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Papua new Guinea Muslim

Papua new Guinea Muslim



IINA - 04

Port Moresby, Dhul Quidah 17/Feb 11 (IINA) - Papua New Guinea is situated at the farthest point in the east, and occupies the eastern part of the island of New Guinea. It is also east of Indonesia, north of Australia and south of the Philippines, and has an area of 178,000 square miles. It is a mountainous and forested country, and was ruled by Holland, Germany, and Britain successively, but was later turned over to the United Nations, under whom it was ruled until its independence in 1975.

The first Muslims to arrive in Papua New Guinea were contracted laborers, who came to it in 1972, followed by diplomats from Malaysia and Indonesia, who came after the country had gained its independence, and it was they who started Daawa activity in the country.

In 1981, a Briton who was a permanent resident in Papua New Guinea embraced Islam, and the following year a number of indigenous Papuans followed suit, and by year 2000 the number of Muslims had grown to 2,000. The number of those embracing Islam continues to increase, despite all the impediments in Daawa work.

In order to carry out Daawa work properly, the Muslims of Papua New Guinea set up an Islamic Center here in 1988, and in this they were helped by the Malaysia-based Regional Council for Islamic Daawa in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. The Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs sent them an Imam, to lead prayers at the center.

Then in 1996 three more new Islamic centers were established, with help from the Makkah-based Muslim World League (MWL) and now there is a mosque that is being built that has a capacity for 1,500 worshippers. It is being built with assistance from the MWL and the Indonesian embassy in the country.

At the moment the number of Islamic centers in the country has reached seven, and their main function is to teach the locals matters relating to their faith, and to train prospective Imams who would man the increasing number of mosques.

In 1981, the Muslim Association of Papua New Guinea was formed, the main aim being to serve the needs of the Muslims, and has various constituent sections, such as the Youths Section, the Women’s Affairs Section, and the Publications Section.