Oman is an Arab country located in the southeastern part of the Arabian Peninsula, surrounded by the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. It has been an independent state since the 18th century and ruled by a sultan—Qaboos Bin Said al-Said—since 1970.

Almost the whole population (2,904,165 in 2004) is Muslim, consisting of the Ibadi, Sunnī, and Shi'a communities. The Ibadi Muslims constitute the largest group—between 40% and 75%. They were named after Abdallah Ibn Ibad al-Tamimi, an early Muslim scholar. Ibadi Muslims, seen by the Sunnī Muslims as an evolution of Kharijism, an early schism in Islam, have been present in Oman since the end of the seventh century. They also live in small communities in Algeria ...

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