Encyclopedia of Latin American Religions

Living Edition
| Editors: Henri Gooren

Introduction of Islam to Sixteenth-Century Puerto Rico

  • Omar Ramadan-SantiagoEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-08956-0_265-1


Concerning the history of Islam on the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. Deals with the introduction of Islam to the island and how this can be determined through primary and secondary sources. Examines Iberian and West African Islamic histories and demonstrates how Spanish royal decrees indicate a significant Muslim presence among the enslaved Africans in the Hispanophone Caribbean with a focus on Puerto Rico.


Some sources wrongly claim that Islam was first introduced to Puerto Rico by Palestinian migrants in the late 1950s early 1960s after the declaration of Israel. In actuality, Islam was introduced to Puerto Rico as early as 1493 (and some sources cite the introduction as occurring earlier).

Islam was carried across the Mediterranean and the Atlantic by Spaniards, who were forced to take on the Christian faith yet remained Muslim in their own right, and by Africans, who were forced to come to the Americas yet maintained their faith and sense of identity...


Islam Puerto Rico Spain Africa 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.New YorkUSA