Prisoners of Convenience

and The Muslim 100

According to the British Home Office about 30% of Muslim inmates are converts. A report titled Muslim Prisoners’ Experiences (June 2010) from the Chief Inspector of Prisons revealed that many prisoners are converting to Islam because “Muslims are excused from work and education while attending Friday prayers … others to obtain support and protection in a group with a powerful identity and for material advantages.”

The study’s author refers to these prison converts as “convenience Muslims.” The Prison Officers’ Association is worried about this “upward trend” in conversion to Islam in British prisons, and so they should be.

The conversions may also be a factor in the way Islam is taught in U.K. prisons (and I suspect in Western prisons around the world”) which is bound to make many of these “convenience Muslims” into permanent, committed believers.

The pen is mightier than the sword is not only a cliché but a truism. It is not bombs that will decide the fate of Western Civilization but words. Words like those found in Pain, Pleasure and Prejudice and in The Muslim 100, a well-written, deceptively amateurish, powerful convincing argument to convert to Islam by an Imam to Her Majesty’s Prison Service.

The fact that the seductive The Muslim 100 - The Lives, Thoughts and Achievements of the Most Influential Muslims in History by Muhammad Mojlum Khan is an extremely biased, highly selective, misleading and sanitized argument is beside the point. If you don’t know any better it is a compelling argument to become and remain a believer.

The Imam to Her Majesty’s Prison Service has a degree, not in Islamic Studies, but in Business and Social Policy from the University of East Anglia. He found a publisher (Kube Publishing, Publisher and Distributor of Books on Islam and the Muslim World), it would appear, not based on his academic credentials or his pedigree but on his ability to publicize Islamic orthodoxy to a trusting audience.

Bernard Payeur