Roanoke Prison Agrees to Find Muslim Chaplain

October 7, 2005

Source: Roanoke Times

On October 7, 2005 the Roanoke Times reported, "Officials at Wallens Ridge State Prison have taken steps to accommodate Muslim inmates who complained about not being allowed to pray at the maximum security prison. Some inmates also claimed they received death threats from a guard who had recently returned from military service in Iraq with a hatred for Muslims. Both issues were discussed during a recent meeting between prison officials and the Council on American-Islamic Relations, according to Noman Bajwa, civil rights coordinator for the group. Bajwa said he was assured that prison officials would look for a volunteer chaplain to monitor Friday services for Muslims. That would allow the gatherings to be held in the prison gymnasium, as they are for inmates of other religions. Prison officials also agreed to provide small towels for Muslims to use as prayer rugs, which previously had not been allowed outside their cells. As for the guard accused of threatening inmates, Bajwa said he was told that the state Department of Corrections had taken disciplinary action."

See also: Islam, Prisons