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'American Taliban' wins right to group prayer in prison
January 14th, 2013
07:06 AM ET

'American Taliban' wins right to group prayer in prison

By Mariano Castillo

The man known as the "American Taliban" won a legal fight that will allow him and fellow Muslim inmates to gather for daily prayers.

A federal judge ruled Friday that the warden at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, was violating John Walker Lindh's rights by not allowing the religious activities.

Lindh argued that before 2007 Muslim prisoners were allowed to pray together for at least three of Islam's five daily prayers. Since then, with the exception of the holy month of Ramadan, the Muslim prisoners are allowed to gather only once a week.

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Islam • Prayer

soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. Confused

    Why can't you pray to who or whatever you want to pray to, in prison or out of it? Has the "slipery slope" fallacy gotten us all to the point where we must police every and all internal monologue?

    January 15, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
    • Saraswati

      The issue of group prayer is different – it involves complex logistics and security risks.

      January 15, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
  2. It is Called

    All media channels have to get the message straight.
    Which one below is true ?
    Creation Adam and Eve/bible ?
    or
    Human Evolution ?
    Clue below.
    A pebble and a cave....
    The Oldest Rock In The World Tells Us A Story ... larger rock, and when scientists checked, it turns out this little grain formed around 4.4 billion years ago. ... After all, this planet, geologists say, is only 4.5 or 4.6 billion years old.
    http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2013/01/10/169047159/the-oldest-rock-in-the-world-tells-us-a-story

    January 15, 2013 at 7:57 am |
  3. allah meharban to gadha pehalwan

    .

    January 14, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
  4. there is no other truth but truth absolute, and truth absolute is LORD AND GOD OF THE WORLD.

    STOP THE MAYHEM
    NOT BY RELIGION, BUT BY THEEN ALLAH
    NOT BY THE WILL OF A MAN BUT WAY OF ALLAH
    ISLAM IS NOT A RELIGION
    BUT
    THEEN ALLAH, CONST ITUTION OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE
    WHY?
    ISLAM IS NOT A RELIGION, RELIGATED BY A HINDU CRIMINAL KING AS ALLAH, BUT NEITHER COMMAND IN HOLY QURAN, NOR BY HIDET, LIMITATION BY SYADANA MOHAMMD, PBH. ANY ONE BELIEVING OR LIVING BY, WHAT WAS NOT COMMANDED BY ALLAH THE MERCIFUL, DENIES ALLAH THE MERCIFUL AND CAUSE OF MAYHEM AMONG HUMAITY. ANSWERABLR IN COURT OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE ALLAH ON DAY OF JUDGEMENT.
    WORD RELIGION OR MAZHEB DOES NOT EXIST IN HOLLY QURAN OR IN HIDET, BUT THEEN ALLAH. CONST ITUTION OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE. RELIGION’S ARE HINDUISM, CRIMINALITY OF HINDU JEW’S, CRIMINAL SECULAR’S, IN DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE TO DIVIDE CHILDREN OF ADAM AND EVE, HUMANITY, ‘HIS’ DESIRE, IN TO HINDUISM, CLASSES AND SECTIONS TO HATE EACH OTHER ON PURPOSE, AND TO DENY HUMAITY THEIR EQUALITY AND CHOICE, GIFT OF OUR LORD, OUR CREATOR ALLAH THE MERCIFUL
    OBEY NO ONE AND NONE, BUT WHAT HAS BEEN COMMAND TO BE A MUSLIM BY ALLAH THE MERCIFUL THROUGH HIS MESSENGER SYADANA MOHAMMAD PBH, IF ONE IS A MUSLIM? NOT JUST BY RECITATION OF KALAMA, BUT REPETATION OF KALAMA, AS COVANANT WITH ALLAH, THE TRUTH ABSOLUTE TO HAVE SKINAH, ISLAM, PEACE OF HEART, AS IT IS COMMANDED, BUT NOT A RELIGION.
    BOW TO TRUTH ABSOLUTE ALLAH, NOT TO A MAN
    THINK AND ACT, BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE

    January 14, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • Agnes Ostic

      If it weren't for the all-caps, I really couldn't tell the difference between hinduhater and LyinglyLame.

      January 14, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Agnes, they share the same condition but if you've read a lot of posts, hinduhater is further. Along and probably not on any meds at all, while LL has periods of lucidity and appears to receive some treatment.

      January 14, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      LL, on very rare occasions, has actually came out with some insightful comments.

      January 14, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • FROM THE DESK OF SYADANA MOHAMMAD

      I'M SYADANA MOHAMMAD AND I APPROVE THIS MESSAGE

      January 14, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • wejie

      100% guaranteed fake posing as Muslim.

