A prayer service at the Islamic Center of Greater Austin Islam is the
fastest-growing religion in the United States. It's predicted to overtake
Judaism and come in second to Christianity within the next few decades.
Its growth is mainly due to two reasons - the number of Muslim immigrants
flocking to America and the number of Americans converting to Islam.
"We are a part of the U.S. community, and there are facets to our community
that people should know about," Austin Muslim Zafar Sadiq said.
There are about 1,200 mosques in America, more than half of which were
founded in the last 20 years. Texas has about 70 mosques, and Austin is
home to seven. Five Austin mosques are Sunni, one is Shi'a and the other is
the Nation of Islam.
There are no exact numbers on Muslims in Austin. The number of people who
attend mosque at the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month, is the best
Based on that, close to 15,000 Muslims live and work in Central Texas.
Eighty-five percent are Sunni and 15 percent are Shi'a, which is similar to
the national average.
"Pre-9/11, the Muslim community didn't really have its own identity, and
that's sort of the course we're taking right now is establishing our
identity as Muslims in the west and in America, specifically," Muslim
student Annia Raja said