Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Arab-Argentine Home of Berisso


From 2011 – Arab-Argentine Home of Berisso – Islamic Mutual Aid Society of Berisso
At (0:25), the girl in the red dress looks Ukrainian. At (6:40), the girl in the blue dress looks positively Celtic.
How many of these so called Muslim Arabs even look Arabic?
How many are just culturally affiliated, with no religious connection?
How many are Christian non-Arabs, who just wanted to take up Arab dancing?

Argentina is almost unique in Spanish speaking Latin America in that the Arab immigration was so large and stable that it did produce a somewhat noticeable Muslim community. (Brazil to a lesser extent, but it was Portuguese speaking) Yet, even in Argentina and Brazil, the Muslims never rose above a small minority within their Arab ethnic communities.

Even in Argentina, the trend was for the Muslims to assimilate to non-observance, and often intermarry into Christianity.

Most of the other countries Christianized the Muslims who did come in, making for extremely small Muslim communites prone to coversion over time.

The difference is that in Argentina and Brazil, the Muslim communities are small, while elsewhere in South America they are incredibly small.

For ex: Nominally, in Argentina: (Muslims are about 10-20% of the Arab ethnic population. In practice considerably smaller).

In Chile: (Muslims are less than 0.5% of the Arab ethnic population).

Overall, taking the whole nation into account …

About 1½% of Argentina is Muslim (Nominally! In practice, much less).
About 0.025% of Chile is Muslim, and most of those are new arrivals, or converts who may re-convert back out.

Muslims in Argentina are noticeably small.  In Chile, they are microscopically small.

However, the Islamic Mutual Aid Society of Berisso is one Islamic group that did put down roots in Argentina. (The link is to their website in Spanish).  They were founded in 1917.

This was pre-Iranian Revolution, pre-Saudi funding; and may be one of the few genuine expressions of original cultural preservation not tainted by the Islamic extremism.

The Islamic groups now forming in Latin America are often expressions of Saudi or Iranian manipulation.  [For ex: the recently built obscenity of the King Fahd Mosque in Buenos Aires, was financed by the Saudis, and draws very few Argentine Muslims. Almost all attendees are recent immigrants. The Saudi-financed Mosque’s behavior has been very unpopular with Argentine Arabs.]

Berisso is a suburb about 13 miles/20 km southeast of Buenos Aires.  Oddly, Berisso has a double s, which is not found in Spanish; and is a name of Italian origin.  The town was founded by Italian immigrants.

Berisso is notable for its immigrants with many of it citizens tracing their roots to  Italian, German, Portuguese, Arab, East European, Irish, Lithuanian, and Jewish immigrants. [And you though Argentines were primarily Spanish Gauchos! – Actually, Italians may now outnumber the Spanish in Argentina where the Spanish is now spoken with an Italian accent in Buenos Aires.]

How many of these dancers are still practicing Arab Muslims, I do not know.

Please look at the above video in this post. Notice how many of the girls look like pale skinned Slavs or Nordics. At (6:40), the girl in the blue dress looks positively Celtic. How many of the swarthier girls are actually Latin?

As we have seen, in Latin America, Arab culture has broken out of the ethnic envelope, and is now embraced by non-Arabs. Also, the rate of intermarriage is very high.

If you doubt this, the video was posted in 2011, by someone with the Surname of Gonzalez, which is a Spanish name of Visigothic (Ancient Germanic) origin.

I am sure some Islamic aspect survives in the group; but I suspect a lot of it functions as a cultural relic for those who have a Muslim ancestor; but are now either Christian, confused, or unsettled as to what they are.

I included this to show that in Latin America, the Muslim groups, while culturally powerful, are religiously neutered. This is not a Salifist, or Wahabbist group.

Latin America usually converts Muslims; and even where it fails to convert, willl often culturally soften the Muslims. Do you see burqas in that group?

Latin America is – and has been – doing something right that the West needs to emulate.

FYI.