      January 14, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
    • there is no other truth but truth absolute, and truth absolute is LORD AND GOD OF THE WORLD.

      What makes you say so hindu' ignorant, may be your hinduism, stupidity.

      January 14, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
    • Al

      Idiot.

      January 14, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
    • there is no other truth but truth absolute, and truth absolute is LORD AND GOD OF THE WORLD.

      hindu

      January 14, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
    • Al Jr

      Agreed dad !! the guy is an idiot

      January 14, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
    • wejie Jr

      100% guaranteed fake posing as Muslim.

      January 14, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
    • there is no other truth but truth absolute, and truth absolute is LORD AND GOD OF THE WORLD.

      only in hinduism, imagination of a hindu, stupid.

      January 14, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
    • wejie Sr

      100% money back guarantee of fake posing as Muslim.

      January 14, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
  5. Logically Speaking

    In keeping with the legal philosophy espoused by Hobby Lobby and their Christian supporters, isn't it a violation of this guy's freedom of religion to stop him from suicide-bombing a school bus?

    January 14, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • Clyde

      Tell us more, O logical one, how not wanting to be legally required to buy someone's birth control is the same as killing people.

      January 14, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Clyde

      I concur.

      January 14, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • The Truth

      I think he is relating one crazy with the other crazy, and yes, both suicide bombing a school bus and refusing to include contraceptives in an employers health care plan are crazy.

      January 14, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • sam

      No, because bombing a school bus is very late term abortion.

      January 14, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Forcing a private business to pay for their employees' birth control is crazy.

      January 14, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • lol??

      It's a law that one must have Presidential Powers to throw people under a school bus.

      January 14, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • The Truth

      "Forcing a private business to pay for their employees' birth control is crazy."
      Then I guess "forcing" me to drive 65 mph on my way to work is crazy.
      Forcing me to pay income taxes that go to pay the share of religious organizations tax exempt status is crazy.
      Forcing me to pay taxes that are used for wars I don't agree with is crazy.
      Forcing me to obey laws decided upon by the democracy in which I live is crazy...

      Everything is crazy!! AAAaaaaacccccckkkkkkkk!!!!!!!!

      January 14, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • lol??

      Progressive never met a law that they thought wasn't worth ye ol' college try.

      January 14, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Well, income tax is crazy and any law which doesn't maximize every citizens' liberty is crazy.

      January 14, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • Rynomite

      "any law which doesn't maximize every citizens' liberty is crazy"

      So why do you equate a company with a citizen? Because last time I checked Hobby Lobby is a company and not a citizen. However it employees citizens whos rights are being protected by the law.

      January 14, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Businesses should be afforded the same right as citizens. I also fail to see how birth control coverage under all insurance plans is a right. It's a privilege, one which Hobby Lobby doesn't wish to supply.

      January 14, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Rational, Rights are just creations of a human society. we created this right, so it exists.

      January 14, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      And it's because of 'rights' like this that America is dying. Whatever happened to individualism, free enterprise and the American dream? We might as well just start calling ourselves the Soviet Union 2.0.

      January 14, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • Fallacy

      Your fallacy in this logic is the "slippery slope" not to mention exaggeration.

      January 20, 2013 at 5:45 am |
  6. William Demuth

    Absurd

    Why this man is still alive befuddles me!

    Infect him with something horrific and drop him in Helmand (after a long weekend in Vatican City of course)!

    Religious madness is still madness, and being a traitor should still get you dead.

    January 14, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • truth be told

      Agreed. President George H W Bush has said an atheist is not a patriot and should not be a citizen of the USA. That makes bottom feeding atheists traitors as well and more than deserving of a one way trip to a permanent dirt nap.

      January 14, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      tbt. An unconfirmed quote attributed to him. Even if he did say it, it doesn't make it true – much like most of your posts.

      January 14, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • Jenny Craig's Secret Stash of Twinkies

      Quoting the dumbest president America ever had only proves you believe dumb people.

      January 14, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • truth be told

      George H W Bush was a WW 2 war hero fighter pilot and head of the CIA as well as a practiced politician with two terms as vice president, hardly an unintelligent man. The quote is easily found as video copies of his remarks are available. Whoops looks like once again a whole gang of self deluded atheists just proved themselves to be uncontrolled liars once again.

      January 14, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @tbt,

      "The quote is easily found as video copies of his remarks are available"

      Please send us a link to the video copies of G.H.W. Bush making this remark.

