The Muslims of Cuba
With estimates of their numbers as high as 10,000, Cuban Muslims have grown from a tiny group of followers to a vibrant cultural community, particularly in Havana. An atheist state under communism, Cuba has begun to relax prohibitions on religion over the years, providing a small space for Muslims amidst the country’s predominantly Catholic population. Cuba itself experiences little immigration, but a growing number of converts have expanded the presence of Islam in the Caribbean nation.
As funding from Turkey supports the construction of a mosque in Old Havana and Saudi Arabia sends religious garments, observant Muslims, increasingly visible, are now faced with educating their broader communities about a religion few have had much interaction with outside of negative television reports. For Ramadan, several media outlets have taken a look at the community of Cuban Muslims looking to practice a faith of restraint some Cubans see as foreign to their culture.
“Cuban Muslims celebrate Ramadan despite the obstacles” (Al Jazeera)
“Islam thrives in communist Cuba” (USA TODAY)
“Practicing Islam in Catholic Cuba” (CNN, April 2016)
(Image Credit: Kamilia Lahrichi/USA TODAY)