Why prisoners are accepting Islam inside the prisons
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Only 5% of the world's population, the US has 25% of the world's prison population, which makes the USA the world's largest jailer. Since 1970, the US prison population has risen 700% many
groups have labeled this torture.
Yes, that's messed up, but it can never happen to me. Yes, it could. It could happen to you. Just like that. What we see on most TV shows is not reality. I was so frightened. Are you going to be a victim? salaam aleikum greetings of peace? Welcome to the deen show. Now we often hear Islam is the fastest growing way of life in the world. And it is according to the Guinness Book of World Records. A lot of times, people because of all the distractions out there, they don't get a chance to sit, focus and reflect. That's why sad to say but true. Many people when they do get
in a situation where they're forced behind bars in jail. Now all the entertainment everything, all the disco lights are off. Now it's time to reflect and think because you're forced into it. Not only is Islam the fastest growing way of life, outside of the prisons, but inside the prisons that we have our next guest who accepted Islam in jail, he's here to give us the inside scoop on why he accepted it and how life was in the prisons for Muslims. When we come back here to the show. Don't go anywhere.
Michael Cera, Salama,
how are you? My brother in law. Nice to meet you. Nice to meet you. So often we hear about Islam being the fastest growing way of life in the world. And this is true according to the Guinness Book of World Records. But now we we want to know inside the prisons, is it true also that Islam is rapidly growing in the prisons? Very muscle? Now? Very muscle? Why would you say this is because I witness it. My bending the cost of waiting now for 17 years. And I've been to nine different prisons. And I can honestly say the brothers are taking the Shahada and large numbers now. Well, so you were incarcerated 17 years, 17 years. And and now you fought you got out? And how long? At what
point in your prison term? Were you exposed to Islam? And how long did it actually take you to figure out that this was a way of life that you wanted to live? Okay.
Maybe 2001, I was in a shoe, special housing unit, the hole where they put MSN for different infections that they come in, in the prison system. And every morning, I actually hear a brother calling the done. At that time, I didn't know what it was. And I stayed in a hole for six months. And that brother called faithfully and that call the prayer were made me take my Shahada here, and that are done every morning. And it had got so much ingrained in my heart that I memorized in the shoot way down the hallway. So when I got out of the hole under the shoe,
they call it the whole, the whole of the shoe. The first thing I quiet about was, you know, what was my brother doing in the hole because it touched my heart. And they sent me to the chapel on the gym on Friday. And I took my Shahada that day.
What were you in jail for? I was in jail for conspiracy for drugs.
So now you did your time? And did you feel like while you were in prison, was there a rehabilitation? Do people go in prison? And because the idea is I would think that okay, someone, we all make mistakes, right? We all make mistakes. And some of them the the worst people will make mistakes are the people who don't get caught a lot of times.
And they get away with millions. And there's no justice unless you got money. But now, did it make?
Do people we often hear that people go to prison and become worse, right? Is this true? It's very true. And
you're only going to get two things about a prison, you're going to find yourself or you're going to lose yourself to the system. Oh, so find yourself now or lose yourself and the system or the prison system or that the industrial complex is set up to trap and enslave you. And
for those of us like myself, who had a determination to do better, and I want to change I'm thankful to Allah subhanho wa Taala for granting me to be a Muslim first and foremost. But then you got a lot of brothers in prison who get lost in the system and they never find their way. Never and they don't understand the totality of what's really going on. And it's unfortunate. Like how when you say they get lost in a system, what do
What they, you know, they go to prison, they want to criminally mess with the next man criminally masters. So they go and prison door credit cards. And all they talk about when they get out I'm just gonna say a week because we don't get that much time when they go selling cocaine they want to come out saying heroin, and they never get a chance to really think about the actions never. And it takes
a lot of determination to want to change, no change is a process. And I'm just thankful that Allah God in my heart, because I'll be lost to it. Now you're in isolation. Now.
People don't understand that. We often hear torture, well, humanitarian, and many
groups have labeled this torture for people to be isolated in a cage. Can you talk a little bit about what's that like?
That's another tool that the prison system used to degrade you. And they basically put you in a room by yourself, or sale, and you have no contact for 24 hours a day.
