Investigators Say Muslim Prison Chaplains May Spread Extremism

May 5, 2004

Source: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer

On May 5, 2004 The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported, "Federal prison officials are failing to adequately screen Muslim chaplains and others who provide Islamic religious services to inmates to determine whether they hold extremist views, Justice Department investigators say. A report by Justice Department inspector general Glenn A. Fine also found Muslim contractors and volunteers have ample opportunity 'to deliver inappropriate and extremist messages,' which could lead to terrorist recruitment, inside federal prisons because they lack proper supervision. Muslim inmates themselves sometimes lead Islamic services in prisons, another potential source of terror recruitment and dissemination of extremist doctrine, according to the report obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press. 'Religious providers are in a unique position to influence the beliefs and conduct of inmates,' the report said. 'The presence of extremist chaplains, contractors or volunteers ... can pose a threat to institutional security and could implicate national security if inmates are encouraged to commit terrorist acts.' About 9,000 of the estimated 150,000 federal prison inmates identify themselves as Muslim."

See also: Islam, Prisons