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CAIR Files Suit Challenging Islam-Specific Policy Restricting Maryland Inmates’ Religious Rights

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/18/18) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today announced the filing of a federal lawsuit on behalf of six Maryland inmates challenging an Islam-specific practice of restricting the religious exercise rights of Muslims throughout the Prince George’s County Department of Corrections system. 

Muslim inmates in Prince George’s County have been prohibited from gathering for congregational prayers (jummah) or otherwise participating in Islamic religious services. Inmates of other faiths, however, have been allowed to congregate regularly, in prayer and for religious study. 

“Legislation and our Constitution give inmates of all faiths strong protections to practice their religion,” said CAIR’s Litigation Director Lena Masri. “Prince George’s County has not only violated the rights of Muslim inmates, but has also treated Muslims differently than inmates of other faiths.” 

“It is illegal and unconscionable for a prison to discriminate against inmates because of their faith,” said CAIR Maryland Outreach Manager Zainab Chaudry.

The lawsuit seeks damages and a change in the policies and practices of Prince George’s County.

A copy of the complaint can be found here:

http://www.cair.com/Case-8-18-cv-00160-PJM.pdf

Because of the rise of anti-Muslim sentiment, CAIR recently launched an app to share critical “know your rights” information and to simplify the process to report hate crimes and bias incidents. For a quick download of CAIR’s civil rights app, click here: http://www.cair.com/app

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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CONTACT: CAIR National Litigation Director Lena Masri, 248-390-9784lmasri@cair.com; CAIR Senior Litigation Attorney Gadeir Abbas, 720-251-0425gabbas@cair.com; CAIR Maryland Outreach Manager Zainab Chaudry, zchaudry@cair.com, 410-971-6062; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726ihooper@cair.com

 

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