Islam in Venezuela
|Islam by country|
There are approximately 100,000 Muslims in Venezuela, 0.4 percent of the nation's population. Venezuela has a small but influential Muslim population, many of them Arabs of Lebanese, Palestinian, Syrian descent and Turkish.
The capital, Caracas, has a Muslim population of 15,000. The Mosque of Sheikh Ibrahim Al-Ibrahim in Caracas is the second largest 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 Bolívar. There's also a mosque in Punto Fijo built in 2008.
Margarita Island in particular is home to a sizeable Arab Muslim community. The local cable television outlet carries al-Jazeera as well as channels from Lebanon, like LBC Sat . And more recently, the SaudiMBC and ART. Women wearing hijab work cash registers, and on most shop counters, Qur'anic ayah are on display. Arabs are involved mostly in retail businesses and more recently, banks as well as travel agencies.
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 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 Venezuelan Muslims, but some were members of pro-government organizations.
- International Religious Freedom Report 2007 - Venezuela
- Luxner, Larry. "Bowing to Mecca from Caracas". Americas, 1992, volume 44, issue 4, page 4
- Venezuelan Muslims protest cartoons, From correspondents in Caracas, The Australian, February 11, 2006
- Israeli embassy receives document supporting the peace in Lebanon and Palestine. From the Venezuelan Ministry of Communications and Information. Caracas, July 20, 2006
- Mezquita Sheikh Ibrahim website on MiPunto.com 
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