Why Prisons Are Breeding Grounds for Jihad Terrorists by Ming Gordon

Recent headlines have lamented Islamic sharia control of entire prison housing blocks in Great Britain. At home, American political leaders are beginning to recognize and assess the threat of religious radicalization in prisons. It is a growing threat, in need of vigorous oversight and management. But efforts to combat this serious homeland security threat will flounder so long as well-intentioned but constitutionally unnecessary religious liberty legislation continues to be extended beyond the general public to inmates. It’s one thing to address the encroachment on religious free exercise that was rampant in the Obama years, as witnessed during its death throes. And legislation passed in the early 1990s was necessary to protect free exercise by law-abiding religious believers, as evidenced by Obamacare’s preventative care mandate that requires coverage for potentially abortion-inducing drugs. Designed as a shield against government intrusions on religious liberty, hostile inmates and their allies will use it as a sword to harass and intimidate prison chaplains, administrators and policy makers. Extending extra-constitutional protection to inmates is a recipe for trouble that will undermine correctional officials and embolden radical elements. The danger is easily remedied if Congress has the will and the courage to retract an unwarranted extension of religious liberty legislation known as RLUIPA as it applies to prison populations, and leave inmate free exercise issues to be governed by the First Amendment. Unless this modest remedy is advanced, prison radicalization will deepen and correctional authorities will soon face a crisis.

US prisons are not free to develop their own policy about religion based on First Amendment standards. As odd as it may sound, local jails and state and federal correctional institutions are bound to a higher standard than is established by the First Amendment. And the reason is that politically conservative religious liberty advocates have required it. Here, in brief, is the backstory.

In 1990 Justice Antonin Scalia authored Smith v. Oregon — his one great error. Smith held that laws of general applicability that are religiously neutral yet have an incidental impact of religious free exercise are not constitutionally suspect and are reviewed in court challenges by a low standard: is the law rationally related to some legitimate government power? If so, the incidental impact of free exercise is part of life. That is termed the “rational relationship test” — usually an easy test for government to satisfy.

In response Congress and 22 states have passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). It elevates the standard in all such cases for federal government action (and state action in states where similar state laws have been adopted). That standard is that the government must show a “compelling government interest” that cannot be achieved by any alternative means that is less restrictive of religious free exercise. That is “strict scrutiny,” and is often fatal to challenged government action. That is critical, and is the reason the Hobby Lobby case defeated the Obamacare mandate for an employer with a religious objection to provide its employees with “preventative care” insurance coverage that included emergency contraception that the employer and the FDA said may be an abortifacients. Hobby Lobby was an RFRA case.

Jump ahead to the year 2000. Congress passed the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). It amended RFRA and applies it to all prisoners. It thus applies  “strict scrutiny” to any action that constitutes a “substantial burden” to an inmate’s practice of religion and defines religion so broadly that it includes everything from typical religious activity we are familiar with in the USA to anything an inmate sincerely professes – things such as Tarot cards, Wiccan practices, and Santeria are all protected, and so are “religions of one” in which the inmate is the only person in the world who holds a particular belief, so long as it is sincere. Of course, the law covers Judaism, Islam and Christianity. It has some good results — such as kosher meals for sincere Jewish inmates, etc. But there are problems brewing. Here is the key: RLUIPA’s strict scrutiny is not required by the Constitution. US Supreme Court case law holds that when you go to prison, part of the penalty for crime is potential restriction of religious liberty. If a prison has a “legitimate penological justification” for restricting some religious practice — say, inmates drinking communion wine or possessing a dagger for a Satanic ritual — that is enough to limit the free exercise.

Now, those examples are obvious, and would likely survive even strict scrutiny analysis. But recently, some state’s correctional systems, under the pressure of RLUIPA litigation, have recognized groups previously considered “disruptive groups” as religions – including the Nation of God on Earth, a.k.a. the 5% or Five Presenters. It is an offshoot of Nation of Islam. In another case, one state yielded to an adult inmate who converted to Islam and wanted a circumcision. Prison authorities were obliged to accommodate him and transport him to a hospital for the procedure.  The standard in those cases was not the constitutional test of “reasonable penological justification” — with its deference to correctional experts to identify security and safety risks — but strict scrutiny under RLUIPA. So as a result, we may see challenges in the future that go to the heart of what may be fertile recruiting ground for radicalization — prisons — like the problem that is happening in Great Britain. This could be about any religion.

In the federal system, Muslim inmates at Terre Haute, a maximum security federal compound that holds special monitoring inmates, are allowed to participate in group prayer, which is led by one of the inmates who is elected as the leader. That includes the “American Taliban” guy.

