The Muslims are a group of prisoners who actively work to salvage the African-American prisoners within Oz and rise up against the racial injustices of the criminal justice system. The group is made up of primarily African-American Sunni Muslims following the teachings of the Qur'an and the prophet Muhammad. Although the group consists of several Muslim African-American inmates across all units and blocks of Oz, their leadership and main operations is shown throughout the series as being based in Emerald City.
Throughout the duration of the show, they are led mainly by Kareem Said, with Zahir Arif and Hamid Khan assuming leadership roles in between internal disputes. The Muslims tend to remain on good terms with Oz's several inmates as they believe the system is unjust to everyone who is incarcerated, and mostly stay neutral in the face of other Oz prisoner groups and their long standing conflicts. Their few allies are attributed to Said's personal friendships, which include Tobias Beecher, Augustus Hill and Omar White.
Throughout the series, the Muslims primarily feud with the Aryan Brotherhood, whose extreme racial ideologies and violent practices go against everything that the Muslims believes in, and who also constantly harass Said's friend, Beecher. Their mutual hatred for each other eventually escalates into a dangerous war instigated by Said and Vernon Schillinger, due to a long-running personal violent vendetta in the latter half of the series. The Muslims also rotate between enemy and ally with The Homeboys, as the latter's violent ways and drug use go against the Muslim's religion and personal values, with the two groups only being brought together on the basis of shared skin color, as a few occasions came about when racial tensions caused prison-wide violence.
Despite the lack of control of anything legal or illegal in Oz, the Muslims are feared under Said's leadership as he proves himself through sheer cunning, charisma and perseverance to be one of the most powerful and feared inmates within Oz. Said also undergoes a fluctuating transformation throughout the series regarding violence, self-defense and suppressing his own aggressive tendencies, eventually cultivating in active hostilities with the Aryans and effectively influencing the Muslim's pacifist ways. Throughout the series, the Muslims work detail is in Receiving and Discharge.
Episodes Pertaining to The MuslimsEdit
Episodes that center around the Muslim Inmates of Oz include the following
- Episode 1.1 "The Routine" - Kareem Said arrives, takes charge and lets his presence throughout Oz be known.
- Episode 1.5 "Straight Life" - Said begins to experience hypertension at dangerous levels. McManus asks Kareem to help in stopping the drug trade where he then suggests the COs are dealing drugs in Oz.
- Episode 1.6 "To Your Health" - New inmate Huseni Mershah arrives and challenges Said's leadership. Kareem then has a heart attack after refusing to take his medication where Mershah refuses to help him.
- Episode 1.7 "Plan B" - Mershah is excommunicated for letting Kareem nearly die, Said receives a gun from new CO Gordon Wood, riot tension builds.
- Episode 1.8 "A Game of Checkers" - A riot breaks out in Emerald City and Said has the Muslims organize the other inmates to take over the cell block. They send out a list of demands which Oz's administration actually view as reasonable but Governor Devlin orders the SORT team to recapture the cell block. All the inmates are moved to Gen Pop except for Said and the riot leaders who are moved to Ad Seg.
- Episode 2.1 "The Tip" - As Alvah Case interrogates and accuses Said of Riot conspiracy, Kareem along with the other inmates successfully convince Case that the riot was the direct result of Governor Devlin's administration.
- Episode 2.2 "Ancient Tribes" - Em City is reopened where the Muslims initially refuse to take part in the new inmate council.
- Episode 2.4 "Losing Your Appeal" - After seeing that Augustus Hill's judge was imprisoned for accepting bribes, Said represents Hill to get a new trial but is unsuccessful as corruption evidence was not present at Augustus' trial
- Episode 2.5 "Family Bizness" - To get rid of a conspiracy to commit murder charge, Aryan leader Vernon Schillinger asks Said to represent him as his lawyer as a means of truly crippling the criminal justice system.
- Episode 2.6 "Strange Bedfellows" - Said relinquishes himself as Schillinger's attorney when it is discovered he is indeed guilty. Kareem then supports fellow inmate Jiggy Walker's claim that Governor Devlin bought Crack which turns out to be a lie.
- Episode 2.8 "Escape From Oz" - During the month of Ramadan, Governor James Devlin selects a Muslim inmate to be pardoned, Said is selected but publicly refuses, suspecting the Governor is using it to his political advantage.
- Episode 3.1 "The Truth and Nothing But..." - Attorney Arnold Zelman leads leads a class-action lawsuit against the state for the deaths caused during the Season 1 riot and Said begins a hunger strike when Tim McManus refuses to let the Muslims eat during night time in the month of Ramadan.
- Episode 3.5 "U.S. Male" - Said is revoked of his leadership when his sexual thoughts about a white woman are revealed and inmate Hamid Khan takes lead.
- Episode 3.7 "Secret Identities" - As Tobias Beecher's new cellmate, Kareem helps him resolve and forgive several problems with inmates he has previously had trouble with. This makes Said a target of the Aryans as they see he is not around the Muslims anymore but he and Beecher are saved by the Muslims when a fight breaks out between them, Chris Keller, and the Aryans.
