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    # of American Mosques Grows by 25%

    Just passing it along.


    NUMBER OF AMERICAN MOSQUES GROWS BY 25 PERCENT

    (WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/26/2001) A national Islamic advocacy group today released
    a major study of the Muslim community in the United States indicating that the
    number of mosques grew by 25 percent in the past seven years and that mosques
    are becoming dynamic centers for social and political mobilization.

    That report, called "The Mosque in America: A National Portrait," is the
    result of in-depth interviews with a randomized sample of representatives
    drawn from more than 1200 American mosques. (This figure is not the total
    number of American mosques. Smaller or new mosques may have been missed.
    Friday prayers held in places such as businesses and hospitals were not
    included in the count.)

    During a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., the
    Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) outlined some major findings
    contained in the survey: (To view the entire report, go to http://www.cair-net.org)

    "Mosques are not only centers for spirituality, they are now bases for
    political and social mobilization," says CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad.

    Awad added that Muslims are having a positive impact on American society. He
    cited last year's American Muslim voter registration drive and increased
    turnout by Muslim voters.

    "One of the most significant findings in this survey is that mosques are quite
    ethnically diverse," said Dr. Ihsan Bagby, the report's primary researcher.
    Bagby noted that 93 percent of all mosques are attended by more than one
    ethnic group.

    * There is tremendous growth both in the number of mosques and in the number
    of those who take part in mosque activities. On average, there are more than
    1,625 Muslims associated in some way with the religious life of each mosque.
    The average attendance at Friday prayer is 292 worshipers. Some 2 million
    American Muslims are associated with a mosque.

    * Report findings support conservative estimates of a total American Muslim
    population of 7 million.

    * The number of participants has increased at more than 75 percent of mosques
    during the past five years. Growth is witnessed across the board but suburban
    mosques have experienced the greatest increases.

    * Conversion rates are steady. On average nearly 30 percent of mosque
    participants are converts. The average mosque has 16 conversions per year.

    * Mosques are relatively young: 30 percent of all mosques were established in
    the 1990s and 32 percent were founded in the 1980s.

    * Four-fifths of mosques are located in a metropolitan area, most often a city
    neighborhood.

    * At the average mosque, 33 percent of members are of South Asian origin
    (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, etc.), 30 percent are African-American, and 25
    percent are from the Arabic-speaking world.

    * Most mosques are involved in some outreach activities. During the past 12
    months, a majority of mosques have done each of the following activities:
    visited a school or church to present Islam, contacted the media, contacted a
    political leader, and participated in an interfaith dialogue.

    * Almost 70 percent of mosques provide some type of assistance for the needy.

    * More than 20 percent of mosques have a full-time school.

    * More than 90 percent of respondents agree that Muslims should be involved in
    American institutions and should participate in the political process.

    * In general, mosque leadership does not appear to be highly formalized or
    bureaucratic. At the majority of mosques, the leader is a volunteer, works
    part-time, and is employed outside the mosque.

    * In a majority of mosques, final decision-making authority rests not with the
    leader but with a Majlis Ash-Shura (executive committee or board of
    directors).

    * In most mosques with a board, women are allowed to serve as members.

    "The Mosque in America" is the largest and most comprehensive survey of its
    kind to be conducted in the United States. It is part of a larger study of
    American congregations called "Faith Communities Today" coordinated by
    Hartford Seminary's Hartford Institute for Religious Research. Muslim
    organizations sponsoring the report include CAIR, the Islamic Society of North
    America (ISNA), the Ministry of Imam W. Deen Mohammed, and the Islamic Circle
    of North America (ICNA).

    - END -

    CONTACT: Ibrahim Hooper at 202-488-8787
    E-Mail: [email protected]

    #2
    This is a excellent report indeed. Allah's words are coming true that Islam will over come all religions. Inshallah we are growing fast in this corner of the world. Hopefully, we will have much greater effect on America in the coming years and perhaps U.S will think twice before making any unreasonable policies against the Muslim world.

