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5MM to 7MM is probably about right.

Reader comment on item: How Many Muslims in the United States?

Submitted by GWK (United States), Jun 8, 2009 at 15:40

Dr. Pipes -- You know I have tried to look into this issue before, and there is a serious problem with population counting in all countries, the USA included. But we continue to estimate as best as we can. Two comments in response to your post.

1. The President was speaking to an audience that he did not want to put off -- to the youth of the Muslim World and to students of the Ulema. Understand that all students will return from their radios and computers to hear the counterpoint at their mosques or from extremist recruiters. In that context, understating the acceptance of Islam in the USA would be counterproductive -- if I believe the strategy of diplomacy right, it is to draw as many points of connection to your audience as possible. Undercounting population would be contradicted by Muslim detractors and would possibly drive a wedge between the intended audience and the speaker. So perhaps the high-end reference was strategically intended to reinforce an emotional receptivity.

2. Look at the actual population on the ground and re-guess your estimates. Go to every borough of NYC and to every major city in the US. Take a taxi from every major airport in the USA, and buy cigarettes or the paper at any city's corner news stand and take a guess at the ethnic origins of your fellow human at those places. In NYC and every major city there are mosques attended by Muslim immigrants or their children or by converts (white, balck and brown) or their children. In Minneapolis and at Reagan National Airport nearly every taxi driver it seems is from a Muslim majority country. And look at research labs, engineering schools and technology centers, an a significant percentage of the people you meet are Muslim. Heck, even look at the US military, and it seems that over 4% of the military is Muslim -- that's a huge #, and they're not all immigrants, either!

So, if a random sampling census procedure were adopted, probably a most effective procedure, I'd guess that the % population in US cities is roughly 3% to 4%, and in the rural areas it would be less than 1%. That would generally approximate 2% of the US population. It would be much harder to get an accurate census count, as many immigrants are illegally residing in their new homes (both in the USA and in Europe) and that means that census data undercounts certain populations that refuse to be counted.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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