Felipe de la Hoz
Master of Arts (MA)
This is a story about two Latina Muslims--a formerly Islamophobic young Peruvian Baptist missionary, a middle-aged Afro-Dominican woman in recovery from substance use--who met at a crossroads. It is also a story about what happened after: pre-pandemic, the unsafe safe spaces for converts that led them to start their own support group; post-pandemic, the sparks of a transnational movement of Latina Muslims at a time when political pundits were just recognizing the fallacy of a monolith of “Latinos.”
From an unconscious-bias workshop in a cramped Astoria, Queens apartment to Zoom meetings of Latina Muslims nationwide and from Mexican villages with a Muslim population of one, from COVID-era hikes that included male friends for the first time to the first Latina-only Islamic conference of young groups worldwide, I report on what Gabriella and Jocelyn’s story says about the why and how of the fastest-growing group of Muslim-Americans since 9/11 and roots that span a Moorish past--to the future of Latina Muslims as a group that resists definition.
Castillo, Ambar, "A LatinX Religion By Another Name: How Latinas Lead the Un-Monolithic Conversion to Islam" (2020). CUNY Academic Works.