You get your mail, and they slide your mail through a metal tray through the door. You get one hour wreck a week, and
you shower in your rooms, basically someone to prison with a God have to ask, Are you still Prisma? Do you want to take a shower twice a week? And it's torture? Basically, what they're doing they torturing you. And they tried to make they trying to just SAP the life out of you. That's what that experience is like? Yes. But now let's say someone says, look,
we want safer streets, we want less crime. What else do we have? What other options? Do we have like to rehabilitate people to, you know, get people who are committing these crimes, you know, to make them pay for what what they've done? What are the solutions, or the staff or the administration of the prison system try to trick me into believing that the programs that they're offering would be the key, but it's not.
The majority of those programs are taught by inmates.
Very rarely do you see a staff
teaching a class or putting forth a sincere effort and a one to see you change, because that's their way of living. The more people that have in prison, they gotta secure employment. So they really not trying to train you or teach you how to not come to prison. So they just let you just free and it makes her teaching the classes they basically just taught classes with no substance. And I believe that the only thing
that we really get people to like wake up in a prison system is Islam. And that's just my firm belief. Do you feel that Islam help rehabilitate? You definitely did. And I'm not the person today that I was yesterday.
If I if I really like I don't like to think about it. But if I want to talk about it, I'm just share this with you.
I live beneath my privilege. dishonor, my mother and my father and I brought a lot of pain and suffering on my children. I'm ashamed of that.
Islam helped me with that. Because I know now that this Deen or this religion didn't come to a bunch of perfect people. It came to perfect people. And I'm thankful to Allah subhanho wa Taala because it took some time. And I wouldn't I would be
naive to sit here and say that everything happened overnight, I had a lot of work to do. Because I had a lot of dunya dust still, you know, around my heart. And I was still caught up in the Java in the in the ignorance that I used to do in the past I took a lot. But every day every day I worked at it. And I worked at it and I worked at and insha Allah, Allah subhanho wa Taala was gonna reward me for my efforts in sha Allah, that we're all a work in progress. Yeah, that's the beautiful thing that now Islam gives you the purpose of life while you're here reformed you to become a better human being.
And what if I'm understanding correctly, so you don't really you didn't have these programs that are helping to educate you that are helping to rehabilitate you to help you come out a better human being. But actually all that was taken away many years ago when they had where you can go to college, and
you can have college classes coming in to offer you something or you can have an instructor of some value come in and teach you some some skills that's gone. And I've been following the USP is all the way down to the lows, I'll work my way down from a maximum prison to a low prison over the years and that was because I had patience. Allah subhanho wa Taala grant me patience. And I have never seen in nine different prayers into my 17 year sentence. programs that was realistic or a value or substance never. And if you really want change, you have to do it for yourself. And that's the thing with the prison system. They don't offer you anything.
Hot work. That's it, they just want to work you work, you know, work you and they want to try to keep you there as long as possible. Working for I heard pennies, yes 15 cent an hour at a unicorn job at the factories. And this really slave labor, that's basically what it is. And if you don't work, they punish you for more and they take away your good time. Or they take your phone privilege when you can't speak to your family. They take away your visits when you don't have access to your loved ones where you can talk to them face to face, they take away your commissary where you can't even buy the basic necessities to get by. And so basically what they're doing is torturing you,
because that's the way the system is. I'm going to get your reaction to this video, and then you can tell me what you think is pretty, pretty dead on or what if only 5% of the world's population The US has 25% of the world's prison population, which makes the USA the world's largest jailer. Since 1970, the US prison population has risen 700% 93% of people in prison are male 7% are female. Together, African American and Hispanics comprise 58% of all prisoners in 2008. Even though African Americans and Hispanics make up approximately one quarter of the US population, one in six black men have been incarcerated as of 2001. If current trends continue, one in three black males born today
can expect to spend time in prison during his lifetime. About $70 billion are spent on corrections yearly prisons and jails consume a growing portion of the nearly $200 billion we spend annually on public safety and prison is a growing industry. between 1990 and 2010, the number of privately operated prisons in the US increased by 16 100%. Over half of the private prison profits come from holding facilities for undocumented immigrants. In contracts with the government. Some private prison companies demand the minimum occupancy levels of more than 90%. These contracts guarantee that prison occupancy rates will stay at or above a specified level. If occupancy rates are not
fulfilled, the government pays for the empty beds. As it turns out, private companies have a cheap easy labor market and it isn't in China. It's right here in the land of the free where large corporations increasingly employ prisoners as a source of cheap and sometimes free labor. Many prisoners are forced to work real jobs for private corporations forcing down wages in the rest of the economy. nation's prison industry now employs more people than any fortune 500 Corporation except General Motors. Some people call prison labor modern day slavery. A few companies who hire prison labor are Victoria's Secret Boeing, McDonald's and Starbucks. solitary confinement widely
used in American prisons is regarded internationally as torture. Prisoners held in solitary confinement are typically kept in a small windowless cell for 23 hours a day with minimal access to lawyers, family and guards. The number of prisoners currently in solitary is estimated to be around 80,000. Because of its prison system, the US is the only country in the world where more men are raped than women. There were 216,000 victims of rape in US prisons in 2008. That is roughly 600 a day or 25 every hour. So what's your reaction? When you see that? I pretty much? Yes, very much. That's surprising when you say okay, we're 5% of the world's population here in America, but we hold
25% of the world's prisoners.
