Arab colonization

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Arab colonization

Post  kosovohp on Thu Nov 25, 2010 12:55 am

Arab merchants first brought Arab Islamic influence to the islands. One likely theory is that as Arabs traded for slaves in Africa, the spread and dominance of Arab culture was increased. As their religion gained hold, large mosques were constructed. The Comoro Islands, like other coastal areas in the region, were important stops in early Islamic trade routes frequented by Persians and Arabs. Despite its distance from the coast, Comoros is situated along the major sea route between Kilwa and Mozambique, an outlet for Zimbabwean gold.[12]

The Shirazi people traded along the coasts of East Africa, and the Middle East, establishing settlements and colonies in the archipelago.

Arab colonization in the region increased when nearby Zanzibar fell to Arab Omani rule, and Comorian culture, especially architecture and religion, also increasingly came under Arab imperial sway. Many rival sultanates colonized the area in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.[13]

By the time Europeans showed interest in the Comoros, the dominant Arab cultural veneer of the islands led many to remind of the society's Arab colonial history at the expense of its native Swahili and African heritage. More recent western scholarship by Thomas Spear and Randall Pouwells emphasizes black African historical predominance over the diffusionist perspective.
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