Demographics of Islam in Flushing


In Flushing, there are about six mosques, including Masjid Saaliheen , Masjidi Hazrat I Abubakr, Masjid Al-Muqaam, Masjid Al-Fallah, Masjid Jamal Uddin Afghani, and the Muslim Center of New York.  These mosques are mainly Sunni mosques, functioning as places of worship as well as places of social gathering and learning.  New York is among  the states in the United States with the highest Muslim population.  In New York state, there are reportedly 175 mosques, a majority of them being located in the five boroughs.  Although the census does not take religion into account, it is estimated that there are roughly 600,000 Muslims in the five boroughs.  65 percent of the Muslim-American population are first-generation immigrants, and 61 percent of the foreign-born arrived in the 1990s or this decade (2007 survey by the Pew Research Center).

In a national study of the Muslim Population conducted by the US Department of State, it is estimated that the breakdown of ethnicities of Muslims is as follows:

South Asian (Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi, Afghani) = 33 percent
African-America = 30 percent
Arab = 25 percent
Sub-Saharan African = 3.4 percent
European (Bosnian, Tartar, Kosovar, etc.) = 2.1 percent
White American = 1.6 percent
Southeast Asian ( Malaysian, Indonesian, Filipino) = 1.3 percent
Caribbean = 1.2 percent
Turkish = 1.1 percent
Iranian = 0.7 percent
Hispanic/Latino = 0.6 percent

While this is a nationwide survey, it is still reflective of the diversity in the Muslim population in Flushing.  According to the director of the Muslim Center of New York, a majority of congregants at that mosque are from places such as Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan, with a smaller number of European immigrants.

After 9/11, a lot of these immigrant groups have been discriminated against based upon their looks.  A study completed by the New York City Commission on Human Rights provides further statistics about the Muslim population in New York City.  Of the 287,144 Arabs and South Asians living in New York City, 81% of the Arabs and South Asians are Muslim, with 29% of them living in Queens. As we learned from the director at the Muslim Center of New York, discrimination against Muslims is not uncommon.  In the study, 659 people had reported 1,225 incidents of discrimination/bias harassment.  We were told that even today, some of the Muslim children have a difficult time making friends because other kids assume that because of their ethnic background, that they are terrorists.  The discrimination among the Muslim population has definitely declined since 9/11 but there are still many incidents today that should not be occurring.



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