United States: Report on the number of American mosques

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mosque_laAn exhaustive study entitled The American Mosque 2011 was published on February 29, 2012, by a committee of Muslim university organizations.  The investigation, conducted between February and July of 2010 by Ihsan Bagby, professor of Islamic studies at the University of Kentucky, consisted of a count of mosques, followed by interviews with their imams.  This study shows that in the United States there are 2,106 mosques in all, which is an increase of 74% over the year 2000, one year before the September 11 attacks.  “The Muslim community in America is full of energy and becoming more and more a part of the American landscape,” Ihsan Bagby declared.

Previously the Northeast of the United States had the largest number of mosques;  now they are concentrated in the South and West of the country.  The city of New York in any case remains the area with the highest number of places for Muslim worship:  257.  California has 246 mosques, followed by Texas, with 166 mosques.  Montana, where the non-Christian population is less than 1% of the total population, has 2.

The study shows moreover that the ethnic composition of the faithful has remained practically the same since 2000.  South Asians make up about one third, whereas Arabs and Africans each constitute one quarter.  The researchers observed a slight increase in practicing Muslims originally from West Africa and Somalia.  However the total number of Muslims in the United State is not known precisely, because the American census does not ask questions about religion.  According to a poll conducted last year, the Muslim community in the United States is said to number 2.75 million persons, or almost 1% of the American population. (Sources : Apic/Radio Canada/cair – DICI no. 252 dated March 30, 2012)

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