A Mosque Grows in Suburbia

May 19, 2003

By George Anderson

Just as those before them, Muslim immigrants who originally settled in US cities are moving to suburbia in search of the American dream.

A national study conducted for the Council on American Islamic Relations in 2001 discovered 77 percent of suburban mosques had an increase of 10 percent of more in the size of their congregations in between 1999 and 2000. Just over half of urban mosques had similar growth. The council plans a second study in 2005.

Professor Sulayman Nyang, chairman of African studies, Howard University said there are differences between urban and suburban mosques. According to The Trenton Times, Professor Nyang says “inner-city mosques tend to be predominantly African-American, more inward-looking and focused more intently on addressing neighborhood concerns like poverty, drug abuse and employment, while those in the suburbs are more likely to be populated by immigrant Muslims from the Middle East or south Asia, with a keener interest in world affairs, particularly conditions in their countries of origin.”

Moderator’s Comment: What does the movement of Muslim
consumers with Middle East and Asia ancestry to suburban US communities mean
for retailers with stores in those areas?
Anderson – Moderator

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