ISLAM IN LATIN AMERICA:
"Lack of Islamic Literature in Brazil"
and
"Islamic Da'wah Center of Brazil"

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Lack of Islamic Literature in Brazil

Sao Paulo, Safar 17/May 21 (IINA) -

Brazil’s Muslims constitute a tiny minority of the 170-million population, in that they account for only one million, and that includes reverts to Islam, Muslim Arab immigrants and their descendants. Of that number, reverts number about 10,000, which means that their impact in the country’s affairs is very minimal, if any. Although a number of Muslim intellectuals in the country think that the Latin culture of fun and festivity militate against the spread of Islam among the indigenous people of Brazil, the fact remains that Brazilians are, by nature, a very religious people, and therefore fertile ground for Islamic Da’awa work. However, the new reverts to Islam experience a number of difficulties, not least the feeling of being isolated by their fellow Muslims. But while as a result of this a few of them abandon Islam after a while, many do persevere against all odds and difficulties.

One of the chief problems is the lack of good books about Islam and other related subjects in the Portuguese language. While this is not a problem with the Muslims in the other Latin countries that use Spanish, Brazilians being the only Latin people who use the Portuguese language find it difficult to obtain Islamic books that have been translated into this language, although the Islamic Center here does provide a few such books. Those books that have been translated into Portuguese are said to be of “poor content,” and when a good book is translated, very often the translation does not do justice to the original material and its author. But some that “even these few and badly translated books are difficult to find.” One writer says that what is also needed in providing Islamic literature and enlightenment to Brazilians is a website on the Internet, preferably in the Portuguese language.

HI/OB/IINA

Islamic Da’awa Center of Latin America, Brasilia, Brazil

Brasilia, Safar 24/May 28 (IINA) -

The Islamic Da’awa Center of Latin American was founded in 1968, and has since become active in spreading the Da’awa in Brazil and other Latin American countries. The head of the center, Sheikh Ahmed bin Ali Al-Swayfiy, said in an interview that the center has done quite a lot since it was set up, and has prepared educational programs for the youth as well as translated a number of Islamic books into the Portuguese language, plus the publication of a regular newsletter known as the “New Dawn” and a newspaper known as “Makkah-al-Mukarramah.” The center has also been organizing an annual conference for Latin American Muslims, in addition to the numerous seminars and lectures it has organized for the purpose of introducing Islam and its principles and practices.

Sheikh Al-Swaifiy went on to say that t he center pays particular attention to the new reverts to Islam, for whom it prepares special programs for their familiarization with Islam, and takes special care for their welfare and well-being. He said the Muslims in Latin America are a minority living within a huge majority of non-Muslims, and they need Islamic schools and enlightenment programs that would make them feel proud of their Islamic identity, which is threatened with absorption in a sea of non-Islamic elements. Sheikh Swaifiy appealed to Muslim countries and organization to look at their Latin American brethren with a kind eye, and help them in every way possible, because they do feel that the rest of the Muslim world has forgotten them.

HI/OB/IINA