The US Mosque Survey 2011 is a comprehensive study of mosques in America. The Survey consisted of (1) a count of all mosques in America and then (2) a telephone interview with a mosque leader (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. A total of 2,106 mosques were counted. From this list, a random sample of 727 mosques was selected. 524 interviews were then completed, which means that the margin of error for the Survey is within the range of +/- 5 percent.
- The number of mosques and mosque participants continue to show significant growth. The US Mosque Survey 2011 counted a total of 2,106 mosques; as compared to the year 2000 when 1,209 mosques were counted—representing a 74% increase from 2000.
- Muslims who attend Eid Prayer (the high holiday prayers after Ramadan and Hajj) increased from about 2 million in 2000 to about 2.6 million in 2011. The total Muslim population cannot be determined by this figure, but it does call into question the low estimates of 1.1-2.4 million Muslims in America. If there are 2.6 million Muslims who pray the Eid prayer, then the total Muslim population should be closer to the estimates of up to 7 million.
- The American mosque is a remarkably young institution: over three-fourths (76%) of all existing mosques were established since 1980.
- The vast majority of mosques are located in metropolitan areas but the percentage of mosques in urban areas is decreasing and the percentage of mosques in suburban areas is increasing: in 2000 16% of mosques were located in suburbs and in 2011 28% of mosques are now located in suburbs.
- Mosques remain an extremely diverse institution. Only 3% of mosques have only one ethnic group that attends that mosque. South Asians, Arabs, and African Americans remain the dominant groups but significant numbers of newer immigrants have arrived, including Somalis, West Africans and Iraqis.
- Shi’ite mosques are also expanding in numbers, especially since the 1990s. Over 44% of all Shi’ite mosques were established in the decade of the 1990s.
- The majority of mosque leaders (56%) adopt the more flexible approach of looking to interpretations of Quran and Sunnah (the normative practice of Prophet Muhammad) that take into account the overall purposes of Islamic Law and modern circumstances. Only 11% of mosque leaders prefer the more traditional approach of the classical legal schools of thought—madhhabs. A little over 1% of all mosque leaders follow the salafi way.
- Mosque leaders endorse Muslim involvement in American society. Over 98% of mosque leaders agree that Muslims should be involved in American institutions; and 91% agree that Muslims should be involved in politics.
- The vast majority of mosque leaders do not feel that overall American society is hostile to Islam. Only 25% of mosque leaders in 2011 believe that American society is hostile to Islam. In 2000 the majority of mosque leaders (54%) agreed that American society is hostile to Islam.
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