Fear of Muslims Leads to Prison Conversions to Islam
By Hugh Fitzgerald
A report was issued in early June in the U.K., telling us what we already knew: that prisons are being taken over by Muslim gangs, who force non-Muslim inmates to convert by threatening them with violence.
Muslim prison gangs are forcing inmates to convert to Islam and follow religious practices or face violent repercussions, according to a government report.
The report, carried out by the Ministry of Justice, surveyed 83 male prisoners and 73 staff at three of the eight high-security prisons in the country. It found that large gangs of Muslim men were using intimidation tactics to force conversions and rules on other prisoners. The gangs were made up of multiple ranks including leadership, foot soldiers, recruiters, and enforcers.
Those who had committed terrorist activities were said to hold key positions of influence among the gangs, as well as those who can speak Arabic and recite the Quran.
It was said that the gangs were establishing Islamic rules within the prisons such as underwear having to be worn in the showers and banning the cooking of bacon.
The report highlighted the fact that Muslim gangs were the only serious organised gang threat within the prisons surveyed and that as a result, they wielded considerable influence and power over their fellow inmates.
Though Muslims are only 18-20% of the prison population in the U.K., the Muslim gangs are the biggest, best-organized, and most violent of the gangs behind-bars. And they are single-mindedly dedicated to converting as many non-Muslim prisoners as possible and imposing Muslim rule behind bars.
One non-Muslim prisoner said: “There is an underlying pressure for people to convert and join the gang. The tactic they use is to befriend someone when they come in. If they don’t convert they will then start spreading rumors about them, that the person is a snitch so that they will be ostracised. Then the beatings will follow.”
Meanwhile, a Muslim prisoner spoke of the pressure on other inmates to convert, saying that they could not even escape by moving prisons. “They know they’re only going to three other jails and they know there will be brothers waiting there to stab them,” the prisoner said.
There is no escape from the pressure to convert, for Muslim gangs exist in all of the prisons, ready to use violence against any non-Muslim prisoners who refuse to convert. The threat is everywhere. No prison is safe.
The study echoes a report from The Sun from 2016 which alleged that at one prison, HMP Gartree in Leicestershire, Muslim prisoners had turned sections of the prison into ‘no-go zones” for non-Muslim inmates, even imposing sharia law.
One source said at the time: “It is so bad non-Muslim prisoners are refusing to move there as they feel intimidated. There is huge pressure put on them to convert and a threat of violence if they don’t. The Muslim gangs have their own rules and use Sharia law to sort out disagreements. In effect, they are setting up their own prison within a prison. There have been stories about non-Muslim inmates being barred from putting up topless pictures of women in their cells and even showering naked.”
In 2018, the Ministry of Justice reportedly blocked an independent three-year report from being carried out into the impact of Islamic gangs in UK prisons because of fears of the results. One source said: “The corporate culture of the service is defensive and they will have been concerned about what this proposed project will discover.”
The British officials who blocked the earlier report on Islamic gangs in prisons, in order to hide the horrific reality from the public, ought to be discharged. The British public needs to know about the situation in the prisons, which provide an especially dangerous pool of potential converts, for these convicts were already violent when they entered prison, and after their forced conversion, Islam now provides them with a justification for their violence, which upon their release they can visit upon the Unbelievers.”
Last year, a Christian pastor who worked as a prison chaplain also claimed that prisoners were being coerced into converting to Islam in exchange for protection from gangs. Pastor Paul Song said of the culture in Brixton prison: “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.”
There is no way to prevent Muslims from intimidating non-Muslim prisoners within the present system. Prisons lack sufficient personnel to monitor every threatening encounter of Muslims with non-Muslims. Non-Muslim prisoners are threatened in two ways. First, they are directly threatened with violence from Muslim gangs if they do not convert. Second, Muslims threaten to circulate false stories about them — as, for example, that they are “snitches” who deserve to be attacked — to put them in danger of violent retribution from other prisoners, including non-Muslims. The fear is palpable; few non-Muslims can resist these threats; the prisons have thus become a main source of converts to Islam.
There is only one way to prevent these forced conversions. That is to make sure that Muslims are confined to Muslim-only prisons. Some Muslim groups will undoubtedly protest that this is unacceptable segregation, an expression of “islamophobia” and “racism,” that it was unfair to single out Muslim prisoners, and that in any case, prisoners should not be denied the opportunity to learn about Islam, which has “nothing to do with violence, as Pope Francis has said,” and which can provide a structure, and bring stability, to their lives.
The objections of these groups should be ignored. The facts about prison conversions cannot be disputed. Muslims in prisons are using whatever weapons they can — the threat of spreading false stories, the threat of violence, the actual infliction of violence — to force non-Muslims to convert. This is not the peaceful “opportunity to learn about Islam” that Muslim apologists describe. The prison personnel are unable to stop the threats from these Muslim gangs. The converts to Islam in prisons pose a special danger, as they are already prone to violence and antisocial behavior. Islam provides them with a religious justification for such behavior, and when they are released, they can renew violence against Unbelievers, this time enjoying the favor of the faith.
As for Muslims claiming that freedom of religion includes the freedom to proselytize, that does not apply when the proselytizing consists not of theological argument but of the threat, and infliction, of violence. It’s a travesty to describe prison conversions to Islam as voluntary acts; non-Muslims in prison have become terrified of the biggest, baddest gang — the Muslims — whom they must join to ensue their own safety.
But how do Muslims manage to attain such power in prisons, if they are still such a small proportion of the general population? In every Western country, it turns out that the percentage of prisoners who are Muslim far exceeds their numbers in the general population. In the United States, 1% of the population is Muslim, but they constitute 15% of the prison population. In France, they are 8% of the general population but 70% of the prison population; int the U.K., they are 5% of the total population, but almost 20% of the prison population. And apparently these percentages are more than enough to give Muslims the power to rule the roost in prisons.
These Muslim-only prisons would prevent forcible conversion of non-Muslims. To the argument that this would deprive non-Muslim prisoners of the opportunity to convert, the answer is clear. Any non-Muslims who wish to read Islamic texts (Qur’an, Hadith, and Sira), or to meet with Muslim chaplains, would have the freedom to do so. They are only being protected from systematic campaigns of forced conversion through violence, which are an offense to true freedom of religion. Should any of these non-Muslims choose to convert, they could then be moved to Muslim-only facilities. Freedom of religion remains protected; non-Muslims are not prevented from studying Islam, or from converting, but they would no longer be subject to the forcible conversions to Islam that are now, in British prisons, and in many other Western prisons, not the exceptions but the disturbing rule.