US prison upholds right to Muslim inmate beards, caps

2016-05-04 10:18
iStock

iStock

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Dallas - A federal appeals court panel has upheld a Texas prison inmate's right to a beard and skullcap as required by his religious beliefs.

In a 32-page opinion filed on Monday, a three-judge 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals panel in New Orleans unanimously upheld a lower-court ruling that David Rasheed Ali should be allowed to grow a 4-inch beard and wear a knit skullcap, called a kufi, as his faith demands.

Ali is a Muslim inmate at the state's Michael Unit in East Texas near Palestine, where he is serving four concurrent 20-year prison sentences for arson, criminal mischief and aggravated robbery.

The opinion written by Appeals Judge Edward Prado said that the Texas ban on inmates having 4-inch beards and religious headwear outside a cell or religious service violates a 2015 US Supreme Court ruling in an Arkansas inmate's case.

Texas officials had argued that its ban was needed for security purposes, that beards and caps could facilitate the smuggling of contraband and distort the identities of inmates and potential escapees.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice, which operates the prison system, is reviewing the ruling, said spokesperson Jason Clark. The department declined further comment.

In the Arkansas case, the Supreme Court ruled that a Muslim inmate could maintain a half-inch beard because prison officials there could not substantiate its security claims. In the 5th Circuit Court opinion, Prado wrote that experts called by Texas to support its security claims were not credible and that beards and caps would still be subject to search.

Read more on:    us  |  religion

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Man scores date with tennis superstar after Twitter bet

It’s a modern day Cinderella story, but one American man took ‘shoot your shot’ seriously in 2017.

 
 

You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.