Muslim prisoner sues over pork

Muslim prisoner sues over pork October 14, 2010

A NEBRASKA prison inmate is suing Lancaster county for a quarter of a million dollars. The devout Muslim alleges he was served pork while in custody – violating the rules of his religion.

In the slammer: Dario Scott was jailed for dealing coke
Court records said that 48-year-old Dario Scott follows dietary restrictions that bar Muslims from eating pork and that in March while awaiting trial, he was assured that pork was not served in the Lancaster County jail.
But, according to this report, he was later told that pork was an ingredient in some of the jail food.
Scott says in his lawsuit that he was sickened by the pork and that his rights to practice his religion were violated.
Scott is serving three-to-five years in prison for cocaine distribution.

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  • JohnMWhite

    While prohibitions on ‘unclean’ animals like pigs or shellfish or whatever are naturally daft and based on pure superstition, people are still entitled to practice their religion by law, even if they are in prison. I doubt it was done on purpose, but the jail, as a public institution (ok they are likely privately contracted out in the US but they are an extension of the state in some form) they have a legal responsibility to not infringe on someone’s capacity to practice their religious beliefs, whatever their religion, as long as it does not harm someone else. Hence freedom of religion, even for convicted criminals serving their sentences. We cannot pick and choose when to stick to principles like freedom of religion.
    On the other hand, Halal only requires that Muslims avoid non-permissible foods when realistically possible. Accidentally eating pork would not actually be a violation if he genuinely did not know it was in the food. So he shouldn’t really be sickened, he’s off the hook, and it just seems to be a matter of trying to get the prison to be more careful.

  • Marcus

    So, where in the Koran does it say it’s okay to peddle drugs? Where does it say it’s okay to condemn others to a life of abject misery because YOU, Dario Scott, wanted to make money out of their addiction?
    The man’s a heartless criminal who clearly thinks that while he couldn’t give a flying toss about others, the rest of us should have absolute respect for him and his beliefs.
    I’m sorry, but fuck you, Dario.

  • David Anderson

    @ JohnMWhite. Absolutely but what I can´t understand is how does a quarter of a million dollars or one dollar make it right?

  • JohnMWhite

    Yeah, I don’t really see how money fixes a spiritual issue like that either.

  • hissing sid

    At least the pork didn’t poison him, unlike the coke he as dealing. Surely its haram to pedal drugs, oh wait the taliban are experts at that.

  • Harry

    Actually, prohibitions on pork are actually based on science, but simply rendered obsolete now that we can cook pork well enough that it doesn’t kill us. Storing it frozen also helps.
    What I wonder, though, is who told him about these ingredients. I could well see a guard in a bad mood deciding to lie that he had been fed pork and then deny having said it later. It’s like having a badge saying how to wind you up.

  • ZombieHunter

    Was he distributing halal cocaine??
    seriously I’m fucking sick of prisoners suing over conditions in jail, they get free TVs and playstations in their cells and on top of that they have mobile phones smuggled in illegaly so they can phone their dealers and arrange for deliveries of drugs to be brought into jails, it’s the cons who control the jails and then they wonder why jail doesn’t work, I could rant about this for ages 😛

  • L.Long

    As the sheriff says:
    Don’t like the treatment then don’t do crime here!
    As soon as the 250K was mentioned you can tell he’s a schite head looking to make money, he could care less about the pork. If he cares so plucking much about his BS religion, well crime is against his religion as well and it didn’t stop him from doing that, so his own actions make a lie of his words.

  • Let em eat cake

  • Broadsword

    If the Lancaster County Jail governor adopted the attitude of the character in this clip, perhaps Scott the no-win-no-fee compensation parasite would’ve just kept his head down and done his time. Anyone remember this?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClrD_OOCaoI

  • Erp

    The amount of damages is probably to ensure that the prison doesn’t do it in the future (I suspect someone found it very funny to make a Muslim eat pork). Note also he was awaiting trial at the time, he had not yet been found guilty.
    People raised in a culture that considers a particular animal as ‘not food’ may well feel revulsion if they think they have eaten such an animal (for many westerners, consider eating rat or dog).

