Why Islam appeals to prisoners

As for Muslim proselytism in the prison—and Muslim literature has been insinuated into nooks and crannies there far more thoroughly than any Christian literature—it is directed mainly at the Jamaican prisoners. It answers their need for an excuse to go straight, while not at the same time surrendering to the morality of a society they believe has wronged them deeply. Indeed, conversion to Islam is their revenge upon that society, for they sense that their newfound religion is fundamentally opposed to it. By conversion, therefore, they kill two birds with one stone.

Theodore Dalrymple

There are more reasons than this why Islam appeals to young men in trouble with the law. Amongst others it gives a sense of belonging and perhaps of a wider family or community, a sense of something to belong to bigger than the rootless self. But the resentments with wider Western/Christian society are not hard to find if one scratches the surface of many a convert to Islam.

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