From the Vatican to the Veil: Why America’s Latinas are Rushing to Islam

Two of America’s fastest growing demographics are showing signs of convergence, as Hispanics are increasingly converting to Islam. This traditionally Catholic people are giving up their religion because they’re looking for an orderly identity and increased respect, although their Islamic conversions come with a few major social hurdles.

America’s Leaders

Hispanics and Islam are the leading growth demographics in the US, according to the 2010 US Census. Islam grew by over half between 2000 and 2010, reaching 2.6 million adherents.  This makes it the largest non-Christian religion in the country, whose expansion shows no signs of abating. Official statistics also forecast that whites will no longer be a majority in America by 2043, largely due to the astronomical growth of the Hispanic population. This means that the country will be seeing more Hispanics and Muslims, with the Latina converts bridging the two.

Female conversion to Islam has grown to 41% of the total since 2000. Among the Hispanic community, which is 12% of all new converts, Latinas were over half. This means that they form a demographic vanguard for Islamic conversion within the US. So far, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and Florida are the states boasting of Latino Muslim growth, and not coincidentally, these are also some of the places with the fastest growing rates of Hispanic immigration.

Order, Identity, and Respect

Latinas are embracing Islam for a variety of factors, no least for the order that it brings to their lives.

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