Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism
At 1%, Muslims are still a small percentage of the population. But there’s one place in America where they are vastly over-represented.
Take Maryland, which has an estimated 70,000 Muslims, making up over 1% of the population. But of Maryland’s 18,562 prisoners, 5,084 were Muslims.
That’s 27.4% or over 1 in 4 prisoners.
It would also mean that 1 out of 13 Muslims in Maryland may have been in a state prison.
Those are startling numbers, yet they come from Muslim Advocates, an Islamist legal advocacy group. Both MA’s numbers and the number of Muslims in different states may be miscounted, yet these figures raise serious questions about public safety and the toll that immigration is taking on our communities.
While Maryland’s numbers are some of the worst, MA lists similar figures for Washington D.C. where out of 5,219 prisoners, 1,232 were Muslims, so that once again 1 in 4 prisoners were Muslim.
D.C. does have one of the largest Muslim populations in the country, numbering between 2 and 3 percent. Even taking the highest estimate, 6.5% of the Muslim population in D.C. was in jail in 2017.
Muslims make up 1% of the population in Pennsylvania, but 1 in 5 of its prisoners.
Of the 48,438 prisoners in Pennsylvania, 10,264 were Muslim. That’s 8% of an estimated statewide Muslim population of 128,000, meaning that 1 in 12 Muslims in Pennsylvania were in prison in 2017.
In 5 states, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, Muslims make up 1 out of 4 or 1 out of 5 prisoners.
In another 4 states, Wisconsin, Missouri, Delaware, and Arkansas, they make up 1 in 10 prisoners.
That’s a total of 9 states in which Muslims make up between a quarter and a tenth of state prisoners.
The MA numbers are incomplete because the Islamist group only includes information from 35 states, but they do point to the scale of the problem of what Muslim Advocates call, “overrepresentation”.
Overrepresentation may be partially a product of the success of Islamic Dawah or missionary activity in prisons. Islamic prison Dawah has produced many converts and at least some terror plots. And it may serve to explain high Muslim prison numbers in some states, but not necessarily in others.
Delaware is a fairly small state with a population of under a million and a Muslim population of 10,000. Nevertheless, of its 5,235 prisoners, 516 were Muslims. That’s not only around 1 in 10 of the prison body, but also around 5% or 1 in 20 Muslims of the statewide Muslim population of the First State.
The Muslim settler population is usually at around 1% in the country and its varying states. But in only two states, South Dakota and Idaho, was the Muslim prison population at 1% or below.
The overall population, as MA noted in its partial numbers, was 84,882 or 8.9% of prisoners.
Combine all those Muslim prisoners into a city and you have a population larger than Youngstown.
The MA report also claims that 12% of federal prisoners are Muslims. (CAIR in the past had claimed that it was only 6%.) The current federal BOP population is 177,619. That would mean over 21,000 prisoners.
And over 105,000 Muslims are prisoners in state and federal prisons.
Using Pew’s growth estimate, which projects that the Muslim settler population will reach 8.1 million by 2050 (a severe underestimation of actual growth), that would mean a quarter million Muslim prisoners.
This is not just an abstract statistic. It’s a compilation of human misery, lives lost, futures taken, a litany of abuse, loss, assault, and the accompanying taxpayer expenditures on trials, prisons and free lawyers.
The current cost of incarcerating Muslim federal prisoners is taking $670 million a year from taxpayers.
By 2050, the cost could climb to over $1.5 billion.
In some states, inmate incarceration costs are much higher than they are in the federal system. In New York, inmate incarceration costs run to $69,355 per inmate. There were 7,838 Muslim prisoners in New York in 2018 at a cost that approaches $550 million. By 2050, New York would also be spending billions.
Maryland is already spending over $225 million on its Muslim prisoners. Michigan is spending an estimated $265 million. New Jersey is blowing through around $250 million on Muslim inmate costs.
Texas spends $191 million on its Muslim inmates. Wisconsin is on the hook for $113 million a year. North Carolina taxpayers face a $160 million Muslim inmate bill. Missouri taxpayers shell out some $70 million. In Illinois, it’s up to $180 million. Florida is blowing through $93 million. Georgia spends almost $30 million. And Connecticut is forced to spend over $100 million and Ohio spends $90 million.
Even tiny Delaware is stuck spending $20 million on its Muslim inmate population.
Pennsylvania taxpayers have the worst of it and are spending $438 million on Muslim prisoners.
These numbers however are based on average inmate costs. Muslim inmate costs may be higher due to their special needs and special circumstances.
Nidal Hassan, the Fort Hood Jihadist who murdered 13 Americans, ran up $548,000 in costs.
But even these extremely incomplete numbers suggest that the federal cost plus the cost in 15 states approaches $3.5 billion. Assuming average state costs across the total population would mean a $2.8 billion cost to the states. (Although this is an extremely inaccurate means of calculating these figures.)
But it does mean that by 2050, the nationwide bill for Muslim incarceration would approach $10 billion.
Estimating the projected increase of Muslim prisoner populations can be tricky, but the rise in Muslim crime documented by the MA report still appears to be disturbing.
In Colorado, the Muslim share of prisoners doubled between 2010 and 2018.
In Utah, the number of Muslim prisoners doubled, and in Georgia, they tripled between 2011 and 2018.
In Michigan, the number of Muslim inmates rose by almost 1,000 even as the general prison population fell by 4,000.
In Missouri, the number of Muslim prisoners increased by over 800, even as the general population only rose by 600.
D.C., Indiana, and Minnesota, saw share increases of between a quarter and a third. In Kansas, the Muslim prisoner share rose by a fifth.
Texas added over 1,500 Muslim inmates even as its overall number of prisoners fell by 10,000.
These are worrying numbers in an era where crime numbers and arrests have been declining. And they forecast the future of states which have consented to refugee resettlement without calculating the harm and expense that migration will inflict on their people, their children and their future.
In British prisons, the proportion of Muslim prisoners rose from 8% in 2002 to 16% in 2018.
As a report to the British parliament noted, aside from Muslims, “no other religion had a higher proportion of representation in prisons than among the general population.”
We have begun seeing similar numbers in the United States.
As the debate over immigration continues, we must ask ourselves difficult questions about the price we are willing to pay to welcome in one particular group without caring about the cost to ourselves.
How many thousands of lives, how many billions of dollars, are we willing to pay?
And is diversity worth the price?