Programs & Events

List of Upcoming Events and Programs

Muslims in prisons: Disgrace or discrimination?

Date: Friday 27 October 2017

Time: 18.45 - 20.30

Venue: Abrar House, 45 Crawford Place, London W1H 4LP

Speakers: Hashi Mohamed, Ismael Lea South, other speakers TBC

The UK Muslim prison population has increased by almost 50% in the last decade. Muslims account for 5% of the UK population but 15% of the UK prison population. The statistics will shock many, however, the recent Lammy Review stated that "we simply do not know" why Muslims are overrepresented in prison.

Is there a link to social background with 50% of Muslims living in the 10% most deprived areas of the UK? Poverty impacts access to resources, educational attainment and employment chances, all of which are associated with an increased likelihood of involvement in crime. Could racial bias, Islamophobia and cultural stereotypes be affecting charging rates by police, and sentencing decisions by judges? Do we have epidemics of certain types of serious crime being committed disproportionately in Muslim communities? Or are offenders converting to Islam once in prison, and so skewing statistics?

Join us for this debate as our panel share their insights as to why the number of Muslims in UK prisons is increasing at such an alarming rate.


Chair: Ismet Rawat, President, Association of Muslim Lawyers

Ismet is the President of the Association of Muslim Lawyers. She is a barrister of over 23 years’ call with experience in front-line prosecuting (including in the higher courts), providing charging advice in police stations, policy-making at a senior level, training and facilitating and lecturing. She is a Visiting Lecturer at City Law School.

Hashi Mohamed, Barrister, No5 Chambers

Hashi is a barrister at No5 Chambers and a part-time broadcaster at the BBC. He presents documentaries on BBC Radio 4, most recently on access to the top professions, terrorism and how nations react, and also on unaccompanied children and their experiences in Italy. Hashi was called to the Bar in 2010 and practices in public law and human rights related cases, though his main area of focus is Planning & Environmental law.

Hashi is also a Special Adviser to Max Hill QC, the Independent Reviewer of terror legislation as he undertakes to review the United Kingdom's anti-terrorism laws

Ismael Lea South, Co-Director, The Salam Project

Ismael is the Co-Director of The Salam Project a social enterprise that currently co-ordinates ex-offenders drop ins, mentor recruitment and prison outreach services. This service assists offenders and ex-offenders apply for business start-up interest free loans, hardship grants, signposting, free accredited training, job coaching and job opportunities through various partners. This project is sponsored by Unltd & Faiths Forum For London. Through The Salam Project, Ismael is also working in partnership with The Feltham Community Chaplaincy Trust and The Zahid Mubarak Trust on mentor recruitment plus other outreach projects. He got involved in this work through his nephew and some childhood friends who became caught up in the criminal justice system.

Additional details

Free entrance. All welcome. Prayer space available. Street parking free from 18:30. Doors open at 18:45 and the talk begins at 19:00. If you have any questions, please contact the event organiser: