Islam in Suriname

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According to the official data, the Muslim population of Suriname represens about 13.9 percent of the country's total population as of 2012, which is the highest percentages of Muslims on the South American continent. Though the majority belong to the Sunni interpretation of Islam and some syncretic sects such as Sufism and Javanese Kejawèn.

Some speculate that Muslims first came to Suriname as slaves from West Africa and then were converted to Christianity over time, even though there is little proof for these speculations. The ancestors of the actual Muslim population came to the country as indentured laborers from South Asia and Indonesia, from whom today most Muslims in Suriname are descended.

Because Islam came to Suriname with immigrants from Indonesia (Java) and the South Asia (today India, Pakistan and Bangladesh), who brought their local form of Islam to Suriname, it is strongly influenced by these regions. Apart from descent, most Surinamese Muslims also share the same culture and speak the same languages. Suriname has a small number of Afghan Muslims and their native-born children.[1]


Suriname (since 1996) and Guyana (since 1998) are the only countries in the Americas which are member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.[2]

Notable Muslims[edit]

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  • Bal, Ellen; Kathinka Sinha-Kerkhoff (August 2005). "Muslims in Surinam and the Netherlands, and the divided homeland". Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs. 25 (2): 193–217. doi:10.1080/13602000500350637.