Islam in Suriname

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According to the most recent census (2004), the Muslim population of Suriname is 66,307, representing about 13.5 percent of the country's total population,[1] giving the country the highest percentages of Muslims on the American continent. Though the majority belong to the Sunni interpretation of Islam, there is a large proportion who belong to the Ahmadiyya interpretation.

Muslims first came to Suriname as slaves from West Africa, however they converted to Christianity over time, so they did not contribute to the current population in any significant way. The next group of Muslims to come to the country consisted of indentured laborers from South Asia and Indonesia, from whom today most Muslims in Suriname are descended.

Islam in Suriname was strongly influenced by Indonesia and especially Pakistan. Apart from descent, most Surinamese Muslims also share the same culture and speak the same language. Suriname has a number of Afghan Muslims and their native-born children.[2]

International[edit]

Suriname (since 1996) and Guyana (since 1998) are the only American countries which are member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.[3]

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