By Carol Brown
Prisons have become recruitment and training centers for future jihadists. It is an escalating crisis that is taking a toll, as Americans are murdered by those who convert to Islam in prison.
The rising influence of Islam in our prisons is due to a disproportionately high number of Muslims who are incarcerated, skyrocketing conversion rates, powerful Muslim gangs, the proliferation of Muslim chaplains, an uninformed prison power structure, and the outside influence of Islamic terror organizations.
Oh, and the fact that the FBI isn’t allowed to say “Islam,” “jihad,” or target the very people who are trying to kill us as part of America’s dangerous ride on the Dhimmi bandwagon.
Muslim incarceration rate
Muslims comprise 15% of the prison population. This number far exceeds the percentage of Muslims in the general population. It is eighteen times greater, to be exact. Put another way, there are about 2.4 million Muslims in the United States and 350,000 of them are in jail. That means more than 12%* of Muslims in America are incarcerated.
Reports on the number of prisoners who convert to Islam vary and are framed in different ways. Some sources estimate 40,000 prisoners per year convert. Others put the numbers closer to 135,000 per year. Some posit that 80% of inmates who “find faith while in prison convert to Islam.”
One thing is for sure: The majority of those who convert to Islam in prison are black, with as many as one in three black prisoners converting. (The number of Hispanic prisoners converting to Islam is also on the rise.)
These numbers are staggering. And the implications are serious, as will be addressed further on in this article.
There are numerous reasons why conversions to Islam are skyrocketing in our jails.
Many prisoners feel angry, disenfranchised, and yes, even victimized and wronged by society. Many harbor a deep disdain for America. They are, therefore, prime targets for recruitment to a religious ideology that shares many of these same attitudes.
In addition, Islamic teachings are often framed as a noble code of ethics to live by. Case in point: The Nation of Islam is the largest prison ministry. It appeals to black males as it demonizes Christianity as a religion for the white oppressor while framing Islam as a “more desirable moral system for disenfranchised blacks.”
Never mind that Islam has enslaved black Africans for over a thousand years and continues to do so, or that a holy book that preaches hate can hardly be considered a “desirable moral system.”
In addition to those drawn to the ideology, others may be forced to convert through intimidation, while still others are motivated to convert for the perks, such as time off to attend group prayer and higher quality/halal food, among other benefits. As David Lawrence wrote for American Thinker:
The real reason I was attending Moslem religious classes in jail was to get out of my landscaping job. The landscaping department let you go at noon if you attended services….
Prison perks for Muslims are a form of creeping Sharia as Muslims assert superiority in every corner of our society. Including prison. (See here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.)
Muslims assert superiority via lawsuits (often using the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 to argue their case) as well as brazen intimidation. Here’s one among countless examples of how superiority is established using intimidation as well as legal tactics: Last year, members of a Muslim prison gang took over a meditation room by leaving Islamic paraphernalia in the space until prisoners of other faiths felt so uncomfortable they stopped using the room. That same year the ACLU sued the prison because it only allowed group prayer three times a day instead of five. Although prison officials testified that “allowing group prayer five times a day would pose a security risk” and that “inmates have used religion as a cover for gang-like activity,” the judge dismissed their testimony as “insubstantial.”
Meanwhile, “gang-like activity” is an understatement. (How gangs are even allowed to take root in prison is another story.)
Muslim prison gangs wield enormous power as they prey upon prisoners who are filled with hate and resentment towards the United States. In fact, feigning these negative feelings toward America enabled a Christian prisoner named Zorn to infiltrate Muslim prison gangs. In the documentary Sleeping Giant: Islam Behind the Wall, Zorn revealed a shocking portrait of Muslim influence and control in our prisons. And beyond.
He reported that Muslim gang members readily use extreme violence, including deadly force, as they operate “almost like a military structure,” controlling “the jobs, the drugs, the guards. Everything.”
He also saw first-hand how Islam was proselytized – whether through guerilla combat training taught out in the open or through books smuggled in that taught radical ideas. But books need not be smuggled in as Robert Spencer notes that prison libraries are full of jihadist literature that prison authorities don’t understand due to lack of training. The FBI has also confirmed that media (in the form of printed materials as well as videos) are a “significant factor in prison radicalization.”
Muslim prison gangs and Islamic literature are two among several factors that are turning our prisons into jihadist training centers. The Northeast Intelligence Network provides additional context for the growing problem of Islamic influence in our prisons:
The high rate of conversion of inmates to Islam, and specifically the Wahhabi brand of Islam is no accident…. The influx of Wahhabi chaplains into our prison system and military is no accident. The entire process is by design….
