Advertisement

Race and Social Problems

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 36–44 | Cite as

Jailhouse Islamophobia: Anti-Muslim Discrimination in American Prisons

  • Kenneth L. MarcusEmail author
Article

Abstract

The post 9/11 surge in America’s Muslim prison population has stirred deep-seated fears, including the specter that American prisons will become a breeding system for “radicalized Islam.” With these fears have come restraints on Muslim religious expression. Mistreatment of Muslim prisoners violates the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA), which Congress passed in part to protect prisoners from religious discrimination. Despite RLUIPA, prisoners still face the same challenge that preceded the legislation. Ironically, while Congress directed courts to apply strict scrutiny to these cases, the courts continue to reject most claims. One reason is that many courts are applying a diluted form of the legal standard. Indeed, the “war on terror” has justified increasing deference to prison administration to the detriment of incarcerated Muslims and religious freedom.

Keywords

Islamophobia Muslims Prisoners’ rights Religious freedom Religious discrimination Religious Land Use and Incarcerated Persons Act 

References

  1. Al-Amin, A. Q. (2008). Head, United Model Muslim Communities of America and Imam, San Francisco Muslim Community Center, “Religious Discrimination and Prisoners’ Rights: A Muslim’s Point of View,” testimony before U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Br. on Religious Discrimination and Prisoners’ Rights, February 8.Google Scholar
  2. Atkins, C. (2008). Warden, Maryland Correctional Institution—Jessup, “Prison Security and Compliance with Religious Land Use Institutionalized Persons Act and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” testimony before U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Br. on Religious Discrimination and Prisoners’ Rights, February 8.Google Scholar
  3. Bawer, B. (2006). While Europe slept: How radical Islam is destroying the west from within. New York: Doubleday.Google Scholar
  4. Cilluffo, F. J. (2008). Director, Homeland Security Policy Institute, The George Washington University, testimony before U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Br. on Religious Discrimination and Prisoners’ Rights, February 8.Google Scholar
  5. Colson, C. (2002). Evangelizing for evil in our prisons: Radical Islamists seek to turn criminals into terrorists. The Wall Street Journal (June 24).Google Scholar
  6. Dilg, L. (2008). Staff Attorney, American Civil Liberties Union Foundation Program on Freedom of Religion & Belief, “Religious Freedom in Prisons: RFRA, RLUIPA, and Beyond,” testimony before U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Br. on Religious Discrimination and Prisoners’ Rights, February 8.Google Scholar
  7. Fischer, B. S. (2001). Note, “Power to the prisoner: The importance of State Religious Freedom Acts in preserving the religious liberties of prisoners.” Journal of Law and Policy, 10, 233.Google Scholar
  8. Friedman, G. (2008). Chairman, Jewish Prisoner Services International, “Religious Discrimination in U.S. Prison and Jails,” testimony before U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Br. on Religious Discrimination and Prisoners’ Rights, February 8.Google Scholar
  9. Gottschalk, P., & Greenberg, G. (2008). Islamophobia. New York: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  10. Harvard Law Review Editors. (May 2002). Developments of the law: The law of prisons: IV. In the belly of the whale: Religious practice in prison. Harvard Law Review, 115, 1891.Google Scholar
  11. King, D. P. (1969). Religious freedom in the correctional institution. Journal of Criminal Law, Criminology and Police Science, 60(3), 299–305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Luchenitser, A. J. (2008). Senior Litigation Counsel, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, “Written Statement,” testimony before U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Br. on Religious Discrimination and Prisoners’ Rights, February 8.Google Scholar
  13. Lupu, I. C. (1998). The Failure of RFRA, 20 University of Arkansas. Little Rock Law Journal, 575, 588–597.Google Scholar
  14. Marks, A. (2006). Islamist radicals in prison: How many? Christian Science Monitor (September 10).Google Scholar
  15. McCollum, Rev. Patrick M. (2008). Director and Chair, National Correctional Chaplancy Directors Association and Statewide Wiccan Chaplain, California Department of Corrections, “Position Statement on Religious Discrimination in Prisons,” testimony before U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Br. on Religious Discrimination and Prisoners’ Rights, February 8.Google Scholar
  16. Mushlin, M. B. (1993). Rights of prisoners. (2d ed.).Google Scholar
  17. Nolan, P. (2008). Vice President of Prison Fellowship, “Religious Discrimination and Prisoners’ Rights,” testimony before U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Br. on Religious Discrimination and Prisoners’ Rights, February 8.Google Scholar
  18. Smith, C. E. (1993). Black muslims and the development of prisoners’ rights. Journal of Black Studies, 24(2), 131–146. doi: 10.1177/002193479302400201.Google Scholar
  19. The George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute and The University of Virginia Critical Incident Analysis Group. (2006). Special Report, Out of the shadows: Getting ahead of prisoner radicalization.Google Scholar
  20. The Pew Center on the States. (2008). One in 100: Behind bars in America.Google Scholar
  21. Winkler, A. (2006). Fatal in theory and strict in fact: An empirical analysis of strict scrutiny in the federal courts. Vanderbilt Law Review, 59, 793.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bernard M. Baruch College School of Public AffairsThe City University of New YorkLeesburgUSA

Personalised recommendations