      The comment was not mechanically recorded on either audio or video. It was written down by a single journalist – Robert L. Sherman quoting Presidential CANDIDATE / Vice President George Bush.

      I don't doubt the veracity of the remark, but it was one Mr. Bush took great care never to say again.

      January 14, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      tbt,

      I'm not a GOPer is correct.

      Truly on audio and video tape however from that same Bush #41 IS: "Read My Lips: No New Taxes", about which he was wrong (I won't say he 'lied'; but his promise/prediction was wrong).

      January 14, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I should have been clearer in my earlier post and said:

      "I don't doubt the veracity of the quote."

      Bush's quoted remark was unworthy of a candidate for the office of President and he sensibly never said it on record again:

      "No, I don't know that atheists should be regarded as citizens, nor should they be regarded as patriotic. This is one nation under God.… I support the separation of church and state. I'm just not very high on atheists."

      January 14, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • truth be told

      I watched the video on youtube just the other day. Looks like the farther these bottom feeding so called atheists go, the more lies they tell. What one atheist lies to others will swear to. There really is no reasonable use for an atheist on Gods green earth.

      January 14, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • breathe deep

      yeah, except the video you watched tbt, was not that of ghw bush, it was a guy quoting what he reportedly said. So what you saw on you tube was not the video you claimed to have watched. Does it make you feel better to have to lie to get your point across?

      January 15, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
  7. Ann

    The judge made the right decision.

    Whether we like this guy or not – and whether we think prayer (muslim or any other kind) is of any value or not – if they're allowed to gather for other activities, they can't prohibit congregate prayer.

    January 14, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • New Athiest

      But be careful.
      My next religion could require trips to our holy land. We can't let the guilty poeple vist the Bunny Ranch and/or Disney.

      January 14, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • Rolph

      Last time at Disneyland, I saw a family of Muslims praying to a wall. They were praying towards the south, so I think the prayer had to circle the globe many times before it got to Mecca. But hey, as long as they don't explode, I don't care if that is the ride they want to do at Disneyland.

      I also saw a number of women in hijabs, with Mickey Mouse ears on top. Does that mean Mickey is a higher god than Allah? I wold think that if they did that in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan, their severed heads would be rolling around the ground.

      But hey, this is America, and if they want to wear two stupid hats, they go for it!

      January 14, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
  8. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Everyone should have the right to gather with like-minded fools, mumble to a non-existent god, thump his head on the ground and feel smug about it.

    January 14, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • Yabba Dabba Don't

      And explode. Don't forget that part. Everyone must have the right to explode in honor of their SuperInvisoBuddy!

      January 14, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
  9. Islam: The Religion that goes BANG!!!

    I bet the Christians who think it is right that Hobby Lobby shoould have the religious freedom to decide medical issues for their employees totally HATE that this nutter is allowed to pray and do his Islam jive.

    January 14, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • niknak

      You got that right.
      Religious freedom only applies if one is white, xtian, male and owns at least one gun.
      Land ownership was replaced by gun ownership.

      January 14, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      christians think they should have the 'freedom' to make everyone worship their god - but call foul when some other god's worshipers say the same. it's the 'my invisible friend can beat up your invisible friend' syndrome.

      January 14, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Please explain how Hobby Lobby are deciding on their employees' medical issues.

      January 14, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
  10. Bootyfunk

    praying = complete waste of time

    January 14, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
  11. Mohammad A Dar

    Mr. Lindh, your so called brainwashing prayers have landed you into the prison in first place, just think, you're no more a free person, at least for couple of years, what did you gain from your prayers, goon ?

    January 14, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
  12. End Religion

    Hopefully Smurfs will win the right to have a Smurf prayer group. Smurf crimes are on the rise.
    http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/01/14/australian-police-arrest-four-smurf-suspects-for-crime-spree/?hpt=hp_t2

    January 14, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
  13. truth be told

    The knowledge that all atheists are liars puts all their blog comments in proper perspective.

    January 14, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • Pete

      "The knowledge that all atheists are liars"

      more lies from the xtians – 102!

      January 14, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • Gir

      It is amazing that these people who claim to be advocating for a moral, omnisicent god resort to lies and fatuous reasoning so often. Simply fascinating.

      January 14, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      it's hard for Truth to understand the actual truth because he is in a religious cult. religious cults, like christianity, fill their followers' heads with ridiculous stories with people walking on water and talking snakes. as most atheists know, it's hard to break the chains of mental programming. the religious are taught NOT to think for themselves – just obey. so Truth is just obeying his cult masters by spreading this garbage.

      January 14, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • New Athiest

      And Priests always tell the truth.
      Right.

