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Tanzania Muslim Population Article




1.African Islam in Tanzania
[Abdulaziz Y. Lodhi and David Westerlund ]
Because of extensive missionary activities and development projects, Tanzania is one of the most well-known countries of Africa. The idealistic socialist politics of president Julius Nyerere during the 1960's and 70's attracted many Westerners. Tanzania had approximately 30.4 million inhabitants in mid 1995; about 1% were of non-African origin. Even if the population growth is high, the country is (like most countries in Africa ( sparsely populated. The population consists of a large number of ethnic groups. The great majority of these are speakers of Bantu languages. The largest ethnic group is the Sukuma, spread south of Lake Victoria. South of the Sukuma live the Nyamwezi who, culturally and linguistically, are closely related to their northern neighbours. 


[By BROTHER MOHAMMED SAEED Muslim Writer’s Organization Dar es Salaam, Tanzania]

Islam has been in existence in East Africa since the eighth century. With Islam, emerged the lingua franca, Kiswahili, spoken throughout East and Central Africa and the Swahili culture which is mostly associated with Muslims. About two-thirds of East Africa’s Muslims reside in Tanzania which is the most populous of the East African countries i.e. Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. According to the 1957 population census, Muslims outnumbered Christians at a ratio of three to two. This means Tanzania is a leading Muslim nation in the region. But the 1967 census the total figures for Tanzania Mainland are 32% Christian, 30% Muslim and 37% local belief.


[By Khatib M. Rajab al-Zinjibari]

For the past three decades we have witnessed a radical study of the history of Zanzibar especially during the Omani Sultanate under the British Protectorate. Such history is neither perceived as an extension of European imperial history, nor it is exclusively concerned with the exploitation of Zanzibar by British colonial rulers, explorers, missionaries and administrators. But because of a Eurocentric colonial interpretation and exaggeration of Zanzibar's history as a hub of Arab's slavery, instead of as the exportation of the deluxe cloves in the global market, a new generation of Zanzibaris are utilizing innovative research materials at their own disposal..  


4. Muslims in Tanzania
 [By Aaliyah Bilal]

Underneath signs of economic progress in Tanzania, religious tensions persist, which threaten social cohesion and the political stability of the nation.It was a case of petty arson turned media spectacle. Amidst the violence of the 2005 Zanzibar elections, the Janjaweed militia— loyalists to the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi party—were charged with vandalizing and setting fire to a Kinuni residence by Civic United Front sympathizers. As cyberspace is a preferred platform for political protest throughout East Africa, one need look no further than the message boards of CUF activists to gauge the tone of this ideological duel. Speaking about the fire, one impassioned commentator writes, “Even the Holy Quran was not spared” beneath the image of a few charred pages.


5. Number of new Muslims going up
[By International Islamic News Agency (IINA)]
The number of new Muslims in Tanzania is on the increase, following the spread of Daawa work. One of those involved in Daawa work said that the majority of those who have recently embraced Islam belonged to the church, adding that 45 of them, mostly young men and women, converted to Islam in the span of a single month. He appealed to the country’s Muslims to help and support the new Muslims in whatever way possible.


[By Khatib M. Rajab al-Zinjibari]

When the former Tanzanian President Julius Kambarage Nyerere made the above address to his National Assembly that "the union between Zanzibar and Tanganyika is the most misunderstood aspects of Tanzanian's political development" proved that he is the only Tanzanian who knows "the manner and the implications of the union" after British colonialism in East Africa. 


[By Khatib M. Rajab al-Zinjibari]
Nationalism is a European ideology that demands for the sovereignty and independence of the people who live in a nation defined boundaries under a central rule which promotes and protects their secular life and interests. Among the major manifestations of such nationalistic sentiment were the American Revolution leading to the American Independence in 1776, and the French Revolution in 1789. Both revolutions stressed the principles of human dignity, equality, fraternity and equal opportunity. The American Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), a prominent "Founding Father" of America, stated that all people were born equal and that liberty and equality were inalienable rights of all. Such a nationalistic struggle for liberation spread and led to the rise of the sovereign states in Central Europe early in the 19th century and then rose in Eastern Europe later in that century.


8.Tanzania: East Africa
 The earliest concrete evidence of Islam and Muslims in eastern Africa is a mosque foundation in Lamu where gold, silver and copper coins dated AD 830 were found during an excavation in 1984. The oldest intact building in eastern Africa is a functioning mosque at Kizimkazi in southern Zanzibar Island dated AD 1007. It appears that Islam was common in the Indian Ocean by AD 1300. When Ibn Batuta of Morocco visited the East African coastlands in 1332, all the way down to the present border between Mozambique and South Africa, most of the coastal settlements were Muslim, and Arabic was the common literary and commercial language spoken all over the Indian Ocean - Batuta worked as a Kadhi, Supreme Muslim Jurist, in the Maldive Islands for one year using Arabic as his working language.


9. Snippet on Dhinnurain Society
 [By International Islamic News Agency (IINA)]
There are 33,000,000 Muslims in Tanzania, representing 65 percent of the total population, and both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are helping in such things as setting up, financing, running Holy Qur’an learning circles, which at the moment number 750.

Sheikh Said Abry has appealed to Islamic organizations to double their efforts in helping the growth of Islam in Tanzania, because at the moment, as he put it, Christian missionary activity has been intensified, while the Islamic organizations are notable in their absence


10.  Tanzanian fear at Islamic courts
[By BBC NEWS,24 October 2008]
They will create religious tension in a country that prides itself on high levels of religious and social tolerance, the church leaders say.

The petition was signed by 64 leaders from the Christian Council of Tanzania (CCT) and Pentecostal churches.A BBC reporter says public opinion is sharply divided over the issue.
Muslims make up nearly half of the population on mainland Tanzania.
The semi-autonomous archipelago of Zanzibar, where 99% of the population is Muslim, has had Kadhi courts as an official part of its justice system since 1985.


11.  Tanzanian police break up Muslim protest  The protest was organized by the Committee for the Defense of Muslim Rights to press for female students to be allowed to wear headscarves and trousers.

The demonstrators also want Friday made a half-day for Muslim workers.

Tanzania is a secular country, but almost half the population is Muslim.


12. The Question of Muslim Stagnation in Education

This paper will attempt to narrate and at times analyse problems facing Muslims in Tanzania in their quest to uplift themselves from the lower strata by equipping themselves with skills which can only be aquired through education. In this research paper we are introducing a hypothesis which we believe has not been researched into and therefore has remained hidden much as it has been in existence since independence - the concept of the power and influence of the Christianity and its role in the Tanzanian administrative machinery to counter Islam. This is the Christian lobby. This is an opportunity to see how the Christian lobby functions. It is a subject worth researching at the moment since it is one of the clues to the Muslims riddle of stagnation.


13.  Violence erupts between Christians and Muslims in Tanzani
 [By Mohamed Syed, Posted at]
On Aug 17 fighting broke out in the small town of Nguruka in the diocese of Western Tanganyika near Lake Victoria after Muslim evangelists accused an Anglican evangelist of blaspheming Islam.

According to press accounts, the fighting erupted after Muslims took offence to the preaching of an Anglican evangelist. The Citizen newspaper in Dar es Salaam denounced the violence saying it deserved the “condemnation of all people who aspire for religious harmony in Tanzania.”

“If the Muslims were offended by the preaching of the Anglican evangelist, as the reports say, the proper procedure was to report their grievances to the police, who, in our view, would have dealt with the issue in accordance with the law,” The Citizen argued, adding that freedom of religion should not be construed to mean carte blanche to attack other faiths.