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Between Southern Elites and Migrants on the Margins

Transregional connections, the global and the local, migrants and movement. This edition of the LACISA Newsletter highlights how each is a key dynamic in the make-up of Muslim socialities across Latin America and the Caribbean, from Brazil to Colombia, Puerto Rico to Chile.

To get us thinking more deeply about South-South relations and global/local dynamics at work in the region, this edition begins with an interview with Kevin Funk about his new book Rooted Globalism: Arab–Latin American Business Elites and the Politics of Global Imaginaries.

Then, a story from the U.S./Mexico border, where a first-of-its-kind shelter for Muslim migrants has been operating in Tijuana, Baja California for just over a year now. Among the more than 1,000 migrants that have passed through are individuals from Afghanistan and Senegal, Ethiopia and Chechnya. All of them face a triple bind of legal uncertainty, language and cultural barriers, and religious discrimination.

And from Puerto Rico and its Diaspora, we have four Muslims who share their stories of conversion, cultural adaptation, and the navigation of minoritization in each community they claim membership in: being Puerto Rican among Muslims, Muslim among Puerto Ricans, and being both Puerto Rican and Muslim in the shadow of American empire.

Thanks to Ramadan celebrations, there was a wide swathe of news related to Islam and Muslim communities in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Latinx U.S. in recent months. This edition features reportage and commentary from across the hemisphere, including the work of Latinx Muslim organizations in the U.S. (the Ojalá Foundation in Chicago, Illinois, IslamInSpanish in Houston, Texas, and the Center for Global Muslim Life in Oakland, California), Colombia's Arab Muslim lives and legacies, and the diversity of mosque architecture in Latin America.

Finally, we also have three exciting member notes:

As always, the editors of the LACISA Newsletter welcome your future contributions. We are on the lookout for essays, member notes, news, and interviews about a wide range of topics for our next edition (Summer 2023), which will be the final publication in our third volume. To learn more about submissions, click HERE.

We thank you in advance, for your continued support of our emerging field.

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