Community News V16-I10

Settlement reached over Halal Meals In Michigan prisons

The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) today welcomed the settlement of a lawsuit against the St. Clair County Sheriff to modify the religious dietary screening process at the county jail.

The lawsuit challenged the constitutionality of the jail’s religious dietary screening process after Aaron Utley, a former inmate at the jail, was denied a halal (Islamically permissible) diet request.

The policy required inmates of different faith backgrounds, including Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity, to pass a detailed test written by the jail that judged their knowledge of scripture in order to receive a religious diet. Utley was denied a halal food diet after receiving a “failing” grade on the Islam “test.”

The new policy that went into effect today eliminates the religious “test” and requires the jail to instead allow inmates requesting a religious diet to provide letters attesting to their faith by members of clergy and offer other evidence supporting the sincerity of their religious beliefs. It also allows the inmates an opportunity to explain the sincerity of their belief in their own words.

“We welcome the jail’s decision to modify the religious dietary screening policy to one that does not violate the constitutional rights of inmates of all faith backgrounds requesting a religious diet,” said CAIR-MI Staff Attorney Lena Masri.

Muslims join opposition to casino

REVERE,MA–Muslims joined other religious leaders in opposing a proposal for casino in the city of Revere. At a meeting held at the Revere Church last week they spoke out on the ill-effects of casinos on communities, the Boston Globe reported.

Gambling “brings hostility amongst people. It brings sin,” said Imam Sherif Shabaka. “If I lose my money or lose my house, what [do] I become? I become a person full of hatred and destruction to the society.”

Voters in this city of about 53,000 people are set to vote on the proposal on Feb. 25.

Fast-a-thon hosted at UCF

The Muslim Student Association at the University of Central Florida  hosted its annual Fast-a-Thon last week to raise awareness for women’s rights, homelessness and domestic violence, the Central Florida Future reported.

The event, themed, “Hungry Stomachs, Fulfilled Hearts,” will help feed women in a local shelter housed by ICNA Relief USA. For every person who pledged to fast for the day and abstain from eating, drinking and smoking, a sponsor donated money to the ICNA Relief Orlando Women’s Shelter.

The MSA hosted the event to break the fast with dinner and guest speakers, as well as a call-to-action. The MSA hoped to bring awareness for homelessness and domestic violence, as well as women’s rights.

A total of 245 people pledged to fast for the event. Many of them showed up for the event, and helped raise $1,108 through donations.

Naila Aslam-Khan appointed to Sanford board

The Sanford City Council has appointed Dr. Naila Aslam-Khan,OD, has been appointed to the city’s  Zoning Board of Appeals.


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