Jihadis keep waging jihad, even when in prison. Source: Muslim-meal trial underway; man who fatally shot soldier in Little Rock says prison should provide ‘halal diet’ h/t TROP
A federal judge began hearing testimony Monday on a state prisoner’s contention that the Arkansas Department of Correction is violating his right to religious freedom by refusing to provide him a “halal diet” in accordance with his Muslim religion.
In Abdulhakim Muhammad‘s view, meats from herbivorous animals that are slaughtered in accordance with a specific ritual are halal. Muhammad, a Sunni Muslim formerly known at Curtis Bledsoe, says “halal” means permitted and “haram” means prohibited. He believes haram food includes pork, meat from carnivorous animals, meat from other animals not properly slaughtered, and any food carrying haram ingredients such as gelatin, alcohol, pepsin, monoglycerides and diglycerides, and other animal byproducts.
“Mr. Muhammad sincerely believes as a practicing Muslim he must consume a halal diet,” according to his attorney, Jess Askew of Little Rock. Askew said that requires the daily eating of halal meats, which could be fish or other meats except for pork. He considers kosher meats, which meet the specific religious requirements for meat to be halal, to be an acceptable substitute.
The dietitian-developed meals the prison system provides three times a day for its 15,000 inmates in 21 units include a rotation of various meats as a daily protein source. Fish, in the form of tuna or mackerel, isn’t an everyday choice, and the other meats aren’t “halal certified.”
Muhammad has been imprisoned since 2012 for the drive-by shooting of two soldiers, one fatally, outside a military recruiting station in Little Rock in 2009. He pleaded guilty to capital murder, attempted capital murder and 10 counts of unlawful discharge of a firearm from a vehicle. He is serving life without parole.
For inmates who can’t eat pork on the days it is offered, an alternative meat is provided, she said. She said the department also provides common fare, or meatless, meals for inmates who don’t eat meat for religious reasons, and those meals are prepared in separate common fare kitchens to avoid contamination by other foods. She said they may not be kosher-certified, but she believes they are generally accepted as kosher.
Muhammad complained in a 2015 lawsuit that court decisions in 2002 and 2006 led the department to begin serving kosher food for inmates whose religions required it, but that it won’t accommodate him in the same way.
The prison system has about 1,700 Muslim inmates among the “dozens” of faiths represented in the prison population, according to testimony by Joshua Mayfield, administrator of chaplaincy services for the past three years. He said the department offers special accommodations for Muslim inmates, such as making a prayer service available every Friday, allowing them to participate in Ramadan and even providing a full-time chaplain who is Muslim.
Virtually all Muslim inmates are on a pork-free diet, Mayfield said, noting that those with additional needs are often placed on the common fare diet. He said he believes that the halal diet Muhammad requests is available through the prison’s current offerings, and that he hasn’t requested any specific purchases of halal food.
He testified that there are “several definitions of halal” and that while pork-free diets don’t satisfy every definition, “there are many other Muslim inmates for whom it does.”
Department Director Wendy Kelley testified Monday that the common fare diet was implemented because “the variety of religious diets that were coming through were becoming unmanageable.”
She noted that on forms inmates fill out to request certain diets, such as vegetarian diets, they cannot list which specific foods they want to eat — only those they can’t eat. This prevents them from demanding expensive foods such as lobster, she said.
In Muhammad’s case, she said, “his request has changed multiple times.”
But if his request is what she heard him testify to Monday, she said, citing his suggestion that a serving of fish simply be added to an otherwise vegetarian diet, “We could meet that,” she said. But she said she had previously understood his request to be that “he must have meat, and it must be halal meat,” every day.
“We have to provide what the nutritionist says is a balanced diet,” Kelley testified.
U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker is expected to complete a nonjury trial stemming from Muhammad’s lawsuit today.
This was no drive-by shooting as Arkansas Online writes. Jihad Watch reminds readers of the facts.
He murdered Pvt. William Long in accordance with his Muslim religion. In explaining how he came to carry out his jihad attack, Muhamma said: “So step by step I became a religiously devout Muslim, Mujahid — meaning one who participates in jihad.”
So much so he chose Mujahid as his middle name – although rarely used as the press almost unanimously blacklisted using it – and he stated the killing was jihad numerous times.