ISLAM and MUSLIMS IN SOLOMON ISLANDS
Land area : 10,633 sq mi (27,539 sq km); total area: 10,985 sq mi (28,450 sq km)
Population (2007 est.) : 566,842 (growth rate: 2.5%); birth rate: 29.3/1000; infant mortality rate: 20.0/1000; life expectancy: 73.2; density per sq mi: 53
Capital city (2003 est.) : Honiara (on Guadalcanal), 54,600
Monetary unit : Solomon Islands dollar
Languages : English 1%–2% (official), Melanesian pidgin (lingua franca), 120 indigenous languages
Ethnicity/race : Melanesian 94.5%, Polynesian 3%, Micronesian 1.2%, other 1.1%, unspecified 0.2% (1999)
Religions : Church of Melanesia 33%, Roman Catholic 19%, Seventh-Day Adventist 11%, United Church 10%, Christian Fellowship Church 2%, other Christian 4% (1999)
Literacy rate : n.a
Economic summary : GDP/PPP (2002 est.): $800 million; per capita $1,700. Real growth rate: 5.8% (2003 est.). Inflation: 10% (2003).
A scattered archipelago of about 1,000 mountainous islands and low-lying coral atolls, the Solomon Islands lie east of Papua New Guinea and northeast of Australia in the south Pacific. The islands include Guadalcanal, Malaita, Santa Isabel, San Cristóbal, Choiseul, New Georgia, and the Santa Cruz group.
It is thought that people have lived in the Solomon Islands since at least 2000 B.C. Explored in 1568 by Alvaro de Mendana of Spain, the Solomons were not visited again for about 200 years. In 1886, Great Britain and Germany divided the islands between them, but later Britain was given control of the entire territory. The Japanese invaded the islands in World War II, and they were the scene of some of the bloodiest battles in the Pacific theater, most famously the battle of Guadalcanal. The British gained control of the island again in 1945. In 1976 the islands became self-governing and gained independence in 1978.
Islamic History and Muslims
The United States Department of State's International Religious Freedom Report states that according to the most recent reports, there are approximately 350 Muslims in the Solomon Islands. Adherents.com estimates that there are about 70 muslims in the country, receiving this number from a 1996 estimate. When the deadly Solomons tsunami crashed through Gizo and Western Province killing 53 people and displacing thousands of villagers, the international Muslim Aid organization quickly dispatched medical teams and supplies for the affected areas and islanders embraced this aid as much as any other. Radio SIBC reported in July 2005 claims made by the countries’ Finance Minister Peter Boyers, that Islamic militants from Indonesia had tried recruiting young Solomon Islanders for training camps in Indonesia. The Minister said that Solomon Islands Muslim groups were against radical Islam and refused the request, something supported by Felix Narasia of the Islamic Society of Solomon Islands. Narasia said the Islamic Society denounces any recruitment of Solomon Island youth for such purposes, saying such contacts were “illegal” and outside the Islamic Society of Solomon Islands.
Islamic Centers and Organizations
Muslim Owned Business