Thursday, January 27, 2005
Islam has joined a battle for the hearts and minds of Mexico's volatile Tzotzil Indians in Chiapas state, home of Zapatista rebels and a hotbed of sectarian strife between Christians.
In an unlikely meeting of two worlds, an idealistic Muslim sect has converted some 300 Tzotzils, a Maya Indian group known for drink-fueled fiestas and religious fervor.
"It was difficult to learn the prayers in Arabic at first but now I have them in my heart," said Muhammad Emin Lopez, 46, a Tzotzil fruit merchant who boasts that his conversion to Islam in 1995 was the state's first.
Is this the product of strategy, or merely garden-variety evangelism?
The Mexican police are asking that very question, at least to the extent of eyebrow-raising.
The growth of Islam in such a restive area has raised the eyebrows of Mexico's intelligence agency, wary of possible terrorist activity aimed at the neighboring United States.
The article itself includes an interesting background on both the Zapatistas and the Murabitun, the Sunni sect that has brought Islam to the jungles of Mexico. If you want to take a leap into the great void and assume the reporter is correct in all matters, the Murabitun do not seem like a plot cooked up in a central Asian cave. On the other hand, they
are highly critical of the charging of interest rates as un-Islamic and advocate scrapping currencies, taxes and the nation state, to be replaced with Islamic emirates trading in gold coins.
The Murabitun even have a web page with the ambitious URL "islammexico.org". Whether the contents are troubling is beyond me, since I do not read Spanish.
Even if the Mexican Murabitun (and the Muslims that have broken from the Murabitun) are themselves peaceful, their community will provide a haven for jihadists who want to recruit soldiers or launch attacks into the United States.
hi, I just read your post about Islam in Mexico, and
I checked the webpage, and it says nothing out of the
ordinary, it's just a lot of readings about history, some traditions and that's all I found.
It is sad to see you identifying a Muslim community as a heaven for terrorists. Islam has nothing to do with terrorism, and Muslims are the true protectors of order and law within their communities. You have look elsewhere to see the roots of terrorism, such as political sttruggles for power, economical dynamics and oppressive regimes. Islam has been around for more than 14 centuries, and it is only in the past decade that it has been associated with terrorism. Plus, evangelizing troubled minorities in the third world is an old tactic that is championed by western countries, not Muslims, so you are looking at the wrong place again in your search of a "strategic move".
Here are some profiles about some people that converted to Islam, oddly enough after 911. IM not saying it means anything Im just saying its a little odd. One guy even said he joined Islam for political reasons, he was communist prior to being a muslim.