Papua New Guinea’s boom in Muslim converts linked to customs

Muslims in Papua New Guinea. Source.

Islam is growing rapidly in Papua New Guinea, converts finding Muslim customs have more in common with their traditions than Christianity.

Melbourne University academic Scott Flower says all 73 Muslim converts he interviewed in PNG for new research had cited an affinity with Muslim practices as the main reason for their switch from Christianity…

…“Transition from traditional life to modernity is sparking a range of social and personal crises, leading people to search for new religions,” he says in his paper, published in Nova Religio…

…“They cited Islam’s acceptance of polygamy, the separation of men and women, avoidance of menstruating women, male ­supremacy, not walking behind women, and men’s wearing beards and moustaches,” he said.

Great. Islam is closer to ancient tribal practises. Treating women badly is now a selling point.

Previous post on Papua New Guinea: Sorcery And Sexism In Papua New Guinea.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    Headhunting is an old Papuan tradition. Islam fits to a tee.

    • Frau Katze

      Good grief! No wonder it’s popular.

      • ontario john

        I blame the Jews.

        • dance…dancetotheradio

          Me too.
          And for Gilbert Gottfried.

          The Olsen Twins walk into a bar and order two asshurts.
          The bartender says what’s an asshurt?
          The Olsen Twins say an asshurt is when Bob Saget gives you this milkshake and you wake up on your stomach three hours later.

    • Dana Garcia

      Yes indeedy, the headhunting tradition is a great fit.

    • Exile1981

      They also used to steal women and girls from neighboring tribes and village, so another link with Islam.

  • DMB

    Primitive minds are attracted to primitive ideas and beliefs.

  • Culture matters.

    It’s time to air-lift some people there and see what happens.

  • ontario john

    And what is Western Christianity doing to protect and expand the faith? Well, the largest protestant church in Canada, the united church is having a mild discussion on whether its appropriate for West Hill United in Scarborough to have an atheist minister who spends most of her time denouncing all religion. West Hill’s website is a hoot and an excellent example of what is wrong with Western Christianity.

  • Petey

    A new twist on an old joke. It’s now, “Can I still beat my wife?”

  • Polygamy has always been a massive selling point for Islam. David Livingstone was officially a missionary rather than en explorer. He does not seem to have made one permanent convert. He did briefly win over a chief after he saved his son’s life, but the old guy backslid after he found giving up his extra wives too difficult.

    • El Martyachi

      Christians in that region have no issues with polygamy. Trust me on this one..

  • dance…dancetotheradio

    Papua New Guinea also had kuru, a form of mad cow disease caused by eating infected corpses.

  • Papuans may add more Muslim rules based on their culture – a disobedient wife will not only be beaten, but also eaten.

    • dance…dancetotheradio

      You never take me anywhere.

  • Edubeat

    Correct me if I’m wrong (never) but isn’t PNG also the home of the ‘Cargo Cultists’ stretching back to WW2. You know the dudes who had never seen airplanes before and they prayed for them to return so they could claim all sorts of goodies parachuted to the Allied soldiers.

    • dance…dancetotheradio

      I was thinking the same thing but I didn’t realize it was PNG.
      Remember that movie from the eighties ‘The Gods Must Be Crazy’?
      Something about a Coke bottle.
      I think the cargo cultists would find a way to put a man on the moon before the arabs do.

    • Minicapt

      The cargo cult is more in the islands north of PNG, where the American built a variety of airfields.


  • pop

    You gotta laugh. The native customs are similar to Islam.

  • Porky won’t like this!

  • k1962

    That’s a shame.