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May 22, 2007

Pew Survey of Muslim-Americans Confirms Lower Population Estimates

A Pew poll surveying the opinions of Muslim-Americans has provided important data on the size and status of the Muslim-American community.

The Pew survey confirms the population estimates by population researcher Thomas Smith, who estimated the Muslim population in America at 1.9 million in 2000, considerably lower than the figures provided by Muslim advocacy groups like CAIR. Muslim organizations claim the American Muslim population is slightly larger than the Jewish population, at around 6-8 million. Haverford College Political Scientist Harvey Glickman a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute also recently asserted that Muslim-Americans now outnumber American Jews. These exaggerated estimates are routinely accepted by many organizations and information resources like encyclopedias and internet information sites. Smith, whose survey determined the Muslim population of America in 2000 was most likely around 1.9 million, with a figure of 2.8 million being the absolute maximum, has suffered from the lingering question of objectivity because his study was commissioned by the American Jewish Committee.

The recent Pew poll provides confirmation of the soundness of Smith's study, estimating a current Muslim-American population of 2.35 million. Of these, only 24% or less than 600,000 are estimated to be Muslims from Arab countries. It remains to be seen whether the media and information resources will continue to use the inflated figures provided by Muslim advocacy groups.

The survey also reinforces the view that Muslim-Americans are much better integrated economically and culturally than Muslims in Europe.

Posted by SS at May 22, 2007 01:41 PM

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