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3,200 Muslim Prisoners in Florida Denied Halal Meat

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    FL: MUSLIM INMATES SUE STATE OVER DIET Jackelyn Barnard First Coast News 1/4/07 http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/topstories/news-article.aspx?storyid=72629
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 6 9:15 AM
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      FL: MUSLIM INMATES SUE STATE OVER DIET
      Jackelyn Barnard
      First Coast News
      1/4/07
      http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/topstories/news-article.aspx?storyid=72629


      JACKSONVILLE, FL -- There are specialty stores that sell the foods
      that make up a Muslim or Halal meal.

      The goat, chicken and lamb look about the same as the meat you'd find
      in a grocery store, but it's not the same.

      "The Halal meat is prayed over according to their religious beliefs
      and their god Allah," said Safia Khalid, of the Shalimar Food Store.

      Meat that has specifically been prayed over is the only meat Muslims
      can eat.

      According to a lawsuit filed by a group of Muslim inmates, Muslim
      convicts at New River Correctional in Raiford and other prisons across
      Florida are not getting the proper meat or meals that go with their faith.

      "They are alleging that in violation of the First Amendment to the
      Constitution, they are entitled to receive the tenets of their faith
      and receive the Halal meal. Other inmates receive their dietary meal
      and they (Muslims) do not," said Randall Berg of the Florida Justice
      Institute.

      Berg is the inmates attorney. He said the five Muslim inmates made
      several requests for a Halal or Kosher diet and the requests were denied.

      First Coast News has learned a Kosher diet is provided for approved
      Jewish inmates.

      The Department of Corrections tells First Coast News there are two
      meal plans available for Muslims.

      The vegan, which excludes animal products, is one. The other is the
      alternate entree, made up of peanut butter or cooked dried beans.

      But the Muslim inmates want something else.

      "The Department of Corrections allows for Jewish inmates to receive
      Kosher food. They are not allowing Muslim inmates to receive their
      Halal meal," said Berg.

      According to the Florida Justice Institute there are about 3,200
      Muslim inmates in Florida.

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