    Comment


      #3
      I don't disagree with building mosques. But honestly do we need that many?? Tell me..how many are filled to the brim with people???

      Tell me how many are there for "all types of muslims" and not just for afghanis or west indian or south asain or arab???

      We have to fill up the mosques that we have now before we can go and build more. I've gone to the mosque for my area..and in the day is empty. The jamaat is maybe 1-2 lines. So do we want mosques all around with 1-2 line jamaats? Or do we want less mosques with 20 or 30 line jamaats?

      ------------------
      "To Allah belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. He creates
      what He wills. He bestows female (offspring) upon whom He wills, and
      bestows male (offspring) upon whom He wills. Or He bestows both males and
      females, and He renders barren who He wills. Verily, He is the All-Knower
      and is Able to do all things." (Ash-Shura 42:49-50)
      22.1 . O mankind! Fear your Lord . Lo! the earthquake of the Hour ( of Doom ) is a tremendous thing .

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Pakistani Guy:
        This is a excellent report indeed. Allah's words are coming true that Islam will over come all religions. Inshallah we are growing fast in this corner of the world.
        Religion is not a race or a competetion.

        "Islam" means "submission to God". That's all it is. It's nothing to do with taking over the world or trying to uphold a misguided sense of superiority over others.

        Religion is a deeply personal and intimate set of beliefs. If you think it's an excuse for flag waving and getting one up on other faiths, I believe you are mistaken.

        By all means, be proud of your faith and defend it as you see fit... but let's show a little common sense shall we?

        My humble opinion.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Pilot25:
          Religion is not a race or a competetion.

          "Islam" means "submission to God". That's all it is. It's nothing to do with taking over the world or trying to uphold a misguided sense of superiority over others.

          Religion is a deeply personal and intimate set of beliefs. If you think it's an excuse for flag waving and getting one up on other faiths, I believe you are mistaken.

          By all means, be proud of your faith and defend it as you see fit... but let's show a little common sense shall we?

          My humble opinion.
          Pilot, while agreeing with the basic 'its-not-a-competition' part of your message, let me point one thing out. It is 'fard(or must)' for every Muslim to work for the spread of Islam.

          And yeah, the point is to show the world the true light of Islam, rather than just overcome other religions.

          Its not about taking over, Its about spreading the light to every corner of the world.

          Comment


            #6
            I'm not saying that there should be flag swinging etc etc.

            What I am saying is that our mosques are becoming ethnically and racially divided. We need to become united as muslims and not as gujaratis or afghanis or west indians.

            Don't you want to go to a masjid where you can understand the khutbas If you go to Jami Abu Bakr mosque in Toronto, a person who doesn't know gujrati or urdu will not be able to understand the khutbas on jumah. If you go to the Islamic Foundation of Toronto, not only are khutbas done in Arabic, but also in english. On the last night of Taraweeh prayers, the duas were done in, arabic, english and in urdu. At least, this way everyone is able to understand what is being said.

            Do you get what I mean?

            ------------------
            "To Allah belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. He creates
            what He wills. He bestows female (offspring) upon whom He wills, and
            bestows male (offspring) upon whom He wills. Or He bestows both males and
            females, and He renders barren who He wills. Verily, He is the All-Knower
            and is Able to do all things." (Ash-Shura 42:49-50)
            22.1 . O mankind! Fear your Lord . Lo! the earthquake of the Hour ( of Doom ) is a tremendous thing .

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Hinna:
              I don't disagree with building mosques. But honestly do we need that many?? Tell me..how many are filled to the brim with people???

              Tell me how many are there for "all types of muslims" and not just for afghanis or west indian or south asain or arab???

              We have to fill up the mosques that we have now before we can go and build more. I've gone to the mosque for my area..and in the day is empty. The jamaat is maybe 1-2 lines. So do we want mosques all around with 1-2 line jamaats? Or do we want less mosques with 20 or 30 line jamaats?
              I don't think that mosques are being built just for the reason that Muslims want more and more mosques. They cost a lot of money and unless there is an absolute need in a specific community they do not build or even try.

