In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Grande Strategy

Islam in USA

Islam in USA1, By Tariq Mahmud Ashraf


"Islam is the fastest-growing religion in America, a guide and pillar of stability for many of our people..."2

Hillary Rodman Clinton

Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the country.3


Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the United States..."4

New York Times

Five to 6 million strong, Muslims in America already outnumber Presbyterians, Episcopalians, and Mormons, and they are more numerous than Quakers, Unitarians, Seventh-day Adventists, Mennonites, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Christian Scientists, combined. Many demographers say Islam has overtaken Judaism as the country's second-most commonly practiced religion; others say it is in the passing lane.5

US News

In fact, religion experts say Islam is the second-largest religion in the United States... Islam has 5 million to 6 million members, followed by Judaism, with approximately 4.5 million..... And Islam is believed to be fastest-growing religion in the country, with half its expansion coming from new immigrants and the other half from conversions.6

Knight-Ridder News Service


The above quotations of notable Americans and extracts from writings that have appeared in various journals / periodicals of repute all allude to the underlying fact that the religion of Islam is spreading fast in USA. This reality has also been the conclusion of most research surveys and polls that have been conducted during the recent years.

The hype created by Samuel Huntington’s ‘Clash of Civilizations’ appeared all the more true in the aftermath of the September 2001 acts of terrorism against the twin towers in New York. The subsequent backlash that led to the US invasion firstly of Afghanistan and later of Iraq, precipitated a feeling among some Muslim circles that the slogan of ‘War against Terror’ was actually another name for waging a War against Islam. Subsequent incidents such as the US’s continued silent acceptance of the Israeli atrocities against innocent Palestinians, the incidents of US and Coalition troops targeting some mosques in Iraq and the despicable degradation of Muslim prisoners in Abu Gharaib prison by US servicemen further added insult to the injury by strengthening the perception that the predominantly Christian West had actually embarked on yet another ‘Crusade’ against Islam.

In this backdrop, the increasing reports of the rapid spread of Islam in the USA must be seen in a new light. The most authoritative study in this regard is the report titled ‘Mosque in America: A National Portrait’ that was released on April 26, 2001, less than six months prior to the 11 September 2001 incidents.7 This article focuses on the salient conclusions contained in this study and aims to present a broad picture of Islam as it exists today in USA.

The spread and presence of Islam in USA would be highlighted under the following specific headings some of which have also been referred to in the report titled “Mosque in America – A National Portrait” that has also been cited as the source in Endnote 6.

Advent of Islam in USA

I was surprised and I am sure most of the readers would also be, to learn that according to some sources, Muslims had reached North America even before Christopher Columbus is credited with having discovered it. This information is available at various websites on the internet and even refers to Christopher Columbus having recorded in his diary regarding the sighting of a mosque in Cuba during his voyage to America. According to Fareed Nu’man the earliest known references to Muslims having reached the shores of America date back to the later part of 12th and the early part of the 14th Century8:


A Chinese document know as the Sung Document records the voyage of Muslim sailors to a land know as Mu-Lan-Pi (America). Mention of this document is contained in the publication, the Khotan Amiers, 1933.


Abu Bakari (Abu Bakar), a Muslim king of the Malian Empire, spearheads a series of sea voyages to the New World.


African Muslims (Mandinga) arrive in the Gulf of Mexico for exploration of the American interior using the Mississippi River as their access route. These Muslim explorers were from Mali and other parts of West Africa.

On the opening page of the website of American Muslim Perspective Online magazine, the Editor, in an opening note that acknowledges Fareed Numan’s December 1992 paper ‘The glimpses of Muslim Life in American history’, mentions the early days of Muslims in America by saying9:

Muslims explored North America at least 300 years before the discovery of the New World by Christopher Columbus, according to many researchers.

Dr. Barry Fell, a noted New Zealand archaeologist and linguist of Harvard University showed detailed existing evidence in his work, "Saga America" that Muslims were not only in the Americas before Columbus arrived, but very active there as well.

Ivan Van Sertima, in his renowned work, "They Came Before Columbus" confirms that there was definitely contact between the ancient and early African people with the Native Americans.

Columbus logged on October 21st, 1492, that he was sailing past Gibara on the coast of Cuba he saw a mosque. He also logged that remnants of other masjids (mosques) have been found in Cuba, Mexico, Texas and Nevada.

