A 29-year-old Muslim inmate, Rashid Kambarov, had filed a lawsuit against prison staff in Oregon for not serving him meals that comply with his religious beliefs, according to the Oregonian. The suit alleged that Oregon Department of Corrections staff did not provide him meals that were halal, or prepared in an Islamic tradition. Halal meat is typically certified, similar to the Jewish meal practice of keeping kosher.
The department said it provides both meals without meat and kosher options, which also satisfies halal requirements as alternative food options. The suit said that vegetarian options, which are typically halal, provided to Kambarov were cross-contaminated with pork, a forbidden food in strict interpretations of Muslim practice.
Kambarov said that he witnessed the staff handling the vegetarian options and salami, a pork product, at the same time, and that knives used to cut vegetables were also used to cut ham. The suit said he was also served soup that he later found out had pork in it, according to the Oregonian.
The suit claimed that Kambarov’s 14th Amendment rights and protections under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act were violated. Kambarov is a Turkish national and was convicted of first-degree rape in 2015. He is serving a 100-month sentence.