The Nerdiest Thing You'll Read Today

EWI News:

from Shane's Muslim Connect

You have to be a pretty big nerd to get jazzed about a publication called “THE AMERICAN MOSQUE 2020: GROWING AND EVOLVING, Report 1 of the US Mosque Survey 2020: Basic Characteristics of the American Mosque.” Trust me, if you make it past the title, it’s pretty interesting. 

(For the slightly less nerdy, check out the Key Findings, an abridgment of the full report.)

As you may have guessed, I read the whole thing! (But to be fair, there were several pictures, graphs, and whatnot!) Three issues seemed particularly worth sharing with you. 

  1. Younger Imams
    Although not exactly a Muslim version of a pastor, imams usually oversee the spiritual life of a mosque. The report says the average age of an imam in the US is 48, compared to the average age of a Christian pastor at 54. Perhaps more telling, nearly 40% of imams are 40 or younger, compared to 15% of Christian pastors! This younger age might contribute to the reality that, though mosques are also losing Millennials and Generation Z, they’re doing so at a slower rate than churches.
  2. More Mosques in the Suburbs
    This is good news for the many of us who don’t live in the inner city: Muslims are moving into our suburban neighborhoods. Seems many are following the well-worn pattern of immigrating to the U.S., landing in the city, making some money, then moving out for the sake of kids, costs, and crime.
  3. Increasing Resistance to New Mosques
    However, trouble often awaits when they relocate. The report states, “35% of mosques encountered significant resistance from their neighborhood or city when they tried to obtain permission to move, expand, or build.” I imagine this coming from areas with pretentious names like “The Preserve at Hawk Creek Garden” or “The Estates at Shadow Lake Pointe.”

Even so, I wonder if I’d take the trouble to attend a planning meeting and stand in favor of Muslims. I don’t know. Would you?