From The Mail on Sunday
Muslims dominate a high-security jail for the first time, sparking fear among other prisoners and staff, a report reveals.
Half of inmates at Whitemoor are now Muslims. It is believed to be the highest proportion in any British jail and double the number recorded less than a decade ago.
They form the ‘biggest power bloc’ in the Category A prison, taking over from the previous ‘gangs’, according to watchdogs.
‘About half the prisoners on Whitemoor’s main wings are Muslim, profoundly affecting the social nature of the jail and disrupting established hierarchies,’ the Independent Monitoring Board said. Its report went on: ‘Against this background we note that some prisoners and staff found the Muslim presence overwhelming. The social and religious fragmentation within Whitemoor potentially posed risks for discipline and hence safety.’
It noted that some ‘faith awareness training’ was being carried out but the religious gulf within the jail had been underestimated.
The report revealed half of the 447 inmates of the remote Cambridgeshire jail were Muslim in May this year – up from 40 per cent a year earlier and 28 per cent in 2008. Nationally the figure is 15 per cent. Among Whitemoor prisoners in their 20s and 30s, 56 per cent now follow Islam.
Inmates told researchers they were bullied into changing religion, and even those who resisted were too scared to cook pork in communal kitchens in case it caused offence.
Some prisoners claimed the jail was a ‘recruiting ground’ for extremism as young inmates were ‘in awe’ of convicted terrorists held there.
However experts (Mark Icke, vice-president of the Prison Governors Association) say the radicalisation of criminals is less of a problem at Whitemoor than the recruitment of new members to gangs, who make money by selling dangerous ‘legal high’ drugs that the authorities cannot test for. Of course there isn’t an elephant – look, see, its another problem entirely!!! Nothing to worry about.