Gabriela Herstik
June 22, 2017 3:19 pm
ASIF HASSAN / Stringer/ Getty

While most of us associate Latin countries with Catholicism and other sects of Christianity, the truth is that’s not the truth. The Latin community is composed of many different religions, including Islam, which is one that tends to be overlooked. While Hispanics are the United States’ largest minority, Latinxs are also one of the fastest growing segments within the Muslim community. Although this segment continues to grow, the conversation surrounding how these identities intersect tends to be overlooked.

With this in mind, PEN America is hosting its second ever discussion on what it means to be Muslim and Latinx — using the hashtag #LatinxRamadan.

The Twitter chat, hosted by PEN America, aimed to share the common struggles of Latinx Muslims, as well as share their experiences during the holy month of Ramadan. The conversation was a part of the M Word series, which works to celebrate the diversity of the Muslim-American voice. All of the stories collected will become a part of the PEN Digital Archive, “an online multimedia repository featuring over 50 years of the world’s foremost writers and thinkers tackling important issues at the intersection of literature and freedom of expression advocacy.”

During the Twitter chat, users were able to share what it’s like living as Latinx Muslims in today’s political climates. Dismantling Islamophobia within the Latinx community will not be easy, but it has to start somewhere, and having such a conversation about it is definitely one of the ways to do just that.

While there were starker points covered in the chat — like the death of 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen — there were even more that showed the rich and diverse traditions that come with being a Latinx Muslim.

Starting these conversations is one of the most effective ways that we can actually create change. When those who are minorities are able to share their voices with others who understand their struggles, then they have the ability to truly be heard. And that’s something we definitely need more of.

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