The Muslims of America

By Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad | Go to book overview

2
Estimate of Muslims
Living in America

Carol L. Stone

Islam is believed to be the fastest growing religion in the United States today, yet it is still unclear how many Muslims currently reside in America. Estimates of 1.2 million 1 to 3 million 2 have been reported. To date, no systematic, statistically valid survey of Muslims in America has been conducted. This is largely because of a lack of reliable information about Muslims in this country.

The study reported in this chapter was conducted to obtain a verifiable and rigorous estimate of the Muslim population in America today. The geographical concentrations of several ethnic groups within the United States were also examined, as well as trends in immigration to America.


Method of Estimation

The number of immigrant Muslims living in the United States in 1980 was estimated from three sets of data: (1) 1980 census statistics, categorized by country of ancestry; 3 (2) 1980 immigration statistics, categorized by country of origin; 4 and (3) estimates of the percentage of Muslim population in countries around the world. 5 The mathematical products of (3) and (1) plus (3) and (2) were evaluated from each country or ancestral region around the world. These products represented a 1980 estimate of the number of Muslims in the United States from a given country or region of ancestry, and the number of Muslims who immigrated to the United States in 1980 from that country, respectively. The sum of these two figures produced the 1980 estimated American population of immigrant Muslims from a given country.

The Bureau of Census has established a format by which countries of ancestry are grouped into a subset of continental regions 6 (Table 2.1). These groupings were used to estimate Muslim population within geographical regions by cumulating individual estimates from each country within the region. The bureau has also broken down census data by ancestry into geographical regions within the United States. 7 These statistics, together with the percentage

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The Muslims of America
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Religion in America Series *
  • The Muslims of America *
  • Acknowledgments *
  • Contents *
  • Contributors *
  • Introduction- the Muslims of America 3
  • Notes 8
  • I- The Muslims of the United States *
  • 1- Muslim Organizations in the United States 11
  • Notes 24
  • 2- Estimate of Muslims Living in America 25
  • Notes 35
  • References 36
  • II- Perceptions of Muslims in the United States *
  • 3- Perspectives of American Churches on Islam and the Muslim Community in North America 39
  • Notes 49
  • 4- The Muslim as the "Other" 53
  • Notes 61
  • III- Islamic Thought in the United States *
  • 5- Ismail R. Al-Faruqi 65
  • Notes 78
  • 6- Seyyed Hossein Nasr 80
  • Notes 92
  • 7- The Legacy of Fazlur Rahman 96
  • Notes 105
  • IV- Islamic Activity in the United States *
  • 8- Political Activity of Muslims in America 111
  • Notes 123
  • 9- Da''Wa in the West 125
  • Notes 134
  • 10- Muslims in Prison 136
  • Notes 151
  • 11- Islamic Education in the United States and Canada 157
  • Notes 173
  • V- Muslim Women in Intercultural Perspective *
  • 12- African-American Muslim Women 177
  • Notes 186
  • 13- Two-Way Acculturation 188
  • Notes 200
  • VI- American Muslims and the Question of Identity *
  • 14- Islamic Issues for Muslims in the United States 205
  • Notes 215
  • 15- American Foreign Policy in the Middle East and Its Impact on the Identity of Arab Muslims in the United States 217
  • Notes 231
  • 16- Convergence and Divergence in an Emergent Community 236
  • Notes 248
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