According to the Report VII Prisons ill drawn up by the Italian Antigone on the conditions of detention, the foreign prison population has almost doubled in the last twelve years, rising from 14,057 inmates who are present in 206 Italian prisons in 2000 to the current 25,164 (out of a total of 68 527). More or less half of these states are of Islamic faith
MILAN – Islam is the religion most prevalent in Italian prisons, but worried about its spread. In general, in Italian prisons, there has been a steady growth of foreign prisoners in recent years . Especially after the attacks of 11 September 2001 have increased anti-terrorism measures, but more as a result of progressively stricter laws enforced by this country to illegal immigration. Elements which, added to a more difficult economic conditions, according to the seventh report sick Prisons compiled from ‘ Antigone Association Italian prison conditions, have led the foreign prison population almost doubled in the last twelve years, rising from 14,057 inmates in 2000 foreigners 206 in Italian prisons to the current 25,164 (out of a total of 68,527). More or less half of these are states of the Islamic faith.
RELIGION IN PRISON – That religion certainly does not arise in the background between the various issues related to the conditions of the Italian prison population. Current law grants prisoners the freedom to practice one’s religion , to be educated in it and to practice the cult . It gives them the right to receive assistance from their ministers. If this position remains an undoubted privilege of the Catholic religion, the only one with a stable organization with their own spaces within Italian prisons (as reported in a recent study of the Documentation Centre of prison deviance and marginality ) increase is the very presence of the Islamic faith.
ISLAM IN PRISON: THE STUDY – To investigate the issue of the spread of Islam in prison have been two recent studies. The first is a report of 364 pages entitled The Jihadist radicalization in prisons in Europe , designed by Sergio Bianchi , president of the provider and private Agenfor “expert” on Islam in prisons (his idea to organize the first course ” leaders of the mosque “in Italy, in 2008). Like the title, but certainly more authoritative study The radicalization of Islamic terrorism. Elements for a study of the phenomenon of proselytizing in prisons , drafted by a group of commissioners headed by Magistrate Francis Cascini, director of the activities of inspection and enforcement at the Department of Prison Administration. Similar findings of two studies also : the trend is that they enter prison drug dealers or car thieves, leaving Islamic fanatics.
FROM AL QAEDA TO HAMAS – A monitoring started in 2004 by the Office for Inspection Activities and Control has identified, in prisons, three recurrent figures among Islamic practitioners, leaders and / or lines of prayer, the promoters of meetings between prisoners of the Islamic faith, the participants in the meetings. Based on the monitoring has been developed an index of “attenzionabilità” and derived from the study of the orders of arrest, that most of the leaders belonged to the terrorist group GSPC (Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat), GICM (Moroccan Islamic Fighting Group), Al Qaeda and Hamas. At the base, increasingly, individuals were isolated and fragile, fertile land for the arguments that demonize the West and offer, with a suicide bombing, an opportunity for salvation. Even so, experts note, it is important to careful management of these issues, the prevention or detection, as soon as possible, the dynamics that have emerged in studies .
HOW TO TACKLE THE PROBLEM – Suggestions are different from the book Islam in prison , edited by Mohammed Khalid Rhazzali , PhD in Sociology and intercultural communication processes at the University of Padua , and Adjunct Professor of Sociology at the human rights same university and docteur de recherche en Sociology at the Ecole de Hautes Etudes en Science Sociale in Paris. According Rhazzali “a prison has a challenge linked to the future of Italian society and therefore also the cultural and religious diversity present in all public spheres of this society. So do not let yourself the prisons to handle the complexity of a discretionary point of view. Institutions are interested in principle to these issues because they are interested in maintaining order within prison or not. But these discussions must be held elsewhere, there can be a negotiation at the local level, we can not delegate everything to the sensitivity or not the individual director “.