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Mosque construction in the U.S. up 74 percent in past decade

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
September 8th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The number of mosques in the United States has grown by 74 percent in the past 11 years, up from 1,209 in 2001 to a substantial 2,106 in 2011. The statistics was compiled and released by Faith Communities Today, affiliated with the Hartford Seminary's Hartford Institute for Religion Research earlier this year.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The survey found that mosque construction has typically been in larger metropolitan U.S. areas. The 10 states with the largest number of mosques are New York, with 257, California with 246, Texas with 166, Florida with 118, Illinois with 109, New Jersey with 109, Pennsylvania with 99, Michigan with 77, Georgia with 69 and Virginia with 62.

The state of Vermont has the least number of mosques, with only one located in the entire state.

In terms of metropolitan areas, Greater New York City again led with 192 mosques. Southern California has 120, Greater Chicago has 90, Greater Philadelphia has 63 and Greater Detroit's 63 mosques rounded out the top five metropolitan areas for mosque population.

The survey was the first of two reports on American mosques released this year.

The first survey, "Basic Characteristics of the American Mosque, Attitudes of Mosque Leaders" includes data on the growth of mosques in the U.S. and attitudes of their leaders.

One surprise finding of the survey was a decrease in the number of mosque leaders who thought American society is hostile to Islam, from 54 percent in 2000 to 25 percent in 2011.

The "American mosque is a remarkably young institution," with 76 percent of all mosques being established since 1980.

In a second survey, "Activities, Administration and Vitality of the American Mosque" was released in May of this year and focused on "mosque activities, administration and vitality."

The survey listed all mosques in America and included a telephone interview with a mosque leader or imam, president or board member from a large sample of mosques. The mosque count was conducted from February to July 2010, and the mosque leader interviews were conducted from August 2010 to November 2011.

Of the 2,106 mosques listed, a random sample of 727 mosques was selected, and 524 interviews were then completed, which means that the margin of error for the survey is within the range of plus or minus five percent.

FACT announced in the second survey that a third survey would be issued on women in the mosque.

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