Another researcher, Muhammad Abdullah Ahari, mentions the following earliest incidents of Muslims having come to America10:

1527: Estevanico of Azamor, a Muslim from Morocco, lands in Florida with the ill-fated expedition of Panfilo de Narvaez. Estevanico remained in America to become the first of three Americans to cross the continent.

1530: First slave ships land in America. Although Muslims were not documented among the slaves, many slaves in early trade came from places where Islam was practiced. More than 30 percent of the 10 million people sold into slavery in the United States were Muslim.

1717: Records show that slaves who speak Arabic are brought to North America. Some of the slaves also did not eat pork and believed in Allah and Muhammad.

On its official website, the Department of State of the US Government has this to say about the pattern of Muslim immigration to the US11:

While there were some Muslims among the African slaves who came to work in plantations in the American South in the 18th and 19th centuries, very few retained an Islamic identity. Most scholars of Islam focus, then, on the immigrant Muslims who arrived in the West from the Middle East in the latter part of the 19th century. These Muslim migrations to America have taken place in what can be seen as a series of distinguishable periods, often called "waves," although historians do not always agree on what constitutes a wave.

The earliest arrivals came between 1875 and 1912 from the rural areas of present-day Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, and Israel. The area, then known as Greater Syria, was ruled by the Ottoman Empire. The majority of the men coming from this area were Christians, though some were from Muslim groups. Economically motivated single men for the most part, they worked as laborers and merchants, intending to stay only long enough to earn enough money to support their families back home. Some were fleeing conscription into the Turkish army. Gradually, they began to settle in the eastern United States, the Middle West, and along the Pacific Coast.

After the end of the World War I, the demise of the Ottoman Empire resulted in a second wave of immigration from the Muslim Middle East. This was also the period of Western colonial rule in the Middle East under the mandate system created to "govern" Arab lands. The war had brought such devastation to Lebanon that many had to flee simply to survive. Significant numbers of Muslims decided to move to the West, now for political as well as economic reasons. Many joined relatives who had arrived earlier and were already established in the United States.

During the 1930s, under this system, the movement of Muslims to America slowed to a trickle. Immigration during this period was limited largely relatives of persons already resident in America since they had preference under the system. Many of those living in the United States were now beginning to realize that their dreams of returning home probably would not be fulfilled and that they needed the support and structure provided by their families. The third identifiable period of immigration, from 1947 to 1960, again saw increasing numbers of Muslims arriving in the United States, now from countries well beyond the Middle East.

In the aftermath of the Second World War, the trend of immigrants from Muslim countries steadily continued to increase. This flow of fresh Muslims when added to their off-spring and the thousands of non-Muslim Americans who converted to Islam have made the Muslims of USA the second biggest religious group after the Christians in that country. Other than the immigrants, a significant addition to the Muslim ranks was brought about by the African-American ‘Nation of Islam’ movement. Other events of turmoil in the Muslim world such as the Islamic Revolution in Iran also led to Muslim immigrants coming to the US in large numbers in recent times.

Number of Muslims in USA

Although the exact number of Muslims in USA is not known, varying estimates place the figure as high as 6-8 million. The figure of 6 million has been cited by the maximum sources and the CAIR study from which most of the data for this article has been extracted also corroborates this approximation. The various figures quoted by the different sources are tabulated below:

Source Est. of US Muslim population
Wendy M Zoba12 Islam, U.S.A. - Are Christians prepared for Muslims in the mainstream? Published in Christianity Today 4-6
Johan Blank13 USNews 5-6 million
Elsa C. Arnett14 Knight-Ridder News Service 5-6 million
Ihsan Bagby15 CAIR study ‘Mosque in America – A National Portrait’ 6-7 million
US Govt16 2-7
USA Today17 7 million
Fareed H. Numan18 The Muslim Population In The United States - A Brief Statement December 1992. 5 million
Sun Times19
U.S. seeing big growth in Muslim population 6 million
Dr. Sayyid Syeed20 Secretary-General of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) 6-8 million
The New York Times21 America: The Nation’s Fastest Growing Religion by M.M. Ali(1994) 2-4 million
Dr. Diana Eck22 America: The Nation’s Fastest Growing Religion by M.M. Ali 4-6 million
Dr Clinton Bennett23 6 million
Brenda Walker24 Taliban USA? Moslems Target American Democracy 6-8 million
Abdul Malik Mujahid25 Muslims in America: Profile 2001 3-9 million

