Mosques in the United States have doubled in number since the September 11 attacks, with urban and suburban centers seeing an uptick in mosque construction over the last decade, according to a new report.
"This is a growing, healthy Muslim community that is well integrated into America," Ihsan Bagby, who headed the research project -- which was sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Hartford Institute for Religion Research, among other groups -- told The Washington Post. "Researchers conducting the national count found a total of 2,106 Islamic centers, compared to 1,209 in 2000 and 962 in 1994," The Washington Post reported.
The Washington Post offers the statistic as a sign of the Muslim-American community triumphing over the anti-Muslim "backlash" supposed to be demonstrated by the opposition to the so-called Ground Zero mosque in New York City. But maybe the data vindicates those critics of the mosque who claimed to oppose the Ground Zero mosque construction not out of bigotry, but a very particular sensitivity regarding that mosque's proximity to Ground Zero of the World Trade Center attacks.
"When I look over there and see a mosque, it’s going to hurt," the New York Times quoted C. Lee Hanson, who lost a son in the September 11 attacks, as saying in 2010 about the Ground Zero mosque. "Build it someplace else."
Apparently, Muslim-Americans have been doing just that for the last decade.