Britain is the latest country to discover the obvious; that Islamic radical and terrorist prisoners continue using “defending Islam” as an excuse to use violence and terror to not only organize all Moslem inmates into a Moslem “brotherhood.” This has become a major problem in British prisons. It is made worse because the “brotherhood” uses their intimidation tactics to gain control over non-Moslem prisoners. This includes pressuring non-Moslem prisoners to convert, with the understanding that such conversions are, according to Islamic law, not reversible. In some Moslem majority nations, it is illegal for Moslems to convert and this is often considered a capital crime. Some such apostates are executed but many others are murdered by other inmates in prison or by lynch mobs before they get to prison. The prison brotherhood implies that if you get out of prison and abandon Islam, the brotherhood will hunt you down and deliver a fatal reminder.
The British prison situation was even more alarming because only fifteen percent of the prison population is Moslem but a recent study showed that this small percentage of prisoners was able to dominate most of the prison population. The Brotherhood could also intimidate the guards in many prisons. In British prisons the Moslem gang leaders, or “imams” gained and maintained power by professing and preaching radical forms of Islam that depicts all non-Moslems as enemies who must be either converted to Islam or ruled by Moslems.
British counter-terrorism experts had warned for years that an extraordinary number of British Islamic terrorists had been radicalized, often having been converted first, in prison. While most of the “prison Moslems” abandon Islamic radicalism, as well as Islam, when they get out a growing percentage do not. Turkey had warned their NATO allies of this problem two decades ago because it was happening in Turkish prisons.
This situation was common throughout the West but the impact and reaction varied considerably from country to country. The U.S. has been able to curb a lot of the Islamic radicalism among Moslem prisoners, especially after the 1990s when the problem got noticed and solutions were sought. The U.S. had several advantages. For one thing, fewer American inmates are Moslem (about nine percent) and until the 1990s these inmates belonged to Islamic sects that developed in the United States and were more about personal improvement rather than violent jihad against non-Moslems and forcible conversion or domination of non-Moslems. The American Moslems saw the foreign Moslems in prison as a threat and this made it more difficult for Islamic radicalism to grow and dominate. Once the existence of radical Islam in prisons was recognized (after 2001) dealing with it became part of the counter-terrorism effort. Prison leaders of Islamic radical groups were isolated from other prisoners and often prosecuted for Islamic radical activities. Unlike European prisons, radical Islamic preachers were not allowed to operate as Moslem prison chaplains. There were still Moslem, or Moslem convert prisoners in American prisons who were radicalized and went on to become Islamic terrorists but there so few of these (per thousand Moslem prisoners) that each one became a news event and they were monitored for Islamic terrorist activity when they left prison. Anyone lapsed were usually breaking conditions of their parole and subject to being sent back to prison.
The situation was much worse in Europe, which has smaller prison populations (per million population) and prison sentences were shorter. But Moslem populations were larger in Europe and criminal activity higher. Thus, in France, 70 percent of the prison population is Moslem. It’s about half that in Germany, but rising because Germany had been admitting more Moslem migrants.
The solution to the problem is always the same; identify and isolate Islamic radical leaders, prohibit Islamic radical chaplains and preachers who treat Moslems prisoners as a potential Islamic terrorist recruits because that’s what they are. Groups like al Qaeda, ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant), Hezbollah and the Moslem Brotherhood all promote radicalization and recruitment in prisons. This was never a secret but in many countries the official policy has long been, and often still is, to ignore the situation. That never works because the situation is not ignoring you.