As promised, this will not be a politically correct site.
As you see by now, most Arabs have assimilated in South American very well, and are almost seemlessly mainstream today. To what can we attribute this?!
What did South America do right that Europe is failing to do?
In a word: Christianity!
When the Arabs came to South America, most were Christian.
But not all. Anywhere from 10% to 25% were Muslim. We should expect therefore to find from 10% to 25% of the Arabs in South America to be Muslim. But we do not. So what happened?!
The answer was Christianization. Whether by social pressure, intermarriage, or voluntary conversion, the Arab Muslims among them converted over the generations.
Unlike the USA, the Latin Americans, until recently, strongly insisted on Christianity among the Arabs … or when the Muslim would not convert, at least insisted on total cultural and social assimilation.
Source: Muslims in Argentina – Pedro Brieger
Chronicles from the 1940s mention that it is rare for a Muslim Arab not to drink wine.
Now, let’s not exaggerate. The South Americans were nowhere near as intolerant as Medieval Inquisitionary Spain; but the laissez-faire individualism of the United States was not acceptable either. Social conformity was expected. Deviation from the norm was limited.
After the South American Republics acquired their independence, the local Muslim was in no longer danger of being dragged in to an Inquisitionary star chamber. That was gone. Some aspects of the Enlightenment had set in. Not as much liberty as existed in America or Canada, but some degree of freedom was set up.
In spite of that, the Muslim would have found Latin culture to be exclusively Spanish Catholic. There would be no Islamic societies for him to appeal for help – at least not until well into the 20th century. Even today, these societies are usually small.
His children would be taught in schools where Catholicism was preached. Baptism certificates, almost exclusively provided by Catholic priests, were required for passports, proof of nationality, etc.
If there was any sense of unfairness to this, it had the redeeming factor of being egalitarian. Greek Orthodox Christians were “encouraged” to become Roman Catholic as well. Protestantism was rare outside some commercial communities populated by English or German businessmen.
It was not until roughly the middle of the 19th century that Protestants and Jews began to establish themselves in any numbers. Even then, they remained small communities until the 20th century. Only in the last few decades has Evangelicalism really taken off.
The Catholic Church may not have been as predatory as it was in Spain, but it was still stifling.
This culture certainly dampened South America’s economic performance; but it insulated the Latins from any influence that the few Muslim immigrants among them might have brought in; and all but coerced a social and religious conversion from those very same Muslims. It was quite thorough.
The Latin practice of demanding assimilation has changed recently under the influence of Iranian and Saudi Money; and a growing trend to imitate American multiculturalism.
With almost one-quarter of Brazil, and one-sixth of Chile now Evangelical – and their numbers are growing – the Catholic Church has lost its near monopoly on Latin-American spirituality. This is a good thing for liberty. Not that Catholics are bad, but rather no denomination should have such a stranglehold on the culture.
The Muslim, when he immigrates to South America, will still find a heavily Catholic culture. He will have more breathing room than earlier Muslim immigrants. He will not be as pressured to convert, or start drinking. There are even Muslim Aid societies out there now to help him.
However, hopefully, whatever he does, he should try to assimilate, at least culturally, into Latin Culture. He is presented with a culture that will accept him as an equal. Arabs are elites in South America.
Let us hope the new Arab immigrant – of whatever religious persuasion – assimilates as much as possible, and does not retreat into anti-Israel extremism.
Christ the Redeemer over Rio de Janiero.
In the USA, the ACLU would sue to take it down.
Source: Wikipedia: Artyom Sharbatyan
In the end, the answer is: Christianity!
Whether Catholicism, Orthodox Christianity, or the emerging Evangelicalism, Christianity is the solution.
That is very politically incorrect; but it is the clear solution. Europe has been post-Christian for 60 years and cannot fight Islamic extremism.
South Americans still revere Christ – maybe not so well – maybe they blend it with Marian cults – but they are not ashamed to be Christian in the public square.
Christianize the Arab and they assimilate exceptionally well. Even better than the Jews; because, unlike Jews, intermarriage is not as strongly frowned upon by the Arab.