Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Islam in the United States
Muslim Population in the US
Since the US Census Bureau does not collect data on religious identification, the actual number of Muslims in the United States is unknown, and various institutions and organizations have produced some widely varying estimates about how many Muslims live in the USA. The following are a few recent estimates on the number of Muslims residing in the USA:
- 1.2 million (2000) National Opinion Research Center [0.4% of the national population]
- 1.6 million (2000) Glenmary Research Center [0.5% of national population]
- 1.8 million (2001) City University of New York - American Religious Identification Survey [0.6% of national population]
- 1.9 million (2001) American Jewish Committee [0.6% of national population]
- 2.0 million (2000) Hartford Institute for Religious Research [0.7% of national population]
- 2.8 million (2001) American Jewish Committee (revised figure) [0.9% of national population]
- 4.1 million (2001) Britannica book of the Year [1.4% of national population]
- 5.8 million (2001) The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2001, Page 689 [2% of national population]
- 6.0 million (2001) Council on American-Islamic Relations [2% of national population]
- 6.7 million (1997) J. Ilyas Ba-Yunus [2.2% of national population]
- 7.0 million (2004) Council on American-Islamic Relations and three other US Muslim groups [2.3% of national population]
There is a wide discrepancy between the estimates by non-Muslim organizations and institutions and the estimates by Muslim groups. All recent independent studies and surveys have concluded that there are more than 1 million but fewer than 3 million Muslims in America today, while Muslim groups have claimed that there are no fewer than 6 million. Muslim organizations (especially CAIR) have been accused of deliberately inflating the number of Muslims in the USA and/or of using faulty methodology in their estimates in order to obtain more social and political influence. Muslim groups have claimed that all of the recent independent studies and surveys have undercounted the Muslim population for a variety of reasons (e.g., with anti-Muslim sentiment high in the US, some Muslims might be wary of responding that they are Muslim in a survey), and that their own estimates, which put the number of US Muslims at as many as 7 million, are indeed more accurate.
Like Christianity and Judaism, Islamic organizations in the United States are not unified; there are many organizations and groups that work to promote various forms of Islam. Below is a short list of some of the prominent Muslim groups in America.
- The largest of these groups is the American Society Of Muslims (ASM), the successor organization to the Nation of Islam also known as the Black Muslims. The American Society Of Muslims identifies with the leadership of the Honorable Warith Deen Muhammad. It is an expression of identity characterizing the evolution of a Muslim community from the ideology and structure of the Nation (or Temples) of Islam (1930-1975) through a 23 year process of religious reorientation and organizational decentralization that included other designations such as the American Muslim Mission . The number of Black Muslims in unknown. Estimates have placed its numbers between the hundreds of thousands and 1-2 million. As the name of the organization suggests, the overwhelming majority of Black Muslims are African Americans.
- The next largest group is the Islamic Circle of North America , ICNA. ICNA is a non-ethnic, open to all, independent, North America wide, grass root organization. It is mostly comprised of immigrants and some Caucasian and African American converts. Its membership may have recently exceeded ASM as many independent mosques throughout the United States are choosing to affiliate with it. External Link:Official Site
- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is a non-profit pro-Islam organization, established to promote a positive image of Islam and Muslims in America. CAIR portrays itself as the voice of mainstream, moderate Islam on Capitol Hill and in political arenas throughout the United States. However, critics of CAIR accuse it of being essentially an Islamist propaganda group that supports extremists, pointing to CAIR's public support for terrorist groups such as Hizbollah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad. A CAIR spokesman has claimed that these allegations are not true, he said, "We condemned suicide bombings in a number of statements. This is a straw man...In our 10 years of existence we have not used the word Hamas other than to refute these scurrilous accusations" . In addition to its non-Muslim critics, CAIR is also criticized by moderate Muslim organizations such as the Islamic Supreme Council of America.
- The American Islamic Congress is a small but growing moderate Muslim organization that promotes religious pluralism. Their official Statement of Principles states that "Muslims have been profoundly influenced by their encounter with America. American Muslims are a minority group, largely comprising African-Americans, immigrants, and children of immigrants, who have prospered in America's climate of religious tolerance and civil rights. The lessons of our unprecedented experience of acceptance and success must be carefully considered by our community." Their Statement of Principles describes their full agenda.
- The Islamic Supreme Council of America (ISCA) represents many Muslims, aims to provide practical solutions for American Muslims, based on the traditional Islamic legal rulings of an international advisory board, many of whom are recognized as the highest ranking Islamic scholars in the world. ISCA strives to integrate traditional scholarship in resolving contemporary issues affecting the maintenance of Islamic beliefs in a modern, secular society. The ISCA mission statement provides a full description of their activities.
- An article by Daniel Pipes about the number of US Muslims
- An article about the number of Muslims in the US and why there is no solid figure
- Muslim American Society
- Council on American Islamic Relations
- Muslim Public Affairs Council
- Muslim Women's League
- American Muslim Alliance
- Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)
- American Islamic Congress
- American Society Of Muslims
- Islamic Circle of North America
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