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World

Fighting 'Muslim extremist' sterotypes in prison

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Opening sequence

World

Fighting 'Muslim extremist' sterotypes in prison

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COMING UP:Fighting 'Muslim extremist' sterotypes in prison

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Transcript

00:00:00
>> Suleiman and Achill have both spend time behind bars, locked up for dealing drugs. Now, they're determined to challenge what they call stereotypes of Muslim extremists in British prisons.>> We felt like we were judged. Cuz officers will go in homes, seeing the media, seeing the newspaper, their views were developed about Muslims based on that.
00:00:20
And then they're coming to work in constable, they see Muslim people hanging around in groups and being in their face and there'd be loads of red tape around it.>> These men feel Muslim inmates are overwhelmingly labelled as radical, extreme, and terrorists. Statistics show 1% of the Muslim prison population have been incarcerated for terrorism-related offenses.
00:00:38
Charity Maslaha determined to highlight the discrepancy.>> If Muslim communities make up 4.2% of the population in England and Wales, Muslim men make up 13, just over 13% in prison. And just over 22% in young offender institutes, that figure has doubled over the past 12 years. And we think that is because of the social issues that these young Muslim men face, but also discrimination within the criminal justice system.
00:01:04
>> Tell me a bit about your experience of the criminal justice system in this country.>> There was a few issues where like you're praying in your cell and the prison officer opens your door and he's standing on your mat now as you're still in prayer. So things like that like he didn't know he was doing wrong, but in my eyes you've just crossed all boundaries like I'm really frustrated with you right now.
00:01:30
>> Working with Maslaha, Suleiman, and Achill are using art explain how they feel, re-imagining this first World War satire, with newspaper headlines as the gas they're escaping, and masks preventing them from speaking out.>> I've come across people that they've never met a Muslim before. And having a conversation with me, they all of a sudden think yeah, are you all right?
00:01:53
Cuz I didn't think you would be like that. We suspect you've never had a conversation with somebody that's like me, and so you do know me now. So you got a better idea of who I am, what I am about, and what I believe in.>> The work is on display at the Southbank Centre's Being a Man festival, created by two men who have spent time inside, and are determined to use their time outside to educate and unite.