Imam and the Pastor Screened Inside British Prison
Twenty young men,
all ‘doing time’ at Her Majesty’s Young Offenders
Institute, Rochester, walked quietly into the multi-faith room and sat
down in front of a TV screen. Ten Muslims and ten Christians had been
selected by the prison’s chaplaincy team to watch The
Imam and the Pastor.
Five members of the chaplaincy team also attended the screening.
Sarah Tranter, Pastoral Care and Faith Alliance
Manager, welcomed the film-makers and encouraged the audience to share
their observations in a discussion after the film.
watched attentively. When the film ended,
Shaffiq Din, Muslim chaplain, took the chair, and invited thoughts or
comments. Hands went up immediately:
‘This DVD has
taught me not to pre-judge people.’
‘You can learn
from each other.’
that you shouldn’t separate yourself from others until you know what
they are about.’
‘Deep down I
don’t believe I can do that [forgiveness], but it’s good to see that it
who contributed. He said that for him ‘this film sums up what Islam
teaches and it sums up what Christianity teaches.’ He asked
everyone what changes could comes into their lives after watching it.
broke for lemon
squash and biscuits. Conversation was lively. One
inmate we chatted with spoke cogently about the inconsistency and the
folly of ‘war on terror’.
questions. The prisoners asked what had motivated us
to make the film, how people reacted when we chose Nigeria as the
location and how the film had gone down in the House of Commons. We
answered that the discussion in prison was better!
with handshakes and smiles and salams and continuing conversation, even
as the lads were led out.
Channer and Imad Karam