Tag Archives: British Muslims

British Muslim Prison Gangs Foster Terrorism

The history of prisons in the twentieth century entails repeated stories of those institutions becoming recruiting grounds for furthering crime and violence. It is not surprising as more Muslims enter British jails that terrorist groups use their prison power to recruit other inmates to become part of terrorist movements. Chief Inspector Anne Owens,, recently said: “There was a perception among officers that some Muslim prisoners operated as a gang and put pressure on non-Muslim prisoners to convert, and on other Muslim prisoners to conform to a strict and extreme interpretation of Islamic practice.” She noted there was reluctance on the part of prison officials to interfere in such behaviors.

There is nothing surprising in this development. Anyone who has studied American prisons is aware that gangs recruit new members in jail or use jail time as a “college of crime” in which to teach others how to become better criminals. The Muslim gangs in Great Britain are simply following in the wake of Hispanic or Aryan Brotherhood or Black gangs in jails. The issue is bullying and how to deal with such actions. The solution is to create new forms of prisons which do not allow the emergence of such power groups.

British Educational Program For Muslim Youth

The presence of Muslim schools in Great Britain has raised questions concerning whether or not students are receiving a broad perspective concerning the country’s history. A new report entitled, “Preventing Violent Extremism: Next Steps For Communities” describes an educational program developed drawing upon a broad perspective of Muslim communities in the UK. Young Muslims who attend mosque schools will be offered British citizenship lessons in an effort to get across the idea an individual can adhere to the Muslim faith and still co-exist with British life. Cambridge University has been asked to create an independent board of about 20 academic and theological experts to examine issues relating to Islam and modern context.

The proposed program will train mosque teachers drawn from various cities in the UK. The object of the educational program is to make students aware life is more than an either-or situation and one can encompass a perspective on life in which ideas from diverse sources become part of one’s philosophical view on society and values. Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra, an imam, who is a member of the Muslim Council of Britain, said creation of the group was driven by Muslims rather than the government.”

Fight Honor Killing Says Muslim Cleric

One of Britain’s leading Muslims has called upon his community to rise up against a cultue of fear and help end forced marriages after the recent case in which a 17 year-old Muslim girl was found murdered after she refused family demands to marry the son of an uncle. Dr. Ghayasuddin Siddiqui, head of the Muslim Parliament in Britain, said he was convinced the girl was “unlawfuly killed” and the issue of a forced marriage was apparently a major issue in the conflict between family and daughter. Siddiqui said, “I think relatives won’t speak out becasue they are scared. Somebody in the family disappears, relatives must have been concerned. But they would no co-operate with the police. The family and those who were close were not willing to come forward. That’s why many of these murders are unresolved. There are now 12 case a year on average.”

The issue of “honor killing” might first be addressed by changing its name to “murder.” There is no “honor” in killing a defenseless girl.

Britain Targets Programs For Muslim Women

Muslim women in Great Britain continue encountering cultural issues that impair their integration within british society. For example, Aishan Azmi, a teaching assistant in a primary school, was suspended for wearing a veil that only allowed her eyes to show. The school felt such attire interfered with her ability to teach English to children. In another case, Samina Malik, wrote poems on the Internet glorifying martyrs and beheadings. She was subsequently sentenced to a nine month suspended sentence. Muhammad Abdul Bari, secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain criticized the ruling claiming, “many young people download objectionable material from the Internet, but it seems that if you are a Muslim then this could lead to terrorist charges.”

The British government is allocating nearly $200 million on programs for Muslim women. Women will be encouraged to get into education and career opportunities that will get them integrated within British society. A majority of England’s Muslims are from Pakistan and Bangladesh, two groups that are m ore isolated than other immigrants. Shaista Gohir, chief executive of the Muslim Women’s Network responded positively to the new government initiatives saying, “It’s not about women becoming investigators(and spies). It’s about giving them a greater role in public life.”

Among the greatest challenge to this initiative is confronting with language barriers which have held back Muslim employment in England.