Tamil Muslim

Tamil Muslims are Tamils who practise Islam. The community is 5.7 million in India, primarily in the state of Tamil Nadu where 70% of the Muslim community identified themselves Tamils. The Tamil-speaking Muslims are descendants of marriages between early West Asian Muslims and Tamil women as well as local converts. The community is matrilineal, matriarchal and matrilocal. There is a substantial diaspora, particularly in Southeast Asia, which has seen their presence as early as the 13th century. In the late 20th century, the diaspora expanded to Western Europe, Persian Gulf and North America. A separate Tamil-speaking Muslim population also exists in Sri Lanka known as the Sri Lankan Moors, who do not identify as Tamils but are a mixture of Arab, Persian, South Indian and Malay ancestries of which the Dravidian element is predominant because of centuries of heavy Indian injection. Historically, both these Tamil speaking communities in India and Sri Lanka were known as the Sonakar, which is derived from the term Yona, originally meaning a West Asian.


Tamil Muslims are Tamils who practise Islam. The community is 5.7 million in India, primarily in the state of Tamil Nadu where 70% of the Muslim community identified themselves Tamils. The Tamil-speaking Muslims are descendants of marriages between early West Asian Muslims and Tamil women as well as local converts. The community is matrilineal, matriarchal and matrilocal. There is a substantial diaspora, particularly in Southeast Asia, which has seen their presence as early as the 13th century. In the late 20th century, the diaspora expanded to Western Europe, Persian Gulf and North America. A separate Tamil-speaking Muslim population also exists in Sri Lanka known as the Sri Lankan Moors, who do not identify as Tamils but are a mixture of Arab, Persian, South Indian and Malay ancestries of which the Dravidian element is predominant because of centuries of heavy Indian injection. Historically, both these Tamil speaking communities in India and Sri Lanka were known as the Sonakar, which is derived from the term Yona, originally meaning a West Asian.
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