Coherent Identifier About this item: 20.500.12592/3k3vgf

Peronism as a Big Tent : The Political Inclusion of Arab Immigrants in Argentina

15 February 2022



Argentina’s populist movement, led by Juan Perón, welcomed people from a broad range of cultural backgrounds to join its ranks. Unlike most populist movements in Europe and North America, Peronism had an inclusive nature, rejecting racism and xenophobia.

In Peronism as a Big Tent Raanan Rein and Ariel Noyjovich examine Peronism’s attempts at garnering the support of Argentines of Middle Eastern origins – be they Jewish, Maronite, Orthodox Catholic, Druze, or Muslim – in both Buenos Aires and the interior provinces. By following the process that started with Perón’s administration in the mid-1940s and culminated with the 1989 election of President Carlos Menem, of Syrian parentage, Rein and Noyjovich paint a nuanced picture of Argentina’s journey from failed attempts to build a mosque in Buenos Aires in 1950 to the inauguration of the King Fahd Islamic Cultural Center in the nation’s capital in the year 2000.

Peronism as a Big Tent reflects on Perón’s own evolution from perceiving Argentina as a Catholic country with little room for those outside the faith to embracing a vision of a society that was multicultural and that welcomed and celebrated religious plurality. The legacy of this spirit of inclusiveness can still be felt today.