As Muslims fast this Ramadan and enjoy the heightened sense of spirituality the month brings, it is important to remember not all Muslims enjoy the same freedoms.
Prison is geared to be a time to reflect. Ramadan is an even greater opportunity for Muslim prisoners to strengthen their path to goodness. As part of our UK Development Programme we launched the Prisoners Project in 2012 to help ease prisoner's journey to reform.
This includes providing prisoners with the tools to practice their faith with ease. From providing prayer mats to Islamic literature, these simple resources will help our brothers and sisters with their rehabilitation during Ramadan.
Our Prisoners Project was a resounding success last year. With the support of our donors, we reached out to 3119 prisoners across London and the West Midlands. The campaign held a strong sentiment amongst our supporters. It showed us here at Muslim Aid of their unwavering compassion and further encouraged us to work even harder for our 2014 campaign, in order to reach more this year.
Muslims are tremendously overrepresented in the UK prison population. There are currently about 11,729 Muslim prisoners in England and Wales - this is 14% of the national prison population of 84,163 and 22% of the London prison population (2,623 Muslim prisoners), with some prisons having up to 40%. Sadly, these numbers continue to increase, yearly*
*all figures are correct as of 1st January 2014