Muslim inmates get new clothes after sniffer dogs search their cells

Some staff and other prisoners are incensed by what they claim is special treatment

Muslim prisoners are being given fresh clothes and bedding after sniffer dogs search their cells — because they view the animals as unclean.

The inmates say their bedclothes and prison uniforms must be changed according to Islamic law if they have come anywhere near dog saliva.

Government rules mean warders are having to hand out replacement sets after random drug searches to avoid religious discrimination claims.

The dogs have also been banned from touching copies of the Islamic holy book the Koran and other religious items.

Prisoners are handed special bags to protect the articles.

Now some staff and other prisoners are incensed by what they claim is special treatment.

A source at Dover prison said: “It seems ridiculous that staff have to go out of their way to treat these prisoners differently.

John Midgley, co-founder of the Campaign Against Political Correctness, added: “If people think others are getting different treatment, they are bound to be upset. Perhaps the only fair way to do this is to allow everyone to have their bedding changed.”

Philip Davies, Tory MP for Shipley in Yorkshire, said: “Another way for people not to have their cells searched for drugs is not to commit crime in the first place. If you commit a crime and go to prison, there are certain things which you expect to happen.”

The jail policy emerged after an illegal immigrant awaiting deportation at Dover prison asked its bosses to clarify the rules on sniffer dog searches.

In reply to the letter in prisoners’ magazine Inside Time, the Ministry of Justice’s Rosemary Hanna wrote: “We are aware that if dog saliva comes in contact with the clothing or religious artefacts of a Muslim, it renders these items defiled. As such, a prisoner must be allowed to change clothing if this occurs.”

She added: “Dogs used to search cells should not be allowed to touch holy books and artefacts.

Last month it was revealed that the Association of Chief Police Officers proposed that police dogs wear bootees on their paws when searching Muslim suspects’ homes.

– Source: Muslim inmates get new clothes if dog sniffs cell, Daily Express (UK), Oct. 9, 2008 — Summarized by Religion News Blog


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Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday October 9, 2008.
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