I have a question… I am a catholic but I work as a corrections officer in a prison. Contrary to what most believe I have found muslims to be peacfull and extremely polite and respectful of woman. I believe that violating their religion is wrong so this often conflicts with my job. I do not know much about their religion and I try to make as manny allowances as I can.
Durring Ramadon last year I was often made fun of by other officers because I refused to pat search any muslim or in anyway interupt their prayers or touch their prayer rugs. I was hypervigilant about how thier food was made and refused to allow it to be cooked on any serface that meat had touched. I had made it clear to the man of that faith that once Ramadon was over that I had no choice but return to normal operations. However because I don’t know much about their religion feel that I violate it in some way in my day to day dealings and I feel guilty because it violates what I believe to violate their religion.
Right now if I walk in on them praying I do not bother them. I glance long enough to make sure of security and bow avert my eyes and walk away. I make sure that I do not touch their holy things when on my monthly and still refuse to touch the prayer rug rather I have them unfold it and then place it in a secure place where I won’t touch it inadvertantly.
Am I wrong to do this and is there more I don’t know about that I should be watching for. I am very resourcefull and can figure out how to do things and still maintain security.
Thank you but no thanks are ever needed for acting as one should. I still need to know where I can find out more. So I do not inadvertantly violate their laws or religion. I am not even sure that I am doing things correctly now.
one little extra question. Besides the obviouse what differance is there between our religions?? Seems the moral is the same.
I think you are doing a great Job. However you are too harsh on yourself . Let me help you as much as i can
1- You are right in that you shoudnt disturb muslim during prayer weather by touching or talking to him or her . However touching or holding or removing the prayer rug is no problem for you to do at any time . The prayer rug is not a holy thing in itself . It is simply a tool that they ensure that the floor or place on wich they ar epraying is clean . And even if they dont have a pryer rug if the surface is clean then there is no problem praying on the ground. Unless ofcourse its a extreemly cold or boiling hot or unpaved etc…
As in regards for food. Muslims cannot consume pork or any material from Pork along with any material or liquid that can make you drunk ( alkohol, wine etc)-. There is no problem for muslims to eat food cooked on surface that was used to cooking meat as in beef or chicken or fish . However surface that has stains of pork or liquor would be a problem.Muslims usually consume meat that is slain accordingly to the rules of Shariah ( called ‘‘Halal’’ meat) If there si no halal meat readily available then the next best option would be Kosher meat ( according to jewish law)
If you are in doubt and would like to just get your head of all this stuff best thing is to serve sea food . Sea food doesnt require any slaying and thus can be eaten as long as it is not mixed with any liquor or pork .
The Only book that you should be careful about toucing is the Quran since muslims should only touch it in a state of purity for women and men , however if there is other types of books lets say islamic history, islamic Jurisprudence, or any thing other than the Holy book itself then its allowed to handle as you wich no matter what state of purity one is in.
let me also assure you that even if you made some mistake that offended someone, the maximum he can do islamicly is to inform you politly about it .
You should be fair to yourself also and expect them to understand that you dont know about islam . They should understand this bythemselves and if they are keen about things they would tell you about any of their sensitivities as long as it can be reasonably accomodated .
You are doing a great job , they should be happy that you are their officer. May God bless you with an easy and happy life as you are trying to convey to others.
Caught me didn’t you. Yes I do love these people. They are special to me for some reason I can’t define. Thank you I have been so worried about violating their religion that I was beginning to dread the Ramadon which is comming up soon. I usualy enjoy it, as I find it peacefull. May God/Allah bless you and yours.
1- Dont believe that Jesus is God or the son of God. We believe he is a prophet of God to the people of israel to bring them back to the path of God and he is their messiah .
2- Dont believe Jesus was crucified
3- Dont eat pork or consume liquor
4- Believe that Muhammed was the last Mesenger of God, however jesus will come again before Judgement day.
5- Dont believe in calling on the saints in prayer or intercession
Thank you for bieng the Kind and loving person you are
I was wondering about that. I find it sad that the muslims are grouped in with the terrorists. Just like catholics grouped and judged by the priest who hurt those children.
While nothing was said by those of the muslim faith during the terrible time of 9/11 nothing was needed to be said as you could feel the sadness radiating off of most of them. You could see it in their body language and the langth of time they spent in prayer. When accusations were thrown at them from other officers and inmates they wouldn’t answer instead they bowed their heads and sat on their bunks just looking extremely sad.
