Muslim inmates sue Alaska corrections officials over policy

Muslim inmates are suing state corrections officials, arguing that officials at an Alaska jail are providing them with inadequate nourishment as they break their daily fasts during Ramadan.

The lawsuit was filed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations Legal Defense Fund. It asks a federal judge to require the Anchorage Correctional Complex provide the men with meals with sufficient calories.

The lawsuit argues the existing policy is unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment and has a chilling effect on the men‘s rights to exercise their religion.

Ramadan is the Muslim holy month, marked by daily fasting from dawn to sunset. In Alaska, for those who observe Ramadan, that can mean going about 18 hours without food.

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A message seeking comment was sent to a state corrections spokeswoman Wednesday.