LALMA Organizer Sister Hawa Vivian (right) at Masjid Bilal Islamic Center in Los Angeles
Over the past decade, the rise of Latinos in converting to Islam has become a new phenomenon in America. Never was this more evident than during this past Ramadan. With Latino Muslim groups now located in nearly every major American city, social gatherings and Eid celebrations were on full display by many of these communities.
At Masjid Bilal Islamic Center in Los Angeles, nearly a dozen Latino Muslims took their shahada (declaration of Islamic faith) during Ramadan in 2022. According to Pew Research, Latinos are the United States fastest growing Muslim group. In fact, roughly 25% of all new US converts are Latino, astonishing when you consider they represent less than 20% of our nation’s population.
La Asociacion Latino Musulmana de America, better known as LALMA, has become a leading organization for connecting these rapidly emerging Muslim communities.
“We just see the number growing and we see that in Los Angeles a lot,” said Hawa Vivian, an organizer for LALMA. “One of the things we really like about Masjid Bilal is that it's a very open community. We able to hold classes there in Spanish and people trickle in to learn about Islam.”
Latino Muslims take their shahada at Masjid Bilal in Los Angeles
Hawa Vivian addresses Masjid Bilal and LALMA members
Latino Muslims hold classes during Ramadan
LALMA hosts iftar meal during Ramadan