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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Supermax inmates must speak English not Arabic

It's an unusual order - Muslim inmates at Goulburn's Supermax prison - home to our worst offenders - will be forbidden to speak Arabic during visits and phone calls.

From now on, 13 inmates have been classified "extremely high risk restricted" and will be forced to speak English when communicating with the outside world.  All letters sent out will also be in English.

When an inmate has a visitor, a prison officer will stand close by and record their conversation and if they start talking in Arabic, they will escorted out.

Inside NSW prisons, non-Muslim inmates are converting to Islam at an alarming rate and are insisting on halal meals.  Last week, staff at Long Bay in Sydney received four applications from "young, white males" asking to change their diet.

There is also some concern over what the imams are actually saying when they come to hold prayer sessions inside the prison. From now on, these meetings will be held in English, not Arabic, and the department has been told to recruit imams with a sense of "moderation and decency" to service prisoners.

Until recently, only Bassam Hamzy was given the extreme high-risk classification and banned from speaking Arabic.  When it was discovered that he was still communicating with the outside world through a legal secretary, strict visitor vetting procedures are now in place.

It seems our prisons are breeding grounds for radical Isamization and something had to be done about it.  Let's hope it works.