(FARMINGTON HILLS, 1/11/17) â€“ The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) today announced the successful settlement of a lawsuit brought on behalf of several Muslim inmates over the denial of adequate nutrition during the annual month-long fast of Ramadan.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court â€“ Eastern District of Michigan Southern Division in 2013, challenged a policy that required Muslim inmates to sacrifice an adequate diet when they elected to participate in the Ramadan fast. Muslim inmates received as little as one-third of the recommended daily calories in Ramadan 2011 and 2012.
Since the filing of the lawsuit, MDOC has increased the amount of food it provides Muslim inmates participating in the Ramadan fast to satisfy the nutritional and caloric guidelines set forth in the United States Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Agriculture â€œDietary Guidelines for Americans.â€
The Court recently ruled that MDOC is not entitled to qualified immunity because â€œa reasonable official would have known that [receiving as little as one third of the recommended daily calories for the one month Ramadan period in 2011 and 2012] was insufficient to sustain Plaintiffs in good health and thus violates their First and Eighth Amendment rights.â€
â€œWe welcome the successful settlement of our lawsuit with the MDOC and hope that this case will send a message to correctional facilities nationwide to respect prisonersâ€™ rights to free exercise of religion and to be free from cruel and unusual punishment,â€ said CAIR National Litigation Director Lena F. Masri, Esq.Â Masri is the former Legal Director of CAIR-MI.
She added that CAIR offers an educational toolkit called “A Correctional Institutionâ€™s Guide to Islamic Religious Practices,” to help correctional officers and administrators gain a better understanding of Islam and Muslims.
SEE: A Correctional Institutionâ€™s Guide to Islamic Religious Practices http://www.cair.com/correctional_institution_guide.pdf
CAIR is Americaâ€™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 misiÃ³n de CAIR es mejorar la comprensiÃ³n del Islam, fomentar el diÃ¡logo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensiÃ³n mutua.
– END â€“
CONTACT: CAIR National Litigation Director Lena Masri, 248-390-9784,Â email@example.com; CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid, 248-842-1418,Â firstname.lastname@example.org; Attorney Shereef Akeel, 248-408-3660, email@example.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,Â firstname.lastname@example.org