Here’s a shocker: America is becoming more secular, atheism is on the rise and — get this! — for now there are more observant Muslims than Jews in Florida. Of course, it depends on whether you define a Jew as one who practices the Jewish faith or simply identifies culturally.
That’s the somewhat-breathless reporting of The Telegraph‘s blogs editor Damian Thompson — a journalist once labeled by The Church Times “as a ‘blood-crazed ferret,’” according to his online biography.
Over to you, Damian:
Did you know there are — possibly — now more religious Muslims than religious Jews in Florida? I know, it seems incredible. Miami Beach has had 15 Jewish mayors, there are getting on for 200 synagogues in South Florida – and, of course, it was the hunting ground of the despicable Bernie Madoff.
It also seems incredible because the journalistic evidence is thin. I realize that this is a blog post and, thus, a form of commentary? But facts on the ground matter, even in blogging.
Thompson cites figures from the BestPlaces.net website, which is geared more towards the real estate industry, as evidence, albeit scanty, that Muslims outnumber Jews in the Sunshine State:
There are still more Jews than Muslims in Florida, loosely defined; these figures measure Judaism as a religion. That said, even to compare the two 20 years ago would have seemed ridiculous. Florida has a small but vibrant, growing Muslim community, half of it from India, followed by Pakistanis – only 150,000 registered voters to date. As you’d expect, 80 per cent voted for Obama in the last two elections; but in other elections they’re swing voters, and in Florida you ignore those at your peril. As for the Jewish community, the retirement communities are reflecting the national picture.
He then goes on to quote a Newsmax article about the October 2013 Pew Research study showing a decline in Jewish population. Thompson then spells it all out for you: