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Decolonizing EpistemologiesLatina/o Theology and Philosophy$
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Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz and Eduardo Mendieta

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780823241354

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823241354.001.0001

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The Act of Remembering: The Reconstruction of U.S. Latina/o Identities by U.S. Latina/o Muslims

The Act of Remembering: The Reconstruction of U.S. Latina/o Identities by U.S. Latina/o Muslims

Chapter:
(p.127) The Act of Remembering: The Reconstruction of U.S. Latina/o Identities by U.S. Latina/o Muslims
Source:
Decolonizing Epistemologies
Author(s):

Hjamil A. Martínez-VÁzquez

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823241354.003.0007

This chapter, written by Hjamil Martínez-Vázquez, describes the conversion of some Latinas/os to Islam as acts of re-membering, or reconstructing memories, in order to construct a new identity that challenges the orthodox narrative. Against the view that Latinas/os are descendants of the Iberian Spaniards who came to the Americas in order to impose their “Hispanic” culture, Muslim Latinas/os argue for a pre-Hispanic, Iberian identity that acknowledge and celebrates the Moorish and Jewish, or Marrano, histories. Martínez-Vázquez shows how contemporary Latina/o identity is predicated on the uncritical acceptance of a Hispanic latinidad that excludes, erases, and denigrates a Muslim past that in fact was very rich and determining for the basic elements of Latino culture. The essay aims to articulate the power of acts of remembering as deliberate acts of fashioning new cultural identities and resisting the tendency to produce homogenizing identities that exclude and oppress.

Keywords:   Latino/a, Marrano, Moor, Iberian Identity, Latinidad, Muslim

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