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Passion Islam I December 2009 SPECIAL FEATURE I 23
Masjid City in Chile
Usama Abu Gazaleh was elected new one in Iquique. Sources of the there has been a minor, initial backlash
Imam of the mosque following the Islamic community indicate that at against the Muslim community, as part
passing of Taufiq Rumie’. the moment, in Chile, there are 3,000 of wider trend of suspicion towards
Muslims. Many of those are Chileans Muslims in non-Muslim countries,
Infrastructure who, as a result of their conversion, although it is believed that the Muslim
A Mosque in Coquimbo.Through have even changed their names. community as a whole, has remained
the 1970s and ‘80s, there were In spite of the small number of well-integrated in broader Chilean
no religious leaders or centers for believers, they are not a homogenous society.
praying. Muslims who maintained the community. The majority are Sunnis, There are a number of organizations
faith met in the residence of Taufik and the rest are Shiites. Sufi groups founded by the Muslim community in
Rumie’ Dalu, a trader of Syrian origin. have also arisen, but their members Chile, including: Asociación Islámica
In 1990 the construction of the Al- are mainly of non-Arab origin. de Chile (Islamic Association of Chile)
Salam Mosque began, the first of the , Centro de Cultura y Beneficencia
country. In 1995 another mosque was Today Islámico, Centro Chileno Islámico de
inaugurated in Temuco, and 1998 a Since the September the 11th Attacks, Cultura de Puerto Montt
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