If only I had a nickel for every time someone said: "Islam is the fastest growing religion, you know." I'd be rich, rich, rich! Nihad Awad* of CAIR was on Nightline in March 2006, speaking from Iraq about the release of reporter Jill Carroll in Iraq. Awad stated that CAIR went to Iraq "on behalf of 8 million American Muslims." Wow! Now there's a population explosion. Two years ago, CAIR routinely claimed that there were 4-5 million Muslims in the U.S. Last year, CAIR's number rose to 6-7 million. In early in 2006, we allegedly have 8 million American Muslims. Call me skeptical and disbelieving, this sounds like a bunch of hooey. Is CAIR just making numbers up? And what's behind the claim that Islam is the fastest growing religion?
According to Adherents.com, a website of statistical information on all different religious groups, the "highest reasonable total number of Muslims in the United States is 2.8 million." The Adherents.com website has several articles that discuss the methodology and reliability of several surveys of American Muslims. The U.S. State Department estimates there are 2 million Americans associated with a mosque. The State Department further asserts "...there is no official count of Muslims in the United States nor is there a number that is commonly accepted by all who have studied the question." The Brittanica Book of the Year estimates 4 million. A recent article published by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) asserts that "Muslims comprise less than 1 percent of the (US) population." Ummm, that would be 3 million Muslims, not 8 million.
Only CAIR comes up with a number like 8 million. But they repeat it over and over again, and most reporters and newscasters accept it and repeat it some more. Special interest groups like to inflate their numbers, in an attempt to obtain greater political influence. Next time you hear or read about the vast numbers of Muslims in the U.S., please politely protest. We need to keep a check on the feigned influence. It's a mighty squeaky wheel as it is.
Is Islam really the fastest growing religion in the U.S.? That one strikes me as horsefeathers too. Again, checking with Adherents.com, the religions which show the greatest increase from 1990-2000 include Buddhists (+170%, with roughly equal numbers to Muslims), Hindus (+237%), Bahai (+200%) and Sikhs (+380%). Islam increased 109% from 1990-2000. One wonders why Buddhist, Hindu, Bahai and Sikh advocacy groups aren't pumping out regular press releases about their increasing population.
Regarding whether Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world, that's a subject for another time. But with Christianity on the rise in China and Africa, somehow I'm doubting that one too.....
* CAIR is a spin-off of the Islamic Association of Palestine, a group identified by a U.S. intelligence official as a front for Hamas. Nihad Awad was the group's public-relations adviser. Awad praised Iran's revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini and at a university forum in 1994 declared, "I am in support of the Hamas movement."