The World Almanac 200126 5.8 million
Ilyas Ba-Yunus27 Muslim of Illinois, A Demographic Report, , East-West University, Chicago, 1997, p.9 6.7 million
William B. Milam28 Ex-U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan (1999) 7 million
Kosmin29 Population survey of US Jewish population 3 million

As the reader can assess from the above figures, there is no accurate estimate of the Muslim population in the US available. The prime reason for this is that the US Government does not require her Immigration (INS) and Census agencies to keep any record of the religion of the immigrants / residents / nationals on the plea of protecting their individual privacy rights. To me this appears strange for a country as advanced and as concerned about its ethnic content as the United States, and I attribute this to the following possible reasons30:

  • The US Government, fearing the possibility of a domestic backlash, does not want to project the correct figures of the Muslim population in the country.

  • A correct estimate of the Muslim population could well encourage them to start playing a more prominent role in the affairs of the country.

  • The resultant anti-Muslim tirade could, apart from threatening internal security, also impede the flow of fresh immigrants from the Islamic world to the US – something that the US can ill afford.

  • In her global campaign against Terrorism, the US is targeting several Muslim extremist organizations and cannot afford to simultaneously open a domestic front by alienating the US Muslims especially so if they become aware of their actual strength and numbers.

  • Since a large percentage of the Muslims in the US are of African-American / South Asian origin, any campaign against them in the US could fall into the category of ‘racial discrimination’ and apartheid.

Based on my analysis of all the possible information that I could gather on the subject, I am convinced that even the most optimistic estimates of 8 million Muslim citizens of USA are an understatement and the actual strength would be appreciably more – somewhere in the vicinity of 10 million or even more.

Sources of Increasing Muslim population in USA

Most analysts and researchers agree that the Muslims of USA come from the following three main sources31:

  • Muslim immigrants

  • American adherents of other religions who convert / revert to Islam

  • Children born to above two categories of Muslims.

Ethnicity of Muslims in USA

About two-thirds of all Muslims in the United States are immigrants and their descendants.32 However, the American Muslim Council reports that 42% of all Muslims are African-Americans, 24% are of South Asian origin and 12% of Arab origin.33 A more detailed and elaborate analysis included in the CAIR report and also available on a US Government website, depicts the following ethnic composition pattern of US Muslims.

According to the data depicted on this chart, the Muslims can be divided into three distinct ethnic subdivisions, each of which makes up almost one-third of the total Muslim population of the USA:

  • Native African-Americans and African immigrants (33%)

  • Immigrants from South and Central Asia and their off-spring (33%)

  • Others including Arabs, Europeans and South East Asians (34%)

Number of Mosques in USA34

According to the CAIR study issued in 2001, the total number of mosques in the US is 1209. This figure indicates a very high rate of increase which is disproportionate to the cited rate of increase in the number of Muslims in USA. The distribution of Mosques in USA depicts a peculiar picture with the following six states having the highest number of mosques:


Number of Mosques



New York


New Jersey


Texas and Pennsylvania

67 each



US States with maximum number of mosques

The data for the states with the least number of mosques is depicted below:


Number of Mosques

South Dakota, New Hampshire & Maine

1 each

Montana, Hawaii, Vermont & Wyoming

2 each

North Dakota, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Alaska & Delaware

3 each

West Virginia & Nebraska

4 each

Rhode Island

5 each

US States with minimum number of mosques

The following interesting aspects emerge from an analysis of these figures:

  • All the states with high number of mosques with the exception of Illinois are coastal states and Illinois also has an opening on the Great Lakes.

  • All the states listed in the above table are generally located on the edges of the Continental US mainland.

  • The Midwestern and some of the New England states have the least number of mosques.

