|Islam in Sri Lanka|
Muslims in Sri Lanka are 10% of the population or around 2 million. The Muslim community is divided into three main ethnic groups: Sri Lankan Moors (92%), Indians, and Malays (5%) with small numbers of Sinhalese converts.|
With the arrival of Arab traders in the 8th century, Islam began to flourish in Sri Lanka. The first Muslims were Arab merchants and their native wives, whom they married after converting to Islam. By the 15th century, Arab traders controlled much of the trade on the Indian Ocean, including Sri Lanka's. Many of them settled there spreading Islam. Their descendants are the Moors.
During the 18th and 19th centuries, Javanese and Malaysian Muslims were bought over by the Dutch and British as soldiers or political prisoners. Their descendants are Malays. Muslims from India arrived during the 19th and 20th centuries.
The Muslim Religious and Cultural Affairs Department handles Muslim affairs. There are 5,000 Musjids, 749 Muslim schools, 205 Madresas and an Islamic university.
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