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[VIDEO] Meet the Only Indigenous Mexican Tribe to Convert to Islam

In the outskirts of San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico, an indigenous Mexican tribe is living a life based on the Islamic faith.

According to a new mini-doc by Vice, the Tzotzil Indians are the only indigenous Mexican tribe to convert to Islam.

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Credit: VICE / YouTube

Ibrahim Chechev, above, is the community’s Imam – their worship leader. “The fact that Islam arrived to this remote and isolated location, socially and demographically, is a true privilege,” said Chechev to VICE. “This community is aware of and practices Islam.”

That’s right. A large indigenous community in Mexico converted to Islam.

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Credit: VICE / YouTube

All told, there are 700 Tzotzil Indians living and practicing the Islamic faith.

How did Islam come to such a secluded part of the world? Aureliano Pérez, a Spaniard, brought the religion with him in the mid-90s.

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Credit: VICE / YouTube

Pérez intended to bring Islam to the Zapatistas in Chiapas, but Zapatista leader Subcomandante Marcos declined Pérez’s attempts to convert the militant group. Pérez then took the issue to church leaders and other members of the community in San Cristobal de las Casas. Eventually, Islam became a part of life for hundreds of Tzotzil tribe members.

Chechev was there during one of the first meetings and helped make Islam what it is today for the Tzotzil tribe.

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Credit: VICE / YouTube

As the importance of Islam has grown, members of the Tzotzil tribe are working together to build their very own mosque.

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Credit: VICE / YouTube

Architect Percy Moranchel says the creation of the mosque has not faced any opposition from neighbors or others living in the community. Instead, Moranchel says the people are driven by the desire to help those who are choosing the right path, which he says is in line with the Islamic faith.

According to Google Maps, here is where they currently hold their worship, Masjid Medinah.

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Credit: Google Maps

The religious group used to meet in Chechev’s home for prayers and major religious holidays like Ramadan.

READ: A Mexican Coca-Cola Commercial was Supposed to Create Unity, but It Pissed People Off

The tribe has figured out how to respect their new religion while sticking to Mexican traditions. Here they are eating chicken tacos during their Ramadan fast break.

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Credit: VICE / YouTube

No carnitas allowed.

Check out the full video below to learn more about Mexican Muslims:

Credit: VICE / YouTube

This Suspected Robber was Busted after Taking a Selfie and Posting it to Snapchat

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This Suspected Robber was Busted after Taking a Selfie and Posting it to Snapchat

This is Lovers Point Park in Pacific Grove, California.

lovers point park

Credit: cityofpacificgrove.org

It’s just a few minutes away from the city of Monterey on Pacific coast of Central California.

Beautiful, right? It’s a great spot for wedding photos…

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Credit: @jasmineleephoto / Instagram

Taking a walk while contemplating the beauty of nature…

And SELFIES.

So what does all this have to do with a robbery? This dude, 18-year-old Victor Almanza-Martinez, and two other men allegedly robbed a group of people at Lover’s Point Park.

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Credit: Pacific Grove Police Department

The three suspects allegedly robbed a group of four people and then stole their car.

Before fleeing in the stolen vehicle, Pacific Grove Police say Almanza-Martinez posed for a selfie with one of the female victims. Police haven’t released the photo, but here’s a reenactment:

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The selfie ended up being a key lead in the arrest of Almanza-Martinez. How did police get it? Almanza-Martinez exchanged Snapchat information with the female victim after he took the selfie.

Once Almanza-Martinez posted the selfie to Snapchat, the victim turned over the photo to police, who promptly arrested him.

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Almanza-Martinez has been hit with several charges, including armed robbery, kidnapping and possession of stolen property. He’s being held at Monterey Country Jail on $170,000 bail.

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