The increase in the number of mosques in the six states that have the maximum number of mosques indicates a very sharp rise in their numbers over the 15 year period from 1986 to 2001 and this data is depicted on the chart below35:

Dr Ihsan Bagby, who had carried out a similar study in 1994, reports in the CAIR publication that while he counted 964 mosques in the US in 1994, the number has increased now to 1209 indicating a rate of increase of over 25%. Another source states that ‘in the United States, nearly 80 percent of the more than 1,200 mosques have been built in the past 12 years’.36 According to Barr Seitz of ABC News, ‘the number of mosques in this country (USA) has increased from 843 to about 1,300’.37

The increase in the US Muslim population has manifested itself in the extremely rapid growth of mosques all over the country. The CAIR study indicates that the wave of Islamic revival that commenced in the 1970s is continuing unabated without any signs of a slow down. This trend can be best appreciated when one studies the rate of growth in the number of mosques in USA over the past decades. This data depicts an almost astronomical increase commencing with the 1970s decade that is still continuing. Interestingly, after peaking during the 1980s, the number of new mosques being established has shown a slight decline during the decade of the 90s.

I feel that in the aftermath of the September 11 tragedy, this downturn could be expected to get further accentuated and pronounced – at least for the next 10-15 years or until the conditions stabilize and the War on Terror reaches a conclusion.

Attendance at Mosques in USA

Corresponding to the increase in the number of mosques in USA38 has been the rise that has been seen in the number of people attending the prayers congregations in the mosques. According to the CAIR study, 77% of the mosques have experienced an increase in the number of worshippers while 18% have not seen any major shift in the numbers and only 5% have reported a decrease in the number of mosque goers.

This fact could be ascribed to two factors; either the number of Muslims in USA has increased or the number of US Muslims who are reverting back to the fundamentals of Islam is rapidly on the rise.

According to the CAIR study, as high as 47% of the regular Muslims who attend prayer congregations in the US fall in the age category of below 35 years. Also, the report, while comparing its results with a similar previous study that was undertaken in 1994, reports that the number of Muslims attending Friday prayer congregations in the mosques has shown a sharp rise by over 94% from the earlier figure of 150 to 292 worshippers in every mosque.

Although the growth in the number of Muslims attending mosques has generally been across the board, the maximum increase has been experienced in the mosques located in the suburban areas and localities of USA.

The breakdown of males, females and children who attend Friday prayer congregations in mosques indicates that a vast majority (78%) are males with women (15%) and children 7%) making up the remaining smaller percentages.

It is interesting to see that 15% of the Muslim worshippers attending the Friday mosque congregations in USA are women since in a significant number of Islamic countries including the Middle East and Pakistan, females generally do not visit the mosques for offering their prayers and in stead say their prayers at home. This definitely appears to be a fall-out of the more open society and social environment that prevails in the USA as compared to more restrictive setting that characterizes the social scene of a large number of Islamic countries. The CAIR report, while comparing its results with a similar unpublished study conducted by Dr Ihsan Bagby in 1994, does cite that as compared to 52% of the mosques having arrangements for placing curtains to segregate the male from the female worshippers in 1994, the number in 2001 has reached 66% depicting an increasing adoption of separate arrangements being made for females during prayers in the mosques. Moreover, in about seven-tenths (69 percent) of mosques with a governing board, women are allowed to serve. However, women have served during the last five years in only half of mosques, or in 72 percent of mosques that permit it. In the 1994 Study, 67% of mosques allowed women to serve on the board.

The phenomenal increase is the number of mosque-goers is further highlighted by the following data extracted from the CAIR report which indicates that while 61% of the mosques have experienced an increase of greater than 10% in the attendees, only 4% have reported a drop in attendance of more than 10%. This indicates that not only is the number of mosque-goers increasing but also that most of the mosque-goers are consistent as far as visiting their mosques for prayers is concerned.

Conversions to Islam

As mentioned earlier, other than the primary source of Muslims that is the immigrants that are adherents of this religion and their offspring, the category which is experiencing a rapid rise is the number of adherents of other religions who are converting to the faith of Islam. The CAIR study has analyzed this aspect at great length. According to this report and various other sources, the maximum number of people that are converting to Islam are male African Americans. Also, some reports suggest that a significant number of these conversions take place inside prisons which are being targeted for this purpose by the various Muslim preachers. According to one source, ‘the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Washington D.C. sends 100 Qur'ans a month to prisons while imams (spiritual leaders) send volunteers to teach Arabic’.39

The same article written by Wendy Zoba that has been quoted above, goes on to say, ‘Islam is gaining most of its U.S. converts in prisons and on university campuses. The majority of American converts to Islam—85 to 90 percent—are black. Of the estimated 6 million Muslims in the U.S., 2.6 million are black. She also quotes Carl Ellis as having said, "One out of every 15 blacks identifies him or herself as Muslim. Anglo women make up another demographic with a surprisingly high conversion rate in the U.S.”40 The CAIR report cites a figure of between 17 to 30% of the increase in Muslim population is due to conversions. A detailed ethnic breakdown of the US population that is embracing Islam is depicted on the subsequent chart that has been extracted from the CAIR study. This data indicates that almost two thirds of the people converting to Islam in the USA belong to the African-American ethnic community followed by the Whites who make up 27% of the converts. Interestingly, while the majority of the African Americans who convert to Islam are males, amongst the Whites, it is the females who embrace Islam in higher numbers.

