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Zimbabwe Muslim Population Article




1.  Islam in Zimbabwe
 [By Ali Risimati Mathonsi ]
During the consultative conference of the Southern African Development Community

(SADC) some years ago, it was indicated by the officials that Islam was a threat in southern Africa. This was followed by Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe's slam on Islam.

According to Umar Phiri of Iqra Ilm Center (Harare), Muslims have not only been living in harmony with citizens of other religions, but Islam urges Muslims to care for neighbors.

In Zimbabwe, Muslims are not allowed to use the government media. They are barred from paying for an advertisement in the print media. In Waterfalls, Harare, the local Jama'at is building a new mosque. The old mosque will be used as a school for children.

2.  Islam takes hold in Zimbabwe  

THE Islamic religion, practised in Zimbabwe over the years, is beginning to take root in this predominantly-Christian nation of 12,5 million people.

The religion, dominant in North Africa and Middle East countries, is particularly holding sway in Zimbabwean schools.

It is estimated that the Muslim population in the country is more than 1.2 million people, the Ziana news service reports.

A teacher at a Harare girls' high school, who requested anonymity, attributes the increasing conversion to Islam to encouragement from parents who feel Islam would assist in providing the proper upbringing for their children in an age of permissiveness.


3.  Zimbabwe Muslim
 [By International Islamic News Agency (IINA)]Harare, Muharram 19/Apr 13 (IINA) - Statistics indicate that there were 1.2 million Muslims in Zimbabwe before the advent of British colonialism in this country in 1888. But from then on their numbers have been declining, to the extent that there now are only 200,000 Muslims in the country, out of a total population of about ten million.

The majority of the Muslims live in the rural areas, where they till the land, and in mining areas. Those who are involved in business live mostly in towns and cities.

Zimbabwe’s Muslims have formed various types of Islamic organizations, and are keen in spreading the Islamic way of life and culture in various parts of the country. They have therefore set up Islamic schools, after they had obtained government permission, under which each group of 50 families is allowed to set up its own Islamic school. They also have the right to build mosques in those areas.

At the University of Zimbabwe a chair of Islamic and Arabic Studies has been set up. There are about 100 main mosques in Zimbabwe, plus hundreds of other smaller mosques, attached to each is a Qur’an teaching school.

It is reckoned that Islam came to Zimbabwe in the first century of the Hijri calendar, and Islamic civilization and culture prevailed in the country until the advent of British colonialism in 1888. The colonial administration persisted until Ian Smith made what was known as the unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) in 1965.

It is noteworthy that the British colonialists adopted a negative policy toward the Zimbabwean Muslims, and started to persecute them and deprive them of their possessions, including their agricultural holdings. They were then forced to work in mines, under very trying circumstances, simply because they resisted the colonialists and urged their compatriots also to do so.


4. Zimbabwe Christians and Muslims seek cooperation
  [By Ecumenical News International]

The call was made by a University of Zimbabwe lecturer, Ezra Chitando, at an interfaith dialogue seminar between Christians and Muslims recently held in the city of Kwekwe, south-west of Harare, the capital.

In his speech about the religious situation in Zimbabwe, Mr. Chitando said that dialogue and cooperation was needed between Christians, Muslims, practitioners of African traditional religions, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and new religious movements, if religion was to make a positive impact on people.

"Different religions in the country should cooperate," Mr. Chitando told more than 100 Christians and Muslims who attended the meeting, according to the Ecumenical Documentation and Information Center for Eastern and Southern Africa (EDICESA), one of the organizers of the meeting.

"Religions of Zimbabwe may become the voice of the voiceless, if only they can cooperate," according to Mr. Chitando, who noted that Islam, had grown from being a tolerated minority to a significant force in Zimbabwe.

Mr. Chitando said that there were 1.2 million Muslims in Zimbabwe.

Other estimates put the figure at 200,000 Muslims. According to the SBS World Guide, published in Australia, approximately 50 percent of Zimbabwe's population of 10 million people follow mixed Christian and traditional beliefs, 25 percent profess Christianity alone, 24 percent follow indigenous beliefs, and there is a "small Muslim minority."