By Jaweed Kaleem
In the decade since 9/11, American Muslims and mosques have come under a close lens, from congressional hearings on radicalization to campaigns against mosque construction projects and anti-Sharia legislation proposals in dozens of states.
Despite such difficulties, a comprehensive survey of American mosque leaders released Wednesday reveals that the number of mosques in the country has grown tremendously, with more than 900 new centers being established since 2000. Another finding from the survey reveals that compared to the turn of the millennium, fewer Muslims see America as “hostile” to Islam today.
The nation’s largest Islamic groups, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Islamic Society of North America and the Islamic Circle of America released the survey that asked hundreds of mosque leaders about the demographics and theological and political leanings of their congregation.
Researchers counted 2,106 mosques in the United States, mostly located in or around big cities, with New York state and California alone having 503 mosques. As more Americans have moved to the suburbs, so has the growth of new mosques. While many mosques have historically been established by South Asian immigrants, the study found that newer immigrant groups such as Somalis, Iraqis, West Africans and Bosnians have began to establish their own mosques since 2000. [Read more…]