Prison jihad update from AP, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:
Across the United States, tens of thousands of Muslims are practicing their faith behind bars. Islam is most likely to win American converts there, according to U.S. Muslim leaders, and the religion has for decades been a regular part of prison culture.
But the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks have brought new scrutiny to Muslim inmates, many of whom are black men focused on surviving incarceration. While prison chaplains of various denominations argue that Islam offers a spiritual path to rehabilitation, others say it has the potential to turn felons into terrorists. The FBI calls prisons “fertile ground for extremists.”…
Ever since the 2002 arrest of Jose Padilla, a felon and American Muslim convert who authorities say planned a “dirty bomb” radiological attack after he left jail, law enforcement officials, politicians and even a few evangelical leaders have warned that Muslim inmates are ripe for terrorist recruitment.
Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, has said: “Wahhabi influence is inculcating them with the same kind of militant ideas that drove the 9/11 hijackers to kill thousands of Americans.” Wahhabism is a strict form of Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia, which was home to 15 of the 19 hijackers.
Chuck Colson, founder of the evangelical Prison Fellowship Ministries and a Nixon administration official, predicted that “radical Islamists will use prisons, packed with angry and resentful men,” to avenge Islam.
“Prisons continue to be fertile ground for extremists who exploit both a prisoner’s conversion to Islam while still in prison, as well as their socio-economic status and placement in the community upon their release,” FBI director Robert Mueller said Feb. 16 to the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee.
However, Mueller, Colson and Schumer are imagining all that:
Prison chaplains and others, however, say such warnings are dangerously ignorant.
In interviews with The Associated Press, chaplains, prison volunteers, correctional officials, inmates and former inmates all insisted that there was no evidence of terrorist recruitment by Muslims in their prisons – although banned pamphlets and books sometimes slip in.
Chaplains describe the typical inmate convert as a poor, black American upset about racism, not Mideast politics; someone who turned to Islam to cope with imprisonment. When they get out, these men are so overwhelmed by alcoholism or poverty that the crimes they are most likely to commit are the ones that landed them in jail to begin with, chaplains say.
“They don’t care about Osama bin Laden,” said Imam Talib Abdur Rashid, who worked for years as a chaplain in New York state’s prison system. “They have their own beefs that have nothing to do with shariah (Islamic law), the Taliban or Wahhabism, and everything to do with slavery, segregation and the history of U.S. racism.”…
Of course, of course. But the obvious rejoinder is that once one’s loyalty is won, one’s resentment can be turned in the proper direction.