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Facts and Figures on Islam

Prepared for Immanuel Adult Forum
by Richard J Anderson, PhD September 2010

Mosques in Illinois

One on-line directory shows 81 mosques in Illinois:

37 in Chicago:
1 downtown

19 on the north side 12 on the south side 5 on the west side

35 in Chicago suburbs:
12 in north and northwest suburbs
23 in south, west, and southwest suburbs

9 in the remainder of the state

Some Islamic Organizations in the Chicago area

COIGC (Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago) is a federation of Islamic centers, mosques, schools, and social service groups; it is also heavily involved in interfaith activities.

CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) is the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy group.

Niagara Foundation is a Turkish Muslim organization strongly oriented toward interfaith dialogue.

American Islamic College offers a variety of courses in theology, art, and history for both Muslims and non-Muslims

Muslim Students Association is active on several campuses, including The University of Chicago, Loyola University, Northwestern University, UIC, and DePaul University. Various web pages.

The 5 Pillars of Islam

1. Shahadah: testimony that only God is worthy of worship and that Muhammad is his prophet.

2. Salah: ritual prayer performed 5 times a day, in Arabic 3. Sawm: fasting during the month of Ramadan

4. Zakat: alms-giving, a fixed portion of accumulated wealth, to assist the poor and aid in the mission of spreading Islam.

5. Hajj: pilgrimage to Mecca, once in the lifetime of all Muslims who can afford it.

Muslims in the United States

There are no reliable statistics on the number of Muslims in the United States. Estimates range from 2.5 million (Pew Study) to 7 million (CAIR), with other studies showing 4.5 or 5 million. It seems likely that 6-7 million is reasonable. This would make Islam the fifth largest religious group in America (after Roman Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, Lutherans, and Latter-Day Saints), though it must be allowed that all statistics on religion are highly suspect.

As of 2008, there were approximately 1200 mosques in the United States; the largest is the Islamic Center of America, in Dearborn, Michigan. The states with the largest Muslim populations are California, New York, and Illinois.

Almost two-thirds of Muslim Americans are foreign-born, and about 60% of Muslims in this country are from South Asia or Arab states. Generally speaking, Muslim Americans have higher average incomes than other Americans and have a strong presence in the professions of medicine, law, and computer science. African-Americans constitute about 20% of the Muslim population in this country but are sharply divided into two groups, one of which is not generally recognized by the worldwide Islamic community.

Major Muslim Population Centers


Country Muslims (millions) Muslim % of total population

Dominant Language

1 Indonesia 203 88.2 Indonesian
2 Pakistan 174 96.3 Urdu
3 India 161 13.4 Hindi, English
4 Bangladesh 145 89.6 Bengali
5 Egypt 79 94.6 Arabic
6 Nigeria 78 50.4 English
7 Turkey 74 98.0 Turkish
8 Iran 74 99.4 Farsi
9 Algeria 34 98.0 Arabic
10 Morocco 32 99.0 Arabic
11 Iraq 30 99.0 Arabic, Kurdish
12 Sudan 30 71.3 Arabic
13 Afghanistan 28 99.7 Dari, Pashto
14 Ethiopia 28 33.9 Amharic
15 Uzbekistan 26 96.3 Uzbek
16 Saudi Arabia 25 97.0 Arabic
17 Yemen 23 99.1 Arabic
18 China 21 1.6 Mandarin
19 Syria 20 92.2 Arabic
20 Malaysia 17 60.4 Malay

Statistics are from the Pew Research Center (2009). Pew includes Muslim populations for 171 countries, with a world total of 1.57 billion Muslims. The total for China is almost certainly too low. Other Muslim figures by country: Germany, 4 million; France, 3.5 million; United Kingdom, 1.6 million; Spain, 650,000; Sweden, 149,000; Norway, 65,000. According to the Pew study, there are no Muslims in Iceland, Costa Rica, Aruba, the Falkland Islands, Vanuatu, and the Vatican City.