Don't Be Scared About Prisoners Converting to Islam
If you're looking for another source of unnecessary anxiety -- if Harry Reid's dread of Guantanamo detainees being housed in American prisons isn't enough to make you hide under your bed -- you should read the Wall Street Journal's alarmist warnings that the dark forces of Islam will find "fertile ground for terrorist recruitment" in the nation's prisons. This latest fear arises from the "possibility" that the four men charged with plotting bombings in New York are Muslim and that "some may have converted in prison." As usual, the WSJ story ignores the likelihood that the "plot" was devised and/or encouraged by the government informant who gave them away.
Terrorist recruiters looking for a collection of people with antisocial tendencies will certainly find them in prison. To convert criminals into terrorists, however, the recruiter must himself be sent to prison, and must build relationships with violent inmates who are willing to betray their country by engaging in risky mayhem without profit. His recruitment pool will be limited to inmates who will be released while they're still young enough to do some harm -- a serious limitation since the most violent criminals will be serving lengthy sentences. And since prisons are filled with snitches, the recruiter must do his work without being exposed to prison officials who will happily lock him up in segregation on an informant's say-so. On the whole, the threat that inmates will join an Islamic terrorist cell seems less dire than the threat that they'll join a violent group of white supremacists like the Aryan Brotherhood.
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