Islamic radicalisation a ‘significant threat in prisons’

12th May 2014

The head of the prison and probation service has said there is a significant threat of Islamic radicalisation behind bars. Michael Spurr, the chief executive of the National Offender Management Service of England and Wales (Noms), told BBC1’s Panorama: “There is a significant risk, given the fact that we manage some very dangerous people. Our job is to minimise that risk becoming a reality – that somebody in prison becomes radicalised and commits a terrorist offence.”

Over the past 10 years, the number of Muslims in prisons in England and Wales has doubled, reaching 11,729 in 2013. There are about 100 al-Qaida-inspired Islamist terrorists behind bars.

Jordan Horner, who has taken the Islamic name Jamaal Uddin, claims in the programme that he has converted other prisoners during his time in prison. Speaking for the first time since his release from prison for trying to bring sharia law to the streets of London, he said: “The prison officers witnessed people become Muslim and in front of them I was giving them what we call shahada, an invitation and acceptance of Islam. They said I was trying to divide Muslims from non-Muslims, trying to get them to follow an extreme version of Islam.” He said he was transferred between three different jails in less than a year in an effort to disrupt his activities.

In December 2012, Horner was filmed at a protest alongside Michael Adebowale who, five months later, murdered soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich.

Lee Rigby’s sacrifice should be commemorated with a public memorial

12th May 2014

We were disappointed to read about the apparent decision to refuse a request for a public memorial to Fusilier Lee Rigby, and hope this can be reconsidered. Lee Rigby’s murder shocked our country. In its wake, we saw Britons from every faith and none come together, both locally and nationally, to mourn his death, to commemorate his service, and to reject the hatred of his killers.

Extreme groups such as the BNP and EDL did try to exploit the tragedy, but found very little public support, being widely seen as part of the problem too. The Rigby family, in their grief, were consistently strong voices in challenging the tiny, unrepresentative minority who sought to use his name to stir up hatred.

If the family’s desire is to have a memorial, neither they, nor the British public as a whole, should be denied the chance to commemorate Lee Rigby’s service and sacrifice in a proper way.

 

Signed,

 

Sughra Ahmed

President, Islamic Society of Britain

 

Mohammed Amin

Deputy Chairman, Conservative Muslim Forum

 

Sunny Hundal

Journalist

 

Dilwar Hussein

New Horizons in British Islam

 

Sunder Katwala

British Future

 

Nick Lowles

Hope Not Hate

 

Imam Ajmal Masoor

 

Stephen Pollard

Editor, Jewish Chronicle

 

Stephen Shashoua

Director, Three Faiths Forum

 

Julie Siddiqi

The Big Iftar