When I have to do things at the prison such as security walks they never say much. When I ask them where they are keeping their religious articles and to move them so I won’t touch them they look at me surprised and that is when I start thinking perhaps I am doing something wrong by even mentioning it. But thank you for that information I was afraid to touch a Koran to get the answers because it felt wrong so I didn’t and the man that comes in for the muslims well he won’t answer my questions.
point in referance!! Yes they are in prison. Just as many Catholics and people of other faiths are. the fact is while I work on a yard of approximately 500 people only 5 are muslim. About 100 are catholics and the rest are of other faiths. Only one of the muslims has a violent record and that was for avoiding arrest he was caught because he stopped the car rather than run someone over. Care to know how many of the Catholics on my yard were convicted of violent crimes??? The point is this just because some are involved in violence does not mean the religion is one of violance. Just because we in our faith had a few who hurt children does not mean we have a religion of sex and violence. Being in prison does not make your religion less valid nor is it a reflection of your faith all it simply means is this #1 you sinned #2 you were caught #3 you are paying the price. in my past posts on this matter all I am doing is pointing out what I have witnessed contrary to what I have heard.
If you think you are better than those in prison think again they are human beings like you and me. Children of God capable of change. Yes they committed criminal acts but my job my calling is to recognise them first for their being human and children of God and treating them with respect that is due for that. Ever go into a prison??? Last year alone they donated, Donated when they make at the most 50 cents an hour over 200,000 dollars to charity that cloths and feeds the homeless. buys school supplies for children who don’t have them. I have seen them drain their meeger bank accounts for these worthy causes. It is people who stand in their way and judges them when they get out that purpatrates their relapses after all if they can’t get a job to support their families or themselves what do you think they will do???
I am sorry to come off like this but it makes me crazy when I hear this as if one person being violent or making a mistake makes their religion bad. Or that somehow being in prison makes them less than a person deserving of common courtesy or deserving of love that is due to them as human beings. I am sick of us telling them to get an education while you are here take advantage of the college courses available to them get active in your religion and then releasing them into the community where no one is able to look past the point that they committed a crime irregardless of the crime and denying the means to support themselves or their family in an appropriate fashion and then denouncing them for doing the only thing that will support them because they did try and were turned away. the point to this is they paid the price they tried to change and were denied by those who think they have the right to stand in judgement. I am not saying there are not bad people who refuse to change but unfortunatly the ones who would are grouped into one catagory. Kind of like that of religion.
I like this thread. And as we all know it’s all about what I like
I had such mixed feelings on the first post. I thought it was great to show such kindness. Then I thought why is a certain segment of the population in a prison being shown favoritism? Then I thought why are Muslims being targeted for special favor in prison? Isn’t it possible that people, any people, can use the outward appearance of prayer as a ruse for just not being disturbed? Is it possible that a prisoner might be doing just that? Or maybe I am just such a senile old flatulence and it’s all on the up and up and this is just a real life chicken soup for the soul moment. Who knows what’s the real deal?
of course there are practicing catholics in prison a lot of them. As with all religions I treat them all with respect as to their laws and beliefs. I am known to bend over backward to make sure they are respected. The reason I say muslims are special to me is because When all that 9/11 sadness happened I saw them persecuted, hated and thier religion violated in contrast when the bad stuff came to light about what priests did to children there was no real persecution, questions were asked but for the most part no ones religion was puposefully violated they were not grouped as the muslims were.
As for them converting in prison… The same amount of conversion happens with all faiths. Sadly there are not enough people of religion who volunteer to go to the prisoners. Who because of thier circumstances or vulnerable to begin with and are very needy. As for when they get out?? They paid the price and in theory repaid there debt to sociaty but are again victimized by our communities when judgement is passed and they are denied the jobs they need to support thier families. Tell me is this right???
The muslims as far as I have witnessed give the saying “if one slaps you on your face turn your cheek and offer it”. its true meaning.
Pointing to Muslims in prison as examples of outstanding Muslims is just really ironic and it struck me as yet another weak example of how people try to paint Islam as the ‘religion of peace’-- yes, peaceful convicts, quite convincing.
The *point *being, it is not the individuals *in *the religion that make it peaceful or violent-- as you will find some of both-- but rather what the religion actually TEACHES. And, Islam does not teach peace no matter how you try to deny it.
I did not say that I was better than anyone. You make a lot of assumptions. And, I specifically said that they should be treated with dignity as human persons.
I never said that a religion should be judged on one person being violent or making a mistake. Their religion should be judged on its merits alone-- and there is plenty of evidence to support my conclusion about Islam.
Please go back and reread the part where I said they should be treated with human dignity and Christian kindness. I guess you missed that part.
Well, now you are just off in left field. No one has advocated branding them with a C for Convict on their forehead and denying them a job when they are released.
Very good post! It’s what a religion teaches that really matters, and Islam does not teach peace, not the way we think of peace. The teachings of the Quran as seen here, promote violence towards anyone not accepting its message.
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