The indoctrination of American inmates is a well known strategy detailed in al Qaeda training manuals. The manuals state that non-Muslim prisoners should be eyed for conversion to “religious jihad” as they are likely to be “disenchanted with their country’s policies” and feel disenfranchised from society. They also can make perfect operational assets for Islamic terrorist groups because of their ability to more easily blend into American society.”
As noted in the excerpt above, Muslim prison chaplains and the influence of outside terror organizations enables Islam to flourish in prisons across America.
Muslim chaplains and the influence of outside terror groups
Per an FBI report (prior to the insane days when the FBI was not allowed to utter the world “Islam”):
Prison radicalization primarily occurs through anti-U.S. sermons provided by contract, volunteer, or staff imams, radicalized inmates who gain religious influence, and extremist media. (snip)
Particularly for Muslim converts, but also for those born into Islam, an extremist imam can strongly influence individual belief systems by speaking from a position of authority on religious issues. Extremist imams have the potential to influence vulnerable followers at various locations of opportunity; can spot and assess individuals who respond to their messages; and can potentially guide them into increasingly extremist circles.
How is it possible that imams preaching jihad have infiltrated the prison system?
Patrick Dunleavy, former Deputy Inspector with the New York Department of Correctional Services and author of The Fertile Soil of Jihad: Terrorism’s Prison Connection, provides insight into the tangled web of infiltrators:
… For years, the Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences in Ashburn, V.A. provided funding, training and literature to correctional institution imams, under the direction of Dr. Taha Jabir Alalwani.
He was also at times the head of the Fiqh Council of North America. Before coming to the United States, Alalwani was a professor at a state-run Wahhabi university in Saudi Arabia. He worked closely with Warith Deen Umar to see that literature, clergy and visiting speakers adhered to a strict Wahhabi/Salafist form of Islam.
Umar was a former New York State inmate who went on to become the head of Islamic Affairs for the New York State Prison’s Department of Ministerial Services. He was also the founder and head of the National Association of Muslim Chaplains, the chief certifying body of Islamic clergy in the prison system. He was later caught justifying the 9/11 attacks and terrorism to prison inmates.
As noted above, Saudi Arabia and Muslim Brotherhood front groups facilitate the advancement of Islam within our prison system. The Investigative Project on Terrorism shares another example:
… the Muslim American Society, have dedicated prison projects in which they specifically collect money to send religious dogma to prisoners and underwrite volunteer chaplains. This effort is aimed not only at existing Muslims convicts but to convert non-Muslim inmates.
Stephen Schwartz, author of The Two Faces of Islam, sums up this calamity:
Radical Muslim chaplains, trained in a foreign ideology, certified in foreign-financed schools and acting in coordination to impose an extremist agenda have gained a monopoly over Islamic religious activities in American state, federal, and city prisons and jails.
Saudi Arabia targets our prisons for converts and jihadist recruits by investing significant amounts of money into “prison outreach” programs. They also supply prisons with Korans.
Lots and lots of Korans.
But Korans aren’t the only dangerous reading material prisoners can access. Muslim Brotherhood front groups have filled prison libraries with books by ancient Islamic scholars who have inspired modern day jihadists. As noted earlier in the article, prison authorities have no idea what these books preach.
Patrick Dunleavy states:
In regards to the literature, there is a two-fold problem.
One, in my opinion, is the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) enacted by Congress in 2000 and its predecessor, the Religion Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) of 1993. In essence, these allow for literature for various forms of religion practiced in correctional settings, including Wahhabism.
Note that this is the same law cited by John Walker Lindh, the American Taliban, in his successful lawsuit against the Federal Bureau of Prisons to relieve certain security conditions of confinement imposed on him.
The second part of the problem is the lack of understanding by some correctional officials as to the radical theology of certain forms of Islam. Without that knowledge, they lack the ability to discern between literature calling for a holy life and literature calling for jihad against infidels.
As to the latter point, ignorance is no excuse. These are perilous times and anyone who’s been paying attention should be aware that the West, and indeed all of civilization, is under siege from Islamic jihad. The list of jihadists who converted while in prison is ever-growing. (See here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here for a partial list.)
Prison power structure, ignorance, and dhimmitude
As in various arenas in our society, Muslims exploit the law and use other religions as a benchmark for what they claim they deserve, while Muslim Brotherhood front groups and the ACLU apply pressure for increasing entitlements. Couple that with ignorance and dhimmitude on the part of the prison power structure and you have a dangerous situation spiraling out of control.
This is as good an example as any, where ignorance and moral equivalence meet, as Corrections One reports:
Sgt. Juan Martinez, who runs the Religious and Volunteer Services unit, said the Friday services were limited because there were not enough volunteer imams to lead them. Recently, the rules changed, allowing an inmate to lead prayers under the supervision of a staff member or a volunteer chaplain from another faith.
