A study by Ian Acheson, who is a former official at the Home Office, is expected to be published next month the Sunday Times reports. His study was commissioned by Michael Gove, the justice secretary last year when he asked the Ministry of Justice to review its approach to dealing with Islamist extremism in prisons and probation.
Acheson is expected to report that about 140 of the 200 Muslim chaplains (70%) working in the country’s prisons were imams who had studied Deobandi Islam. Amongst other things the Deobandi regime forbids music and free mixing of the sexes.
Usama Hasan, an imam who has worked on deradicalising Muslim inmates, said: “The Deobandi movement is generally anti-western and anti-integration in its spirit . . . Imams in the prison system have to be more progressive and open-minded in terms of being supportive of modern, multicultural and cosmopolitan Britain.”
One of the people interviewed for the report is Ahtsham Ali, the Muslim adviser to the National Offender Management Service. He had responsibility for recruiting Imams for the prison service. He would not comment for The Sunday Times but a friend denied that his views were in any way ‘hardline’.
A senior Whitehall official said: “It is of great concern that the majority of Muslim chaplains in prisons propagate a fundamentalist interpretation of Islamic scripture which is contrary to British values and human rights. Such imams are unlikely to aid the deradicalisation of Islamists in prisons and could potentially even make them more firm in their beliefs.”
If the life of a person who would be considered a criminal by any civilized standards is held up as an ideal by Muslims, then how is it possible to present Islam in any way that would reform criminals? It's as if a resort dedicated to weight loss featured Chef Ramsay as a motivational speaker.
Every one of those imams should be persona non grata at prisons henceforward; and their mosques should be surprise-raided and searched and, if any evidence at all of anything, er, 'funny' going on is discovered - such as dvds showing beheadings, then they should be shut down, permanently, and - if not in historic/ heritage buildings that could be 'repurposed' - razed to the ground. And those imams should be on the next plane out of the UK, back to their Muslim country of origin or of their parents' origin.
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