Islam in Portugal

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According to the Instituto Nacional de Estatística (the National Statistical Institute of Portugal), there were, according to the 1991 census, 9,134 Muslims in Portugal, about 0.1% of the total population, even though the Islamic Community of Lisbon presently points to a number of about 40,000 according to 2011 estimates.[1] The majority of Muslims in the country are Sunnis, followed by approximately 5,000 to 7,000 Sevener Ismā'īlī Shīʻa Muslims. There is also a small number of Ahmadiyya Muslims.[2] Most of the Muslim population originates from the former Portuguese overseas provinces of Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique, most of the latter having their origin in South Asia. Most of the muslims are from Mozambique. The Muslim population in Portugal also have an Islamic school in Palmela, named International School of Palmela which hosts students from around the globe, and brings tourism and a new spotlight to Portugal.


Old Mosque in Mértola. Converted into a church

From 711 to 1249, much of the territory of what is now Portugal (namely south of the Mondego river, but particularly in the Alentejo and the Algarve) was under Muslim control, and was called Gharb Al-Andalus (the west of Al-Andalus). This presence has left some cultural heritage in Portugal, such as Islamic art. The town of Mértola, in the Alentejo, possesses the only partial remains of a mosque, converted to a Catholic church (Church of Nossa Senhora da Anunciação) after the Reconquista.

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  1. ^ Comunidade Islâmica de Lisboa - Comunidade Islâmica em Portugal Archived 2009-12-18 at the Wayback Machine and Comunidade Islâmica de Lisboa - Quantos somos Archived 2009-12-18 at the Wayback Machine (dead links) (in Portuguese)
  2. ^ Shireen Hunter. Islam, Europe's Second Religion: The New Social, Cultural, and Political Landscapes. Praeger Publishers. p. 193. ISBN 0-275-97608-4. Retrieved 19 June 2014.

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