The Crescent Report

April 30, 2010

Muslim Prisoners Targeted for Punitive Incarceration Units

Filed under: From the Desk of Imam Mahdi Bray — Imam Mahdi Bray @ 1:43 pm

MAS Freedom and the Center for Constitutional rights are challenging the US bureau of Prison use of Communication Management Units which have been primarily designed to add additional punitive measures to Muslims prisoners. Check out the piece below.

Imam Mahdi Bray

Quote of the Day: “You can judge a society by

Muslim Prisoners Targeted for Extraordinary Punitive Incarceration Units, Holy Land Foundation Prisoners Moved to CMU Facilities

MAS Freedom Joins CCR In Opposing “Communication Management Units”

Today four Holy Land Foundation incarcerated prisoners have been moved by the US Bureau of prisons to Communication Management Units. Over the last several years, the United Sates Bureau of Prisons has created extraordinary detention units inside the federal prisons in Terre Haute, Indiana and Marion, Illinois.  These facilities-innocuously denoted as called “Communications Management Units”-are not designed to merely listen to how detainees communicate with each other. Instead, they function as punitive facilities inside the prison to prevent inmates from speaking Arabic during their prayers, from having normal visitation and telephone privileges, from access to religious books and materials, and even preventing them from any form of physical contact with their loved ones during infrequent family visitations.

While the BOP claims that these units are not built to discriminate against Muslim inmates, some 65-72% of inmates confined in the CMU’s are Muslims.  The reasons for individual assignment to the units are not divulged to the prisoners, and inmates are not told what, if anything, is required for them to be taken out of the Communications Management Units and returned to the general prison population.

MAS Freedom is collaborating with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) to share information about these units to the national Muslim community, as well as advocate for a lawsuit filed on March 30th, 2010 by five current and former CMU inmates against U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. The plaintiffs are demanding that the rights of inmates be respected in these units-and ultimately, that the units be dismantled.

Imam Mahdi Bray, MAS Freedom Executive Director, noted that the American Muslim community should take great interest in challenging these special detention facilities “because they restrict religious practices, and impose unwarranted hardships and restrictions on inmates for no reason other than their faith identity.”  Bray stated further that well-known Muslims, including defendants in the Holy Land Foundation case and “Paintball 11” members have been assigned to confinement in these units.

MAS Freedom will also continue to reach out to members of Congress about these conditions inside the prisons, so that the misuse of these monitoring units and their discriminatory nature and impact on Muslim inmates is eliminated.

the way it treats it prisoners”

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