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Why more Hispanics are converting to Islam faster than any other ethnic group: "I feel like I just I found my answer"

Why more Hispanics are converting to Islam than any other ethnic group
Why more Hispanics are converting to Islam than any other ethnic group 04:36

Jaime "Mujahid" Fletcher is a Colombian-American who embraced Islam 21 years ago. 

When he began his journey he also felt alone, but soon his father also wanted to learn about Islam. 

The only problem was his father is a Spanish speaker and Jaime had a hard time finding educational material about the religion that was written in Spanish. Jaime decided to translate what he was reading for his dad.

"So, the more that we translated and explained to them in their own language it became less foreign to them," Fletcher said. 

That effort grew into Islam in Spanish. 

An Islamic center based in Houston doesn't convert Hispanics to Islam, but provides educational information about the religion in Spanish. 

Despite their hands-off approach, Jaime says they have seen an explosion of Latino and Latina converts.

"Based on data Latinos are the fastest growing ethnic group embracing Islam in America," Fletcher said. "People just show up and they say hey we're coming here to embrace Islam."

In Colorado, Rudy Sanchez and Juana Serrano also heard and answered the call to Islam.

"It just really started to pull at my heart," Serrano said

"I feel like I just I found my answer," Sanchez said. 

They say the religion gave them peace.

"It was kind of like a coincidence you know like I'm thirsty and then some guy with a water bottle was just like, 'hey you want some water?'" Sanchez expressed. 

"It gives me a lot of peace. It gives me a lot of freedom that I didn't even know I had," Serrano said.

They both admit however when they first converted, being Muslim felt isolating. Especially when it came to breaking news to their families.

"I did feel pretty lonely," Sanchez expressed.

"They weren't fully understanding of what I'm going through just because they're not going through that same thing" Sanchez said. 

"My mom was definitely in shock. She's a very devout Catholic but she was supportive though," Serrano mentioned.

Both of them and brother Jaime say Islam and Latino culture has a lot of similarities which makes conversion easier.

"Coming from a Hispanic background family is very important," Serrano said. 

"Respecting parents and respecting family members and all that's a huge part of Islam and that's also a huge part of like our culture," Sanchez said. 

"Looking deeper into Islam all of a sudden you start finding out that hey this is the way you know I was brought up these are the values my family shared with me so there's a lot of affinity," Fletcher said. 

They also have their new brothers and sisters in faith to help guide them and help them out when times get tough.

"I actually joined a group and it's Latina sisters. It's small but we're always looking to grow," Serrano said. 

"Everybody's nice and kind. Everybody wants to know who I am. They don't they don't see many Mexicans," Sanchez said.

And while in Islam there is no compulsion in religion, all three say that they are happy to see more and Latinas embrace the religion.

"A lot more Mexicans are becoming Muslim and I think that it's great," Sanchez said.

"We actually can keep our culture intact and be a better version of what it means to be a Latino," Fletcher said.

"Once you take away all of those negative images that are being portrayed in media, you'll find that it's a whole world of peace," Serrano said.

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