How to tackle the Islamisation of prisons

Feb 13, 2020 by

by Tim Dieppe, Christian Concern:

Recent terror attacks by former prisoners and the first terrorist attack inside a prison have served to highlight once again the problem of the Islamisation of our prisons. It appears that the government has no clear idea what to do.

High portion of Muslim prisoners

The latest prison population statistics show that 16.1% of the prison population is Muslim, up from 12% in 2009. This compares with around 5.6% of the UK population who identify as Muslim. As of 2018 there were 61 full-time equivalent Muslim prison ‘chaplains’ (nearly 40% of all chaplains working in prisons), compared with 157 Christian prison chaplains. This makes the Prison Service one of the largest employers of Muslim religious professionals in the country. Yet former prison governor Ian Acheson, when reviewing Islamist extremism in prisons, found that virtually none of the prison imams he asked even knew about their Prevent duty. He stated that selection and supervision of imams needs to be radically improved. He also found numerous examples of extremist religious literature being freely distributed across prisons.

Last year, the government stated that there were around 650 individuals in prison or on probation being managed through a counter terrorism process, because they are either convicted terrorists or they have been identified as showing signs of extremist views. Around 80% of these are Islamist related. There were 50% more terrorist related prisoners in England and Wales than three years before. There was no estimate of how many offenders might have been radicalised nor of the level of radicalisation by ideology.

Last December, it was reported that Islamist extremists are holding makeshift Sharia trials in prisons, circulating banned books, and openly grooming young Muslim inmates. A former prisoner recalled how he came to join a group of prisoners who pledged allegiance to Isis.

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