The Bosniaks or Bosniacs (Bosnian: Bošnjak, pl: Bošnjaci, ) are a South Slavic ethnic group, living mainly in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a smaller indigenous minority also present in other lands of the Balkan Peninsula especially in Serbia, Montenegro and Croatia. Bosniaks are typically characterized by their historic tie to the Bosnian historical region, traditional adherence to Islam since the 15th and 16th centuries, common culture and language. In the English-speaking world, Bosniaks are also referred to as Bosnian Muslims or simply Bosnians. Bosniak has replaced Muslim as an official ethnic term in part to avoid confusion with the religious term Muslim – an adherent of Islam. The term Bosnian is used to denote all inhabitants of Bosnia regardless of ethnic origin.