What is the rule of law in the United States of America? Apparently, the same rule of law does not apply to all in the United States, even those who have been sent to prison for breaking American laws.
Now, standards set by Sharia law are accommodated by U.S. prison officials rather than requiring prisoners to abide by US law inside the prison.
From Statesman …
Texas prison officials cannot prohibit Muslim inmates from growing a beard up to four inches long or from donning religious head wear, a federal appeals court has ruled.
David Rasheed Ali, serving concurrent 20-year sentences for arson and aggravated robbery, filed suit seven years ago arguing that the tenets of his religion required him to wear a beard and a kufi, a knit skullcap.
When Ali sued, prison policy required inmates to be clean shaven, although those with skin conditions could grow a quarter-inch beard. Last year, however, Texas began allowing inmates to grow a half-inch beard as part of their religious practice after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that prisoners had a right to wear facial hair to express their faith.
Ali’s lawsuit continued because he was seeking to wear a four-inch beard and because he wanted to wear a kufi in all areas of prison, not only in his cell or during religious services as allowed by Texas prison policy.
Prison officials argued that a longer beard and kufi posed security risks, making it easier to hide contraband and more difficult to identify inmates — either by hiding tattoos and other distinctive marks inside prison, or by allowing escaped inmates to quickly change their appearance.
But in a ruling delivered Monday, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the Texas prison system’s grooming and religious head wear policies violated a federal law that protects the religious practice of inmates.
“Although we must respect a prison official’s expertise” on safety matters, Justice Edward Prado wrote for the court’s three-judge panel, the U.S. Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act requires policies that infringe on religious practice to be the “least restrictive” possible.
See the full story at Statesman –