Solidarity, Hip Hop Slams and Caribbean Civil Society

The Latin America and Caribbean Islamic Studies Newsletter, Vol. 4, no. 2 | Spring 2024

5/2/20242 min read

As I write this, Ramadan is in full swing. By the time you read this, Ramadan will be well over. But I can't help but think about how my neighbors brought delicious qatayef by yesterday and we are preparing for Eid celebrations with friends next week. It's a joyous time. This year, as many of you well know, the season has also been marked with "sadness and solidarity with Gaza," warping the holiday into a time of uncertainty and anxiety. 

This edition of the newsletter features content related to both Ramadan and Palestine, but also on topics and themes beyond and in between. The editors and I hope that its contents prove valuable to our readership at such a time. More importantly, we hope that the resources here provide relevant articles, news and events to help you better do your work as researchers, teachers, leaders, activists or journalists. 

We are also excited to welcome you to our third annual colloquium, this time with a special focus on Muslim Philanthropy and Civil Society in the Caribbean. From May 29-30, 2024 we will host an online colloquium featuring papers on Muslim contributions in Barbados, Ahmadiyya mission efforts and charity work across the region and on Shii activism in the Caribbean. We welcome you to register for the event HERE.

This edition of the newsletter features a range of exciting original and reprinted content as well: 

  • In “'A problem for humanity':  Hip-Hop and Islam in Brazil," our Associate Editor Rahma Maccarone talks with Hip-Hop artist and historian Talles Oliveira Gonçalves about how the creative power of music brings hope to marginalized people in Brazil. 

  • We share a reprinted article from The Revealer -- "From Puerto Rico to Palestine, with Solidarity" -- that investigates the reasons for alliances between Puerto Rican and Palestinian activists and how they are responding to the war in Gaza.

  • There are also news stories from Brazil, South Florida, Chile and TikTok. 

  • And finally, member notes about the exciting "Bengal to Barbados" digital project, a review of Across the Worlds of Islam and a message from Shariq Siddiqui on why he created the Muslim Philanthropy Initiative at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. 

Thus, as we reflect on the Ramadan season that was and look forward to the months ahead and the peace we hope they bring, we also hope this edition of the LACISA newsletter informs, inspires and helps you engage with the intersecting worlds of Islam and Muslims in Latin America and the Caribbean. 


Ken Chitwood