Requiring judo contestants to bow before a picture of the founder of the Japanese martial art does not violate freedom of religion, a federal judge ruled.
In a 13-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik said three Seattle-area residents could be required to observe the ritual while participating in competitions.
James and Leilani Akiyama, 17 and 14, and Jay Drangeid, 40, had fought the rule, saying it amounted to a religious ritual being imposed on them. A 1997 injunction has allowed the three to compete in U.S. judo matches without performing the ritual.
"Virtually any restriction or regulation imposed by a public accommodation could impinge upon a person's religious beliefs," Lasnik wrote in dismissing the injunction Thursday…
"…We have a half-dozen Muslim kids who want to compete in the state championships coming up Jan. 26 and they can't compete because of their religious beliefs," Holm said.
Competitors in judo, which has its roots in Shintoism, bow several times during competitions, usually to a portrait of Jigoro Kano, the Japanese founder of the sport. Bowing is mandatory in international competitions.
A man who critically wounded a Muslim worshipper at a Memphis mosque nearly two years ago has been found innocent by reason of insanity and ordered to a mental institution for at least 60 days.
Brent Fong, 28, was charged with shooting and wounding mosque member Najeh Abdel-Karim, 28, during a confrontation outside the house of worship the morning of June 20, 2000.
Abdel-Karim sought refuge in the mosque - Masjid Al-Noor located near the University of Memphis - and his attacker fired into the building after him, police said…
"…He was tremendously disturbed," said psychologist Dr. Lynne Zager, who said she feared for her safety when interviewing Fong three days after the shooting. "He was psychotic."
A federal grand jury indicted leaders of the militant Jewish Defense League on Thursday on charges of plotting to bomb the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Los Angeles, the King Fahd mosque in Culver City and a field office of U.S. Rep. Darrell E. Issa (R-Vista).
Irv Rubin, the JDL's national chairman, and Earl Krugel, the group's West Coast coordinator, could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted on the most serious charges in the nine-count indictment.
The pair, arrested by the FBI last month, were charged with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction against a U.S. government office, which carries a maximum life term. They also face charges of conspiracy,
possession of a destructive device, attempted arson, possession of illegal weapons, and soliciting another JDL member to carry out the bombings…