Muslim inmate sues central Indiana sheriff over halal diet

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LEBANON, Ind. (AP) — A Muslim inmate is suing a central Indiana sheriff for denying him a diet that follows Islamic dietary laws.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed the lawsuit Wednesday on behalf of Gannon Thomas against the Boone County Sheriff’s Office over its refusal to serve him a halal diet.

It accuses the Boone County Jail of violating Thomas’s First Amendment rights and his rights under Indiana’s Religious Freedom and Restoration Act signed by Gov. Mike Pence in 2015. The state law says government entities cannot pose a substantial burden to a person’s exercise of religion.

The lawsuit says the 27-year-old Indianapolis man has objected to being served pork and other meat that was not slaughtered according to Islamic laws.

A message seeking comment was left for Sheriff Mike Nielson.

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