Wednesday, 23 November 2011

For Denis Ducarme, prisoners no longer have the assurance of religious liberty

BRUSSELS The riots in Andenne prison following a notice regulating the practice of prayer in the institution caused significant damage such that one third of the prison is damaged.

In responding to these events, federal deputy Denis Ducarme (MR) has denounced Islamic proselytism in our penal institutions.

A phenomenon which is growing in scope and against which it is time to act, believes the deputy who will question the Minister of Justice on this subject on Wednesday.

Denis Ducarme is demanding an inquiry into Islamic proselytism in our prisons.

“Religious liberty is no longer assured in our prisons. We are seeing tranquillity being purchased in return for the practice of Salafist Islam in our prisons. Many prisoners feel obliged to practice so that the others don’t harass them. The consequence of this is that a certain number of persons are leaving prison with a tendency towards fundamentalism that they didn’t have before and messages which don’t come from the Islam of openness but rather Salafist ideas,” declares Denis Ducarme who bases his remarks, in particular, on the number of halal meals served in prison.

In ten years, the number of halal meals served in prison has spectacularly increased, to such an extent that they now represent 70% of the meals served in our penal institutions. In some prisons, certain people even go so far as to demand that the Koran is brought to their cell only by people of the Muslim faith. In some institutions, special praying areas are being arranged to the detriment of the rest. The problem is that each management has to handle it in its own way with the result that we have heads in the sand in some places”, observes the liberal deputy.

For Denis Ducarme, it is time “to stop looking the other way”. “We need adequate measures concerning the practice of religion that are the same in all prisons. It may also be necessary to put all the most influential people together in a single wing so they have no impact on the other prisoners.”

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