Poland is home to a small but dynamically growing Muslim community. Although there are no official statistics available, the number of Polish Muslims is believed to be up to 50.000 – a number that has increased significantly over the last ten years.
Islam was brought to Poland by Tatars about 600 years ago. From feared invaders in the XIII Century, the Tatars evolved into one of the most patriotic elements of the Polish nation. Treated with respect and equality, allowed complete religious freedom, they served with enthusiasm and made numerous sacrifices to their new fatherland. Over the years most of them lost their language and even the religion of their fathers by blending into Polish nobility and general population. Wars, partitions and border changes affected them severely, and today only about 5 thousand remain faithful to their tradition and Islam. But their involvement in epic struggles in defense of Poland, from the wars with the Teutonic Knights to fierce resistance against German-Soviet invasion of 1939 entitle them a special place in the society. They are not treated as a minority but as equal compatriots, just of different religion.
The second half of the 20th century has brought an influx of students from Muslim countries, many of whom decided to settle in Poland after the completion of their studies.
Shi'a in Poland
Shi’a Muslims constitute a small minority within the Polish Muslim community and they are represented by the Muslim Unity Society (Stowarzyszenie Jedności Muzułmańskiej), an organisation currently presided over by Rafał Ahmed Berger.