Lindh Lawyer Wants Contempt Ruling over Prison Prayer Guidelines

Muslim inmates not being allowed to pray together, defying judge's verdict


Lawyers for American Taliban fighter John Walker Lindh asked a federal judge Wednesday to find the Federal Bureau of Prisons in contempt for not allowing Muslim inmates in a high-security Indiana prison unit to pray together five times a day, as required by their faith.

The prisons agency has said inmates of all religions housed in the Terre Haute federal prison's Communications Management Unit have been allowed to pray together three times daily after a federal judge ruled in Lindh's favor in a lawsuit seeking the prayers.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana argues in its contempt motion filed in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis that three times a day isn't what Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson's Jan. 11 ruling required. Magnus-Stinson said Lindh, 32, sincerely believes Islam mandates Muslims pray together five times a day and federal law requires the prison to accommodate his beliefs.