Yeah, what would you like to see change?
I would like to see the whole system change. But it don't start in the prison system, we got to start first
in the government, and then in states and the courts, and all those areas where they
initiate in this horrible thing that they do and it has to start somewhere else first, because the prison is just a fight. You know, it's a big fight for these are like, like to take my sand corporations who invest in all this money and into the prison system. And a lot of these politicians are getting money
off the prison system, and they putting these people in play where they got job security for the rest of their life. And the thing that I've seen also is that you now have whole families working in prison system. So you got the Mother, the Father, the key is, and this is it's important for them. That's how they look at it. They don't see the the fact that it's dawning on people everyday lives, they just looking at the money. And they say, I wish I had the answer. Well, I can just give you
one are concrete resolution on what I think needs to be done. I don't, honestly I don't. Well.
What we see is that
A lot of people they end up they like to even these politicians and, and the people that are out there, the the haters islamophobes, they tried to make Islam look backwards, they tried to denigrate Islam, they try to make Muslims look oppressive and whatnot. But you have a system that's right in front of us, along with many of the systems. I mean, there are a lot of good people out there, but they, there's their underlying factors. And I understand when we all make, you know, people make mistakes. And now when the setup, the system is kind of setting it up for a person to fail, and then when they do fail, instead of helping them to get back on their feet to get rehabilitated. From what
I'm getting from from yourself. And when people look into it, you go in there. And, for example, you might have gotten arrested for petty crime, but then you get inside and now you're around the mastermind of criminals who help educate you to be a better criminal. No, there's no schooling system in place from what you what you're telling me what we see on the base educational school. Yeah, GED, okay, but no college courses.
They do have, like, you know, some little construction
classes, or you might have a CD CDL class you can take, but nothing to the scale, what it should be if you really want to see people make a difference and come home and come back to prison. Where you Yeah, well, you get empowered now with some knowledge and you can get out, I was reading where they had people out there, the inmates fighting, forest fires, fighting fires, and train like the professionals, but then when they get out, they're putting their lives on the line to get paid pennies. But then when they get out, there's stigmatize they cannot get a job, that's obvious. And I'll testify to that myself. I've been home now 40, some days going on 50 days. And I've been on
maybe 20 interviews. And the only thing that they see as the mistake I made, they don't see the person I really am. Or the skills I had to acquire on my own,
to be a better person. And it's an unfortunate thing. And that was that's going to be with me for the rest of my life. But I'm not going to let that deter me from being a better person about assigned to my mother and father, about a father to my children and a better sibling to my brothers and sisters, and about a slave to Allah. That's more depth first and most important to me. So
you know, you're going to go through some trials and tribulations which just got to hang in there. So would you say the best gift that you got in the prison was Islam definitely
say that, with all honesty? Had I not had Islam in my life? I don't know why being like, no,
there was some times in the prison system, I felt like giving up because I had that long sentence. And I really didn't have anything to look forward to. And I was really in a dark place. And
I'm thankful every day that Allah subhana wa gave me that chance because
I view life differently.
