Islam in Bolivia

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Statistics for Islam in Bolivia estimate a Muslim population of around two thousand, representing less than 0.1% of the total population.[1] Muslim organizations in the country include the Bolivian Islamic Center in Santa Cruz, Sucre and Cochabamba, and the Muslim Group in Sucre.

The Bolivian Islamic Center (Spanish: Centro Islámico Boliviano, CIB) was created in August 1986 by Imam Mahmud Amer Abusharar, who arrived from Palestine in 1974. In 1992 a commission for the construction of the first mosque in Bolivia was approved, and it was completed in September 1994 in the city of Santa Cruz. Abusharar died on 14 May 2011. Presently the CIB does not have branches in Sucre, Cochabamba or La Paz, and its community is mostly immigrant. On the international level, CIB is not a branch of the Islamic Organization for Latin America.

In 2004 the first official Sunni mosque, the Yebel An Nur Mosque, was founded in 2004 in La Paz. Prior to that Islam was rather unheard of

in the city and the Muslim community was composed of a few who frequently meet in their homes. As the Muslim community gradually grew in La Paz difference of personal opinions, egos, and conspiracy for management grew from within causing the community to break into factions. The Yebel An Nur Mosque remains self-funded with close ties to the Sunni Bolivian Islamic Center of Santa Cruz while the As-Salam Mosque receives both Sunni and Shia followers, connections, and funding.[2]

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