Eid al-Fitr: Muslims Prisoners Enjoy ‘Sweet’ Ramadan in London Jails

Copyright IBTimes - Eid al-Fitr Muslim Prisoners

Muslims behind bars are getting sent parcels to celebrate the festival of Eid in prison.

More than 400 Islamic offenders serving time in London jails are being sent gifts to mark the end of a month’s fasting during Ramadan.

The parcels from London-based charity, the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) are going to four jails in the capital.

One prisoner spoke of how much gifts from outside were valued by inmates during their confinement.

He said: “We took many things for granted when we were outside these walls, and now the smallest of favours is like a breath of fresh air which you find yourself most humbled and grateful for.”

Charitable donations to the IHRC are funding the parcels, which each contain an organic tooth chew, a pocket sized prayer book and a packet of halal sweets – a traditional treat marking the end of Ramadan.

Abid Choudhry devised the scheme, last year. He explained Muslims in jail are often cut off from the spiritual life of their community beyond the prison walls.

“[Muslim prisoners] tend to be isolated from the community and they are also isolated from the religious calendar as it were and this is basically a small connection with the community and with that religious aspect of their life,” he said.

“I think Muslims want to help Muslim prisoners,” he told BBC.

“A lot of them accept, you know, that whatever the crimes may be of the individual they mustn’t be forgotten.

“They must be accepted within the community and that link must be maintained so a lot of people do come forward and we encourage them to come forward and donate generously to this project.”

A Prison Service spokesman said: “The Prison Service is committed to ensuring that the religious needs of all faiths are met and over the last few years a number of charities have started to give Eid packs to Muslim prisoners.”

Read the original article published in the IBTimes on Thursday 8 August 2013