Muslims Launch U.S.-Wide Census

June 17, 2008

Author: Omar Sacirbey

Source: USA Today

A team of Islamic advocacy groups and statistical organizations will start a nationwide census of American mosques this summer that organizers hope will paint a more accurate picture of the size and ethnic composition of U.S. Muslims.

One of the challenges will be finding all the venues where Muslims pray. Many Islamic communities do not have mosques but still meet for congregational prayers in private homes, businesses, university buildings and even some churches that have opened their buildings for Muslim prayers.

"This is very tough," said Ihsan Bagby, an Islamic Studies professor at the University of Kentucky who is directing the study. "We will engage interviewers so they can diligently hunt for these less obvious mosques."