Should John Walker Lindh Pray Five Times a Day?
John Walker Lindh, a traitor to his country, is not joyous about his conditions in federal prison. Despite his national betrayals, he wants to be able to pray together five times a day with his Muslim brothers. The prison has already allowed him three-times-a-day compulsive praying, but he is now insisting on five.
When I was in federal prison for two years, I used to be sickened by religious convicts -- both the Jews and Muslims. We hurt others; why should we be given kosher food and benefits?
It should have been part of our rehabilitation that we weren't special and did not deserve particular treatment. I was a prisoner, you were a prisoner, and Lindh is a prisoner. Prisoners are there because they broke the rules. They deserve nothing. Religion is not a phony excuse to get treated specially.
It seems that prison administrations feel that religion rehabilitates and therefore should be encouraged. But most prisoners are not capable of rehabilitation and don't deserve special goodies. If they can't pray alone, let them not pray. Why should they get extras?
And in Lindh's case, he became a prisoner because of his adopted Muslim religion.