According to the CAIR study, 91% of the mosques that were contacted during the research reported at least one non-Muslim converting to Islam during the preceding 12 months with the average annual number of converts being reported by the mosques to be 16.3 individuals. Interestingly, this figure is almost the same that was determined by Dr Bagby’s study in 1994 when it stood at 16.5 annual conversions having occurred at every mosque.

The fact that more African-American males and more White females are attracted to Islam is a social phenomenon of great interest that merits a greater and in-depth study. Considering the ‘egalitarian’ environment that Islam offers attracts generally attracts the suppressed, dissatisfied and weaker communities such as the African-American males, could it be the White women are also becoming aware that they are being discriminated against.

According to the CAIR study, an average of 19,700 adherents of other religions in the US embrace Islam every year. Of this number, African Americans make up 14,000 or 71% with 13,000 of these African-Americans being males. It has been reported that in the state of Illinois, a growth of about 25% in the Muslim population was found to be due to conversion. The report goes on to say that ‘about 41% of these new Muslims in Illinois and 61% in the State of New York leave Islam within a few years’41.

The detailed ethnic and gender-wise breakdown of these converts is tabulated below.

Financial status of Mosques in USA

The 1994 as well as the 2001 report have reported similar findings as regards the financial situation of the mosques in USA. The table below depicts the data from both these reports is a comparative format and lists the percentage of mosques that fall into the various financial categories.

When looked at from an ethnic perspective, it emerges that the maximum number of mosques that are experiencing financial problems are those that are frequent by US Muslims belonging to the African-American ethnic community. The CAIR study also indicates that while the financial condition of 66% of the mosques has not changed markedly between 1994 and 2001, 16% have reported an improvement in their financial health and the remaining 18% have reported a slight drop in their financial status. While almost a quarter (24%) of the mosques reported earnings of over US $100,000 during the year prior to the survey, only 5% reported no income. This could be a sign of both; increase in the number of mosque-goers as well as an increase in the annual earnings of the Muslim inhabitants of USA.

Increased Muslim Participation in US National Affairs

According to the CAIR study, the most prominent aspect of the survey was the dramatic change in the wide spectrum of activities that most mosques were involved in. Rather than being solely places of worship, these institutions have emerged as a social point of contact for the Muslim community and have rendered a lot of social services for the underprivileged amongst their respective communities. Also, the increased political awareness of the Muslims and the realization that they can also make their votes count has given them the confidence to participate in US national affairs unlike their previous abstinence. According to various reports, over 70% of the Muslims in USA feel that they should, as a community, be involved in US institutions and should also participate in the political activities at the state as well as the national levels.

The past few years have witnessed the mosques in USA taking an increasing part in providing social services to the needy. These range from cash handouts for the needy to counselling services, soup kitchens, collection drives for the needy and most importantly, voter registration.

Another significant role of the mosques in USA is their increasing involvement in imparting religious education to the off-spring of their congregation members. Since this facility was not available earlier in any significant manner, its impact on the new generation of Muslims born in the USA is expected to be fairly pronounced. However, unlike some Islamic countries where these education centers are being accused of fomenting and nurturing extremism, the ones in the US are not expected to do so primarily because of the overall liberal social environment and also because more than half of the mosque-goers in USA are highly educated and would not allow their children to deviate from the societal norms that are prevalent in most of USA. It has been reported that 21% of the mosques have full-time school facilities available that are availed by an estimated number of 31,700 pupils. Most of these mosques that have established schools cater primarily to the Arab and the South Asian Muslim communities all over America.

Interestingly, 53% of the mosques included in the CAIR research reported that the ambit of their social and community welfare programs also extended to non-Muslims residing in their respective communities. If continued or even enhanced in scale, this measure alone could enable the Muslims of USA to dispel some of the negative misperceptions that prevail regarding them amongst a sizeable portion of the predominantly Christian US population.