              I live in a town and we have 3 mosques no more than 10 miles apart, and every friday the mosque authorities have to get a special permission from their respective townships, to allow parking outside the parking lots, on the streets. And they are full of all kinds of muslims, black, white, brown, yellow, whatever color they come in!!!

              thanx

              Comment


                #8
                There’s points mentioned above that I agree with and some that I disagree with.

                Like one person mentioned, our religion is not a race to the finish line. Our pursuit for sincerity and purity in practicing our religion, our deen is an ongoing thing, there’s no limit. One can liken it to a quest, not one with a definite goal rather one with a goal that is infinite. I mean if one wants be sincere in one’s religion, one must strive towards Islam, towards the noor of Allah swt, and one must continue striving. Sure, many times it may be hard, it may seem difficult, but it’s the act of striving—one’s commitment and sincerity—that counts most.

                Reports that islam is the fastest growing religion, reports that the number of mosques has increased by such and such an amount, are nothing to base our faith upon or to reinforce our beliefs, I agree with that. But one must also keep in mind that such reports are not to be discarded or ignored either. I mean, one aspect of it is simply keeping abreast of what is happening in the world as one would with all other news stories, another aspect maybe to analyze such findings, see what is lacking, what can be improved, where should one direct the majority of one’s efforts and resources. Take for example the finding that 20% of mosques have a full-time Islamic school—could not that figure be increased? Or another finding, 90% of respondents agree that Muslims should be involved in American institutions and should participate in the political process.

                While the report indicated that the levels of participation was steadily increasing in the majority of mosques. The points Hinna raised are still true, and very valid. There are mosques that lie empty at fajr, at zuhr, asr, maghrib and isha, filling only on Fridays when ppl come to perform their jumaa prayers. There are mosques that ppl refuse to visit because of the ethnicity of the majority of the callers. There are mosques where the imam will even refuse to open the doors for ppl to read their fajr salaah in the masjid, forcing them to read outside in the snow…in the cold. The point I want to make is that there is a lot of negativity out there, differences between ethnicity, views, interpretations,etc., these can all lead to problems, problems that divide communities, creating rifts, and we can’t just brush that aside. Problems are still problems, and they should be faced, one can’t brush them away in the face of other successes.

                There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging good tidings. But in my opinion, it’s a two way street and while we can look one way, we must also look the other. The tribulations/troubles of a community cannot be ignored either.

                Comment


                  #9
                  DonJuan..., and others that are like-minded,

                  While mosques may not be built for ostentatious display, I want you to read the following passage, it might help u understand the points Hinna is trying to make.

                  I want to share some excerpts from an article I read a few years ago in ‘The Message’ (published in Brossard, Quebec)


                  I looked at the grand structure and wondered. How much did this mosque cost? How many years did it take to build? How much in human and material resources are now needed to maintain it? Is it serving the purpose for which a Muslim community builds a mosque? How many Muslims used it daily, and for what? A stream of question marks lined up. Then my thought strayed back into history. More than 1400 years ago in a desert oasis an immigrant community built another mosque. They were destitute because they were driven out of their homes for their beliefs. Their hosts were not well off either. [......] Just seven years later the small community which was built around this unadorned mosque brought the unique revolution which changed the course of human history. [......] The Mosque in Madinah was not grand by any standard. It was very small, had no modern facility or equipment. It did not offer structured courses in Islamic studies or glitzy publications to highlight its achievements. But its products were men and women of good faith and character, and they devoted their life to their sole mission: to take God’s word to everyone who was not fortunate enough to receive it directly from His Messenger (S). They traveled, made business deals, fought wars, established kingdoms, settled in far off lands but never forgot the mission of their life. Whenever a new mosque is built around the globe it revives the memory of mosque in Madinah but does it serve the same purpose?

