Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mosques in America; how many are there?

Way more than you think, and the trend is for more in the future as the Muslim population grows.  The latest figures show there are now over 2,000 mosques across the landscape, and the number of those which are less than friendly to their Western home is the most difficult number to calculate.

Let's try a quick numbers experiment.  There are about 2100 mosques, and the Muslim population is about 3 million.  Divide the two and we have about 1400 per mosque.  If we accept that 5% of the Muslim population are disposed to jihad, that means that each mosque has the potential to harbor up to 70 jihadists.

Call me crazy, but I don't like those numbers.  Granted they are but potentials based in incomplete numbers and projections, but even if it's just close, it portends badly for the future of Islam here in the U.S.

From The Wall Street Journal Feb 29

US Muslim study finds jump in American mosques

NEW YORK — The number of American mosques has increased dramatically in the last decade despite post 9/11 protests aimed at Muslim houses of worship, according to a new study. The new Islamic centers serve Muslims who moved into the suburbs and newer immigrants from Africa, Iraq and elsewhere.
Researchers conducting the national count found a total of 2,106 Islamic centers, compared to 1,209 in 2000 and 962 in 1994. About one-quarter of the centers were built between 2000-2011, as the community faced intense scrutiny by government officials and a suspicious public. In 2010, protest against an Islamic center near ground zero erupted into a national debate over Islam, extremism and religious freedom. Anti-mosque demonstrations spread to Tennessee, California and other states.
Ihsan Bagby, a professor at the University of Kentucky and lead author of the study, said the findings show Muslims are carving out a place for themselves despite the backlash.
What backlash?  Bagby must be referring to the perceived backlash against Muslims that never materialized.  
"This is a growing, healthy Muslim community that is well integrated into America," Bagby said. "I think that is the best message we can send to the world and the Muslim world in particular."
The report released Wednesday, "The American Mosque 2011," is a tally based on mailing lists, websites and interviews with community leaders, and a survey and interviews with 524 mosque leaders. The research is of special interest given the limited scholarship so far on Muslim houses of worship, which include a wide range of religious traditions, nationalities and languages.
Researchers defined a mosque as a Muslim organization that holds Friday congregational prayers called jumah, conducts other Islamic activities and has operational control of its building. Buildings such as hospitals and schools that have space for Friday prayer were not included. Chapters of the Muslim Student Association at colleges and universities were included only if they had space off-campus or had oversight of the building where prayer was held.
The overwhelming majority of mosques are in cities, but the number located in suburbs rose from 16 percent in 2000 to 28 percent in 2011. The Northeast once had the largest number of mosques, but Islamic centers are now concentrated in the South and West, the study found. New York still has the greatest number of Islamic centers — 257 — followed by 246 in California and 166 in Texas. Florida is fourth with 118. The shift follows the general pattern of population movement to the South and West.
And these states and areas are the places where the greatest Muslim agitation and discord is happening.  A great way to achieve this and stay below the radar is to move your location to the quiet and bucolic suburbs, or even true rural areas, like Oregon.
Read it all

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