Muslims account for approximately 1% of the population in the Central American Republic of Panama and now the construction of the first official Mosque for natives in the region has begun, as more and more native people turn to Islam.
Construction on the Al Haqq mosque, as it will be known, finally began after a nine year campaign led by Muslims converts Josefina Bell-Munajj and Khadijah Jackson who worked tirelessly to get building permissions.
Whilst Islam is often criticised for supposedly treating women as second class citizens here we see that local female converts to Islam have played a leading role in the building of their first mosque.
The two women have spent the last few years providing Islamic classes for Muslim women in a room borrowed from a local Muslim dentist and now hope that the Mosque will be used to carry on those studies and for it to become an Islamic centre for education.
Although Muslims migrants who have settled in Panama from other countries have already set up a number of mosques, the Al Haqq Mosque will be the first set up by native Panamanian Muslims.