Number of American Mosques Grows by 25 Percent

Apr 26, 2001, 01:00 ET from Council on American-Islamic Relations

    WASHINGTON, April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- A national Islamic advocacy group
 today released a major study of the Muslim community in the United States
 indicating that the number of mosques grew by 25 percent in the past five
 years and that mosques are becoming dynamic centers for social and political
 mobilization.
     That report, called "The Mosque in America: A National Portrait," is the
 result of in-depth interviews with a randomized sample of representatives
 drawn from more than 1200 American mosques. (This figure is not the total
 number of American mosques. Smaller or new mosques may have been missed.
 Friday prayers held in places such as businesses and hospitals were not
 included in the count.)
     During a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.,
 the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) outlined some major findings
 contained in the survey: (To view the entire report, go to
 http://www.cair-net.org )
     "Mosques are not only centers for spirituality, they are now bases for
 political and social mobilization," says CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad.
     Awad added that Muslims are having a positive impact on American society.
 He cited last year's American Muslim voter registration drive and increased
 turnout by Muslim voters.
     "One of the most significant findings in this survey is that mosques are
 quite ethnically diverse," said Dr. Ihsan Bagby, the report's primary
 researcher. Bagby noted that 93 percent of all mosques are attended by more
 than one ethnic group.
 
     *  There is tremendous growth both in the number of mosques and in the
        number of those who take part in mosque activities. On average, there
        are more than 1,625 Muslims associated in some way with the religious
        life of each mosque. The average attendance at Friday prayer is 292
        worshipers. Some 2 million American Muslims are associated with a
        mosque.
 
     *  Report findings support conservative estimates of a total American
        Muslim population of 7 million.
 
     *  The number of participants has increased at more than 75 percent of
        mosques during the past five years. Growth is witnessed across the
        board but suburban mosques have experienced the greatest increases.
 
     *  Conversion rates are steady. On average nearly 30 percent of mosque
        participants are converts. The average mosque has 16 conversions per
        year.
 
     *  Mosques are relatively young: 30 percent of all mosques were
        established in the 1990s and 32 percent were founded in the 1980s.
 
     *  Four-fifths of mosques are located in a metropolitan area, most often a
        city neighborhood.
 
     *  At the average mosque, 33 percent of members are of South Asian origin
        (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, etc.), 30 percent are African-American,
        and 25 percent are from the Arabic-speaking world.
 
     *  Most mosques are involved in some outreach activities. During the past
        12 months, a majority of mosques have done each of the following
        activities: visited a school or church to present Islam, contacted the
        media, contacted a political leader, and participated in an interfaith
        dialogue.
 
     *  Almost 70 percent of mosques provide some type of assistance for the
        needy.
 
     *  More than 20 percent of mosques have a full-time school.
 
     *  More than 90 percent of respondents agree that Muslims should be
        involved in American institutions and should participate in the
        political process.
 
     *  In general, mosque leadership does not appear to be highly formalized
        or bureaucratic. At the majority of mosques, the leader is a volunteer,
        works part-time, and is employed outside the mosque.
 
     *  In a majority of mosques, final decision-making authority rests not
        with the leader but with a Majlis Ash-Shura (executive committee or
        board of directors).
 
     *  In most mosques with a board, women are allowed to serve as members.
 
     "The Mosque in America" is the largest and most comprehensive survey of
 its kind to be conducted in the United States. It is part of a larger study of
 American congregations called "Faith Communities Today" coordinated by
 Hartford Seminary's Hartford Institute for Religious Research. Muslim
 organizations sponsoring the report include CAIR, the Islamic Society of North
 America (ISNA), the Ministry of Imam W. Deen Mohammed, and the Islamic Circle
 of North America (ICNA).
 
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SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations
    WASHINGTON, April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- A national Islamic advocacy group
 today released a major study of the Muslim community in the United States
 indicating that the number of mosques grew by 25 percent in the past five
 years and that mosques are becoming dynamic centers for social and political
 mobilization.
     That report, called "The Mosque in America: A National Portrait," is the
 result of in-depth interviews with a randomized sample of representatives
 drawn from more than 1200 American mosques. (This figure is not the total
 number of American mosques. Smaller or new mosques may have been missed.
 Friday prayers held in places such as businesses and hospitals were not
 included in the count.)
     During a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.,
 the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) outlined some major findings
 contained in the survey: (To view the entire report, go to
 http://www.cair-net.org )
     "Mosques are not only centers for spirituality, they are now bases for
 political and social mobilization," says CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad.
     Awad added that Muslims are having a positive impact on American society.
 He cited last year's American Muslim voter registration drive and increased
 turnout by Muslim voters.
     "One of the most significant findings in this survey is that mosques are
 quite ethnically diverse," said Dr. Ihsan Bagby, the report's primary
 researcher. Bagby noted that 93 percent of all mosques are attended by more
 than one ethnic group.
 
     *  There is tremendous growth both in the number of mosques and in the
        number of those who take part in mosque activities. On average, there
        are more than 1,625 Muslims associated in some way with the religious
        life of each mosque. The average attendance at Friday prayer is 292
        worshipers. Some 2 million American Muslims are associated with a
        mosque.
 
     *  Report findings support conservative estimates of a total American
        Muslim population of 7 million.
 
     *  The number of participants has increased at more than 75 percent of
        mosques during the past five years. Growth is witnessed across the
        board but suburban mosques have experienced the greatest increases.
 
     *  Conversion rates are steady. On average nearly 30 percent of mosque
        participants are converts. The average mosque has 16 conversions per
        year.
 
     *  Mosques are relatively young: 30 percent of all mosques were
        established in the 1990s and 32 percent were founded in the 1980s.
 
     *  Four-fifths of mosques are located in a metropolitan area, most often a
        city neighborhood.
 
     *  At the average mosque, 33 percent of members are of South Asian origin
        (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, etc.), 30 percent are African-American,
        and 25 percent are from the Arabic-speaking world.
 
     *  Most mosques are involved in some outreach activities. During the past
        12 months, a majority of mosques have done each of the following
        activities: visited a school or church to present Islam, contacted the
        media, contacted a political leader, and participated in an interfaith
        dialogue.
 
     *  Almost 70 percent of mosques provide some type of assistance for the
        needy.
 
     *  More than 20 percent of mosques have a full-time school.
 
     *  More than 90 percent of respondents agree that Muslims should be
        involved in American institutions and should participate in the
        political process.
 
     *  In general, mosque leadership does not appear to be highly formalized
        or bureaucratic. At the majority of mosques, the leader is a volunteer,
        works part-time, and is employed outside the mosque.
 
     *  In a majority of mosques, final decision-making authority rests not
        with the leader but with a Majlis Ash-Shura (executive committee or
        board of directors).
 
     *  In most mosques with a board, women are allowed to serve as members.
 
     "The Mosque in America" is the largest and most comprehensive survey of
 its kind to be conducted in the United States. It is part of a larger study of
 American congregations called "Faith Communities Today" coordinated by
 Hartford Seminary's Hartford Institute for Religious Research. Muslim
 organizations sponsoring the report include CAIR, the Islamic Society of North
 America (ISNA), the Ministry of Imam W. Deen Mohammed, and the Islamic Circle
 of North America (ICNA).
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X67037484
 
 SOURCE  Council on American-Islamic Relations