Muslim inmates have prevailed in a lawsuit against Rhode Island prisons. The state of Rhode Island settled a lawsuit filed in 2008 with dozens of Muslim inmates agreeing to serve them Halal meals.
The inmates alleged in the lawsuit that the state of Rhode Island refused to provide them with Halal meals and instead forced them to eat only vegetarian meals, which does not keep with their religious practices. Halal foods are foods that are allowed under Islamic dietary guidelines as specified by the Koran.
In the guidelines provided by the Koran, Muslims cannot consume animals that are not slaughtered properly, animals slaughtered in the name of a god that is not Allah, carnivorous mammals, pork or pork by-product, animals that were dead prior to slaughter, birds of prey, or alcohol. The strict policies on meat eating are part of the Koran’s teaching that animals should be treated well.
As part of the lawsuit, Muslim inmates also requested they be allowed to pray in a group and wear Kufi headwear outside their cell or mosque. The state rejected these requests citing security concerns.
The state prison is unclear how much meeting the dietary requests of inmates will cost.
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