With the Muslim community in America growing steadily, a coalition of Islamic groups have launched a nationwide project to collect comprehensive data about mosques in the country.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) will conduct the study over the summer and fall and are expected to publish its findings in early 2009.
The project is co-sponsored by a coalition of organisations including the Muslim American Society (MAS) Freedom Foundation, the Islamic Circle of North America.
The goal is to contact every mosque and Islamic centre in the United States and compile accurate information about the Muslim community in America, specifically relating to size, infrastructure development, the participation of women and youth, and depth of involvement in American society.
“As the American Muslim community continues to grow and flourish, it is imperative for scholars to provide an in-depth understanding of the American mosque and its Muslim adherents,” said CAIR Board Member Ihsan Bagby, an associate professor at the University of Kentucky who is directing the study.
“The vibrant diversity of our community is an asset to our nation, and understanding the American mosque is essential to understanding US Muslims,” he said.
Syed Sayeed, National Director of ISNA, said: “Muslims in America are making an important contribution in enriching the mainstream of America.”