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January 1, 2013 8:56 pm
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Texas Prisoner Will Receive Kosher Meals, Court Rules

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Appeal court rules a man imprisoned for murder in Texas will be allowed to receive Kosher meals. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

A U.S. federal appeal court ruled that a Jewish man incarcerated in Texas must receive kosher meals in prison in a case revolving around the 2000 Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, which forbids the government from restricting religious rights of institutionalized individuals.

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled that Max Moussazadeh, 35, is a practicing Orthodox Jew who keeps a kosher diet, and that the state of Texas infringed on his religious beliefs by denying his request for kosher meals.

Moussazadeh is serving a 75-year sentence for murder. He had sued the state of Texas in 2005 over the kosher meal issue, but prison officials claimed his commitment to such a diet was not sincere and cited his previous purchases of non-kosher food items. “I feel that I am going against my beliefs and that I will be punished by God for not practicing my religion correctly,” Moussazadeh wrote in his 2005 complaint, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Luke Goodrich—Deputy General Counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, an organization that helped represent Moussazadeh—called the latest court decision a major victory. “Even prisoners retain their human rights, and the state cannot sacrifice those rights on the altar of bureaucratic convenience,” he said.

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  • Lawrence Kulak

    this proves why this country is still so great. Even though this man has lost all his rights and is merely one notch above a condemned man who loses all rights, he still had the right of religious freedom. This decision, moreover, unequivocally proves that religion is the strongest thing we have going as a nation and that it is an impingment on that right to permit all kinds of abominations to ensue which have been legitimized through legislation in some states. Just because a group of representatives have taken it upon themselves to overthrow the religious tenents of society does not mean that we the people cannot reclaim those tenets with G-d’s assistance of course.

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