Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Censoring religion in prisons

"We are afraid to affirm the value of our own civilization. We are afraid to say that Christianity is a religion of peace and Islam isn't, and so have to make these outlandish gestures to appease the god of multiculturalism and relativism." So says Robert Spencer regarding the Bureau of Prisons' new policy of purging thousands of religous books from the libraries of our prisons (DhimmiWatch).

If the prison policy is to reject books that incite violence, it is undoubtedly only one religion that is usually affected. So rather than risking charges of discriminating against this one religion, the Bureau of Prisons has decided to discriminate againat all relgions. They are creating a small list of approved religious books that can be in prison libraries. All the rest--thousands of books--are being discarded.

Is this even constitutional? The ACLU will defend the "rights" of people to have child pornography and the American Library Association will fight against any effort to keep pornography away from children in public libraries, but will they fight to allow prisoners to have religious books? I'm not going to hold my breath.

I agree fully with Robert Spencer's assessment.

5 comments:

Robert said...

Prison by definition is a restriction of rights, so I don't see censorship being a particularly Constitutional problem. If they were to outlaw Islam in prisons, I think the issue would be more a political issue than a legal issue. My opinion is that the political firestorm wouldn't be worth it. Why? Well, of all the people in prison who become Muslim, only a few might become extremists. Of those extremists, only some might be violent. They're already in prison so...

Dennis said...

Robert,

First, I undertand what you're saying about "restriction of rights" but I think it is still highly problematic when religious books--particularly Christian books which may help to transform prisoners lives--are restricted simply because some Islamic books are violent.

Second, from what I've heard, the problem of prisons becoming breeding grounds for violent Islamic radicals is becoming a significant problem. We're not just talking about a few extremists.

Finally, doesn't it bother you when the government is going to draw up a list of "approved" religion books--even if it is for prison?

The solution is really quite simple. Just prohibit books that advocate violence--whether they are religious books or sociology books or fiction books etc.

Steve said...

I know that facts are not something you're deeply concerned with but do you have any evidence that the ACLU has taken a position on this case or are you just engaging in your usual smear tactics? Also, you might be interested in some of these facts (though I doubt it):
http://www.aclu.org/religion/govtfunding/26526res20060824.html

Steve said...

Sorry. Here is the link.

Dennis said...

Steve,

First, I checked the ACLU website before I posted and could find no reference to this issue regarding the removal of books from prisons.

Second, regarding your link. I was particularly intersted in the case the ACLU cited of Kitzmiller v. Dover. I've read that case. The ACLU was not siding with Christians as they claim. They were censoring Christians.

The whole case was over the fact that two short paragraphs were read before science classes informing students that not everyone agreed with the theory of Evolution that would be taught in class, and that there was a book in the library that would give the other side.

The ACLU successfully forced the school board to remove the reading of these two paragraphs so students could not be informed of a library book providing an alternative view!!!

That's not only violation of free speech but of freedom of religion as well. For the ACLU to list this as if they were fighting FOR Christians is blatently dishonest. So why should I trust their other citations?