Past Events

The City Circle is an open circle for open minds

Supporting Young Prisoners and Ex-Offenders


Speakers: Abdul Lashire, Imam Abdullah Awes, Ismael Lea South, Maqsood Ahmed OBE

Date: Friday 7 October 2016

Time: 18:45-20:30

Venue: Abrar House, 45 Crawford Place, Marylebone, London W1H 4LP


Event Details:

The percentage of Muslims in prisons exceeds by three times their representation in the wider population. There is growing evidence of the particularly acute difficulties faced by Muslim prisoners returning to mainstream society and, as a consequence, their vulnerability to negative influences. Young British Muslim prison leavers are also more likely to reoffend.

The trend of Muslim women in prison is also something which has come into significance in the UK over the last decade. Some choose not to believe that Muslim women in prison even exist, as the subject is embroiled in stigma, taboo and shame. There is the attitude that these women are ‘bad eggs’ and should not be discussed or supported, let alone rehabilitated.

Join us for a panel discussion on how we provide more support to young prisoners and help ex-offenders to settle back into society.



Abdul Lashire (also known as Abztrakkt) is an inspiring ex offender who has made positive changes in his life. He has been busy getting involved in mentoring, human relief work and a spokesperson for UK ex offenders issues. He is passionate about setting up more opportunities for ex offenders around the UK. Due to his experience, he is known to advise some organisations on effective ex offender programmes. In his spare time he is a published poet who conveys and express social issues through his poetry. He believes that working together is the key.

Imam Abdullah Awes is a community chaplain for the Feltham Community Chaplaincy Trust. He has been working on the ground to connect UK Muslim institutions, statutory organisations to work in partnership with The Feltham Community Chaplaincy. He is one of the chief coordinators of the Mentor programme to assist ex offenders when they are released. He is passionate about mentoring young people to become better people and community work. In his spare time, he volunteers for some youth and community projects in west London.

Ismael Lea South is the Director of The Salam Project. He currently coordinates an ex-offenders drop ins, mentor recruitment and prison outreach service. This service assist offenders / ex offenders to apply for business start up interest free loans, hardship grants, signposting, free accredited training, job coaching and job opportunities. This project is sponsored by Unltd & Faith Forum For London. Through The Salam Project, Ismael Lea South is working in partnership with The Feltham Community Chaplaincy Trust and Plias Resettlement company to 2 separate outreach projects. He got involved in this work through his nephew and childhood friend who became caught up in the British criminal justice system.

Maqsood Ahmed OBE became the first Muslim advisor appointed to Her Majesty’s (HM) Prison Service in 1999. In 2003 he was awarded the title of OBE for his work on managing and improving inter-faith relations of the prison population and successfully opening up the Prison Chaplaincy to all faith communities. Subsequently he moved on to become a Senior Advisor for the Home Office and the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) where he contributed significantly to the Governments aims for cohesion and preventing terrorism at the grassroots level.

Maqsood is the Director of Community Development at Muslim Hands, a charity that works with male and female Muslims in prison.


Additional details:

Free entrance. All welcome. Prayer space available. Street parking free from 18:30. Doors open at 18:45 and the talk begins at 19:00. If you have any questions, please contact us on