Prison Service Must Root Out Anti-Muslim Prejudice

29 Jun 2006

The Muslim Council of Britain welcomes the findings of today’s long awaited report of the public inquiry into the murder of Zahid Mubarek just hours before he was due to be released from prison.

`This was a wholly preventable death caused by the lamentable decision of the staff at Feltham Young Offenders Institution to house Robert Stewart – a known racist with a violent past – in the same cell as Zahid Mubarek. Many other prisoners from minority backgrounds have long experienced the institutional racism of the Prison Service. We now urge the Home Office to urgently act upon the inquiry’s recommendation to recognise that institutional religious intolerance also needs to be actively combated. There should be a zero tolerance policy towards both racial and religious prejudice,’ said Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari, Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain.

During the inquiry Mr Justice Keith had heard evidence that there was a “sadistic” streak among some prison officers, that racist comments had been made to Muslim prisoners by staff following the London bombings last July, and that Muslim inmates had been kicked while kneeling in prayer.