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“We used to gather in different masjids,” said Magidel Morris as she served halal tamales in the mosque’s parking lot on Saturday. “But then we got together and decided we had to have a place for Hispanic people to get together and learn about Islam.” With the Centro Islámico, America’s Latino muslims now have a home of their own.
“[Latinos] want to learn about Islam,” said Jalil Navarro, who donned a Mexican luchador mask while distributing Spanish-language Qur’ans in the masjid’s parking lot. “but sometimes they step into a masjid and there is no people to serve them if they don’t speak English.”
Islam in Spanish, the organization that founded the mosque, was formed to fill that gap. Founded in 2001 by Colombian American convert Jaime Fletcher, the organization produces Spanish-language programming and Islamic educational materials that are distributed throughout the Americas. Today there are more than 1,000 Latino Muslims affiliated with the organization.