Islamic centres of worship grow in U.S.

U.S. mosque worship have increased by three- quarters since 2000 and most take a moderate approach to Islam. Photo: Zereshk
U.S. mosque worship have increased by three- quarters since 2000 and most take a moderate approach to Islam. Photo: Zereshk
By on March 1, 2012

Since the year 2000, the number of mosques in the U.S. has risen by 74 per cent, according to an interfaith survey released yesterday. More than three-quarters of mosques have been established since 1980. And today, Muslims account for about one per cent of the American population, with the largest numbers of mosques concentrated in New York state and California.

Of the 525 mosque leaders interviewed for the poll, 98 per cent agree that Muslim should engage with the American institutions and 91 per cent support Muslim involvement in the political process. The majority do not feel that American society is hostile to Islam and 85 per cent disagree that radicalism among Muslim youth is on the rise.

In other findings, “The American Mosque 2011,” reported that in 2011 there were 2,106 Islamic centres of worship in the U.S. versus 1,209 in 2000. In 2011, 2.6 million people had attended Eid prayers to mark the end of Ramadan, a jump from two million in 2000.

Just one per cent of U.S. mosques follow a strict interpretation of Islam akin to Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabism, while more than half take a moderate approach to Islamic teachings.

American mosques are ethnically diverse. Among regular attendees, 33 per cent are of South Asian descent, 27 per cent Arab and 24 per cent African-American.
Led by Dr. Ihsan Bagby, an associate professor of Islamic studies at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, the mosque study is part of the Faith Communities Today partnership, which researches more than 300,000 houses of worship in the U.S. The report’s sponsors include the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Hartford Institute for Religion Research, the Islamic Society of North America and the Islamic Circle of North America.

For the full report, click here 

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