Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, runs from May 15, to June 14, this year. It’s an interesting holiday, during which adults who are healthy are expected to refrain from consuming food or drink while the sun is up.
But according to a judge in the state of Washington, the state prison must provide inmates who claim that they’re celebrating Ramadan special treatment, even if they failed to properly register for it in a timely manner. These Sharia compliant meals for criminals are just another example of how even prisons are being forced to bow to the demands of tiny segments of the population. Many taxpayers are sick and tired of it.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, commonly known as CAIR, sued the Washington Department of Corrections, demanding that they provide nighttime meals to all Muslim inmates. Literally hours after the case was filed, U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton sided with the Islamic advocacy organization.
Shocking though it may seem, the suit was filed based on allegations made by four criminals who claimed that they were practitioners of the Islamic faith. Yes, four prisoners who are being held in the Washington State Reformatory claimed that they weren’t being fed meals after the sun went down and before the sun went up.
According to the Islamic organization, the average weight loss due to the prison’s alleged refusal to serve the desired meals was as much as twenty pounds.
The lawsuit also stated that the Washington Department of Corrections had a policy of requiring that people who needed Ramadan meals were supposed to sign up for the meals by January.
However, some of the four prisoners listed in the lawsuit said that even though they had signed up for the meals, they never received them at the appropriate time.
Lena Masri, who serves as CAIR’s national litigation director, claimed that the failure to kowtow to religious demands for four individuals put them ‘at risk’, and called the policy “Monroe Correctional Complex’s shameful starvation policy.”
She also suggested that the DOC was ‘brutalizing’ people for practicing their faith, a fairly common claim in suits brought by her organization in the past.
Jeremy Livingston was one of the men named in the suit. He is serving 22 months for a hit-and-run, as well as a vehicular assault. He said that he entered the prison in March, and that even though he requested the meals well after the cutoff date, he never received them.
Another plaintiff, Naim Lao, who is serving three years in the prison after a conviction for vehicular homicide, claimed that he was eventually added to the list for Ramadan meals, but only after fasting for eight days.
He also said that they threatened to force feed him after he became ill from not eating.
Jeremy Barclay, a spokesman for the department, said that they were immediately responsive to the order handed down by the courts, and that the prisons took the health of their inmates very seriously.
According to Judge Leighton, the prison’s refusal to bend over backward for a handful of Islamic prisoners was likely violating the inmates’ right to be free of cruel and unusual punishments, as well as federal statutes written to protect the rights of prisoners to continue practicing their faiths (within reason.)
Last month, the same Muslim advocacy group sued Alaskan prison officials in another U.S. District Court, claiming that the meals they were given did not have enough calories, or that they contained pork.
They said that the meals only contained about 1,500 calories over the course of any given day, and that some of the bags of food contained pork, which practicing Muslims cannot eat.
In his written order, U.S. District Judge H. Russell Holland said that fasting Islamic inmates had to be provided with meals, daily, in line with their religion, which contained 2,600 calories or more.
In most jails and prisons, there’s a set meal schedule. There’s a reason for this, too.
Prisoners will make weapons out of everything and anything. Trays can be used to bludgeon, or snapped and turned into shanks, for an easy example.
Due to this, the prisons try to limit when people have trays and utensils to a handful of times a day. Additional feedings on a strange religious schedule requires changes in guard schedules, changes in rooms utilized, and more.
Should the state punish these individuals because they’re Muslim? Not at all. However, that doesn’t mean that the prison system should be rearranging itself around the demands of tiny minorities of prisoners.
What’s next? Meals served five times daily for those who claim that’s what they need for their diet? Steak and potato meals daily for those who claim that’s part of their religion?
Further, CAIR has a long history of questionable practices, including allegations that they assisted in funding the terrorist-connected Muslim Brotherhood. It seems somewhat absurd that an unindicted co-conspirator from the Holy Land trials is lecturing anyone about ‘civil rights.’