Muslim gang leaders are orchestrating violence in top-security jails.
Including administering beatings to force inmates to convert to Islam, a report has said.
A report from the ministry of justice has unveiled some worrying issues, but it’s nothing we didn’t know of all ready,
The report that can be found here;
A qualitative approach was used with interviews being conducted with 83 randomly selected adult male prisoners located on the main wings and 73 staff from a range of disciplines across the three establishments.
The study found the main prisoner group to be a large, diverse group of prisoners who connected through shared Muslim faith. Respondents were questioned on the presence of other prisoner groups but none were considered to be as dominant or significant when compared to the Muslim group.
Membership offered many supportive benefits including friendship, support and religious familiarity. A small number of prisoners within the group were perceived by those interviewed to be operating as a gang under the guise of religion and were reported to cause a significant management issue at each establishment.
The RT news report on the issue;
The gangs operate under the mask of religion, with a hierarchy of leaders, recruiters, enforcers, followers and foot soldiers, the report by the Ministry of Justice said.
One non-Muslim inmate said:
“There is an underlying pressure for people to convert and join the gang”.
Christian prison pastor Paul Song recently spoke out about Muslim extremists in prisons after he was dismissed from Brixton Prison in London.
Song was kicked out by a Muslim imam who had taken over as head chaplain and disapproved of the pastor’s Christian courses.
“If someone is secular and in prison and they want to lead a peaceful life in prison they need to become Muslim. That way they are protected, ”
said Song, who was later reinstated.
“Some people have been forced to convert with violence. How do I know? Because three or four people come up to me and tell me,” the pastor added.
One study of an English high-security prison identified a large Islamist gang that had a significant negative influence over prison life and links to extremism.
International studies have also observed a rise in Islamist gangs in Western prisons which has raised concerns about the influence that these gangs may have over other prisoners, especially where those convicted of extremist offences are instrumental in gang recruitment and leadership. The links between prison gangs and Islamist extremist offenders have been acknowledged as a possible mechanism for transmitting extremist ideologies, although how this occurs remains poorly understood.
In researching this article I across a similar report from 2012 which outlines the same concerns;
So we have to ask the question, why are we 7 years down the line and nothing has changed except for another report highlighting what was known already?
It’s bad enough that we have Saudi funded wahabist mosques spreading hate and an ultra-conservative Islamic ideology in the western world, but to have it going on in state-funded institutions is utterly ridiculous.
WHAT CAN BE DONE?
The report concluded by saying,
As the prison population is changing, especially high security, with an increase in relatively young prisoners serving long sentences, with a greater ethnic and cultural diversity, efforts should be made to recruit a diversity of staff or make use of carefully selected mentors who are from similar backgrounds to the prisoners, which would help to break down any ‘them and us’ divide. Mentors would not only act as a positive influence but they may also be able to relate to the personal and psychological needs of prisoners, offering support to vulnerable prisoners. Prisons have already begun to respond to this need by introducing culturally matched mentors and external experts in Islam to offer guidance and support and combat Islamist propaganda.
It must also be highlighted that in the report it also outlines there are many Muslims within the 3 jails who practice their faith in the appropriate way and condemned the actions of these gangs.
There was also some fear among staff who were interviewed, largely attributed to the dominance of the Muslim gang and their limited ability to intervene in potential incidents because they could be outnumbered.
A theme emerged around frontline staff’s ability to distinguish gang behaviour. They discussed the importance of being able to identify the difference between Muslims who wished to practice their faith, those who wanted to operate a gang and those who were motivated by an extremist agenda.
Staff recognised the need to make these distinctions and understand when behaviour should be seen as a security threat.
Some normal innocuous behaviour can be linked to extremism. If they’re Muslim and discussing their faith then they [staff] can see this as trying to convert someone.
There is value in being vigilant but it can have an impact on others.
For me, this mirrors the issues we see on the outside and in communities and to differentiate between someone with extremist views and a Muslim just going about there daily routine and practising their faith.
So what is the answer?
Ukip has proposed Muslim-only prisons and to segregate non-believers, which came under a lot of criticism as it would possibly create more Muslims with extremist views which is a good point and may prove country productive, but its clear something needs to be done and just not wait another seven years for another report outlining what we know to be happening already.