The number of students being catered to by the mosques is depicted on the following chart:

Understandably, the mosques that have larger congregations also run larger educational facilities for the off-spring of their members. As regards the educational activities of the mosques in USA, the researchers did not discern any significant deviation from the data collected in 1994 to the figures determined after the 2001 study. Reportedly almost three-fourth of the mosques offer regular Islamic study classes while significantly more than half run Arabic language classes.


Almost all the sources tapped by the author in compiling the material for this article are unanimous in asserting that Islam is the fastest growing religion in USA and according to some, its adherents already exceed the Jewish community in that country. This makes Islam the second largest region in USA after Christianity. It is very unfortunate, therefore, that no accurate figures are available anywhere regarding the actual number of Muslims who call USA their home.

Since the US Government, in an effort not to violate the privacy of its citizens does not require them to specify or declare their religion on most official documents, I feel it is up to the large number of US Muslim organizations and academicians to conduct a detailed research into this aspect so as to determine the actual number of Muslim citizens of USA. An accurate estimate of their numbers which in my opinion should be exceeding 10 million by now would serve to highlight to the Muslims of USA how important and sizeable a community they have become in USA. This realization of their enormous strength would serve to bring the Muslim community together on a common national platform and play a far more influential role in the country’s affair than they are able to do under the current circumstances. What is not palatable for me is the fact that despite the following significant facts, no agency in USA is able to correctly estimate the number of Muslims in USA:

  • There is a steady trickle of immigrants from Muslim countries who continue to reach the USA.

  • Whereas the number of mosques and the number of mosque-goers has gone up several times, the estimates for the total number of Muslims in USA do not tally with these meteoric rises.

  • While data suggests that due to larger family sizes than the other ethnic and religious communities, Muslim families have a significantly greater number of children, this has not translated into a corresponding increase in the Muslim population.42

The aftermath of the sad, tragic and deplorable events of September 11, 2001 has seen an increase in the hate crimes against immigrants in the US, especially those belonging to the Muslim community. While a few of these instances could be explained off as being an understandable reaction of an anguished majority, most of these are extremely difficult not only to digest but also to explain. The Muslim community in USA has to prepare itself for facing hostility at least for the next few years until the situation stabilizes and USA gets back to its normal self. In these circumstances, it is extremely important for the Muslims of USA to unite and work shoulder to shoulder in furthering the protection of their inviolable basic human rights as citizens of the ‘land of the free’.

For the US Government, having a significant number of Muslim citizens might appear at first sight to be a challenge but it could well be transformed into an opportunity of immense potential benefit. By a fair handling of its large Muslim population, the US Government could not only re-establish the high standards of individual liberty and freedom that the US has always been known for but it could also allay the widely prevalent misperceptions amongst the world’s Muslims that the US War against Terror is just another name for a war that the US and her allies are waging against Islam.

Because of their proximity to the center of US power and authority, US Muslims are enviably located at a venue where they could play an important role in bridging the widening gap between the West and Islam that has been one of the major fall-outs of the post 9/11 era.

Tariq Ashraf can be contacted at t.ashraf"at"

1 Although the author has referred to a vast multitude of reference sources while collecting the material for this article, the maximum data included in it has come from the 2001 CAIR Study titled ‘Mosque in America: A National Portrait’. The author acknowledges the immense help that he got from this excellent piece of research and is also thankful to the Council for American – Islamic Relations (CAIR) for giving permission to quote from the relevant portions of this 63 – page study.

2 Hillary Rodman Clinton, Los Angeles Times, May 31, 1996, p.3

3 Newsday, March 7, 1989, p.4

4 New York Times, Feb 21, 1989, p.1

5 Johan Blank, US News, 20 July, 18.

6 Elsa C. Arnett, Knight-Ridder News Service

7 The complete text of this report can be accessed on the internet at . For more details please also refer to details included in Endnote 7.

8 Numan, Fareed H. ‘American Muslim History - A Chronological Observation. 2002’. Available on the web at

9 Abdul Sattar Ghazali, Executive Editor, American Muslim Perspective Online magazine. Available on the net at

10 Muhammed Abdullah Ahari, ‘The Islamic Community In The United States: Historical Development’. This paper can be read by reaching and clicking on the link to As-Sunnah Foundation of America.

