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CAIR-MI Leads Lawsuit of Jewish Man Denied Kosher Meals at Macomb County Jail

(FARMINGTON HILLS, MI, 07/06/2020) – The Michigan chapter of Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI), a local chapter of the nation’s largest civil liberties and advocacy organization, today announced its appearance as counsel on behalf of a Jewish man who was denied a religious Kosher diet while being housed at the Macomb County Jail in 2017.

In November 2017, Plaintiff Brandon Resch was transferred from Oakland County Jail, where he was receiving a Kosher diet, to Macomb County Jail. He requested a Kosher diet at Macomb County Jail, had an interview with their chaplain, and was denied a religious Kosher diet by the jail because he didn’t have the ability to write to a Rabbi and obtain a “letter of good standing.”

CAIR-MI has filed a notice of appearance as legal representative of the Plaintiff Brandon Resch in the lawsuit.

“Under no circumstances do a person’s religious rights depend on whether or not they are a member in good standing of a religious organization,” said CAIR-MI Staff Attorney, Amy V. Doukoure. “Macomb County’s policy of requiring an individual housed in its jail to contact a religious leader — at their own expense and when they may not have access to phone numbers and addresses — to obtain a letter  of ‘good standing’ prior to being afforded a religious diet places an undue burden on the individual’s religious practice in violation of the Constitution and the law.”

She added that it is CAIR-MI’s position that it is important to protect the religious liberties of members of all faiths and the Muslim civil rights organization views this case as a matter of importance to members both the Jewish and Muslim communities who observe dietary restrictions based on their fundamental religious beliefs.

The Washington-based civil rights organization offers an educational toolkit, called “A Correctional Institution’s Guide to Islamic Religious Practices,” to help correctional officers and administrators gain a better understanding of Islam and Muslims.

SEE: A Correctional Institution’s Guide to Islamic Religious Practices
https://www.cair.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/A-Correctional-Institution%E2%80%99s-Guide-to-Islamic-Religious-Practices.pdf

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

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CONTACT: CAIR-MI Staff Attorney Amy V. Doukoure (586) 943-8823, adoukoure@cair.com

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