Islam in Sri Lanka is practiced by 9,7% of the population of Sri Lanka. Approx. 170000 of them live in the commercial capital city Colombo, so they make roughly 25% of all inhabitants in this city.
With the arrival of Arab traders in the 7th century CE, Islam began to flourish in Sri Lanka. The first people to profess the Islamic faith were Arab merchants and their native wives, whom they married after converting to Islam. By the 8th century CE, Arab traders had controlled much of the trade on the Indian Ocean, including that of Sri Lanka. Many of them settled down on the island in large numbers, encouraging the spread of Islam. However, when the Portuguese arrived during the 16th century, many of their descendants were persecuted.
Later during the Sri Lankan Civil War, a 26 year conflict, Muslims were targeted by the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, also known as the Tamil Tigers) and a few hundreds of Muslims died, hundreds of thousand were expelled from their homes and their property was destroyed. This expulsion of the Muslims from the Northern provinces was an act of ethnic cleansing carried out by the LTTE in October 1990. In order to achieve their goal of creating a mono ethnic Tamil state in the North Sri Lanka, the LTTE forcibly expelled the 95000 strong Muslim population from the Northern Province.
Ḥalāl (Arabic: حلال ḥalāl, “permissible”) or hallal is any object or an action which is permissible to use or engage in, according to Islamic law. Halal is often used in reference to foods, i.e. foods that are permissible for Muslims to eat or drink under Islamic Shariʻah. The food must come from a supplier that uses halal practices. Specifically, the slaughter must be performed by a Muslim, who must precede the slaughter by invoking the name of Allah, most commonly by saying “Bismillah” (“In the name of God”) and then three times “Allahu akbar” (God is the greatest). Then, the animal must be slaughtered with a sharp knife by cutting the throat, windpipe and the blood vessels in the neck, causing the animal’s death without cutting the spinal cord. Lastly, the blood from the veins must be drained.