Conservative Review, by Ben Weingarten, Aug. 27, 2016:
But when a European state does the right thing, we should take notice of that, too.
In the wake of the conviction of Britain-based Islamic supremacist preacher Anjem Choudary, an advocate for imposing Sharia law on Great Britain and supporter of global jihadism, British authorities are doing something that every Western nation ought to replicate.
Recognizing the problem of the spread of Islamic supremacism among prison populations, Secretary of State for Justice Liz Truss announced that the government would be establishing separate prison units for holding “a small number of very subversive individuals.”
Truss said prisons cannot continue to allow extremists to “peddle poisonous ideology across the mainstream prison population.” As the BBC notes, UK officials visited prisons in Netherlands for a close look at the program, as a similar “jail within a jail” program has been implemented by the Dutch.
This policy of, in effect, quarantining jihadism (which should be the aim not just in our prisons, but in every element of Western civilization), stems from a must-read review conducted by the UK’s Ministry of Justice on the threat of Islamic supremacism in prisons. The review, conducted by former prison governor Ian Acheson, finds:
- A Muslim gang culture inspiring or directing violence, drug trafficking and criminality.
- Extremist prisoners advocating support for ISIS, and threats against staff, inmates and prison chaplains.
- “Charismatic” prisoners acting as self-styled “emirs” — a title sometimes used for Muslim leaders or military commanders — exerting a radicalizing influence
- Aggressive encouragement of conversions to Islam, and attempts to engineer segregation.
- Islamist radicals trying to get prison staff to leave during Friday prayers, attempts to prevent staff searches by claiming dress is religious, and an exploitation of staff concerns that they may be labelled racist.
Does anyone believe this is not happening across prisons throughout the West? Beyond separating Islamic supremacist criminals from others, two of the report’s noteworthy recommendations include stronger vetting of prison chaplains and removing “extremist literature” from prisons.
Britain is right to acknowledge the spread of Islamist ideology in its criminal justice system and undertake a plan to remove the cancer. As always, the devil will be in the details of how the plan is actually implemented and properly executed.
Regardless, America could learn something from its close ally across the pond. We, too, have a problem in our prisons.
As Patrick T. Dunleavy, former deputy inspector general of the Criminal Intelligence Unit of New York’s correctional department, details in his 2011 book “The Fertile Soil of Jihad: Terrorism’s Prison Connection,” America’s prisons serve as a breeding ground for jihadist ideology. Dunleavy should know, as he led the investigation into Islamic supremacist recruiting activities in New York prisons and beyond, known as Operation Hades.
Dunleavy’s research documents “the deep historical roots of radical Islam in the U.S. prison environment going back almost 30 years, and how a network of radical preachers and recruiters spread through the system.”
Europe’s present reflects the American past. As a European ISIS recruit now serving time in German prison recounts in a telling New York Times expose, “a criminal past can be a valued asset…especially if they [ISIS] know you have ties to organized crime and they know you can get fake IDs, or they know you have contact men in Europe who can smuggle you into the European Union.”
A recent Buzzfeed article examining the challenges European authorities face targeting jihadist networks notes: “It’s not simply that ISIS offers redemption to a criminal looking to change his ways [in the form of jihad]; it’s that ISIS knows how to target criminals and turn them into jihadists.”
There is little indication that America’s politically correct “countering violent extremism” paradigm does anything to address the problems in Europe that surely continue to plague our own prisons.
For once, we should be stealing a page from the European playbook when it comes to defeating the global jihad by rooting Islamic supremacism out of our own prisons too.