  • Think or GTFO

    Pork is worse than cocaine. I see.

  • Maggie

    I know a muslim who unwittingly ate some tiny bacon bits which were in her soup. She didn’t freak out but just said it would be okay as she didn’t mean to eat it. So this guy is just after the money.
    BTW, it’s interesting to learn that dealing in coke is permitting in his religion otherwise he’d have to sue the growers, the middlemen, the buyers, etc.

  • Har Davids

    It’s kind of hard to take complaints like these seriously, as the ‘defendant’ cares more about the damage he ‘suffered’ because of some pork, than he did about what happened to the people he sold his coke to. I know Muslims who unwittingly ate pork and I know people who use coke on a regular basis and the former never complained about it, because they didn’t feel they’d suffered. A kick in the nuts for this guy!

  • barriejohn

    Let them eat coke.

  • Angela_K

    One piece of vermin might have eaten pork versus the misery caused to many by cocaine – and this is a tough call?

  • Freeminder

    $250,000 is to appease a drug dealing rugbutter because somebody put pig in his food trough? And this is more important than the rather obvious fact that he is a cocaine dealer? Hmmm.
    Bearing in mind how many Muzzie warriors went into battle stoned out of their little craniums on whatever they could get, it does seem that the $ is more important here than the convicts supposed hurt ‘spirit’. Can’t break what doesn’t exist….More likely he just wants the cash.
    Meanwhile the prison should send him on a course to make him more tolerant of others, perhaps on a pig farm. After all, the pigs probable have more brains.

  • Harry

    I once asked a muslim colleague about smoky bacon crisps, which you may know are so artificial that they’re actually suitable for vegetarians. He replied that he would treat it like real bacon and make sure his mother never found out.

  • Neuseline

    My son’s wife, a Muslim, asked me for the recipe of a chicken dish I had cooked because she liked it so much. As it contained white wine (I tend to double the quantity prescribed) I thought it better to “forget” her request. The dish would not have been quite so good without.

  • sailor1031

    A “devout” muslim would have a beard, no? Does he pray five times a day in his cell facing towards Mecca? Must have been a quiet day for the ambulance-chasing good ol’ boys down at the courthouse to take this one on!

  • Carasek

    As Harry alluded, this is actually quite an interesting subject regarding Islam.
    There are sound scientific reasons for not eating certain types of food if you can’t keep it, store it or cook it without minimising any risk of illness, infection or parasites. Islam picks on pork, carrion and blood seemingly for this reason (no actual reason is offered):
    2:173 He hath forbidden you only carrion, and blood, and swineflesh, and that which hath been immolated to (the name of) any other than Allah. But he who is driven by necessity, neither craving nor transgressing, it is no sin for him. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
    So, 2:173 does allow for Muslims to eat proscribed food if they are not eating it out of choice. Therefore arguably there is no absolute requirement for the State to provide halal food in order for Muslim prisoners to keep within their faith.
    Anyway, not eating pork is probably a good rule of thumb if you happen to live in the Middle East circa 600AD (because of the parasites, mainly). However, those risks can now be minimised by better animal husbandry, storing, treating and cooking of the food given modern technology and knowledge. So the basis for that rule is no longer valid and it’s pretty obvious that the rule is out of date, yet Muslims still follow the rule. Why?
    Well, you have to submit to all elements of the Koran as a Muslim, for one. But while I know a lot of Muslims who won’t eat pork for this reason, they seem to think it’s ok not to follow 4:89 quite so closely:
    4:89 They long that ye should disbelieve even as they disbelieve, that ye may be upon a level (with them). So choose not friends from them till they forsake their homes in the way of Allah; if they turn back (to enmity) then take them and kill them wherever ye find them, and choose no friend nor helper from among them
    If Muslims want to now why we dislike their beliefs and their religion so much, they only have to read the Koran.
    You can’t borrow money to buy a house, have a flutter on the Grand National, sip a cold beer on a hot day or tuck into a bacon sandwich in Islam, but you can rape your slaves with Allah’s blessing:
    4:24 And all married women (are forbidden unto you) save those (captives) whom your right hands possess. It is a decree of Allah for you. Lawful unto you are all beyond those mentioned, so that ye seek them with your wealth in honest wedlock, not debauchery. And those of whom ye seek content (by marrying them), give unto them their portions as a duty. And there is no sin for you in what ye do by mutual agreement after the duty (hath been done). Lo! Allah is ever Knower, Wise.

