U.K. Muslim inmates refuse therapy claiming discussing crime is haram

Of course it is only haram for Muslims to speak of their crimes with infidels, but halal to pray against these same infidels with fellow Muslims. The good part is, is that as long as they refuse to comply with therapy, chances are better they will be held to full sentence.

From The Telegraph U.K.

Muslim prisoners ‘refuse to take part in group therapy as it’s against religion’

Muslim prisoners are refusing to take part in group therapy sessions saying it’s against their religion to talk about their ‘past crimes’ in front of others.

Published: 9:19AM GMT 11 Jan 2010

Scores of Britain’s 10,000 Muslim prisoners – one in eight of all inmates – are refusing to take part in Offending Behaviour Programmes (OBPs ), claiming it is ‘forbidden’ or ‘Haraam’.

Haraam refers to anything that is prohibited by faith, and in Islamic culture criminals are barred from discussing their offences with others.

Previously, Muslim prisoners refused to take part in Sex Offender Treatment Programmes because it involved talking about offences against women, but now some are refusing to take part in all rehabilitation sessions where they have to ‘open up’ in front of other cons.

Among the courses some Muslims are declining to take part in are the Cognitive Self Change Programme (CSCP), just one of 13 OBPs on offer from the prison service.

The CSCP, which treats 7,000 prisoners each year, targets ‘high risk violent offenders’ and offers individual and group sessions to prisoners.

The course claims to: “Equip prisoners with skills to help them control their violence and avoid reconviction.

“It is aimed at offenders with a history of violent behaviour and is suitable for those whose violence is reactive and/or instrumental.”

Other programmes on offer include Enhanced Thinking Skills, Cognitive Skills Booster Programme, Controlling Anger and Learning to Manage it and various motivational courses.

One Muslim prisoner, Abu Dira, a maximum security prisoner at HMP Long Lartin in Worcestershire, said this week: “Muslims cannot speak about their past crimes in a group setting.

“It is an established concept within the Sharia that a Muslim must not speak about the Haraam – prohibited things – and certainly should not advertise past mistakes to their peers.”

He says that it is clear from the words of Islamic prophet Muhammad, called a Hadith, that it was wrong to talk about past crimes.

He said: “This is clearly supported by Hadith – If you keep your evil away from the people, Allah will record this as a charitable act from yourself for yourself, so corruption is not to be spread amongst Muslims.”

If a prisoner refuses to take part in an offending behaviour course they can have their privileges dropped from enhanced or standard to basic – meaning losing access to certain ‘luxuries’.

Privileges that can be cut off include access to the telephone, the number of prison visits allowed by friends and relatives, access to cash and in-cell TV.

A Prison Service spokesman confirmed that a review of procedures was underway and that discussions were being held with Muslim prison chiefs.

“A very small number of Muslim prisoners have raised concerns with the Muslim Adviser,” he said.

“The Muslim Adviser is looking at different Islamic standpoints so there can be further discussion.”

He said, however, that at the moment no Muslim prisoner would be exempt from a rehab course on the grounds of religion alone.

He added: “Each prison-based offending behaviour programme has clear selection criteria, based on risk and need, and rigorous assessment procedures which are used by programme staff when assessing the suitability of offenders referred to programmes.”

He said that no prisoner would be forced onto a programme, adding: “As well as being suitable for the programme offenders must be ready and willing to fully engage in it.”

If a prisoner refuses to go on a course, however, he is likely to have any privileges forfeited and he will serve his full sentence.

In 1991 there were just 1,959 Muslims in jail, and just eight years on, in 1999, the number had more than doubled, with 4,335 in prison.

That number now stands at around 10,000 – 12 per cent of the prison population of 84,000 – despite Muslims making up just three per cent of the general population in the UK.

In 2008 the Prison Service’s Muslim Adviser Ahtsham Ali said it was a ‘legitimate Islamic position’ that criminals should not discuss their crimes with others.

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