"It's an ongoing education," Martinez said of working with inmates from different religions. "Once you keep doing it, it becomes normal." (snip)
In a statement, the Sheriff's Department said it is committed to treating Muslims the same as those of other faiths.
"It is the Department's hope that inmates will build a strong foundation based on positive values and beliefs through their religious faith that can lead to a new life path," the statement said. "To that end, our goal is to ensure that inmates of all faiths can exercise their religious rights and that they are given the same opportunity to practice their faith."
Until people understand that Islam is not like other religions, they will be forever lost and easily manipulated. And manipulated they are. As prison Sharia creeps and creeps and creeps.
It would be bad enough if this were a problem contained within the prison walls. But it’s not. It’s a problem that impacts all of our lives as increasing numbers of prisoners embrace jihad and plan and/or commit terrorist acts once they are released.
Life after prison for jihadists in training
As Christian Action Network reports, when Muslim prisoners are released they are “persuaded to make immediate contact with Islamic communities and mosques on the outside, where they can continue their Islamic jihad training … These training camps have been identified as Muslims of the Americas (MOA) compounds….”
Early this year, The Clarion Project reported on a collaborative investigation with ACT! For America Houston that revealed a jihadist training compound in Texas that is part of a network of 22 such enclaves run by MOA.
A 2007 FBI record states that MOA members have been involved in at least 10 murders, one disappearance, three firebombings, one attempted firebombing, two explosive bombings and one attempted bombing. It states:
“The documented propensity for violence by this organization supports the belief the leadership of the MOA extols membership to pursue a policy of jihad or holy war against individuals or groups it considers enemies of Islam, which includes the U.S. Government. Members of the MOA are encouraged to travel to Pakistan to receive religious and military/terrorist training from Sheikh Gilani.”
The document also says that, "The MOA is now an autonomous organization which possesses an infrastructure capable of planning and mounting terrorist campaigns overseas and within the U.S."
Last Resistance also addresses these jihadist training compounds in the United States:
Entire communities of former prisoners are popping up in the United States; the most well-known being Islamberg in New York. At the foot of the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York lies a 70 acre Muslim compound called Islamberg. For almost two decades Islamberg and its occupants went un-noticed by the world. After 911, concerns began to grow over the compounds proximity to a huge reservoir system that provides New York City with most of its drinking water….
One can begin to see the deadly path from criminal behavior to prison to Islam to release back into society where violent indoctrination is reinforced in jihadist training compounds. The end result: More soldiers for Islam’s holy war – a war being waged against us every moment of every day.
The problem of Islamic recruitment and jihadist training in prisons became so serious that Congress held hearings on the matter. Expert witnesses testified to the explosive mix of convicted felons with Islamic ideology as a perfect storm for the creation of future jihadists. Others testified that prison walls are “porous,” with exchange of information readily reaching from outside in, and inside out.
Psychiatrist Gregory B. Saathoff testified:
The most effective terrorists are team players, who play different positions on a radicalized field. Our overcrowded prisons provide an opportunity for a deep bench. Even more importantly, para- radicalization and recruitment occurs in prison. In this exploitative environment, inmates, visitors and even prison employees can be unwitting players who can be cajoled, bribed or coerced into transmitting messages and materials without being aware of their real purpose.
It is not enough to understand terrorism in prison by learning only about inmates. One must also have an understanding of those who visit and volunteer in prisons. Studies have suggested that terrorist recruitment methods are not always expected to yield a high number of recruits. Even if the radical message resonates with only a few inmates, they could then be targeted for more intense one on one instruction. The impact and destructive potential of a prison- directed terrorist cell is enormous.
Taken in full, the hearings revealed a disturbing reality that is festering in our prisons.
The trouble with these hearings, as with so many hearings, is that after vital information is imparted, little-to-nothing is done about what was learned. Should our nation fall, there will be a pile of paper with Congressional letterhead documenting every detail of that which was the source of our undoing.
Couple this sad state of affairs with the FBI purging all training materials of any reference to Islam or jihad and one is reminded that we are willfully undermining our ability to protect and defend ourselves. The most current materials from the FBI on the subject of Islam in our prisons are from 2006. In fact, the FBI’s 2013 National Domestic Threat Assessment made no mention of Islam at all. That’s pathetic. Worse than pathetic. It’s downright dangerous.
So here we are with Congressional hearings behind us and not much of anything to show for it. A neutered FBI. (Not to mention a president who is an Islamophile.) And an enemy that continues on the march – plotting, planning, and attacking from all directions. Including from within the porous fortress that is the United States prison system.
We will be paying a heavy price for a long time to come if nothing is done to address this urgent and growing problem.