Muslims in America
There are between 6 and 7 million Muslims in America
today. In other words, Muslims outnumber some Christian denominations
and are equal to the number of Jews. Research done in the year
2000 by prominent American universities and Islamic foundations
show that the number of Muslims is increasing rapidly and that
Islam is growing stronger day by day.
The above graphic representation
shows the rising numbers of mosques in America.
The main theme of this research, known as the Mosque
Study Project, is the establishment of mosques in America.
The reason for this is that mosques occupy a very special place
in any statistical compilations done with regard to the American
Muslim community. Mosques in America are both houses of worship
and gathering places for talking with one another and launching
cultural activities to make Islam more widely known. Every mosque
establishes a relationship with the press to introduce Islam to
a wider audience, speaks with local politicians, visits schools
and churches, engages in interfaith dialogue and carries on other
such activities. Thus, research done on these mosques is one of
the most useful tools for gathering accurate and enlightening
information on this community's state.
According to this research, America now has about 1,209
mosques, most of which were constructed very recently. Thirty
percent of these mosques were built in the 1990s, and 32% were
built in the 1980s. Other statistics show that in 1994, the total
number of mosques in America was 962; in 2000, there was a 25%
increase in this number.
These data show a natural parallel
with the growing number of Muslims. For example, according to
determinations made in 1994, the number of Muslims attending mosque
services was 500,000; in 2000, this figure had increased to 2
million-an approximately 300% increase. A significant part of
this number is composed of people who converted to Islam. The
same research shows that about 30% of those worshippers are converts.
According to these data, about 20,000 Americans accept Islam every
The above figures are the result of research done before
9/11 and rely on data from the year 2000. In 2001, especially
after 9/11, these figures have increased several fold.
Above we see pictures of mosques
in various states.
This rapid growth of Islam in America is related in a
news article, "Islam Is Growing in America," on the American army
Internet site (www.defenselink.mil)
who believe in Islam, are everywhere in the United States. They
may be your doctor or drive your taxi. They may serve you in restaurants
or advise you in law. And they increasingly may be in the same
foxhole, manning the same position or working on the same aircraft
as you … In the United States, Islam is the fastest growing religion
indication of Islam's rapid growth in America is the increasing
number of schools offering an Islamic education. A New York
Times report on New York's Islamic schools tells of the students'
intense interest. (Right) San Diego's Muslims, as well as
many others in America, were faced with a barrage of questions
after 9/11. This appeared in a report entitled "Muslims bridge
religious gaps by teaching more about faith."
||(Above) A report on the Worldnet Daily
Internet site states that after 9/11, students joined special
educational programs to learn more about Islam. They were
required to memorize Qur'anic verses and study Islamic history.
(Middle) A report in The Oregonian, entitled "New Focus: Exploring
Islam and Its Traditions," gives general information about
American Muslims and Islam. (Below) In the above edition of
the New York Times, a report entitled "Ramadan Enters New
York City School Life" tells about the special Ramadan arrangements
made in New York district schools for Muslim students.
A New York Times article, "Islam Attracts
Converts by the Thousands," contains interviews with converts,
analyzes Islam's rapid rise in America, and states:
With some 6 million
adherents in the United States, Islam is said to be the nation's
fastest-growing religion, fueled by immigration, high birth rates
and widespread conversion. One expert estimates that 25,000 people
a year become Muslims in this country; some clerics say they have
seen conversion rates quadruple since Sept. 11.46
An ABC News segment, "Islam: Rising
Tide in America," reported that some sociologists predict that
within 15 years there will be more Muslims than Jews in America.47
First chart we see the ethnic distribution
of American Muslims. The great majority of America's Muslim
population is South-Central Asian.Second chart on the right
shows the rising mosque attendance rates by American Muslims.
There has been a 77% increase. The fact sheet below, prepared
by the U.S. Department of State, includes the main figures
about Muslim life in America.
The continually rising influence
of Islam has provided better opportunities for Muslims living
in America. One place where this growth and development is most
noticeable is in Dearborn, Michigan. An article in the Detroit
News about the spread of Islam, particularly in Dearborn,
mentioned the city's growing number of mosques. But, according
to the article, this is not the only sign of Islam's rising influence;
the effects of this growth can be seen in restaurants, shopping
centers, and hospitals. For the first time in Michigan, in a McDonald's
restaurant, meals are available using meat cut according to Islamic
law. Prominent supermarkets in Dearborn have begun to sell "halal"
meat. Oakwood Hospital officials have started to adjust the hospital's
meal service especially for Muslim patients. Moreover, throughout
the month of Ramadan, the cafeteria's service hours are arranged
to suit Muslims.48
Like Dearborn, Muslims in Chicago
are also quickly gaining influence. Here, the Muslim community
is distinguished by its high level of education and prosperity.
Research conducted in the 1990s demonstrated that 16% of the Muslim
community's members were medical doctors, 33% were engineers,
44% had doctorate degrees, 84% had at least a bachelor's degree,
and only 2% had less than a high school education. Moreover, Muslims'
contributions to Chicago were highlighted. For example, the architect
of the John Hancock Center and the Sears Tower was a Muslim: Dr.
Fazlur Rahman. There is hardly a hospital without a Muslim doctor
on its staff and there is hardly an engineering or electronic
equipment manufacturer without Muslim engineers.49
(Above) A Florida Times report,
"Finding Faith in Islam," tells about the converts' thoughts
and ideas. A Seattle Times article entitled "Mosque overflows
with faithful" reports that Seattle Muslims are crowding
into their mosques. (Below) A report on the American Ministry
of Defense's Internet site, entitled "Islam Growing in America,"
gives an account of the Muslims' increasing influence in
American social life and introduces basic Islamic values.
Growing in America," American Forces Information Service, October
46. The New York Times, October 22, 2001.
47. Barr Seitz, "Islam Rising Tide in America,"
48. The Detroit News, March 21, 2001.
49. Islam in Chicago, Islam for Today, October