Email About Number of New Mosques in Florida- Fiction! & Outdated!
Summary of eRumor:
A viral email makes claims about the number of mosques in Florida and says 118 “new” mosques have been built in Florida in recent years.
Information in this viral email is loosely based in fact, but its claims about the number of new mosques in Florida are mostly outdated and incorrect.
Statistics about the number of mosques in Florida and other states came from a study called “The American Mosque 2011” that looked into characteristics, attitudes and trends in mosques across America from 2000 to 2010.
The study, which was authored by University of Kentucky professor Ihsan Bagby and cosponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), counted a total of 2,106 mosques in America as of 2010 — a 74% increase from the 1,209 mosques counted in a 2000 study.
Part of the reason for the growth was “greater ability to identify mosques in 2011 than in 2000 due to better websites that chart the existence of mosques.” Also, an increased number of Muslim refugees and new immigrant groups, and expansion into new parts of cities and suburbs, were cited as reasons for the growth.
The study also listed the 10 states with the largest number of mosques. Florida came in fourth with 118 mosques behind New York (257), California (246) and Texas (166).
So, it’s true that 118 mosques were counted in Florida in 2010 — but that didn’t mean that all 118 of those mosques were “new” then. It also indicates that the claim that 118 “new” mosques have been built in Florida that began circulating in 2016 was outdated since it clearly used information from the 2011 study.
The study highlights a trend of high number of mosques being built that started in the 1980s and carried over into the new millennium. Overall, 75% of all mosques in the U.S. had been built since 1980 — 22% from 1980-89, 28% from 1990-99, and 24% from 2000-09.
So, because the email claiming that 118 “new” mosques had been built in Florida that began circulating in 2016 relied on data collected in 2010, we’re calling this one outdated. We’re also calling this one fiction because the data collected in 2010 found that there were 118 mosques in Florida — but not 118 “new” mosques.