Islam in the Indian Ocean was established by Muslim sea merchants well before the European discovery of Seychelles. However, unlike in other island states including the Comoros and Maldives, there were no permanent inhabitants in Seychelles until the French settlement in 1770. Today, the Muslim population of the islands is reported to be only 1.1%, roughly 900 people. Many of its island neighbors in the southern Indian Ocean, including Comoros, the Maldives and Zanzibar, have a much larger Muslim influence because of their colonization by Muslims, before European colonization. Mauritius also has a much higher Muslim population due to the importation of labour from British India on a scale not seen in Seychelles. The government of Seychelles allows 15 minutes of religious broadcasting every Friday for the Muslim community.