Islam In America

Factors for Growth.

In the book, The Muslims of America, Prof. Yvonne Haddad addresses the main factors in Islam’s growth in the U.S.: “The dramatic growth of the Muslim community in the United States is a recent phenomenon, taking place primarily over the last three decades in response to changes in American immigration laws and the demands of the labor market.”33 Islamic Horizons echoes this assertion: “The Muslims of North America proudly flaunt the fact that they are a people with a population over eight million and growing.…These figures do not, however, highlight the fact that a vast majority of these eight million are Muslims who either came to this continent after the 1960’s or are reverts [i.e., people who return to their former Muslim beliefs].”34

Again, conversion has not been the major factor in Islam’s growth, with two major exceptions. The first is given by Wendy Zoba in a Christianity Today cover story entitled “Islam, U.S.A": “Islam is gaining most of its U.S. converts in prisons and on university campuses. The majority of American converts to Islam — 85 to 90 percent — are black.”35 In addition, the number of American women who marry Muslim men and convert is estimated to be about 7000 per year.36

African-Americans make up an estimated 42 to 45 percent of the Muslims in America.37 Carl Ellis places the actual number of African-American Muslims at 2.6 million. Of these, only 18,000 to 20,000 are members of Louis Farrakhan’s organization, the Nation of Islam.38

Christians may wish they could say that Islam and Christianity were two complementary faiths; two alternate paths to salvation. In reality, their foundational teachings are diametrically opposed.39 For Muslims “it is an article of faith that Islam is guidance for humanity,”40 and they are commanded to do all they can to spread their faith. Islam denies the Trinity, the deity of Christ, his death on the cross for our sins, and salvation by grace.

James Dretke expresses the Christian attitude very well: “For Christians who take seriously Jesus’ Great Commission in Matthew 28:18–20, it is a great thrill to see so many Muslims on our doorsteps. While we cannot easily gain entry into their countries...God has brought them to ours.”41 ­­­

 

— Joseph P. Gudel

 

