Muslim Communities in Paterson, NJ

February 11, 2003

Source: New Jersey News

On February 11, 2003 the New Jersey News reported that "Paterson's [NJ] eight mosques represent the many types of Muslims in America. Many are longtime residents and American citizens. Others are recent immigrants who cling together, still speaking the language of their homeland and attempting to find their way in a land that is new and strange to them. Like Muslims across the United States, they come from nations that stretch from North Africa, through Egypt, Turkey, and the Middle East, to the Asian countries of Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan, and regions of the former Soviet Union... According to a report by the American Muslim Council, there are an estimated 1,200 mosques in the United States, with about 60 percent established in the last 20 years. Some of Paterson's mosques have been operating for more than 20 years, and all of the Islamic worship centers in Paterson, like 75 percent of the mosques in the United States, have experienced growth in the past five years... The recent announcement that the FBI was beginning to compile a list of mosques as part of the war against terrorism, and the implication that some mosques would be targeted for surveillance, have angered Muslims who are long-term residents and made new arrivals wary of outsiders."