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Ivory Coast Muslim Population Article

Ivory Coast


1.  Ivory Coast's Muslims Enjoy Peaceful Beginning of Ramadan
By Abdel Qader Anoi, IslamOnline(IOL) Correspondent]

About 40 percent of Ivorian nationals and three quarters of the immigrant population in Ivory Coast are Muslims. They are often all referred to as Dioulas, the name of one of the country's Muslim ethnic groups.

Definitions of ethnicity and religious belief are often blurred in Ivory Coast, where Christians have long dominated the political leadership. For example, the current civil war pits northern and western ethnic groups against the south. Most of the northerners are Muslims and most of the southerners are Christians, but that aspect of the divide is seldom mentioned.

In the past two elections, the government prevented many northern Muslims from voting by raising questions about their nationality. The government also barred the exiled Muslim opposition leader, former Prime Minister Alasanne Ouattara, from running for president by raising questions about his nationality.