Skip to comments.Va. inmate's win in suit against government a rarity
Posted on 05/16/2011 5:02:48 PM PDT by La Lydia
Rashid Qawi Al-Amin succeeded where thousands of Virginia prison inmates before him have failed: He prevailed in a lawsuit against the government. Al-Amin won a settlement with the state that forces the prison system to supply him, and the Greensville Correctional Center library, with Muslim reading materials, CDs and DVDs. He'll also receive $2,000. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's office decided to settle the seven-year legal battle after a series of court rulings in Al-Amin's favor. The state admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement but did agree to perform eight different acts to satisfy Al-Amin's claims.
The case highlights a trend among state and federal prisoners, many of them converted Muslims, fighting for their rights to practice their faith.
In 1989, Al-Amin, then known as Donald Tracey Jones, was convicted in Norfolk Circuit Court of murder and use of a firearm, and sentenced to 52 years in prison...
The settlement calls for the Department of Corrections to spend up to $2,500 on Islamic library materials for the Greensville Correctional Center, where Al-Amin is housed. The department will also hire a Muslim inmate to work in the library. And inmates at Greensville will be allowed to donate religious materials to the library, subject to security review. Al-Amin was even allowed to submit his own list of Islamic reading materials, movies and CDs.
The department also agreed to allow Al-Amin to use his religious name and to allow inmates to assist in the preparation of religious meals. Finally, the department agreed to pay Al-Amin $2,000 to cover the costs he expended fighting the suit, mostly for filing fees and postage...
I know what is coming for me saying this but . . . .
If he is a Muslim and they had no Koran or other Muslim reading materials, the jail should have lost the suit. If a jail had no Bibles or Christian reading material, it would be wrong. Its wrong if the jail has no Muslim materials. Now none of the materials should be terroristic (I know, I know, the Koran is full of violence) but if we let them do this, it opens the door for them to deny other materials to other religions.