- Episode 3.8 "Out o' Time" - Racial Tension inspired by Homeboy Simon Adebisi brews after Hamid Khan goes braindead in a boxing match, Zahir Arif takes charge of the Muslims and a race riot nearly erupts.
Season 4 Part IEdit
- Episode 4.2 "Obituaries" - The Muslims and Homeboys pressure Warden Glynn to fire Tim McManus and hire an African-American Unit Manager, Said is asked by gay inmate Jason Cramer to help him get a new trial.
- Episode 4.3 "The Bill of Wrongs" - The civil trial against the state is victorious, African-American community leaders led by Said's sister request that Glynn hire an African-American Unit Manager.
- Episode 4.5 "Gray Matter" - New inmate Supreme Allah, a Five Percenter challenges both the Muslims and Homeboys leadership while new Unit Manager Martin Querns shows favoritism to Adebisi and disdain for the Muslims.
- Episode 4.7 "A Town Without Pity" - Sickened by the way in which Emerald City is ran under Adebisi and Querns, Arif asks Said to lead the Muslims once again, Said then goes to Tim McManus asking for help to bring down Adebisi.
- Episode 4.8 "You Bet Your Life" - Said finds videotapes pertaining to the corruption inside of Emerald City done by Adebisi and his followers, as a result Glynn fires Querns and rehires McManus. Angered, Adebisi attempts to murder Said but is killed by him in self-defense.
Season 4 Part IIEdit
- Episode 4.10 "Conversions" - Homeboy Leroy Tidd attempts to convert to Islam but is rejected by Said and a new war begins to brew between the Muslims and Aryans. McManus also has Said try to be on peaceful terms with new Homeboy leader Burr Redding.
- Episode 4.13 "The Blizzard Of '01" - Tidd now converted as Salah Udeen confesses his plot to murder Said that Kareem somehow knew about the whole time. A murder attempt made by Carl Jenkins results in Tidd's death angering Said to convict Robson.
- Episode 4.15 "Even the Score" - Angered by Tidd's death and a lack of evidence to convict James Robson, Said hospitalizes Robson and a threat of lockdown is issued against both the Aryan and Muslim inmates.
- Episode 4.16 "Famous Last Words" - Supreme Allah dies, Said warns Vernon Schillinger not to interfere with Tobias Beecher's parole and then is charged with attempted murder in a stabbing of Schillinger and Robson.
- Episode 5.1 "Visitation" - Said pleads guilty to attempted murder charges, Arif's wife dies in a bus accident, and Said is brought into interaction sessions by Sister Pete with Beecher and Schillinger.
- Episode 5.2 "Laws of Gravity" - Said at the request of McManus sponsors troubled inmate Omar White helping him become rehabilitated while in Oz.
- Episode 5.4 "Next Stop: Valhalla" - Zahir Arif and the other Muslims complain about White's troublesome behavior, Said turns down a request to protect an acquaintance of Tobias Beecher, Said accuses Schillinger of raping various inmates in an interaction session, and Aryan inmate James Robson murders new Muslim inmate Ahmad Lalar.
- Episode 5.5 "Wheel of Fortune" - Angered by a lack of evidence to convict Robson, Said assures the Muslims that Robson's day of reckoning is approaching. Said's leadership is then questioned when Robson reveals to Omar White that African Muslims support slavery. Said then beats down White when he finds him selling drugs to Reggie Rawls for Burr Redding only to end up in solitary. Arif then has the other Muslims ignore White who is now targeted for execution by every Em City inmate.
- Episode 5.6 "Variety" - Omar White comes through in the singing program and Said then tells the other Muslims that he has ignored telling them about African slavery as it did not fit their ideal description of Blue Eyed White Christians enslaving Blacks. He then claims he is a violent man and this was made present murdering Simon Adebisi, an African man who mocked everything Said wanted a Black man to be.
- Episode 5.8 "Impotence" - Amused by Robson being kicked out of the Brotherhood for receiving a Black Man's gums, Arif leads the Muslims in mocking him. Omar White goes to solitary then after protecting Said by attacking Wolfgang Cutler who agreed to kill Said to earn Aryan membership.
- Episode 6.3 "Sonata da Oz" - Said helps Burr Redding get started in a telemarketing business, then helps publish deceased inmate Augustus Hill's journal in Oz and then dies at the hands of a reporter named Lemuel Idzik in the visiting room.
- Episode 6.6 "A Day in the Death..." - The printing press operation does not go well under Arif's leadership and is destroyed courtesy of Burr Redding.
- Episode 6.8 "Exeunt Omnes" - Arif confesses to his part in the destruction of the printing press and is excommunicated from the Muslims.
As the Muslims are a main group, they are featured prominently in many more episodes as well.
Characters murdered by The Muslims in OzEdit
- Julio Martinez: Neck snapped in self defence by Tizi Ouzou, which was a set up with Ryan and Healy. (1997)
- Simon Adebisi: Stabbed in self-defence by Kareem Said. (2000)