PRISON MUSLIM CLERIC HATE
UK prison imams are
free to spread hatred: Preachers found to be distributing extremist
literature including homophobic and misogynistic leaflets
• MoJ-appointed imams 'routinely distribute extremist literature' in prisons
• Leaked report found hate pamphlets and CDs in more than 10 jails
• Review ordered by Michael Gove but not cleared for publication yet
• It was led by former prison governor and Home Office official Ian Acheson
• Muslims make up 14.5 per cent of inmates in prisons across the UK
• Majority of British imams are trained in the conservative Deobandi tradition
By TAMMY HUGHES FOR THE DAILY MAIL and HUGO GYE FOR MAILONLINE
18 April 2016
Muslim preachers approved by the
Government are routinely distributing extremist literature in British
prisons leaving hundreds of inmates at risks of radicalisation, a
leaked report has found.
The extremist review, ordered by Michael Gove last year, found
extremist CDs and pamphlets in more than 10 jails in November, it was
Inspectors also found hate tracts encouraging the murder of apostates,
misogynistic and homophobic leaflets and extreme Islamic literature
preaching contempt for British society.
The report is said to have sparked panic among officials who are
worried about being seen to have lost control of jails - but ministers
have not yet approved its publication.
A leaked version of the review, which began in September under former
prison governor and Home Office mandarin Ian Acheson, was published by
The Times today.
The findings are understood to have sparked an urgent internal alert
because of the risk of ‘severe reputational damage’ to the Ministry of
There was evidence that a large number of clerics were from the
Deobandi sect, which traditionally promotes conservative anti-British
A website promoting the Deobandi movement says loyalty is owed only to
the global brotherhood of Muslims while integration into British
society is denounced.
But Michael Spurr, chief executive of the National Offender Management
Service (Noms), has praised the movement saying that its teachings
support 'fundamental British values such as democracy, individual
liberty and mutual respect'.
Chaplains at several of the prisons, who are appointed by the Ministry
of Justice, were found to be encouraging inmates to raise funds for
Islamic charities linked to international terrorism.
And a lack of scrutiny and weak corporate guidance meant that there was
little or no assessment of the suitability of materials or the effect
they would have on ‘impressionable minds’.
A Whitehall source said that the material was kept in prison chaplaincy
rooms and was available for anyone to come in and pick it up.
Prisons in England and Wales held 12,328 Muslim inmates at the start of
this year, of which 131 were convicted terrorists. A further 1,000 were
deemed vulnerable to radicalisation.
Muslims make up 4.8 per cent of the population but make up 14.5 per
cent of inmates in UK prisons. Many criminals are said to convert in
jail in order to gain the protection of Muslim gangs.
The review also found that many of the chaplains were not prepared for
counter-radicalisation work, which was 'sometimes because they lacked
the capability but often because they don’t have the will'.
Imams also seemed to be unaware that they had a statutory duty to try and stop people from becoming terrorists.
Of the 200 full time and part time Muslim chaplains, some of which are
on salaries of up to £40,000, 70 per cent were taught in Deobandi
There was also evidence that imams from other sects felt marginalised and bullied by those their Deobandi colleagues.
Last year the former counter-terror boss Chris Phillips warned that
staff shortages in prisons were making it harder to tackle Islamic
radicalisation because extremists were not properly monitored.
Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary at the time, rejected the claim.
The Prison Officer Association also said last year that Islamist
extremists were attempting to radicalise prisoners by deliberately
getting custodial sentences or gaining jobs in jails.
And last month, a top barrister told the Old Bailey that there was
pressure to 'conform to certain religious views' in the high-security
prison Belmarsh because of the power wielded by radical Muslim inmates.
A report on HMP Whitemoor in Cambridgeshire found that half of all
inmates were claiming to be followers of Islam, after being intimidated
into converting by high-profile Muslim prisoners.
The Times reported that the ministry is awaiting clearance from No 10
to publish the report which includes 69 separate recommendations.
It is believed to have been critical of corporate weaknesses within Noms.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice said: 'We don't comment on leaked documents.'
How prisoners are converting to Islam 'in order to join Muslim gangs and secure special privileges'
More than one in seven prisoners in British jails is now a Muslim, far
more than the faith's popularity in the population as a whole.
The reason for the disproportionately high number is believed to be
down to non-Muslim inmates converting to Islam once they go into prison.
Levi Bellfield, the killer of Milly Dowler, is perhaps the best-known
criminal to have become a Muslim in jail, and now goes under the name
Prison sources have accused him of only turning to the religion to get
special privileges, such as halal food and extra time out of his cell
in order to pray.
The Officers' Association union has previously claimed that there are a
large number of so-called 'convenience Muslims' who adopt the faith
because they want to game the system.
Six months ago, a report found that HMP Whitemoor in Cambridgeshire was
the first prison where half the inmates on the main wing are Muslims.
Watchdogs said: 'Some prisoners and staff found the Muslim presence
overwhelming. The social and religious fragmentation within Whitemoor
potentially posed risks for discipline and hence safety.'
Prisoners claimed they came under extreme pressure to convert to Islam,
and even non-Muslims were effectively banned from cooking pork because
of opposition from Muslim gangs.
In March, an Old Bailey trial was told that guards at Belmarsh had
'lost control' of Muslim gangs which intimidated others into conforming.
'There's a degree of fear as to the need to conform to certain religious views in Belmarsh,' barrister Rupert Pardoe said.
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