existed

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

A Maronite Visit to Northern Uruguay


Forgive any errors in translation, but this video shows the enormous footprint
of Arabs – in this case Lebanese Maronite Catholics – in Latin America.
(Original Source)

This involves the vist of the World Union of Lebanese Communities’ representatives to 5 major Lebanese communities in Northern Uruguay.

What I did find interesting is that they claim there are 90,000 Lebanese in Uruguay while Wikipedia asserts there are only 70,000.

Again, as noted, the Arabs in South America are woefully under-counted. Also note the Christianity of Latin America Arabs.

Of particular mention in the video is the fact that there are 15 million Lebanese outside of Lebanon. Almost all of these expatriate Lebanese are Christian. About 11 million of them live in Latin America. Right now, only about 1/3 of Lebanon is Christian. Were all those 15 million to return to Lebanon, Lebanon would be over 80% Christian.

What is not mentioned is that a good portion of the Lebanese Christian exodus was ethnic cleansing by the Muslims.

This was a Maronite Catholic group. Almost all the Lebanese in Uruguay are Christian, if not all.

Maronites are a sect affiliated with Roman Catholicism, but where the local priests are allowed to be married before they are ordained. They are particularly noted for Marian (Mary) devotions.

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Lutheran Church – Bethlehem


Lutheran Church in Bethlehem


Bethlehem Christian scouts

In 1948, the city of Bethlehem was 85% Christian. By 1967, the population was 46% Christian. Recently, the Christians have dropped to 10% of the population in the metro area. Clearly, the flight of Christians was primarily during the era of Muslim control during the time of Jordanian rule.

There is also a large anti-Christian element in the Muslim community.


Violence against Christians

This is a very beleaguered community. Israel should be doing its best to reach a deal with them, rather than treating them to restrictions more appropriate for the Muslim community.


Sometimes the Christians don’t act Christian

There are Armenian, Coptic, Greek, Protestant, and Roman Catholic, and Syrian denominations in the city.

It is from this stock that Palestinian Arabs in Latin America primarily sprang.

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Islam in South America


(Original Source)
NOTE: This map comes from a Muslim source, but the numbers are exaggerated.
Believed to come in under fair use

In the Guyanas, and the Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago, a lot of indentured Muslim workers did come in from India, Indonesia, and Asia. These Muslims can form a noticeable percentage of the local population; but these countries tend to have small populations.

While Arabs are among them, the Arabs are not the base of the Muslim populations.

The odd fact is that the Arabs among them tend to be Christian, as this page from a Trinidadian goverment website proclaims.

Syrian/Lebanese Presence in Trinidad and Tobago

RELIGION

The last group of immigrants to venture to colonial Trinidad originated in the region previously known as Greater Syria, which comprises of present day Iraq, Syria, Palestine and Lebanon. Many of the Lebanese hailed from the villages of Buhandoun and Amyoun while the Syrians came from villages in the ‘Valley of the Christians.’ These Arabs emigrated to the Caribbean from as early as 1904 in an attempt to escape religious persecution and economic hardship in their native countries.

Arabs are very religious and quickly assimilated into the Roman Catholic Community. Although the Syrian-Lebanese were either Maronite, Antiochian Orthodox or Orthodox, they preferred to join the Catholic faith because, according to Rose Abraham, “[the Catholic Church] is the highest, the strongest church…the only church Arabs felt is a good church.” It can also be inferred that the similarity in rituals and teachings between the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches would have been comforting to the Syrian-Lebanese immigrants.

NOTE: The emphasis is mine.

Country Total Pop. % Muslim % Christian % Hindu Total Muslim Source
Suriname ~560,000 19.6% 40.7% 27.4% ~110,000 Wikipedia
Guyana ~753,000 7% 57  % 28  % ~52,510 Wikipedia
French Guinana ~236,000 Unknown Vast Majority Unknown small Wikipedia
Trinidad&Tobago ~1,227,500 6.6% 65.7% 25.6% ~81,000 Wikipedia

French Guiana is technically part of Metropolitan France; but has a population of barely 1/4 Million.

Together these four countries/areas are 2-3/4 Million, which would not equal one medium sized Latin American city. The Muslim concentrations in them are not majorities, nor are they significant for the whole continent even though they might carry local clout. But in both Suriname and Guyana, Muslims never rise to even one quarter of the population, despite what the map claims.

Again, we see the tendency of Muslims to exaggerate their numbers, as they do in the above map.

So the larger percentage of Muslims in the Guyanas, and Trindad and Tobago, is statistically inconsequential for Latin America as a whole. Moreover, these countries tend to be outside the Latin American world of Spanish and Portuguese – speaking English, Dutch, or French.

Moving back to Latin America proper: The 2% given for Argentina, and the 1% given for Brazil is probably exaggerated. Muslim authorities tend to exaggerate their numbers.

While Argentina might be roughly 1.5% Muslim, in reality almost all were non-practicing until very recently.

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