Despite the fact that an imam testified that Islam excuses followers from praying in groups if it isn't possible, Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson has blocked the prison from enforcing its ban on any religious group from conducting daily group prayer meetings. She says the prison allows other group gathering for games and other activities so it shouldn't bar group gatherings for prayers. U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett says the government is considering whether to appeal the decision.
"This case deals with critically important issues that have significance both inside and outside the walls of our federal prison facilities," Hogsett said. "Our concern continues to be the safety and security of both our federal prison system and the United States of America."
Ken Falk, legal director of the ACLU of Indiana, noted Friday that witnesses testified prisoners were allowed for many years to pray daily while they were out of their cells, both in the multi-purpose room and throughout the prison "and it never caused any problem."
"To now argue that this somehow going to be a major security problem was incorrect," Falk said.
Lindh is serving a 20-year sentence for aiding the Taliban during the 2001 U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan.Similarly, Major Nidal Hasan, the Army psychiatrist who went on a terrorist rampage at Ft. Hood more than three years ago, killing 13 soldiers and injuring 30 more, has been making a mockery of military trial proceedings. It's unclear why military justice against him has been taking so long since it moves quite swiftly against non-Muslims accused of committing crimes. It's even more disturbing that the government refuses to call Hasan's act against his fellow soldiers a terrorist act despite the fact that he shouted “Allahu Akbar," a phrase meaning "Allah is greatest" as he gunned down American soldiers. The phrase is commonly uttered by jihadist while carrying out a terrorist attack. By referring to it as "workplace violence," the Army avoids awarding combat-related special compensation to the victims and prevents the victims and the survivors from receiving purple heart medals.
Hasan's trial has been met with numerous delays by lawyers defending him. Despite Army regulations prohibiting soldiers from wearing beards, Hasan insisted on wearing one during his trial as another way of mocking the American criminal justice system. Hasan was always clean-shaven during his time in the Army per regulations until now. “Your honor, in the name of almighty Allah, I am a Muslim. I believe that my religion requires me to wear a beard.” Ignoring his plea, Col, Gregory Gross, the judge hearing his case, ordered him shaved. Gross could not enforce his ruling, however, until Hasan had exhausted all of his appeal rights. An Army appeals court did not rule on Gross' order; however, it ordered Gross removed from the case, holding that he had displayed bias in his handling of Hasan's case. “Should the next military judge find it necessary to address (Hasan’s) beard, such issues should be addressed and litigated anew,” the judges wrote in their ruling. As a consequence, Hasan will no doubt be allowed to drag out the case for months and years more if a subsequent judge dares to rule that he must shave his beard.
WND cites other cases where American courts have bent rules to favor Muslims. A Muslim convert accused of committing bank robbery is granted a continuance of a hearing after he complains that it falls on the first day of Ramadan. The period of Ramadan extends for 30 days of a calendar year. Five al-Qaida terrorists accused of being involved in 9/11 attacks on American soil have similarly invoked the period of Ramadan to win delays in court proceedings with success. A Muslim woman charged with funding a terrorist Somali organization is excused from rising in the presence of the judge in her case in deference to her religious beliefs. Muslims inmates have also been successful in getting pork banned from being served to any inmates in U.S. prisons because Muslims complained that it was non-Halal food.