MUSLIM SEX OFFENDERS IN THE U.K. MAY BE EXEMPT FROM PRISON REHABILITATION PROGRAMS
From Thisislondon: "Rapists, paedophiles and other dangerous sex attackers are expected to discuss their crimes with others during jail sessions designed to stop them reoffending."
"Now the Prison Service's Muslim advisor, Ahtsham Ali, has said there is a "legitimate Islamic position" that criminals should not discuss their crimes with other people.
"An "urgent review" has been ordered, and Muslims could be allowed to opt out of this part of the treatment - despite completing a full programme often being a condition of release.
"The move has already sparked protests. Shadow Justice Secretary, Nick Herbert said: "It is one thing to make a dispensation for a prisoner's faith when it comes to prayer and diet, but if a prisoner is unwilling to take part in rehabilitation they should be treated no differently to others – which may mean spending longer in custody. "There can be no religious discrimination when it comes to deciding the appropriate and safe time to release a prisoner."
"Some 1,000 sex offenders underwent the treatment programme last year, in 26 prisons. Places are usually reserved for the most dangerous attackers who are serving sentences of four years or more.
"Failure to complete the treatment can weigh against the offender when they are being considered for parole.
"The possibility of an exemption for Muslims came to light after an unnamed prisoner wrote to Inside Time, the official newspaper of inmates.
"The convict said: "I have always insisted that it was against Islamic teachings to discuss your offence to anyone, let alone act it out within a peer group."
"Experts said that, if Muslims were spared the treatment, the Government would face a legal challenge if they made this grounds for keeping the men in prison for longer.
"Harry Fletcher, assistant general secretary of probation union Napo, said: "The logic is that Muslims cannot take part in offender programmes and therefore their offending behaviour cannot be assessed and they are unlikely to be granted parole.
"They may then seek legal redress through judicial review on the grounds that they are being discriminated against on the grounds of religion. If they do not take part, Muslim sex offenders are likely to serve longer sentences, possibly the whole of their term, before they are released."