Islam in Uganda

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The Uganda National Mosque is one of the largest mosques in Sub-Saharan Africa.

According to the 2002 National Census, Islam in Uganda was practiced by 12.1 percent of the population.[1] The Pew Research Center in 2014, however, estimated that 11.5 percent of Ugandans were Muslim, compared to 35.2 percent of Tanzanians, 9.7 percent of Kenyans, 6.2 percent of South Sudanese, 2.8 percent of Burundians, and 1.8 percent of Rwandans.[2] The vast majority of Muslims in Uganda are Sunni. Small Shia and Ahmadi minorities are also present.[3]

The Iganga District in the east of Uganda had the highest percentage of Muslims according to a 2009 published report.[4]

19th century

Islam had arrived in Uganda from the north and through inland networks of the East African coastal trade by the mid-nineteenth century. Some Baganda Muslims trace their family's conversion to the period in which Kabaka Mutesa I converted to Islam in the nineteenth century. Islam entered Uganda through the Buganda route in the 1840s and the northern Uganda route through the Turko- Egyptian influences. Kasozi, (1986: 23) gives 1844 as the year when the first Muslim Arab trader; Ahmed bin Ibrahim reached the King’s court in Buganda. [5]

20th century onwards

When Idi Amin, a Ugandan Muslim, became president in 1971, his presidency seemed to be a victory for Uganda's Muslim community. Then in 1972, Amin's expulsion of Asians from Uganda reduced the Muslim population significantly. As his administration deteriorated into a brutal and unsuccessful regime, Uganda's Muslims began to distance themselves from those in power.

After Amin's overthrow in 1979, Muslims became the victims of the backlash that was directed primarily against the Kakwa and Nubian ethnic groups who had supported Amin. Yusuf Lule, who served a brief term as president from 1979 to 1980, was also a Muslim (and a Muganda). He was not a skillful politician, but he was successful in reducing the public stigma attached to Islam.

In 1989, President Yoweri Museveni appealed to Uganda's Muslim community to contribute to national reconstruction, and he warned other Ugandans not to discriminate against Muslims. But at the same time, Museveni admonished Ugandans to avoid "sectarian" allegiances, and this warning was directed at the Islamic community as well as other ethnic and religious groups.

The Islamic University in Uganda is one of Uganda's institutes of Islamic teaching. It is located in Mbale in the foothills of Mount Elgon.

Persecution of non-Muslims

In June 2016, at least six Muslim villagers murdered a Christian woman in the Naigobya village of the Luuka District after she refused to apportion her land for the building of a Muslim mosque.[6] The Muslim in-laws of a Christian woman in Busandha village also in Luuka District poisoned to death her infant daughter for eating in the daytime of Ramadan.[6]

A July 2016 report said that a former imam, 53-year-old Kuluseni Iguru Tenywa of Budhagali village, Jinja District, lost his family, home, and business after his family and relatives found out he had become a Christian. He escaped after hearing their plans to end his life.[7]

2002 census

A rural mosque in Uganda

The 2002 national census recorded that Muslims represented 12.1 percent of the population.[1]:11

Region % Muslim
Central 18.4%[8]
Eastern 17.0%[8]
Northern 8.5%[8]
Western 4.5%[8]
Total 12.1%

Geographical distrubition

Yumbe District is the only district with a Muslim-majority (76%). Muslims form a significant minority in the districts of Mayuge (36%) and Iganga (34%).

Region/District
Population
(2002 census)
[9]
Number of Muslims Share of Muslims
Kampala District 1,187,795 268,787 22.6%
Iganga District 708,630 239,582 33.8%
Yumbe District 251,758 191,913 76.2%
Mukono District 795,114 165,817 20.9%
Masaka District 770,379 164,950 21.4%
Wakiso District 907,736 164,256 18.1%
Mbale District 717,534 132,247 18.4%
Arua District 833,538 123,229 14.8%
Mayuge District 324,668 117,526 36.2%
Kamuli District 707,242 112,177 15.9%
Bugiri District 412,365 101,571 24.6%
Jinja District 387,249 100,257 25.9%
Pallisa District 520,532 94,231 18.1%
Luwero District 478,492 89,232 18.6%
Mpigi District 407,739 87,314 21.4%
Kayunga District 294,568 76,127 25.8%
Mubende District 689,305 74,781 10.8%
Tororo District 536,732 63,381 11.8%
Mbarara District 1,088,012 61,273 5.6%
Rakai District 470,144 51,348 10.9%
Moyo District 194,734 35,569 18.3%
Kasese District 522,726 33,790 6.5%
Masindi District 459,244 31,753 6.9%
Bushenyi District 731,217 31,293 4.3%
Sironko District 283,056 28,961 10.2%
Kiboga District 229,297 27,839 12.1%
Sembabule District 180,028 27,408 15.2%
Busia District 224,887 22,322 9.9%
Ntungamo District 379,829 20,688 5.1%
Bundibugyo District 209,820 18,601 8.9%
Nebbi District 435,252 17,829 4.1%
Kabarole District 356,704 17,696 5.0%
Hoima District 343,480 17,438 5.1%
Kapchorwa District 190,282 16,324 8.6%
Kibaale District 405,761 13,044 3.2%
Kyenjojo District 377,109 11,754 3.1%
Kumi District 389,599 11,632 3.0%
Adjumani District 202,223 11,273 5.6%
Kamwenge District 263,595 10,865 4.1%
Lira District 740,893 9,566 1.3%
Nakasongola District 127,048 9,428 7.4%
Soroti District 369,621 8,541 2.3%
Kanungu District 204,640 5,564 2.7%
Rukungiri District 275,101 5,339 1.9%
Kalangala District 34,699 4,986 14.4%
Gulu District 475,071 4,597 1.0%
Apac District 683,987 3,999 0.6%
Kabale District 458,107 3,753 0.8%
Katakwi District 298,900 3,131 1.0%
Kotido District 591,870 2,313 0.4%
Moroto District 189,907 1,707 0.9%
Kisoro District 220,202 1,693 0.8%
Kitgum District 282,270 1,617 0.6%
Pader District 326,320 1,463 0.4%
Nakapiripirit District 154,494 1,390 0.9%
Kaberamaido District 131,627 956 0.7%
Uganda (total) 24,433,132 2,956,121 12.1%

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "2002 Uganda Population and Housing Census - Main Report" (PDF). Uganda Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  2. ^ "Global Religious Diversity: Appendix 2, Religious Diversity Index Scores and Religious Adherents by Region and Country" (PDF). Pew Research Center. 4 April 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  3. ^ "The World's Muslims: Unity and Diversity" (PDF). Pew Forum on Religious & Public life. 9 August 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
  4. ^ United States Department of State (26 October 2009). "Uganda". International Religious Freedom Report 2009. Retrieved 2010-06-05.
  5. ^ Kasozi, A.B.K., 1994. Social Origins of Violence in Uganda, 1964-1985
  6. ^ a b "Christian widow murdered for refusing to give her land for mosque; Muslim woman kills infant baby fed during Ramadan", Christian Times, 4 July 2016, accessed 25 December 2016
  7. ^ Muslim Imam converts to Christianity in Uganda; Resulting persecution sees him lose family, home and business. 26 July 2016. Retrieved 25 December 2016
  8. ^ a b c d "2002 Uganda Population and Housing Census - Population Composition (Household Composition, Religious and Ethnic Composition and Marriage)" (PDF). Uganda Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  9. ^ [1]

External links

  • Muslim population estimates on islamicweb.com
  • Muslim population estimates on Islamicpopulation.com
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