70% of UK Prison Imams Follow Hardline Islam
Wed, February 17, 2016
(Photo: Screenshot from the Clarion Project film The Third Jihad)
An independent study of prisons in the UK has found that closet to 70 percent of prison imams are promoting a hardline interpretation of Islam.
"It is of great concern that the majority of Muslim chaplains in prisons propagate a fundamentalist interpretation of Islamic scripture... Such imams are unlikely to aid the deradicalization of Islamists in prisons and could potentially even make them more firm in their beliefs," said a senior civil service official.
Out of 200 imams surveyed, the study found that 140 had studied Deobandi Islam, a form of Islam followed by the Taliban.
The current study, which will be released in full next month, follows similar recent warnings issued by the Prison Officers Association (POA) that extremist Muslims were applying for jobs – some even actively seeking prison sentences – to be able to radicalize inmates. The assistant general secretary of the POA, Glyn Travis, warned that the problem is "far wider than imams."
Chief Inspector General of Prisons Nick Hardwick also warned last year about the threat of extremist Muslims in the UK prison system.
Last November, it was revealed that extremist Muslims in four of the institutions that house the most dangerous criminals, including terrorists, were forcing other inmates to convert or pay the jizya (Islamic protection money).
Travis accused the secretary of state for justice, Michael Grove (who had ordered a review of how prisoners were being radicalized), as well as the National Offender Management Service of "burying their heads in the sand," saying that any investigation into the phenomena of prison radicalization needed to have a far "wider reach."
Muslims make up 10.8 percent of the UK’s prison inmates but only 4.5 percent of the UK’s general population.
Watch a clip from the Clarion Project's film, The Third Jihad about radicalization in U.S. prisons: