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Ohio Muslim Inmates Sue Over Meal Preparation
by Andrew Welsh-Huggins
A death row inmate says the Ohio prison system is denying him meals prepared according to Islamic law -- known as halal -- while at the same time providing kosher meals to Jewish prisoners, according to a federal lawsuit that alleges a civil rights violation.
Condemned inmate Abdul Awkal says the prison system's failure to provide the halal meals is a restraint on his religious freedoms.
Awkal, joined by a second inmate not on death row, says the vegetarian and non-pork options offered by the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction aren't good enough. The inmates say the food must be prepared in specific fashion, such as ensuring that an animal is butchered by slitting its throat and draining its blood, to conform with Islamic beliefs.
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