A vast literature about the religions and histories of Papua New Guinea (PNG) exists, but less than a handful of items mention the history of Islam or Muslims in PNG. This paper contributes to an initial attempt to establish a comprehensive historical account of Islam in PNG's broader history by detailing the formal establishment of Islam there from 1976 to 1983. Beginning with Islam's expatriate Muslim founders, it examines the challenges and events that led to the religion's institutionalisation and consolidation. This period of early effort provided the basis for a self-sustaining and, of late, growing religion. The ideational, material and migratory effects of globalisation and decolonisation appear as factors in the growth of Islam in PNG, despite persistent Christian resistance to its presence. The paper draws upon numerous unpublished archival records and interview data collected during fieldwork to PNG in 2007.