Muslim inmates in UK to get new beddings after sniffer-dogs searches

October 9th, 2008 - 1:46 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Oct 9 (ANI): The UK Government has reportedly decided to give fresh beddings and clothes to Muslim prisoners after their cells are combed by sniffer dogs, because they consider the animals unclean and often the dogs saliva gets dropped on the beddings.
The new jail policy emerged after an illegal immigrant awaiting deportation at Dover prison asked its bosses to clarify the rules on sniffer dog searches. In reply to the letter in prisoners magazine Inside Time, the British Ministry of Justices Rosemary Hanna wrote: We are aware that if dog saliva comes in contact with the clothing or religious artefacts of a Muslim, it renders these items defiled. As such, a prisoner must be allowed to change clothing if this occurs.
Hanna added: Dogs used to search cells should not be allowed to touch holy books and artefacts. The prisoner should be allowed to identify and remove religious artefacts from their cell so that the supporting staff can search them by hand before the cell is searched. It is also good practice to issue prisoners with a clear plastic pouch to cover holy books and artefacts. Also, bedding should be changed where the prisoner feels that it has been defiled.
The row erupted after some Muslims argued they should not be touched by sniffer dogs trained to spot terrorists at railway stations.
The Muslim inmates demand that their bedclothes and prison uniforms must be changed according to Islamic law if they have come anywhere near dog saliva.
The Muslim prisoners are also handed special bags to protect their articles, including Quran.
Meanwhile, prisoners belonging to other communities are incensed by what they claim is special treatment. It seems ridiculous that staff have to go out of their way to treat these prisoners differently. Some of the other inmates are not happy that they have to make do with the same old bedding, the Daily Express quoted a source at Dover prison as saying.
John Midgley, the co-founder of the Campaign Against Political Correctness, added: If people think others are getting different treatment, they are bound to be upset. Perhaps the only fair way to do this is to allow everyone to have their bedding changed.
Philip Davies, Tory MP for Shipley in Yorkshire, said: Another way for people not to have their cells searched for drugs is not to commit crime in the first place. If you commit a crime and go to prison, there are certain things which you expect to happen. (ANI)

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