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About Dr. Paul L. Williams
Dr. Paul L. Williams, PhD, is an American author, journalist and consultant on radical Islam and counterterrorism. He is also an adjunct professor of humanities. He is the author of six books, including The Day of Islam: The Annihilation of America and the Western World, in which he expands on the American Hiroshima scenario he believes to be imminent, in which simultaneous nuclear attacks on 7 to 10 American cities would create havoc in American society. Prior to this, he served for seven years as a consultant to the FBI about terrorist and mafia criminal organizations.
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Dr. Paul L. Williams
Uncle Sam’s Hajj
June 25, 2009

"The dream of opportunity for all people has not come true for everyone in America, but its promise exists for all who come to our shores. And that includes nearly 7 million American Muslims in our country today who, by the way, enjoy incomes and educational levels that are higher than the American average.” – Pres. Barack Hussein Obama, The University of Cairo, June, 2009


Is President Obama correct in his claim that America is now one of the world’s leading Islamic countries with a population of 7 million Muslims?


Ibrahim Hooper, president of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), believes this figure is correct. He bases this conclusion on data extrapolated from his agency’s study of mosque attendance. This data, he says, supports the President’s contention that Islam has eclipsed Judaism to become America’s second largest religion.


Mr. Hooper maintains he has been an eyewitness to the changing religious landscape. "When I came to the DC community ten years ago,” the CAIR director says, "the mosque that I attend in Sterling, Virginia held only one Friday prayer service for a handful of people.” Now, he adds, the mosque has built a large new facility, conducts multiple Friday services, and operates several satellite locations.


However, Mr. Hooper adds, "no one really knows the exact figure.”


The Problem with Projections

Why this lack of pertinent demographic data?


One reason, according to Dr. James Dretke, executive director of the Zwemer Institute, " the fact that Muslims do not join mosques as Christians join churches, so it is impossible to count them from membership rolls.”


Another reason resides with the U.S. Census Bureau.


For the past 50 years the United States government (unlike some countries) has not included questions about religious affiliation in its census.


In accordance with the new census forms, Americans are required, by law, to state their race; their means of getting to work; their income; their mortgage or rent payments; and their mental and physical condition. They are even compelled to inform Uncle Sam if their homes have a flush toilet and a refrigerator. But they are not asked their religious affiliation, since such an inquiry would violate their civil rights.


And so, the number of Muslims who now reside in the country remains a matter of debate.


Is Obama’s Figure Inflated?

Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, says that the claim that Muslims in the U.S. now number 7 million is grossly inflated.


"Study after study,” Mr. Pipes contends, "has found that demographic figure about three times too high.”


But the studies which Mr. Pipes uses to support his argument were conducted almost a decade ago. His first reference is to The American Religious Identification Survey which was carried out by the Graduate Center of the City University of New York in 2001. It polled more than 50,000 people and estimated the total American Muslim population to be 1.8 million. The second study, sponsored by the American Jewish Committee, placed the Muslim population at 1,886,000 in 2000.


These early studies, which prop up the contentions of Mr. Pipes, were widely contested.


The 2000 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches estimated there were 3,900,000 Muslims in the U.S. at that time, while a Zogby International Survey, released in August 2000, placed the number of American Muslims at 8 million.


What is the right number?


Recent Independent Surveys

Several recent studies show that Muslims may number considerably more than 7 million in the U.S. Surveys conducted by The American Society of Psychiatrists and Cornell University estimate the number of U.S. Muslims somewhere between 8 to 10 million.


These findings have been called into question by the Pew Research Center which holds that Islamic population of America is 2.35 million.


But there is a serious problem with this estimate.


Pew researchers admit that the study does not take into account immigrant and poor black Muslims. What’s more, the Pew telephone survey was conducted strictly with landlines and failed to take into account the fact that nearly 50% of Americans and age 18-35 and nearly 100% of the illegal immigrants use cell phones exclusively.


Many people in the know, including municipal police officers, accept the higher estimates. Detective David Casey of the New York Police Department, for example, states that there are more than a million Muslims within the five boroughs of New York.


The Muslim Presence

If CAIR is correct in its projections based on mosque attendance, then America’s present Islamic population may well exceed 12 million.


In 1990, America housed less than 600 mosques. By 2000, that number had climbed to 1,400. This figure failed to reflect the Muslim houses of worship that had sprouted up in low-rent storefronts, abandoned warehouses, Middle Eastern social clubs, private residences, college campuses, and second story business space.


What’s the exact number of Muslims in America?


No one knows.


New Religious Phenomenon

But no one can doubt the widespread presence of Islam throughout America – a phenomenon that has taken place in a relatively short span of time.


In 1976, Leo Rosten’s published his sixth edition of Religions of America. It represented an exhaustive compilation of statistical information concerning every major and minor body of believers in the country. Entire chapters were devoted to such Protestant denominations as the Disciples of Christ, the 7th Day Adventists, the Unitarian Universalists, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the various manifestations of Presbyterianism, Lutheranism, and Methodism.

The study provided abundant data concerning the three forms of Judaism (Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform) and a lengthy discussion about the liturgical and doctrinal differences between Greek Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. It even contained facts and figures concerning the five percent of Americans who claimed to be Agnostic.


But Rosten’s exhaustive work contained no mention of Islam, not even as a footnote. This was not an oversight. The Muslims in America were statistically insignificant, numbering less than 10,000.


As little as a decade ago, Americans could walk through crowded airports without encountering a woman in a burqa or a student in a shalwat kameez. Words such as jihad, imam, Sunni, and Shiite were not in common usage. Many major cities contained no Islamic bookstores or clothing shops featuring designer Muslim headdresses. And vendors selling halal hotdogs were non-existent on the street corners of midtown Manhattan.


Now Muslims have managed to infiltrate all aspects of American life, including the prison system, the military, the highest recesses of academia and college administration, and every branch government.


And, no less than their counterparts in Europe, American Muslims are making demands that are being met. Muslim special agents in the FBI insist upon separate toilets from "infidel agents”; Muslim teachers in public schools, while denigrating Christianity, promote Islam by having their students recite prayers and verses from the Quran on prayer rugs; and Muslim women call for the expulsion of all men, including male lifeguards, from public pools and parks at certain hours of the day so that they could swim and stroll without fear of any violation to their sense of modesty.


Other developments have been infinitely more disturbing, including the perpetuation of Islamic attacks on American soil – the killings by the Beltway snipers; the "honor killings” in Scottsdale and Louisville; the attack on the Jewish Federation Center in Seattle; the shooting rampage at a mall in Salt Lake City; and the murder this month of an American soldier at an Army recruiting station in Little Rock, Arkansas. The fact that such crimes were accompanied with cries of "Allahu Akhbar” gained scant mention in the press.


Clinton Recognizes Islam’s Sudden Ascent

In recognition that Islam has become the country’s second largest religion, former President Bill Clinton recently told an Arab-American audience of 1,000 people last Saturday that the U.S. is no longer just a black-white country, nor a country that is dominated by Christians and a powerful Jewish minority, given the growing numbers of Muslims.


Mr. Clinton said that by 2050 America will no longer have a majority of people with European heritage, adding that "this is a very positive thing.”


One Last Note

There are currently 5.128 million Jews in America – a substantially lower amount than the President’s estimate of Muslims.
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