      January 14, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • truth be told

      Thanks to all the self deceived atheist morons that replied and proved my point.

      January 14, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      tbt. Complete nonsense as usual.

      January 14, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • lol??

      Harsh. They sometimes inadvertently puke out truth.

      January 14, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • The Truth

      Truth: That which is true or in accordance with fact or reality
      Fact: A thing that is indisputably the case.
      Lie: An intentionally false statement.
      False: Not according with truth or fact; incorrect.

      Now that we know what those words English definition is we can see if tbt's statement is or is not true.

      "The knowledge that all atheists are liars puts all their blog comments in proper perspective."

      Obviously this is a false statement since we can reliably assume that tbt does not know "all" atheists and thus cannot make a statement claiming people he has never heard from or talked to are in fact liars.

      Do some atheists lie? I think it's safe to assume some do. Do some Christians lie? If tbt counts himself a Christian then he has provided proof that some do...

      January 14, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
  14. Reasonably

    Pray hard, loser. Allah doesn't want you either.

    January 14, 2013 at 11:45 am |
  15. Milton

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioLEFRZP-_A&w=640&h=390]

    January 14, 2013 at 10:25 am |
  16. Banjo Ferret

    The concept of praying, i.e. doing jack squat and acting like you did something, is highly offensive to Tim the Destroyer of Worlds. He also frowns on cornering unsuspecting people and asking them if they have "heard the good news". Ferretianism is the one true religion. Repent! (banjoferret d c)

    January 14, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • Tellem

      Tell Tim, Destroyer of Worlds, that he appears to be a bit behind in his duties and to get off his destroying ass already.

      January 14, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • Banjo Ferret

      But alas Tellem, Tim the Destroyer of Worlds has given us that most glorious of dates. On the day of the supposed Mayan apocalypse, Tim appeared to us. He was angry that every single religious ninny throughout history kept mispredicting the end of the world. He then told us that the world would REALLY end on November 5th 2014. So, there you go. Repent!

      January 14, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • Wally the Cross-Dressing Wombat, Flaming Trans-TransSpecies PeusdoFerret And Accordian King Of Vladivostok!

      I thought Tim the Destroyer of Worlds was busy destroying The Wild World Of Scantily-Clad Sorority Ferrets And Exciting Adult Ferret Toys . . . after thoroughly researching the place. May take him a few decades, but Tim is know for his thorough thoroughyness.

      I will now speak in tongues: bleeelooeeaJEEBUSJEEBUSabbadalabbadaJEEBUS!!!!

      January 14, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • Wally the Cross-Dressing Wombat, Flaming Trans-Species PseudoFerret And Accordian King Of Vladivostok!

      Wally's keyboard is misspelling a lot of Wally's words that Wally is typing correctly. Really.

      January 14, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Poltergeist

      Probably explains Athiests higher suicide rate. The religious pray when faced with a situation they don't have control over, it reduces stress and promotes calm when performed whether the prayer is answered or not. All an Athiest can do is be swept away physically and emotionally by their problems if they cant directly effect it's solution.

      January 14, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • Rolph

      Actually, throughout the world, the rate of atheist suicide is not higher than for religious people. In secular societies like Europe, it is lower. The relevant factor seems to be the bigotry and stigma against atheists in America, but that is not yet been studied well enough.

      January 14, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • lol??

      Of course it's been studied, more than enough by the LGBTLLBJJFKMM community.

      January 14, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
  17. Science

    Well they wont make it to heaven prayer doesn't work anyway.

    No kidding they need to figure this out.

    No afterlife/g-ods

    Heaven is 'a fairy story,' scientist Stephen Hawking says – CNN ...
    religion.blogs.cnn.com/.../heaven-is-a-fairy-story-scientist-stephen-ha...
    May 17, 2011 – By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor The concept of heaven or any kind of afterlife is a "fairy story," famed British scientist Stephen ...

    January 14, 2013 at 9:52 am |
    • lol??

      You are quite religious in your evangelizing.

      January 14, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
  18. Reality

    Dear JW Lindh,

    Your prayers are worthless. See below for details:

    From the studies of Armstrong, Rushdie, Hirsi Ali, Richardson and Bayhaqi----–

    The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

    ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

    Are you ready?

    Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

    The First Five of the 77 Branches:

    "1. Belief in Allah"

    aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your self-cleansing neurons.

    "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

    Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

    "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

    A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

    "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

    Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

    Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

    Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

    "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings
    be upon him) alone."

    Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

    Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

    Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

    Analogous steps are available at your request for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism..

    January 14, 2013 at 7:59 am |

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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.