Inmate Sues USA Over 'Muslim Pants'


TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (CN) - A Muslim inmate filed a class action against the Federal Bureau of Prisons, claiming that Islam prohibits Muslim men from wearing pants below their ankles, but his prison prohibits him from hemming pants above the ankles.
     Yahya "John" Lindh sued the directors of the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the warden of the Terre Haute federal pen, in Federal Court.
     The lawsuit states: "Yahya Lindh is Muslim and it is a clear tenet of Islam that Muslim men are prohibited from wearing pants below their ankles. Despite this, it is a formal policy of the Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons that 'Islamic inmates may not hem or wear their pants above the ankle.' This policy imposes a substantial, and unjustified, burden on the religious exercise of Mr. Lindh and all Muslim prisoners with the Federal Bureau of Prisons and violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act."
     Lindh also objects to the strip-search policy imposed for visits.
     He seeks an injunction and costs.
     He is represented by Kenneth Falk, and by Gavin Rose with the ACLU, in Indianapolis.