  • I don’t think that prisons should be required to modify the food they serve to accommodate superstitious religious beliefs. It would do Muslim and Jewish religious extremists good to be forced to eat pork and see that it is harmless.

  • L.Long

    The jail should announce what is on the menu and its contents.
    Then the person can have a choice…
    Eat or not-eat, they are choices.

  • Broga

    Are these the religionuts who regard dogs as “unclean”? They have some weird ideas. I suppose with a source of guidance such as the Koran you have to expect craziness.

  • Anonymous

    As he is an American prisoner, chances are his religion is “Nation of Islam” or some variant, and chances are good that he found that religion after he was locked up.
    And also, this is not an isolated incident. Prisoners file a lot of religious freedom-type suits. When you have nothing but time, and few ways to control your circumstances, it’s not surprising. This is a great blog that covers a lot of the cases (see “Recent Prisoner Free Exercise Cases”)
    http://religionclause.blogspot.com/
    (Yes, it’s a nuisance. Yes, the dietary laws are stupid. But I also speculate that his 3 to 5 year sentence hints that he was actually very small time and got caught up in the War Against Drugs. US sentencing is draconian, and the prison industry is completely illiberal and out of control)
    When society considers religious re-awakening to be a virtue, an indicator that you’ve been reformed, they aren’t in a position to complain when prisoners split hairs on the technicalities…

  • William Harwood

    When it was discovered, in quite recent times, that eating undercooked pork can cause trichinosis, religion addicts invented the pretence that the priestly caste that concocted the no-pork taboo were aware of the health risks.
    The reality is that the Priestly author of the oldest parts of Leviticus prohibited Jews from doing anything he deemed too Babylonian, as part of his plan to make Jews and non-Jews hate each other too much to intermarry. Since Babylonians ate pork as the sacramental body of the sow goddess, therefore Jews could not.
    The connection between eating undercooked pork and health risks was still unknown in Mohamad’s time. The rugbutters plagiarized Jewish taboos so that they would not seem less masochistic, and therefore less holy, than Jews.
    see God, Jesus and the Bible, pages 134, 179.

  • Stonyground

    In my opinion, instead of Kosher or Halal menus prisons should offer vegetarian menus. We would soon seperate the sheep from the goats with regard to those who abstained from various meats because they were devout and those who were just being awkward.

  • Broadsword

    @Stony
    That’s a cracking suggestion.
    It’ll save money through reduced overheads and health benefits for the inmates. Has this been done anywhere before?

  • Harry

    Never mind Trichinosis, undercooked pork is the most reliable way to get diarrhoea short of actual laxatives. That is probably the basis for the pork taboos since people wouldn’t want to explain what eating pork did to them.

  • Bob Hughes
  • elainek123

    Troy Davis has spent 19 years in prison and evidence has come to light regarding witnesses statements, but a Judge has now said he must not be released. Worrying about someone who says they are a Muslim when we know he is saying this to get priviledges. Although I suppose he might be as he is peddling drugs. I lost a loved one to drugs at 22 years, this man should not be given any consideration.
    Perhaps they should give him heroin instead of pork.Religion is a joke anyway an excuse for commiting evil. I would put him in a cell and feed him pork for a week.

  • Thoreau

    Mr Scott looks exactly like a black version of the actor John C. Reilly. Only bald, but you get the idea.
    I mean, it’s uncanny.
    http://0.tqn.com/d/movies/1/0/H/7/N/talladega07260112.jpg

  • outraged