The Investor's Business Daily has a editorial today that debunks the oft-heard statement that there are 7 or 8 millions Muslims in the U.S. today. From their editorial:
"Since Muslim Keith Ellison's election to Congress, there's been a lot of noise in the media about the growing clout of the 8 million-Muslim electorate. Eight million?"
"It seems the size of the Muslim population in America jumps by an additional million every other year or so. (I've noticed that myself....MK) Just a couple of years ago the consensus number bandied about in the media was 7 million. Before 9/11 it was 6 million."
".... While the number of Muslims is growing thanks to higher birthrates and immigration, it's nowhere near CAIR's claim. Even the most generous independent estimate puts it at half that size, or 4 million."
It turns out that CAIR (Council on Islamic American Relations) had a gentleman named Ihsan Bagby develop the 6 million estimate a few years ago. Is he a experienced in demographics? population statistics? No, but he is a CAIR board member. His methodology, according to the IBD editorial:
1. With help from CAIR researchers, Bagby called the nation's 1,209 mosques and interviewed 416 of them, asking them how many people were involved in their mosque in any way. The average response was 1,625, which is probably high, given that two imams claimed 50,000 when the nation's largest mosque — Dar al-Hijrah in the D.C. suburbs — has only about 3,000.
2. Bagby then multiplied that fuzzy participation figure by the 1,209 mosques and came up with 2 million "mosqued Muslims."
3. Next, he multiplied that sum by a magical factor of three to capture Muslims who might not participate in mosque activities, and arrived at the original 6 million guesstimate for the size of the Muslim population in America.
That's a made-up number, and is about twice as high as other population estimates by other, independent groups, like the U.S. State Department and the Brittanica Book of the Year. As the editorial points out:
"The Pentagon.... does not question the number. Neither does the White House, Congress nor the media — no matter how fantastic the number gets. But it's the Wahhabi lobby's big lie. CAIR and other militant Muslim groups use it to intimidate politicians, corporations and media to change policy."
"But don't buy it. It's a total exaggeration."
Reporters and newspapers rarely question the inflated estimate either. But we do!