07 February 2016

Majority of prison imams are 'teaching anti-western' values that promote gender segregation, study claims

Around 70% of Muslim prison chaplains teach a hardline fundamentalist interpretation of Islam which challenges British values and encourages radical thinking.

The findings are expected to be revealed in a new study by former Home Office official Ian Acheson, which is scheduled to be published next month.

Muslim prisoners represent just 10.8% of the total prison population in the UK, with 12,622 people in jail identifying as a Muslim, according to the Ministry of Justice.

The Acheson study was commissioned by justice secretary Michael Gove. It examined 200 Muslim chaplains and found that 140 of the imams working in prisons, had previously studied Deobandi Islam, according to the Sunday Times.

Deobandi Islam first came to prominence in India in reaction to the measures imposed by its colonial British rulers. It takes its name from a madrassa in the Indian town of Deoband, located around 100 mile from the city of Delhi.

Its core elements claim to focus on purifying Islam through the banning of music and promotes gender segregation in an attempt to follow closely a literal interpretation of the Koran. [Mail on Sunday] Read more