Judge Says Texas Violating Muslim Rights by Not Putting Enough of Them in Prison

“I have never found anyone who committed a violent crime while he was praying on his knees.”


Texas is violating Muslim rights by not putting enough of them in prison. At least in rural areas. That prevents them from practicing their religion.

The Texas prison system is violating the rights of Muslim inmates with rules that make it all but impossible for them to freely practice their religion, a federal judge has ruled. In the ruling made public Thursday, U.S. District Judge Kenneth Hoyt, said there are not enough Muslims in Texas, especially in rural areas, to meet the prison system’s criteria for Muslim inmates to hold services and conduct related activities.

By contrast, he said, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice illegally favors Christian inmates because there are ample civilians and chaplains of that faith in the state to conduct services in prisons. “The TDCJ knowingly adopted a policy it knew would impose requirements on Muslim inmates’ religious services that could not be satisfied by volunteers or overcome by Muslim inmates,” Hoyt said.

Hoyt’s ruling requires the state to return to the 1977 agreement, which allows inmates more than an hour of religious activities and to have services without a prison clergy or civilian religious supervisor present.

Allowing prisoners to conduct their own services unsupervised is problematic when the religion in question routinely incites violence and dehumanizes non-Muslims. Would Christian Identity groups be allowed to conduct unsupervised inmate services?

Ed Mallett, a Houston attorney who represented inmates in the case for decades, said Hoyt’s ruling was a victory for anyone who believes religion helps wrongdoers turn around their lives.

“I have never found anyone who committed a violent crime while he was praying on his knees,” Mallett said. “I have never found anyone to commit a violent crime while sitting to be instructed in the word of our Lord or standing in praise.”

They get up off their knees and begin cutting throats. That's Islam. If Mallett would like to know more, he can stop by Pakistan for a brief and enlightening education.

Of the state’s 151,139 inmates, 6,775 expressed a preference for the Muslim religion, according to statistics in the judge’s order. That compares with 88,504 who have expressed a preference for the Protestant faith and 31,432 for the Catholic faith.

Those are crazy numbers because they mean that even though Muslims make up less than 1 percent of Texas while Catholics make up 21 percent, Muslims are disproportionately overrepresented in prisons.