Islam in Mayotte

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Islam is the faith of the majority of the residents of the island of Mayotte with 97% as Muslims and 3% Christians.[1] 85,000 of the total 90,000 inhabitants of the island are Comorians. The Comorians are a blend of settlers from many areas: Iranian traders, mainland Africans, Arabs and Malagasy. Comorian communities can also be found in other parts of the Comoros chain as well as in Madagascar.

Although young people wear Western style clothing, traditional clothing is still common among adults. While in town, a Comorian man will typically wear a white cotton garment and a knee-length shirt, sometimes with a white jacket and white skull cap. Out of town, a long cloth sarong (colorful skirt) is worn. Most women wear long, colorful cotton dresses with bright shawls as face coverings. Others prefer black robes that cover their heads.

Polygamy has been an acceptable practice among the Comorians. However, on March 29, 2009, 95% of Mayotte citizens voted to become the 101st department of France. Due to the vote becoming effective in March 2011, the island is required to bar all forms of polygamous unions and other forms of practices that "contradict with French culture", including child marriages.[2] At the present time, polygamous marriages are presumed to have been stopped being issued by the government.

Traditionally, the Comorians have been very resistant to any kind of religious change.[3] The practice of Islam in Mayotte has been described as tolerant.[4]

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