Nepalese Muslims

Nepalese Muslims, while mainly Sunni, constitute a heterogeneous group of Madhesi Race. Their ancestors arrived in Nepal from different parts of South Asia and Tibet during different epochs, and have since lived amidst the numerically dominant Hindus. About 97% of the Muslim community live in the Terai region, while the other 3% are found mainly in the city of Kathmandu and the western hills. The community numbers 971,056, about 3.7% of the total population of Nepal. Districts with large Muslim population include Rautahat (17.2%), Bara (11.9%), and Parsa (17.3%) in the central Terai bordering the state of Bihar, Kapilbastu (16.8%) and Banke (16%) in the western Terai and Sirahi (7%) and Sunsari (10%) and Saptari (10%) eastern Terai.

Muslims have lived in Nepal for long period of time and have shared common historical experiences with the Hindu majority, and as such have developed a stronger identification with the Nepali state. However, the Terai Muslims, on the other hand, like other Terai communities, also continue to have strong ties across the border and receive cultural sustenance from the larger Muslim population of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.