Access to Jihadi Books Turns Prisons into ‘Islamic Extremism Incubators’

The extreme views of a “racist, homophobe and anti-Semite”, who supports killing non-Muslims and “stoning adulterers” are being made available to prison imams and prisoners throughout England and Wales with the blessing of the authorities, according to a former adviser to the UK government.

Haras Rafiq, managing director of the Quilliam Foundation, a counter-extremism think tank, warned that prisons have become “incubators for Islamic extremism” by allowing inmates to read the works of controversial South Asian cleric, Abul Ala Maududi. He described Maududi – who died in 1979 – as the “grandfather of Islamism”.

Newsweek has discovered that hundreds of gold-laminated, hardback copies of Maududi’s analyses of the Koran were distributed last month at a training event for prison imams and chaplains held at the prison service college in Rugby. The books came from the Markfield Institute for Higher Education, part of the Islamic Foundation, a UK-based organisation that publishes educational materials on Islam.