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CAIR Welcomes Part 2 of US Mosque Survey Detailing Increased Women’s Participation on Mosque Boards

67% of mosques have women serving on their mosque boards as compared to 59% in 2010 and 50% in 2000. Majority African-American mosques have a much higher percentage of women on their boards: 83% have women serving on their boards. 

(WASHINGTON, D.C, 7/29/2021) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed Report 2 of the US Mosque Survey 2020 detailing increased participation of women on mosque boards. 

[NOTE: CAIR is one of the primary sponsors of the report.]  

The “American Mosque 2020: Growing and Evolving” is a comprehensive statistical study of mosques in the United States with the goal of providing a detailed portrait of the American mosque to dispel misconceptions and to help mosque leaders and congregants better understand their mosque for future improvements. 

Mosque surveys were conducted in collaboration with a larger study of American congregations called Faith Communities Today (FACT), which is a project of the Cooperative Congregational Studies Partnership (CCSP), a multi-faith coalition of numerous denominations and faith groups headquartered at Hartford Seminary. 

SEE: US Mosque Study 2020 Report: Perspectives and Activities

SEE: Key Findings

SEE: Full Report

“As the American Muslim community grows more diverse, we are delighted to see more women are serving on mosque boards and mosque leaders encouraging civic engagement among Muslims,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. “We are pleased to be a co-sponsor of this important report that examines the diversity of mosques and activities in the United States.” 


  • Women’s participation on mosque boards climbs in 2020 vs 2000. Over two-thirds of mosques (67%) have women serving on their mosque boards as compared to 59% in 2010 and 50% in 2000. Majority African-American mosques have a much higher percentage of women on their boards: 83% have women serving on their boards. The argument that women should not serve on governing bodies of Muslim organizations has clearly been defeated: Only 7% of mosques still uphold that argument, down from 31% in 2000.   

  • Over the past 20 years, a strong majority of mosque leaders consistently agree Muslims should be involved in American civic institutions. American mosques are virtually unanimous in their endorsement of the proposition that Muslims should be involved in American society in both civic and political life. Over 98% of mosque leaders agree with the statement that Muslims should be involved in American civic institutions; 95% agree that Muslims should be involved in American politics. 

  • Fewer mosque leaders see American society as hostile to Islam. Only 18% of mosque leaders agree that Americans are hostile toward Islam, indicating that the vast majority of mosque leaders feel that Muslims are accepted in America.   

  • In 2010, only 9% of mosques had a senior program, but in 2020 that figure was up to 15%. 

  • Most mosques hold five daily prayers and offer religious education programs; more than half have women’s and youth groups, up from one-third in 2010.

  • The main differences between the Shi’ite and Sunni mosques relate to worship activities. Only 14% of Shi’ite mosques hold all daily prayers as compared to 77% of Sunni mosques. There is virtually no difference between Shi’ite and Sunni mosques in terms of group, social service, and interfaith activities. 

  • Number of grades offered at mosque Islamic schools continues to climb. In 2020 18% of mosques had a full-time Islamic school, on par with 19% in 2010. Islamic schools increased in number of students: In 2010, the average number of students was 180, and in 2020 the average was 207. Islamic schools also grew in the number of grades offered.  In 2020, 77% of all Islamic schools were either elementary to middle or elementary to high school. Islamic elementary-only schools decreased from 73% in 2000 to 28% in 2010 to just 19% in 2020.


The US Mosque Survey 2020 is a comprehensive statistical study of mosques located in the United States. It is an ongoing decadal survey which was conducted previously in 2000 and 2010. The results of the US Mosque Survey 2020 are divided into two reports. 

Report 1 focuses on essential statistics, mosque participants, and mosque administration. Report 2 focuses on Islamic approaches in understanding Islam, perspectives of mosque leaders on American society, mosque activities, and women in the mosque. 

Both reports are authored by Dr. Ihsan Bagby and jointly published by the Center on Muslim Philanthropy, Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU), and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)

CAIR’s mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.         

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.     

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CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, 

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