But the Constitution and federal judges are not the ones who mandate this. Congress is. It is all about RLUIPA. And religious conservatives are its main supporters. They have championed the law in some worthwhile cases, but the broad reach of the law is dangerous. In many states, no inmate is permitted to “lead” a group religious activity, as it may give him power or influence over other inmates. But challenges are sure to come, in view of the federal prison system yielding on the issue. This is why RLUIPA is a bad idea. But the conservatives don’t think so. They point to Judge Gorsuch’s decision in Yellowbear v. Lampert. But RLUIPA opens up the breeding ground for radicalization — and not just in one religion, but also in any, although jihadis are clearly taking concerted advantage of this situation.


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Arizona: Converts to Islam had jihadi publications, conspired to bomb prison

“According to the statement, an unnamed individual told the Arizona Department of Corrections in May that Thomas Bastian, who is in prison for a 2007 first-degree murder conviction, was planning to build a bomb to kill people, possibly including the prison warden. The individual told officials that Thomas Bastian had converted to the Muslim faith and ‘became a radicalized.’”

Once again, converts to Islam get the idea that their new religion commands them to commit treason and mass murder. Authorities continue to show no interest in investigating this phenomenon.


Michelle Bastian

“Court documents: Terrorism suspect had ISIS, al-Qaida publications,” Arizona Republic, October 13, 2016 (thanks to Robert):

Arrested terror suspect Michelle Bastian is accused of providing her incarcerated husband with publications distributed by al-Qaida and ISIS, and conspiring with him to bomb the prison where he is incarcerated, according to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office probable-cause statement released Thursday.

According to the statement, an unnamed individual told the Arizona Department of Corrections in May that Thomas Bastian, who is in prison for a 2007 first-degree murder conviction, was planning to build a bomb to kill people, possibly including the prison warden. The individual told officials that Thomas Bastian had converted to the Muslim faith and “became a radicalized.” The plan was for him to build a bomb to either kill the warden or plant it in a vending machine in the prison’s visitor section, according to the statement. The individual reported that his wife, Michelle Bastian, 49, of Florence, was going to provide him with the materials.

According to the statement, the Arizona Department of Corrections searched Thomas Bastian’s cell and found “known terrorist publications” distributed by al-Qaida and ISIS.

“The objective of these publications is to provide detailed instructions on how to commit acts of terrorism and to praise those that have successfully carried out attacks,” according to the statement.

According to the statement, the mail made it past prison security because it was labeled as legal documents.

The search also turned up handwritten notes on how to build a bomb. The statement does not indicate whether any bomb-making equipment was found.

Police searched Michelle Bastian’s Florence home and Urban Oven, the Chandler bakery where she works as a bookkeeper. According to the Attorney General’s Office statement, letters from her husband where found, including letters requesting that she send him “radicalized materials.” Some of the documents he requested were later found in his cell, according to the statement….


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Islamic Republic of Iran arrests at least 25 Christians

One might be forgiven for suspecting that the Islamic Republic of Iran isn’t quite as “moderate” as Ben Rhodes would have us believe.


“Iran: At least 25 Christian citizens were arrested in Kerman,” NCRI, September 28, 2016 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

NCRI – Monday, September 27, security forces arrested at least 25 Christians in Southern City of Kerman and transferred them to an unknown location.

The human rights websites in Iran reported, security guards, raided the homes of Christian citizens, searched the houses and confiscated the belongings and at least 25 people were arrested.

There has been no information about the reason of arrests and whereabouts of these citizens so far.


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Prison imams freely spreading hatred of infidels, women and gays

Of course. To try to stop them would be “Islamophobic.” British authorities continue to kid themselves, and to assume that teachings such as those described in this article are “extremist,” and that mainstream Muslims reject them. By the time they realize that this is mainstream Islam, it will be far too late. It may already be too late for Subjugated Britannia.

Muslims in prison

“UK prison imams are free to spread hatred: Preachers found to be distributing extremist literature including homophobic and misogynistic leaflets,” by Tammy Hughes and Hugo Gye, MailOnline, April 19, 2016 (thanks to JK):

Muslim preachers approved by the Government are routinely distributing extremist literature in British prisons leaving hundreds of inmates at risks of radicalisation, a leaked report has found.

The extremist review, ordered by Michael Gove last year, found extremist CDs and pamphlets in more than 10 jails in November, it was reported today.

Inspectors also found hate tracts encouraging the murder of apostates, misogynistic and homophobic leaflets and extreme Islamic literature preaching contempt for British society.

