Sunday, September 11, 2016

Why do so many prisoners convert to Islam?

Nearly half of all converts to Islam in the United States are prisoners.

A statistic which sounds distorted, until one realises that apart from prisons, the greatest reason for increases in Muslim population in the United States are Birth and Immigration. Conversion is an event rare enough in the Muslim population, and even when it occurs it is balanced out with the number of apostates leaving the faith.

As high as 15% of the prison population in the States are estimated to be Muslim. In France, that number is as high as 68%. What is behind this?

Firstly, you must remember what sort of an environment a prison is. Inherently masculine in a distorted manner, chained into an environment which takes aspects of manhood and then deeply disorientates and exaggerates them as a means of survival. The men imprisoned feel a necessity for brotherhood and affection but in a way that will not compromise their safety or expose their obvious social deficiencies. Christianity offers (in many diluted current forms, unfortunately) something that seems tainted with modernist sentimentality. Buddhism too exotic and disorganised, too individualist. Islam then, appeals to a hope for order and acceptance by others that does not entirely negate their impulses for aggression.

There are of course authentic reasons for conversion, perhaps they see a stability and order in some of the dictatorial rigours of Islam in a way that their lives outside could never grasp. But in many situations, it is a means of tribal survival in order to survive. This is evident from the fact that 20% of prison converts later leave the faith.

For those who stay with it however, there is a real danger that the extremist version that they have been indoctrinated into becomes a means by which they commit further crimes and terror attacks.

If European countries want to stop the most dangerous members of society becoming political and existential threats rather than just sociological, then it should look at its prison systems. Isolate these barbarians imposing Sharia from behind bars and then trying to impose Sharia upon their release. Islam, especially in its political guise, does not offer hope. Christianity does.

A saviour who was hung on a cross, vilified, mocked and made to face death alongside two thieves, one good and one bad. It would be worth their while to learn the lesson that Barabbas's popularity as a prisoner of political aggression was led to a fame short lived, the crowd always tires of such men. Where Pilate said: Whom will you that I release to you, Barabbas, or Jesus that is called Christ? we may as well say, 'Whom will you be when released? Barabbas or Jesus?' It is the responsibility then of other Christians to follow Our Lord's advice and make sure that these men know that He has not abandoned them 'I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' 

There's far more to spiritual life than being dozed up on cocaine and killing innocent children and defenceless adults to hoodwink your way to an eternity of debauched indulgence in virgins and food and gluttony, just to hide your shame at your past life. Our Lord's yoke is easy and His burden is light.

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