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Gerard Batten Suggests Muslim-Only Prisons (Part One)
by Hugh Fitzgerald
Nigel Farage said Friday that he would seek to oust Gerard Batten as UKIP leader for his “fixation with Tommy Robinson and discussing Islam.” Batten has just named Tommy Robinson his adviser on rape gangs and prison reform. And reform is needed: prisons have become a fertile source of conversions to Islam. In the United States, 40,000 prisoners convert to Islam each year.
There are several reasons for Islam’s appeal.
The first is the belief that Muslims receive better treatment from prison officials. Halal meals are rumored to be both tastier and more ample. Muslim prisoners are often allowed to to say the five daily prayers together, praying communally outside their cells, in rooms set aside for that purpose. Some prisons, such as Sing Sing, have their own mosque.
Second, Islam — a faith full of violence and aggression — can appeal to those with violent criminal backgrounds. The Qur’an itself does not merely permit, but commands violence against Infidels, in 109 Jihad verses. A prisoner who learns about Islam discovers that crimes of property against Infidels can be justified as a kind of proleptic Jizyah. Crimes of violence, including murder, against non-Muslims, can be justified as well by such Qur’anic verses as 2:190-194, 4:89, 8:12, 8:60, 9:5, 9:29, and 47:4. Rape of Infidel women can be justified because, in their immodest dress and bearing, they were “asking for it.” They can be treated with the same contempt as were the victims of the Rotherham grooming gangs. Prisoners who abused their wives discover Qur’an 4:34, which allows husbands to “beat’ disobedient wives. Pride in becoming Muslims is encouraged in 3:110 — “You are the best of peoples” — while contempt for Infidels is found in 98:6: “Unbelievers are the most vile of creatures.”
The versions of Islam most widely on offer in prisons are the most dangerous. In 2006, then-FBI director Robert Mueller described the Islamist conversion movement operating throughout U.S. prisons to a Senate committee. He said that prisons were a “fertile ground” for Islamic extremists, and that they targeted inmates for introduction especially to the militant Wahhabi and Salafist strains of Islam.
Third, Islam provides a complete regulation of life. It helps impose a sense of discipline on people who have experienced little in their lives. Their day is organized around such requirements as saying the five daily prayers, eating only food that is halal, observing rules about dress and facial hair, dutifully studying the Qur’an and discussing its verses with other Muslims. Muhammad is for Muslims the Perfect Man and Model of Conduct. This exemplary figure can be studied in the hadith, those stories about what Muhammad said and did. Such a model helps the convert to regulate his own life.
Fourth, Islam offers an immediate community of “brothers.” Muslims are solicitous of new converts, constantly offering them friendship, and the shared faith provides a strong bond. Prisons are violent places, with various gangs formed usually on racial, ethnic, or religious lines. While Muslims are only 1% of the American population, they are 15% of the prison population. The Muslims now constitute the strongest and toughest gang in most prisons in the U.S., the U.K., and France. Once you are inside prison, it makes sense, for the sake of your own safety, to join the “gang” of Islam. This is especially true at the maximum-security facilities that house the most dangerous prisoners, such as Sing Sing. That prison’s imam, Jon Young, has said that 80 percent of the Muslim inmates in Sing Sing had converted to Islam after entering prison. “Islam has discipline that they didn’t have before,” Mr. Young said. “They have a real sense of brotherhood. They protect each other.”
For those who know what the Qur’an teaches, such a rate of conversion is disturbing. But then what happens to these converts? If their conversion was primarily the result of a need for “brotherhood” and, even more, for physical security inside prison, do they leave Islam once they are released? Those converts, alas, appear to stick with their new faith. The brainwashing in prison is profound, with fellow inmates long-versed in the faith, as well as visiting Islamic clerics, providing answers to every question a convert might have, as to what to believe and how to behave. Such guidance covers every aspect of life, and provides a comforting certainty. Once in the faith, converts find it is psychologically hard to get out; they’ve already in deep. What’s more, there is the fear of what can happen to those who leave Islam. Muhammad’s command “He who changes his [Islamic] religion, kill him” (Sahih al-Bukhari 9:57) does not date.
The enormous appeal of Islam to prisoners is not hard to understand. First, it provides discipline for converts, as they strive to fulfill its rules (about the five daily prayers, halal food, fasting at Ramadan, Islamic dress, facial hair, and so on), provides brotherhood with fellow Muslims, who are taught to befriend one another, while shunning Christians and Jews as friends, and most important, offering physical security that comes with being part of the Muslim group in prison, where violence is endemic. These three — discipline, brotherhood, physical security — are making many prisons into centers of Muslim conversion.
Gerard Batten does not believe the Western world can afford to ignore this steady source of converts, some of whom — like Jose Padilla in the U.S. and several of the French terrorists — upon being freed engaged in acts of terror.
First published in Jihad Watch.