Jihad in Brazil (and Beyond)

What comes to mind when somebody mentions Brazil? The Carnival? Caipirinhas? Football (or soccer for you yanks)? Curvaceous bikini-clad girls? Favelas, as seen in City of God? Well, I’ll tell you something unimaginable, one word: jihad. Yes, that’s right, it isn’t a typo, Jihad has arrived in Brazil of all places. And although Brazil suffers from abject poverty, gang violence, drug trafficking, astronomical murder rates, pitiful economic output in spite of their wealth of natural resources, and a myriad of other socially crippling issues; Islamic terror is the last thing they’d expect.

Islam has quite a long history in Brazil, dating back as far as the middle of the 16th century. In 1835, there was a Muslim uprising in Bahia inspired by African slaves, which resulted in the deaths of at least fifty participants. Further casualties from the uprising may have occurred from official mistreatment of the rebels and injuries sustained from the bloody rebellion. In 1910, there were an estimated 100,000 African Muslims living in Brazil despite its staunchly Catholic culture. Muslims have migrated to Brazil among some 11 million, mostly Maronite Christian, Middle-Easterners throughout the Twentieth Century. Most Muslims living in Brazil are concentrated in the Sao Paolo area.

Before the Rio Olympics, ten people suspected of planning terror attacks during the Olympic games, in an anti-terror mission by the name “Operation Hashtag” were arrested. Alarmingly, all ten suspects were native Brazilian and had declared loyalty to ISIS. Thankfully, the group were amateurish and slack, which facilitated their arrest, in which 130 police officers took part. On the 8th of May 2017, all ten suspects were convicted of terror charges. Although many of the potential victims may have been foreigners, imprisonment is effectively a death sentence for such an anti-patriotic offense in Brazil, given the brutally unforgiving nature of their prison gangs.

Islamist presence isn’t solely limited to Brazil. CNN en Espanol broke a story earlier this year, detailing the possession of legitimate Venezuelan passports in the hands of potential Islamist terrorists. A Venezuelan passport grants its bearer free movement in the Schengen Zone in Europe. (See more on the topic: Fake News En Espanol Did Something Right! (Yes, Really!). Hezbollah has a noted presence in the Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay “Tri-Border Area”, where gun and drug trafficking is notoriously prominent. In Peru, a couple was arrested for suspected links to Hezbollah and residue from explosives was allegedly detected in their apartment. Shockingly, between 100 to 150 Latin Americans and Caribbeans, including an estimated 70 Trinidad and Tobago nationals, have left their homes to fight for ISIS.

Latin America’s Muslim population has increased by around 25% since 2010. The San Salvadorean mayor, whose father served as the leader of the region’s Muslim community, was a member of a leftist guerrilla party. Radical Islam has found a cozy bedfellow in left-wing ideologues around the world and even hijacked their efforts to help steer the Iranian revolution in 1979. The anti-imperialist and anti-American radical leftist groups and terror organizations may have played a key role in the proliferation of Islamic terror sleeper cells throughout South America. US incursions in South America in the latter half of the Twentieth Century have left a bitter taste for many leftists and the ideologically-exploitable. The US’s prolonged occupation of the Middle East has proven very unpopular with many youths in South America, only stoking their sympathies for anti-American groups.

Islam is the world’s fastest growing religion and makes no exceptions for South America.

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About Orwell Goode

Orwell & Goode (a pun for “all well and good”) is a Youtuber, blogger, and an economics masters degree student. His main interests lie in documenting the decline of the Western world and identifying economic policies which may shape society for better or worse. He is the host of the “All Well and Good Show” and the co-host of news round-up “Waking Up The West” on YouTube.