The report is said to have sparked panic among officials who are worried about being seen to have lost control of jails – but ministers have not yet approved its publication.

A leaked version of the review, which began in September under former prison governor and Home Office mandarin Ian Acheson, was published by The Times today.

The findings are understood to have sparked an urgent internal alert because of the risk of ‘severe reputational damage’ to the Ministry of Justice.

There was evidence that a large number of clerics were from the Deobandi sect, which traditionally promotes conservative anti-British ideology.

That is, it promotes Islam, but for criminally witless Daily Mail, “Islam” is good and “conservative” is bad, so if the Deobandi clerics are spreading “extremism,” they must be labeled “conservative” rather than “Muslim.”

A website promoting the Deobandi movement says loyalty is owed only to the global brotherhood of Muslims while integration into British society is denounced.

The Deobandi sect was founded 150 years ago in south Asia and Deobandi seminaries produce 80 per cent of UK-trained Islamic clerics.

The movement takes its name from the town of Deoband in northern India, but has spread around the world thanks to the movement of populations.

Leaders in the sect tend to promote a conservative interpretation of Islam, although they have also spoken out against violent extremism in the past.

One Deobandi scholar, Masood Azhar, drew adoring crowds on a visit to Britain in the 1990s where he urged young people to ‘prepare for jihad’, and is now wanted for his involvement in a deadly attack on an Indian military base.

A website promoting the Deobandi sect says loyalty is owed only to the global brotherhood of Muslims while integration into British society is denounced.

It states that to befriend a non-Muslim risks pollution while those considering marrying a Christian or Jew are warned that their ‘repulsive qualities will filter into Muslim homes’.

It adds that a woman’s place is in the home and urges Muslims to reject unIslamic acts such as music, singing, dancing, watching television, playing chess, reading novels watching drama and watching football.

But Michael Spurr, chief executive of the National Offender Management Service (Noms), has praised the movement saying that its teachings support ‘fundamental British values such as democracy, individual liberty and mutual respect’.

Chaplains at several of the prisons, who are appointed by the Ministry of Justice, were found to be encouraging inmates to raise funds for Islamic charities linked to international terrorism.

And a lack of scrutiny and weak corporate guidance meant that there was little or no assessment of the suitability of materials or the effect they would have on ‘impressionable minds’.

A Whitehall source said that the material was kept in prison chaplaincy rooms and was available for anyone to come in and pick it up.

Prisons in England and Wales held 12,328 Muslim inmates at the start of this year, of which 131 were convicted terrorists. A further 1,000 were deemed vulnerable to radicalisation….


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Saudi wife faces prison and $133,000 fine for posting online video of her cheating husband

“This law includes stiff punishment for anyone using mobile phones with camera or other equipment to photograph others and defame them.” But more importantly, Islamic law, particularly when it comes to moral issues, is entirely male-oriented.

The Qur’an requires four witnesses to establish adultery: “And those who accuse chaste women and then do not produce four witnesses – lash them with eighty lashes and do not accept from them testimony ever after. And those are the defiantly disobedient” (24:4). These witnesses have to be men: “If testimony concerns fornication or sodomy, then it requires four male witnesses,” says Reliance of the Traveller (O24.9), a manual of Islamic law certified by al-Azhar.

Thus a woman’s testimony is inadmissible in such cases. Since a woman — the adulterer’s wife — posted this video, it is only evidence of her defaming her husband, not of his adultery.

“Saudi housewife could be put behind bars for posting online video of her cheating husband,” by Colin Freeman, Telegraph, October 8, 2015:

A Saudi woman who posted footage online of her husband cheating on her with a family maid has been warned that she may face jail for “defamation”.

The housewife used her mobile phone to secretly film her partner as he made advances to a female servant in the kitchen of the family home.

The video shows a man, dressed in traditional white robes of a Saudi male, apparently trying to kiss the maid as she attempts to pull away from him.

The wife uploaded the footage to YouTube, alongside the caption “the minimal punishment for this husband is to scandalise him”.

The footage drew widespread support for the unnamed housewife, but Saudi legal experts have warned that it could be the wife who ends up in jail.

“She faces up to one year in prison or a fine of SR500,000 (£87,214) for defaming her husband in line with the law on information technology crimes,” Majid Qaroob, a lawyer in the ultraconservative kingdom, told a local newspaper.

“This law includes stiff punishment for anyone using mobile phones with camera or other equipment to photograph others and defame them.”

The encounter takes places in full view of another woman, also believed to be a houseservant, who is also seen walking around the kitchen. Since it was posted online, the #SaudiWomanCatchesHusbandCheating has gathered more than 25,000 mentions in 12 hours….


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