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Ummah : Islam di Venezuela

Salah seorang teman sepejabat kami berasal dari Venezuela. Beliau tiba lebih kurang dua bulan yang lepas untuk bekerja di Malaysia selama tiga tahun. Dari perbualan kami, keadaan di bandar-bandar besar di Venezuela tidak sebaik KL, mereka terpaksa berhati-hati dengan penyamun atau peragut jalanan kerena tahap pengangguran di sana agak tinggi. Namun begitu, alhamdulillah, masih ada lagi masyarakat yang beragama Islam di sana yang masih kuat berpegang dengan agama Allah. Kita doakan mereka dan seluruh umat Islam terus menghidupkan cahaya kebenaran di seluruh bumiNya - zy.

Islam in Venezuela

There are approximately 126,876 Muslims in Venezuela, 0.5 percent of the nation's population. Venezuela has a small but influential Muslim population, many of them Arabs of Lebanese, Palestinian or Syrian descent. The Al-Ibrihim mosque in Caracas is the biggest in Latin America. Located in a rapidly changing area of the city, this historic mosque features the use of dome, minaret and portal to single its presence in the urban landscape, and devices such as the octagonal hall rising up from a platform to a circular dome to achieve the transition between the street and the interior of the prayer hall. It was constructed with funds from the Ibrahim bin Abdul Aziz Al-Ibrahim Foundation under the planning of architect Oscar Bracho. Other notable mosques and Islamic organizations include the Isla Margarita-Caribe La Comunidad Islámica Venezolana, Centro Islámico de Venezuela, the Mezquita al-Rauda in Maracaibo , the Asociación Honorable Mezquita de Jerusalén in Valencia, Centro Islámico de Maiquetía in Vargas, and the Asociación Benéfica Islámica in Bolivar.

Margarita Island, a free-trade zone that is home to a sizeable Arab Muslim community. The local cable television outlet carries al-Jazeera as well as channels from Lebanon and Syria. Women in hijab work cash registers, and on most shop counters, Quranic ayah are on display. Arabs are involved in retail businesses as well as travel agencies and banks.

On February 11, 2006 around 200 mainly Muslim protesters marched to the Danish embassy in Caracas and burnt Danish and U.S. flags, as protests over cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad spread to Latin America.

On July 20, 2006, dozens of people marched in Caracas towards the Israeli embassy to protest against the war in Lebanon; most of them were members of the venezuelan muslim community but also several members of pro-government organizations - KC.


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