I see things on a different scale. I don't have tunnel vision anymore. And like you said earlier, you alluded to earlier,
is the propaganda that they tried to put out against Islam, to deter people from accepting the truth, the HAC, and that's an unfortunate thing. But a lot tells us about that too, in the Quran, that they aim to stay with the light of Islam of what the other are blowing with their mouths. And that's the manufacturing of Miss truth, Lion propaganda. We're using the airwaves and a media. But Allah has we have to spread. It's like no matter how much to disbelieve, I hate it. And I stand firm on that.
This team is growing. And like we said earlier, brothers are not being tricked by that anymore. They've taken a Shahada, and I've witnessed this. And it's a wonderful thing. So for people that don't know earlier what you're talking about, you heard that that that's the call to prayer, come to prayer come to prayer kind of success. There's nothing worthy of worship except God, Almighty, Allah, the Creator of the heavens in the earth. Mohammed is his final messenger. And obviously, this would include all the messengers that came before him, Jesus, Moses, Abraham, because they all came with Islam, calling mankind not to worship the creation, but the one creator and that resonates with
the heart. It makes sense that pure monotheism, a believable message based on proof and evidence. And you're saying people are taking their Shahada La ilaha illAllah Muhammad Rasulullah and that's what one needs to do to become a Muslim. Is that give birth what's already in your very nature? And we're seeing that it's that's what's helping reform. And when you have a system, what do you think now we were talking watching a video, that people aren't abreast to this that you have these private before 1980 I believe it wasn't
privatizing prisons isn't all well, then from like 1990 onwards, you had a skyrocketing percentage, I think 16 100% of the prison population skyrocketed. So if these beds so the private institutions now they want these prisons filled to make money to make money, yes, yes, exactly. And up and they will do anything possible to keep them for you. If they have to put you in jail for crimes that ordinarily would get you.
probation or we get you just a fine. If they can put you in that prison and manufacture some lives, they will do it because they want to keep them Beispiel generate more income with MTB. And this is not just with adults, it's also with juveniles. You had this judge not too long ago, he got sentence under law he got caught. But he was given two stiffest penalties and he was getting kickbacks from the, from the the private prison systems. Former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella faces charges tonight prosecutors say he wrote countless young lives sending children to jails in return for cash.
I'd love to sponsor the prison system. And they both started off in the juvenile system system. And
it said, and I'm willing to can't bet you because we don't got one in Islam. But that lawyer didn't do no time on that Justin do no time for what he did. I don't think he did. Because if you got money, you can buy your way out of anything. And the majority of the people in the prison system now they're not the kingpins 100 real drug dealer, these guys are not buying my own a house or a car. And they are looking forward gym shoes. And they're doing all the time like the king fan supposed to be doing. So all the kingpins are actually still out in the streets. And the majority of the politicians, the people from Wall Street in Washington are ripped off most of the people they got
Yeah. So you have to kind of get you got to buy justice. Now. Do you see that? Well, there's, there's a lot of documentaries on it. There's one that I really recommend people to watch called the survivors guide to prison, it talks about the plea bargain systems. It talks about how the public defenders they really only get to spend like seven under 10 minutes with Yeah, talking to you and they pretty much try to convince you just to play it out.
That's messed up. But it can never happen to me. Yes, it could. It could happen to you. Just like that. What we see on most TV shows is not reality. I was so frightened. Are you going to be a victim? I wasn't saying quit in a week. I watched a man die right next to me, Mama bug and I'm listening to it and I'm thinking, damn it, somebody's gonna come help with this. No, it's more like a horror show.
Just ask for an attorney. Don't blindly trust authority figures be ready to stand your ground, you're gonna need money, pray for a miracle.
They take a bad situation and they usually make it much worse. All the data luckily is out there. It's just a matter of whether you give. We're gonna get perspectives from investigative journalists, analysts, academics, prison staff, lawyers, cops inmates. So in the unfortunate case, this may happen to you is is the survivors guide to proof.
It was not just the public defenders, the real lawyers in the real life real lawyers. I when I first got arrested on my case, I spent almost 160,000 on lawyers. And I've been I was in pre trial stage for a year. I probably saw my real lawyer three times. And I went to trial. So how possibly can a lawyer defend you when he don't even know nothing about you or your case? It was about the money. So it's big business with the lawyers as well. It wasn't just the public defender cut the public defenders get paid by the courts. And a little money they do get they don't want to do no work anyway. And they sometime that case loads. I saw overburden they got 1520 people in court and one
day and said this is all about this money.
