Dr. Dhafir and other Muslims being held at the Communication Management Unit (CMU) in Terre Haute, Indiana need your help. Please write to Warden Jett (address below) and ask that he address Dr. Dhafir’s concern about a situation that is creating religious hardship for Muslim prisoners. Please be respectful and courteous in all correspondence.

Dr. Dhafir says:

There are a good number of us here who fast Mondays and Thursdays as well as 3 additional days every month for religious reasons. This is something highly recommended in Islam. This is a total of 11-13 days a month.

This practice was recognized from day one here [at the CMU] and we were accommodated.

Meals are served at about 6 am, 10.30.am and 4.30 pm daily. On fasting days we will take our trays and keep it in our rooms until sun set when we eat it after cooking it. No special requirement from the Kitchen people what so ever.

As of Jan. 4 this year, Administration decided that no food is allowed to leave the eating area at all regardless of our fasting. We pleaded with them that this was unfair and is depriving us from a religious practice. An appeal to the Chaplain here went unanswered. Many cannot afford to buy food on their own on so many days a month from the commissary.

Our contentions are:

1. this is a religious practice that we did not invent.
2. this is something we did since day one and was recognized earlier by Administration to the extent that the previous Unit Manager Mr. Henry wrote a memo about it to give us this freedom.
3. We are not asking for any special arrangement, no special meals, no special added work. We simply are asking that we are allowed to have our own meals stored until we are allowed to eat at sunset.
4. If they don’t like us to store it in our rooms ( which is what we did for over 2 years now with no problem), there is an empty refrigerator in the eating area where they can store it and lock it until sunset. We will not remove anything outside the eating area thereby complying with their regulations.
5. We are not keen on fighting them over this issue in courts as it is a clear violation of our religious rights. We want to solve it peacefully. So far they want no part with it.

Please call Administration here constantly** and explain to them our request to accommodate us in such a simple request. We want no problem, just treat us fairly.

[** Phone number for Terre Haute: 812-238-1531. Please be respectful and courteous in all communication/correspondence.]

Help Dr. Dhafir’s have his concern heard by writing to:

Warden B. R. Jett
FCI-Terre Haute
P.O. Box 33
Terre Haute IN 47808


Here are examples of some letters that have been sent:

Dear Warden Jett,

I wonder if you realise that Muslim inmates in FCI Terre Haute are being prevented in practice from eating after fasting during daylight hours in accordance with their religious vows. This has only happened since Jan. 4th this year as the result of an order forbidding the removal of any food whatever from the eating area. I gather that the inmates concerned have done their best to suggest practical means of storing the food provided by the canteen during the day. As this situation may arise twice a week, plus holy days, it can only result in either a great deterioration in health or people being forced to break religious vows that in no way harm others. This surely violates the fundamental religious rights of human beings in the USA.

I would be most grateful if you could look into this matter urgently and would appreciate your early reply, for which I enclose a stamped, addressed envelope.

Yours sincerely,

Mrs. Claire Shearer, B.Sc. A.R.C.S.

Re Islamic religious hardship

Dear Warden Jett:

I understand that there are a number of Islamic prisoners at FCI-Terre Haute who for some time have been fasting at least twice a week. I further understand that the FCI has recognized this practice since “day one.”

It seems that recently your administration has decided that no food should leave the eating area – thus short-circuiting the prisoners’ custom of saving up their meals in their unit until after sundown when their day’s fast is complete.

Although I am not Islamic, I have lived in predominantly Islamic lands and have noted the seriousness with which Muslims fast. Such is their devotion to the practice that I found myself observing Ramadan as well. I have also noted how in the Islamic world fasting is woven into the warp and woof of daily life. For a Muslim fasting is no casual or trivial matter.

I write today to respectfully request that your administration reconsider its policy of preventing your Muslim prisoners from bringing their meals back to rooms where they can then be held until their fast’s end at sundown.


Ed Kinane


Dear Warden Jett,

Rafil Dhafir 11921-052 who is an inmate in FCI Terre Haute’s Communication Management Unit CMU has mentioned in his latest communications with me that the policy of allowing inmates, who fast on some days for religious purposes, to store their food for consumption in the evening has been rescinded. I believe that it would raise the spirits of everyone who has to live or work in the unit and make for greater harmony between the men and the staff if this policy could be reinstated. Perhaps if there is a worry about food going bad in the rooms, then a refrigerator could be employed. I appreciate any efforts you can make in this direction.


Bob Elmendorf
Secretary, Dr. Dhafir Support Committee