Report: UK Prison Authorities Ignored Alerts of Radical Islamist, Antisemitic Literature Distributed by Imams to Inmates
According to the report, five items of “extremist literature” remained circulating in prison libraries, despite an order by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to remove them.
The presence of the radical literature was first brought to the attention of the MoJ in November 2015 by former prison governor Ian Acheson.
In his report to the MoJ, Acheson said the literature contained “sectarian, homophobic and incendiary information that was freely available to vulnerable prisoners in many prisons with no obvious control over it.”
The titles in question included works from Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan Al-Banna and Sayid Qutb, a prominent Muslim Brotherhood ideologue. The works of Al-Banna and Qutb are considered seminal in radicalizing Muslims and inspiring jihadists in the Arab world.
In Al-Banna’s now banned The Way of Jihad, the author wrote, “Jihad is an obligation from Allah on every Muslim and cannot be ignored.” Citing various verses in the Koran, Al-Banna said all Muslims must “strike terror into [the hearts of] the enemies of Allah and your enemies.”
Qutb’s book Milestones claimed Judaism is responsible for “materialism, animal sexuality, the destruction of the family and the dissolution of society.” He called on jihadists to take up arms against non-believers.
Responding to the revelations, the MoJ said in a statement, “We will not tolerate extremist literature in our prisons and have taken action to remove them all from the prison estate. The new justice secretary will now work closely with the Home Office and other agencies to tackle the important issue of Islamist extremism in prisons.”
Radicalization in prison has been a point of concern for the British government. In November 2015, acting as the then Home Secretary, Prime Minister Theresa May told the House of Commons that the government must “look at what is happening in prisons and ensure that we are taking every possible step to reduce the potential for radicalization.”