Well, I've asked this question, Islam, anything that goes away from that from because you can't have peace unless you have justice and Islam is built on justice and peace anyone who has a sincere and genuine in their approach to analyzing Islam, they'll see that it's a it's something from the crater. And it's there's no way that it could have come from anyone other than the one who created this whole universe and everything in it. Now there is a penal system there. There are punishments, deterrence, strong deterrence to keep people away from doing crimes. And we know that after everyone's been fed, Justice has been established. Even this
deterrent is as was suspended one time in history. We'll talk about the amputation of the hand when people didn't have
You know, people aren't getting locked up for like, you know, like you said, like, for food or for some basic necessities. But this is like the mastermind. This is the person who's trying to come in your home and rob you who's plotting and planning. So let's say now that person who's locked up, and let me see what you say, because you were in the prison system. And that person who is locked up now for 10 1520, whatever years and they're in the system, in jail, but now they're offered to go back to their family to get out to get a new start, but they're going to also have to
suffer the consequences of the amputation of the hand. If you are given that choice. What would you have done took my hand, you definitely took one you didn't hesitate there, I wouldn't hesitate, take my hand. Take my hand, because
to get that 17 years, 17 years by Take my hand, cuz that would definitely deter me. And I would rather for you to take my hand, definitely. I have no doubt in my mind, that would be my answer. Let's let's, let's dissect that a little bit night, how much Okay, so your life now, you do you feel that would have helped you save a lot of the family issues that were a result of being away from them for 17 years, especially as a father, definitely.
With my boys, especially I lost two sides to the prison system already.
My daughter's not having that, that guidance that they really need it in their life to make the choices, but even choosing a boyfriend because my daughters,
they only know me for who I used to be. So they will act naturally looking for a man like me, somebody that was in the streets,
who was able to give them the bling stuff, the material stuff. And that was an unfortunate thing. For me. It was it was it was hard for me to accept that. And my sons, thinking that my old lifestyle was like a badge of honor. They want to be in the streets and sell drugs and be like, hey, Daddy, all that was my fault. Because I should have been up for my children. So had I had the opportunity or the choice. Listen, this is what we want to offer you time or we take your hand. Take my hand. Honestly, I say that. Let me go be with my family. You would have saved how much you think you'd have saved the taxpayers also Oh, man, so much money. That 17 ties? What does it cost a year to how
someone I heard it somewhere? What is it? Like?
I heard somewhere between 70 to $100,000. Between that? Yes. A year? Yes. So figure out how much that time 17 would have saved the taxpayers, your family now you wouldn't have had that connection, you move on with your family. Yeah.
So we ask people to think you know, before they make a very biased, prejudiced,
stereotypical accusation towards Islam and Muslims really look into Islam, we try to bring these stories to light to show highlights now that someone who went into the prison system and they actually came out rehabilitated not because of the prison system, but because of Islam. And then,
with all honesty,
the majority are good 80 to 90% of the brothers who take the Shahada in prison,
never get into trouble.
well respected by the staff and authorities in prison
are the trendsetters, they do all the things that
normally the guard should do keep the drama down the trouble down organized programs, the Muslims, but you don't hear about that in the media. People don't talk about that much money inside the prison system. The Muslims are the dominant force. And they they the guards look to them for everything. So they have a good relationship with the warden and the guards as they call them for everything to stop
two factions fighting against each other they finally mom for the community or whale specter brother, that's a Muslim, and they try to talk to them to going out to
you know, mediate the situation and the Muslim are well respected. So that because the prison guard, they don't have to worry about getting shamed, beat up by the Muslims. Muslims are the P actual peacemakers. Is that right? Yes. All the prisons I've been to. And that was another thing that really made me say Islam is the better way for me, because I saw it myself. And I used to always question well, How come these brothers are well respected like that? That's why last time I made them that way. When you have consciousness of your Creator, when you're connected to your Creator, you submit your will to the Creator. That's what Islam is, you become the whole point is to become a
better human beings love. So we need more Islam, in the prisons. And if you have Islam, outside of the prisons, everywhere you have Islam, you're going to have more of a peace.
