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Educating the Muslims of America$
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Yvonne Y Haddad, Farid Senzai, and Jane I Smith

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195375206

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195375206.001.0001

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The Search for Justice: Islamic Pedagogy and Inmate Rehabilitation

The Search for Justice: Islamic Pedagogy and Inmate Rehabilitation

(p.179) 8 The Search for Justice: Islamic Pedagogy and Inmate Rehabilitation
Educating the Muslims of America

Anna Bowers

Oxford University Press

In the wake of 9/11, national security and the threat of terrorism became a prime concern for many U.S. government institutions, including the Department of Corrections, where Islamic conversion occurs at higher rates than it does on the street. It examines the appeal of Islam for inmates, the issues facing inmate converts while incarcerated and upon release, and the role of the Muslim chaplain, or imam, in providing rehabilitative services. It focuses on male inmates, who are by far the majority of incarcerated persons in the country (93.3%). Source material for this pilot study includes interviews with Islamic chaplains and former inmates as well as a review of relevant academic and policy literatures. Evidence indicates that despite the sizable Muslim population behind bars, Islamic programming and leadership in prisons remain underrepresented and underfunded. Furthermore, institutional biases that misrepresent Islam as a militant political movement make Islamic conversion and religious practice more difficult for inmates than forms of religious expressions deemed less threatening.

Keywords:   Islamic conversion, religious conversion, prisons, inmates, Islamic programming

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