11 The Patterns of Muslim Immigration can be accessed at

12 Please refer to Wendy Zoba’s article titled ‘Islam USA – Are Christians prepared for Muslims in the mainstream’ that was published in ‘Christianity Today’ and can be accessed on its website at

13 From US News dated July 20, 1998 and pasted on website at

14 Pasted on the website at and attributed to Elsa Arnett of the Knight-Ridder News Service.

15 CAIR study ‘Mosque in America – A National Portrait’

16 US Government’s Department of State International Information website at


18 Fareed Numan’s statement can be accessed at He has quoted the source of his estimate of the Muslim population in the US being in the region of 5.5 million as The World Almanac and Book of Facts 1996, Famighetti, p. 644.

19 Article titled ‘U.S. seeing big growth in Muslim population’ that can be accessed on the web at

20 Dr Sayyid Syeed, the Secretary-General of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) has been quoted by M.M. Ali in an article titled ‘America: The Nation’s Fastest Growing Religion’ that appeared in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. Article can be accessed on the internet at

21 This quote from the New York Times has been cited by M.M. Ali in an article titled ‘America: The Nation’s Fastest Growing Religion’ that appeared in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. Article can be accessed on the internet at

22 This Harvard University researcher has been quoted by M.M. Ali in an article titled ‘America: The Nation’s Fastest Growing Religion’ that appeared in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. Article can be accessed on the internet at

23 ‘Lecture on Islam’ by Clinton Bennett. Pasted on the web at

24 In this anti-Muslim tirade, Brenda Walker gives the highest and probably the most accurate estimate but her motivation is suspect since she is attempting to highlight the threat that American Muslims pose to the US and as such it would suit her to quote a higher figure than others. Her article can be accessed at

25 Abdul Malik Mujahid ‘Muslims in America: Profile 2001’ Accessible on the internet at

26 Quoted in Ibid.

27 Quoted in Ibid.

28 Quoted in Ibid. A year prior to this statement, Milam had placed the number of Muslims in USA at 6 million.

29 Quoted in Ibid.

30 It is no secret that the US is probably the most ‘documented’ country in the world. Is it not surprising, therefore, that a community as important as the Muslims residing in the country permanently are not being kept track of. This is all the more flabbergasting in the wake of the September 11, 2001 tragedy, the establishment of the Department of Homeland Defense and the ongoing US global campaign against terrorism in which the prime target are extremist Islamic organizations all over the world.

31 Abdul Malik Mujahid, op cit.

32 Yvonne Haddad and Adair T. Lummis, Islamic Values in the United States (New York: Oxford Press, 1987). Quoted in Abdul Malik Mujahid, op cit.

33 Fareed Numan op cit. Quoted in Abdul Malik Mujahid op cit.

34 This chart depicting the number of mosques located across the 50 states of the USA has been downloaded from a US Government website and can be accessed at


36 CNN Correspondent Gayle Young’s report titled ‘Fast-growing Islam winning converts in Western world’ dated 14 April, 1997. This report can be accessed on the web at

37 Barr Seitz, ‘Fastest-Growing Religion Often Misunderstood’, broadcast on BICNews on 17 December 1997.

38 The CAIR report indicates that of the 1209 mosques in USA, more than half of which were established during the last 20 years.

39 Wendy Zoba, op cit.

40 Ibid.

41 Abdul Malik Mujahid, op cit. The author has attributed this fact to Ilyas Ba-Yunus, op cit.

42 According to Barr Seitz, op cit, the American Muslim birthrate is about 4.5 children per couple, versus the 1.9 child per couple national average.

Vision Without Glasses


JDsg said...

Salaam 'alaikum.

Interesting site. Regarding the reason why the US government doesn't count the number of people in each religion, it really does have to do with privacy issues and not for any of the reasons you supposed. Keep in mind that the American government doesn't count the congregants of any religion, not just Muslims. If the US government was to propose an actual count, it would create the biggest uproar there. In fact, I would bet that a significant number of Americans would refuse to answer that type of question. So, with respect to that topic, I think you're being a little oversuspicious.

Still, I had brought up to another Muslim blogger a few months ago that I thought we needed such a think tank as what you all are trying to do. I'm glad to see that there is one up and running.

Anonymous said...

there is a wealth of information on islam pre columbus and immediately after

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