For the environment, you're going to have more peace not only for that person within themselves, but they're going to want that's going to resonate. And that's going to help to develop peace in other people's lives by sharing this way of life. So I really appreciate you taking the time to share some of the insights that you had with us. And anything else we missed from the story that you'd like to you think is important you'd like to share? Well, if people will look at Islam wholeheartedly.
They will see the beauty in Islam.
And this religion really is truly and I'm not just saying this, because I'm Muslim. I'm saying it because I witnessed it. It's the better way for everybody. And I believe if Islam was offered to the world, in its true form,
we have a better society. honestly believe that. What do you believe about Jesus now as a Were you a Christian before? Yes, I was. So what do you believe about Jesus now as opposed to before I love them? I love Jesus, Isa la Salaam.
That's just some differences that I have with with with his death, and you know, stuff like that. But I love Jesus. And I don't believe you can be a Muslim if you don't love to. Yeah, that's 100% of the point. Yeah, not that is a god or lizard, oh, Son of God. But obviously is like Abraham was, he was a messenger of God, every prophet of God ever sent were messengers. And
unfortunately, the books got a little twisted. And I don't want to get into that right now. But I love Jesus, I love him. So you, you did your homework, you had a lot of time to read, you did a lot of reading. I've taught myself Arabic.
how to read and write.
I was the mom or the spiritual leader in the prison system for the last 12 years.
I'm in a better place, I don't have no regrets.
I don't look back at my past and say, Hey, I did this. And had I did that. Because I know I lost all this is caught. And
my family loved me more now. And I only been home for 30 days, and they respect me more than I'm a Muslim. They see the change in me. Everybody I come in contact with see the change in me. And that's all it matters. What advice do you have for the people who are chasing that bling bling lifestyle, they're looking up to you know, trying to be a drug lord, or, you know, trying to be this that and everything negative and you know, the hip hop community and all this, they're not really helping? Are they good material things?
A false reality.
And I used to ask myself some time, what makes a man gambled his life away
for false reputation. So material thing is knowing the mentality of it suppresses the system. Yeah. And I see that now.
And it's not worth it. It's not worth it at all. And I can stand here and I can tell you the sad stories,
the struggles I had to go through and I'm not gonna sit him pretend it wasn't easy. I didn't just take my Shahada, and all of a sudden, like, this was all holy, and my hair was up to the sky. I had to go do something. Yeah. And I had to work out some stuff that was ingrained in my heart and my Kob but Islam has a better way. And if you're looking for that peace, and serenity, that tranquility,
try Islam. Just try this long. Brother Suraj. Do you have a contact number if people wanted to contact you and give some support, love and of course, maybe even if you? Yeah, to reach out to us, of course. cell number 773-255-4092 and I have a Gmail account. Cooper Co Op er, Raman ra y m o n d 40 [email protected]. I like to try as long you tried everything else. Kid rocking gonna give you peace corps deals other famous now I've been so far out of tune. But all of those people who are flashing that bling bling for a few minutes on screen. Some of them most of them live in the most miserable lives. But you have our brother here. So rods spend time. But now he found himself and he got the
greatest gift. And he's telling you how you can have peace and be successful by trying try Islam. Try to put your head on the ground. Humble yourself and seek help from the Creator of the heavens and earth. Ask him for guidance. Ask him Why are you here? If you were on the moon, you'd want to want to know how you ended up there. But how did you end up on this earth? And what are you doing here? And where more importantly, where are you going to go when you die? Because we're all gonna die and you don't just fall asleep. And that's it. There's a whole nother reality that opens up and Islam lays out the blueprint. What you need to do in this life to be successful.
By worshiping the creator not the creation doing good deeds, striving to be the best human being possible and how you can be successful when you depart on your DD def day from this life. Thank you very much subscribe if you haven't already. Click on the notifications button so you get our show sent to you every week here on the D show. We'll see you next time inshallah God Willing until then, peace be with you. So I'm like, subscribe to the show. Follow us on our official Facebook and Twitter pages in the links below. Please also help support the show by making a donation in the link below.