NOTES

1

Pres. Bill Clinton, “Annual Ramadan Message,” The White House Office of the Press Secretary, 22 November 2000.
2 Pres. Bill Clinton in “Clinton Hosts Eid Reception,” Islamic Horizons, January–February 1420/2000, 16. 1420 in the dating of the publication is based on the Muslim calendar, which dates from Muhammad’s “Flight” (HIJRAH) from Mecca to Yathrib (Medina).
3 Muzammil H. Siddiqi, “Time to Make an Imprint,” Islamic Horizons, September–October 1421/2000, 6.
4 “TV Series Offers View of Islam,” Islamic Horizons, May–June 1421/2000, 13.
5 David Neff, “Answering Islam’s Questions,” Christianity Today, 3 April 2000, 7.
6 “National News,” Islamic Horizons, November–December 1420/1999, 12,14; and, in the same issue, Abu Ali Bafaquih, “Muslim American Power Emerges,” 26, 28. Not Without My Daughter is the true story of Betty Mahmoody, an American who married an Iranian Muslim, detailing her experiences as a woman in Iran.
7 Ibid., 14.
8 “Islamic Horizons Grows,” Islamic Horizons, May–June 1421/2000, 8.
9 Salam Al-Marayati, “Why Muslim Americans Need to Vote,” Islamic Horizons, January–February 1420/2000, 35.
10 “Plusses [sic] and Minuses for Muslim Americans,” Islamic Horizons, January-February 1420/2000, 37.
11 “NJ First to Enforce Halal Laws,” Islamic Horizons, September–October 1421/2000, 16. Halal dietary regulations ensure that meats consumed by Muslims are prepared properly, similar to Kosher laws concerning Jewish food.
12 Umbreen Abdullah, “Joining the mainstream,” Islamic Horizons, November–December 1421/2000, 64.
13 Ninian Smart, ed., Atlas of the World’s Religions (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 13; “Religion,” 2000 Britannica Book of the Year (Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2000), 292; David B. Barrett and Todd M. Johnson, “Annual Statistical Table of Global Mission: 1999,” International Bulletin of Missionary Research 23, no. 1:25; Larry A. Poston with Carl F. Ellis, The Changing Face of Islam in America (Camp Hill, PA: Horizon Books, 2000), 67; Muzammil H. Siddiqi, “Did We Live the Ramadan Spirit?” Islamic Horizons, January–February 1420/2000, 6; Roland E. Miller, Muslim Friends (St. Louis: Concordia, 1995), 396.
14 Barrett and Johnson, 25; 2000 Britannica Book of the Year, 292.
15 Patrick Johnstone, Operation World (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1993), 183; Miller, 396–400.
16 Wendy Murray Zoba, “Islam, U.S.A.” Christianity Today, 3 April 2000, 40.
17 J. Dudley Woodberry, “Missiological Issues in the Encounter with Emerging Islam,” from The World of Islam CD (Colorado Springs: Global Mapping International, 2000).
18 Sami A. Shama, “Islam: The Image Question,” Islamic Horizons, March–April 1418/1998, 30.
19 Miller, 24–25.
20 Survey Of Islam, Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity, from The World Of Islam CD (Colorado Springs: Global Mapping International, 2000).
21 Carol L. Stone, “Estimate of Muslims Living in America,” in Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad, ed., The Muslims of America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), 25.
22 “Largest Religious Groups in the United States of America” (www.Adherents.com), 1.
23 James P. Dretke, “The Growth of Islam in the United States,’ article awaiting publication, 2000.
24 Miller, 33. Muslim authorities often make the same claims concerning Christian statisticians.
25 Edward Gilbreath, “How Islam Is Winning Black America,” Christianity Today, 3 April 2000, 52–53; Stone, 25; Zoba, 40; Ilyas Ba-yunus, “Unifying Muslim North America,” Islamic Horizons, May–June 1421/2000, 20.
26 Eileen W. Lindner, ed., “Islam,” Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches 2000 (New York: National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., 2000).
27 Abu Ali Bafaquih, “Muslim American Power Emerges,” Islamic Horizons, November–December 1420/1999, 26; Muzammil H. Siddiqi, “Time to Make an Imprint,” 6.
28 Clinton, “Annual Ramadan Message.”
29 Poston, 17; Zoba, 48.
30 Zoba, 40.
31 Karen Keyworth, “Removing Barriers to Excellence,” Islamic Horizons, May–June 1421/2000, 28; Muzammil H. Siddiqi, “Taking Charge,” Islamic Horizons, May–June 1421/2000, 6.
32 Ba-Yunus, 20; Dretke, 1.
33 Haddad, “Introduction: The Muslims of America,” 4.
34 Muzammil H. Siddiqi, “Learning from History,” Islamic Horizons, March–April 1418/1998, 6. It is conservatively estimated there are about 35,000 Muslim immigrants yearly. (Poston, 16, 33.)
35  Zoba, 42.
36 Dretke, 4. According to Dretke, this statistic is mitigated by the fact that many of these women revert back to their Christian roots when their children get older (i.e., above 7 or 8 years old). Also, cf., Zoba, 42.
37 Further references include, Joseph P. Gudel, “Hate Begotten of Hate,” Forward, Fall 1986, 9–11, 23–25; Poston with Ellis, 109–66; 247–61; Gilbreath, 52–53. Azim Nizamuddin, “What Muslims Can Offer America,” Islamic Horizons, March–April 1418/1998, 35; Poston, 22.
38 Gilbreath, 53. For years orthodox Muslims have denounced Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam as heretical; however, this may have changed last year when Farrakhan claimed to accept orthodox Muslim beliefs, rejecting his previous heretical doctrines and racism. See “The Family Grows: Farrakhan and Nation of Islam Move toward Islam,” Islamic Horizons, March–April 1421/2000, 10; Toure Muhammad and Askia Muhammad, “We Are a Family,” The Final Call: Online (www.finalcall.com), 15 March 2000; Askia Muhammad and Eric Ture Muhammad, “Savior’s Day 2000 Weekend Brings Many Joyous Surprises,” The Final Call: Online, 15 March 2000.
39 For more information see Joseph P. Gudel, “Islam’s Worldwide Revival,” Forward, Fall 1985, 16–21; Joseph P. Gudel, “To Every Muslim an Answer,” Forward, Winter 1986, 21–25; Joseph P. Gudel, “Religious Radicalism: Right or Wrong?” Christian Research Journal, Winter–Spring 1990, 16–19.
40 Abidullah Ghazi, “Reaching Out with the Guidance for Humanity,” Islamic Horizons, September–October 1420/1999, 33.
41 Dretke, 5.

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