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Black Muslims account for a fifth of all U.S. Muslims, and about half are converts to Islam

06 February, 2019 21:53
Black Muslims account for a fifth of all U.S. Muslims, and about half are converts to Islam

Even in the early 20th century, when Islam had little presence in most parts of the United States, the religion had a foothold in many black urban communities. Today, black people (not including those of Hispanic descent or mixed race) make up 20% of the country’s overall Muslim population, according to a 2017 Pew Research Center survey.

Still, Muslims make up only a small portion of the overall black population in the United States. The vast majority of black Americans are either Christian (79%) or religiously unaffiliated (18%), while about 2% of black Americans are Muslim.

About half of black Muslims (49%) are converts to Islam, a relatively high level of conversion. By contrast, only 15% of nonblack Muslims are converts to Islam, and just 6% of black Christians are converts to Christianity.

Black Muslims are like black Americans overall in that they have high levels of religious commitment. For instance, large majorities of both black Muslims and black Christians say religion is very important to them (75% and 84% respectively). This is a higher level of commitment than for nonblack Muslims (62%). Black Muslims are also more likely than other Muslims in the U.S. to perform the five daily prayers (55% vs. 39%).

In the early 1900s, some Muslim religious leaders in the U.S. asserted that Islam was the natural religion of black people, broadly drawing upon the narratives of African Muslims captured centuries ago and sold as slaves in the Americas. Most prominent among the groups saying this was the Nation of Islam, which was originally founded in 1930 and is currently led by Minister Louis Farrakhan.

Today, just two of every 100 black Muslims surveyed say they currently identify with the Nation of Islam. Instead, most black Muslims say they are either Sunni Muslims (52%) or identify with no particular Islamic denomination (27%)…

Source: Pew Research Center

Category : Islamic World News  |  
Black Muslims account for a fifth of all U.S. Muslims, and about half are converts to Islam
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