In the News: Prisoners’ Rights

Earlier this month, a Muslim civil rights groups raised concerns about the mistreatment and harassment of a Muslim woman inmate in Kansas. According to Muslim Advocates, correctional officers referred to her ḥijāb headscarf (which had been given to her by the prison chaplain) as a “rag” and as “contraband,” and ordered her to remove it to be able to leave her cell to get her medication. Staff attorney Nimra Azmi (who, as an HLS student, participated in Prof. Rabb’s Digital Islamic Law Lab) called the behavior of the prison guards “a clear violation of federal law.”

The SHARIAsource Portal contains summaries of numerous US court cases related to prisoners’ rights, including the right to wear a kufi, attend daily congregational prayers in the prison chapel, get married and consummate the marriage for “religious” reasons, and be offered ritually-slaughtered ḥalāl meat as opposed to just a vegetarian meal option. For many more cases, please see the Portal.