Oppression of Muslim prisoners in British prisons

Due to government cuts, prisoners can no longer get legal aid in relation to most problems arising from their imprisonment, regardless of how serious they are. We are forced to rely on the internal complaints procedure, which is far from helpful. The system of the prison investigating itself does not work. Prisoner AB writes from HMP Frankland.

The Muslim population in British prisons is under constant attack on many fronts, both physical and psychological. Prison guards up and down the country have taken it upon themselves to oppress Muslims through the desecration of our religion and through violent attacks. Muslim prisoners have become an easy target for guards who, through the Prison Officers Association (POA), feed the media tales of the threat posed by Muslims and the bogeyman of ‘radicalisation’ in order to advance their racism and Islamophobic actions without too much hindrance. These actions are aimed at individuals and their sacred religious beliefs. Muslim prisoners in segregation (solitary confinement) are routinely attacked by guards, with some of them being injured. This violation is justified by the likes of the POA who cover up wrongdoing by their fellow guards and go into hyperdrive in painting a negative picture of Muslim prisoners.

Pervasive as the oppression may be, it is most intense and routine in prisons such as Belmarsh, Manchester (Strangeways) and Frankland. A recent example is where in Frankland prison in Durham, the holy Quran was desecrated by prison guards. The Quran belonged to a Muslim prisoner who, when voicing his objection to the desecration of Islam’s holy book, was violently and without cause attacked by black-clad guards from the special security section.

As usual, the guards and their senior officers investigating this attack have closed ranks and have taunted Muslims saying ‘We can violate your book and your brother and you can’t lift a finger. There is no one to hear your cries, no one cares.’

While the media is saturated with the lies fed by the POA, who is there to speak for the Muslims? If such attacks continue, then eventually those who have been constantly degraded, humiliated and oppressed will rise to defend themselves. In those circumstances, true to its perfidious nature, the Prison Service will no doubt claim, as it has done in the past, that such a reaction is without justification and has been carried out by a dangerous and radicalised population which needs to be put down and further violated.

Prison guards are in theory subject to the law, yet in reality they commit violent hate crimes on a regular basis. The shackled Muslim is not in a position to act to safeguard his religion against this violation. We can only inform the world and ask where are those who will take action to stop this humiliation of the Muslim religion within British prisons.

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 245 June/July 2015

 

Our site uses cookies to improve your browsing experience. By using the site you consent to the use of cookies.
More information Ok