Prison Imams

  • James A. Beckford
  • Danièle Joly
  • Farhad Khosrokhavar
Part of the Migration, Minorities and Citizenship book series (MMC)


Just as Muslim inmates in French and British prisons are diverse in terms of their background, their paths to prison and their attitudes towards the practice of Islam, so it is important to recognise that their spiritual and religious teachers, Imams, also conform to no single pattern. As Beckford and Gilliat (1998) showed, there were many different routes into the job of providing pastoral and religious care for Muslim prisoners. Many Imams in France and the UK are products of the numerous seminaries and colleges in Europe, South Asia, North Africa and the Middle East that train boys and men to become Imams. Some also train women to teach Arabic and Islamic values in a variety of settings. Their training aims to give them a sound understanding of the sacred texts of Islam, of Islamic law and of approved forms of religious devotions and moral life.


Prison Staff Halal Food Prison Authority Daily Prayer Male Prison 
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Copyright information

© James A. Beckford, Danièle Joly and Farhad Khosrokhavar 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • James A. Beckford
    • 1
  • Danièle Joly
    • 2
  • Farhad Khosrokhavar
    • 3
  1. 1.University of WarwickUK
  2. 2.Centre for Research in Ethnic RelationsUniversity of WarwickUK
  3. 3.Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences SocialesFrance

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