Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:57AM
The Congress of Argentina has hosted the seminar “Islam for peace” leading officials and leaders of the Muslim Community to praise the country´s comprehensive policy of religious integration, challenging anti-Islamic sentiment of the West
Muslims sense of belonging in Argentina, ratifying their right and proud to be Argentine citizens, challenges the sense of injustice that the Muslim community faces, unjustly, in the 21st century-world. Lower House in Buenos Aires has hosted the seminar “Islam for peace” where government officials -led by lawmaker and Lower House Chairman Julian Dominguez, the Worship Secretary Ambassador Guillermo Oliveri and the Secretary General of the Islamic Center of the Republic of Argentina (CIRA) Sumer Noufouri-, highlighted the “significant” progress made in religious integration matters over the past decade. The South American country is home to 400,000 Muslims, one of the largest communities in the region after Brazil. Thanks to Argentina´s new legislation, promoted by administration of president Cristina Fernandez last year, Muslim women´s right to wear their hijab not only in public places but also in their ID cards has been enforced, no longer forced to choose between their faith and restrictive cultural dogmas, defying pro-discrimination practices fueled by so called “First World Nations”. Media stigmatization, however, must still be dealt with here as it influences Muslims´ religious identity and creates false stereotypes among society. Argentina´s National Congress has opened its doors to the building of citizenship, strengthening political efforts to engage the sacred values of Islam in a country that, according to leaders of the Muslim community, has set an “international example of peaceful religious co-existence”.