                  The Messenger (S) built the mosque as the focal point of Muslim community life. It was a place where they prayed and learned about the life and character of a believer. It was a school, a training institute and a university. It was the “capital” of the Muslim empire where strategies were discussed and political contacts with the allies and enemies were finalized. It was the center for community outreach programs. It served as the planning center and a military academy. It was where poets cold recite their lines, and the entertainers could display their skills. It was a hospital, and a jail. Above all it was the nerve center of the Muslim community, and the bonding cement for its heterogeneous elements. [......] Muslims were latecomers to the new world. However, once they settled here they started building their institutions. Mosques and Islamic centers were a priority till the late 1970’s when they became an obsession. [......] Muslims organize religious, social, educational and Dawah activities of their choice in their mosques and centers. Every mosque invariably has a weekend or regular Islamic school for children, youth activities, adult classes, social programs, and a community newsletter, most of them have paid Imams, and arrange for a Qari of Hafiz to recite the Qu’ran in Ramadan.

                  Often we pat each other on the shoulder when we read a news column that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the US. “Allahu Akbar” reverberates every time someone comes to a mosque to take his/her “Shahadah.” On certain occasions, like the Eidian prayers, our number far exceeds the capacity of the local mosques, and at many places they rent halls and arenas. On the surface of it all indications point to a healthy Muslim community. [......] Many of our outreach programs are suffering because we are unable to divert enough resources. We have very few programs to take care of the needy. Our emergency help often stops with a few dollars donated to a Muslim in need. Our presence is either ignored by the neighbors, or scorned because of our uncivilized behaviour and arrogant attitude.

                  For years I have been trying to find a simple answer to a puzzling question. Why was a shabby, leaky mosque in Madinah able to alter the course of human history within a decade? Why do our million dollar mosques fail to make any impact or even hold us together?

                  I searched for a small news item about mammoth Muslim crowds which filled the grounds and arenas on March 3 this year for Eid prayers. In the column of the national and local dailies, from the New York Times to the Los Angeles Times, I looked for days. Some of them had a special feature about Ramadan. But they did not bother to report such an important event in the Muslim calendar year. Not even President Clinton’s greeting message found an inch of space. But how could I blame them, when we could not decide when we were going to pray? And when the day comes, we are seen celebrating Eid on two or three different days in the same city. Even Clinton was confused when to greet the Muslims for Ramadan and Eid.

                  Our mosques and centers in North America now we have all those labels which we thought we left behind in our home countries. For some years in the 1960’s and 70’s we were only “Muslims”. We were a group despite ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversities. Now we are divided horizontally and vertically in as many sects and cults as one can count. This is a Sunni mosque and that is a Shia center. This is controlled by the Arabs, and that by the Turks. This belongs to the Fuji group, and that to Albanians or Caribbeans. This is dominated by the “Wahabis” and that by the “Tablighi” group. This center follows the Saudi calendar, and that one of Egypt. This is an “Iranian” center and that one is “Moroccan” or Libyan. The Imam here is “Salafi,” therefore prays Maghrib twenty or more minutes after sunset, whereas the Asr prayer in that one follows Shafii. This is a “black” mosque and that is in the hands of “immigrants”. You name it, we have it.

                  We make incessant appeals for Muslim “unity” but insist that the unity must be on my terms only. Come and join me if you want your salvation, as everyone else is “defiant” and is going to the land of hell. You may be tired of hearing the lament that the Muslims are betrayed and oppressed in every corner of the world. But we repeat the same when it comes to managing our mosques and centers. Our executive and governing election bodies are as dirty and divisive as any in the world. Whosoever comes into power bars the opposition from entering the mosques. How many mosques have locks and police protection? How many times have the local law and order authorities had to intervene on behalf of the “legal” owners of the mosques? [......]
                  --By Omar Afzal
                  The article goes on, its fairly long. And I know what I quoted above is pretty long also, but its worth reading. Perhaps it may be a little disheartening, but it bears thinking about, the state of things not always bright and perfect as headlines and newsflashes may suggest. But the key to changing that, is accepting it and moving to change it..... merely tolerating the state of things will not do any good.



                  [This message has been edited by Girl from Quraysh (edited May 04, 2001).]

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