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Islam in the United States of America
Anglo-American Momin Media
Once very small, the Muslim population of the US has increased greatly in the last one hundred years, with much of the growth driven by immigration and widespread conversion. Muslim immigration to the U.S. is rising. In 2005, more people from Islamic countries became legal permanent United States residents — nearly 96,000 — than in any year in the previous two decades.
There are 1,209 mosques in the United States and the nations largest mosque, the Islamic Center of America, is in Dearborn, Michigan. It was rebuilt in 2005 to accommodate over 3,000 people for the increasing Muslim population in the region.
In many areas, a mosque may be dominated by whatever group of immigrants is the largest. Sometimes the Friday sermons, or khutbas, are given in languages like Urdu or Arabic along with English. Areas with large Muslim populations may support a number of mosques serving different immigrant groups.
There is no accurate count of the number of Muslims in the United States, as the U.S. Census Bureau does not collect data on religious identification. There is an ongoing debate as to the true size of the Muslim population in the US. Various institutions and organizations have given widely varying estimates about how many Muslims live in the U.S. These estimates have been controversial, with a number of researchers being explicitly critical of the survey methodologies that have led to the higher estimates.
Within the Muslim community in the United States there exist a number of different traditions. As in the rest of the world, the Sunni Muslims are in the majority. Shia Muslims, especially those in the Iranian immigrant community, are also active in community affairs. All four major schools of Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) are found among the Sunni community.
According to a 2004 telephone survey of a sample of 1846 Muslims conducted by the polling organization Zogby, the respondents were more educated and affluent than the national average, with 59% of them holding at least an undergraduate college degree. Citing the Zogby survey, a 2005 Wall Street Journal editorial by Bret Stephens and Joseph Rago expressed the tendency of American Muslims to report employment in professional fields, with one in three having an income over $75,000 a year. The editorial also characterized American Muslims as role models both as Americans and as Muslims.
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