(QHA) - With more than 50 million Hispanics living in the US, the Latino community is now the country's biggest minority. While most are brought up within the Catholic Church, a number of them are turning to Islam, reports BBC.
Precise figures are difficult to pin down as the US Census does not collect religious data, but estimates for the number of Latino Muslims vary between 100,000 and 200,000.
The growth in the Hispanic Muslim population is especially prevalent in New York, Florida, California, and Texas, where Hispanic communities are largest. Converted attend Arabic lessons and study Kuran in Mosques.
In his interview to BBC Muslim convert Yusuf Gallardo shared how he came to Islam.
“I was grown up in strict Catholic family, visiting Catholic school on Sundays. After the tragedy of September 11 I started hating Muslims. That was the reason I started learning Islam. But after I learned more, I made a decision to come to the faith, he said. My father who served in an American Army, got angry when got to know I converted to Islam, He said I can’t be considered a patriot. But my faith doesn’t reduce my patriotism.”
Another convert Nahela Morales, a Mexican who became Muslim says, the reaction of the family is the hardest part.
“The problem is they don’t know about Islam. They think we leave our families, but we don’t. I will be a Mexican for the rest of my life, but just Muslim”.
Still the number of those who convert to Islam is growing.