|NY judge says that black supremacists are OK (part 1)||Live Steam|
Aug 19, 2003 2:48 PM
|Inmates Are Free to Practice Black Supremacist Religion, Judge Rules
By PAUL von ZIELBAUER
ntil two weeks ago, Intelligent Tarref Allah, a 27-year-old Brooklyn native convicted of murder in 1995, was just a gang member in prison asking for special treatment.
For years, New York State prison officials would not allow Mr. Allah who is known to inmates and guards by his new legal first name, Intelligent, or Intel to openly practice what he describes as his religion, central tenets of which encourage self-analysis, meditation and a black supremacist message.
Mr. Allah is a Five Percenter, part of a black militant group that broke from the Nation of Islam in the 1960's. The New York State prison system has long regarded it as a violence-prone gang, much as the system also regards the Latin Kings, Crips or the Aryan Brotherhood. The name derives from the concept that only 5 percent of the world's people break free from the worship of a false "mystery God" and become gods to themselves and their families.
But on July 31, Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald of Federal District Court in Manhattan ruled that Mr. Allah is entitled to the same religious freedoms as the thousands of practicing Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hare Krishnas and Wiccans incarcerated in New York State's prisons.
In the universe of prisoners' rights, the ruling was groundbreaking because it would force state prison officials to allow Five Percenters, whom observers see as an extremist group, to have access to the literature and carry out the rituals of what they say is their religion, the Nation of Gods and Earths.
Judge Buchwald also ordered state prison officials to report back to her within 60 days on their progress in accommodating Five Percenter requests for monthly "parliament" meetings; special prison dinner menus and post-sundown cafeteria schedules during periods of fasting; and special celebrations during Five Percenter holy days, including the birthdays of Elijah Muhammad, the Nation of Islam founder, and Clarence 13X Smith, the founder of the Nation of Gods and Earths.
"They have to accommodate all of their practices, and if they can't accommodate them, they have to show a compelling reason why they shouldn't," said Damore Viola, a lawyer with Sullivan & Cromwell, the prestigious Manhattan law firm that represented Mr. Allah in his lawsuit.
The spokesman for the New York State Division of Correctional Services, James B. Flateau, said on Friday that the department would have no comment on the ruling until the state attorney general's office, which defended the department in the suit, decides whether to appeal it.
Many state prison systems classify Five Percenters as gang members. Judge Buchwald's decision, though it does not compel other states to comply, could prompt inmates elsewhere to file similar civil rights lawsuits.
|re: NY judge says that black supremacists are OK (part 2)||Live Steam|
Aug 19, 2003 2:48 PM
|"This opinion will encourage others to make claims," said Douglas Laycock, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Texas Law School who specializes in religious freedom cases. But, he added, rulings in lawsuits filed by prisoners can vary widely, and one district court judge's decision does not always influence another judge presiding over a case involving different circumstances.
"Most of these guys are not going to find lawyers from Sullivan & Cromwell," Professor Laycock said of other Five Percenters who might want to follow Mr. Allah's lead into the federal courts. "And the case's persuasive value is limited."
In many states, prison officials track "security threat groups," as jailed members of a handful of gangs and supremacist organizations are commonly called. Five Percenters have challenged prison restrictions in other states with little success. In 1999, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that South Carolina's prison system was justified in treating Five Percenters as dangerous gang members. Last year, the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld disciplinary rules in New Jersey that punish any prisoners possessing The Five Percenter, a Nation of Gods and Earths newspaper, or even discussing aspects of their beliefs.
Last year, a New Jersey state court ruled that state prison officials were justified in punishing several inmates caught standing in a circle, their hands clasped behind their backs, discussing the tenets of the Nation of Gods and Earths, according to the New Jersey Law Journal.
Courts have been reluctant over the years to force state prison officials to rethink disciplinary regulations, legal experts said. Mr. Allah's recent victory in New York and the failure of the Five Percenter lawsuits in New Jersey and South Carolina may not reflect a changing judicial ethos as much a weak legal defense of why similar regulations were necessary in New York's state prisons, Professor Laycock said.
"New York didn't put in much evidence that these guys were doing anything bad," he said in a telephone interview on Friday. In the lawsuits in South Carolina and New Jersey, defense lawyers produced evidence of Five Percenters attacking correction officers and fighting with other inmates. "If, in another state, the prison system put together a long list of violent acts committed by members of this group," Professor Laycock added, "it's easy for that judge to say, `If they're out there hurting people, I don't care if they're a religion or not.' "
What makes Five Percenter lawsuits more complex, Judge Buchwald noted in her 22-page ruling, is that members deny that their beliefs are a religion, rather a way of life.
Mr. Allah, born Rashaad Marria, is serving 19 years to life for killing a man who had testified against him in a murder trial in which he was later acquitted. He said the ruling had given him renewed hope for his remaining time in prison.
"I expect a sense of nationhood will come out of this decision, as opposed to just me living as an individual having knowledge of self," Mr. Allah said from his cell at Eastern Correctional Facility, in Ulster County, responding through his lawyer, Ms. Viola, to written questions.
"I feel like a cloak of anonymity has been removed," Mr. Allah went on, "and the D.O.C.S. officers and officials will be able to see that inmates that they think are upright are actually members of the Nation and this will change their perception of the Nation."
|What can one say about this idiotic ruling?||Live Steam|
Aug 19, 2003 2:55 PM
|Had a long day today and wanted to post this. It was in yesterday's NY Times. I guess it has relevance considering the religious bent of recent topics. I guess this judge would rule that Hitler was within his legal right to preach Arian supremacy. Hey you lefties! What about it? What do you think Doug? I was always under the assumption that one loses many "civil rights" when one violates our laws and ends up in jail.|
|Be careful where your fingers point...||jtolleson|
Aug 20, 2003 6:31 PM
|The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) which gives a bizarre, probably unconstitutional amount of deference to inmates' and landowners' claims of religious liberty, was a product of the right, not the left.
The statute was drafted to free put-upon Christian ministries in prisons and to liberate churches from allegedly burdensome zoning.
The chickens are now coming home to roost.
Take it up with Orrin Hatch.
|No she doesn't.||czardonic|
Aug 19, 2003 2:57 PM
|Where did you read that she condoned black supremacist beliefs in any way?|
|She ruled that ...||Live Steam|
Aug 19, 2003 2:59 PM
|it was a religion akin to Christianity, Judiasm, et al. In my book that's a form of endorsement. As I said, she would rule that Hitler had the right to preach hate and Arian supremacy.|
|She is making a legal judgement, not a moral one.||czardonic|
Aug 19, 2003 3:06 PM
|I don't endorse any religions, but I grant that they exist and are afforded special status by the Constitution.
The First Amendment would have protected Hitler too, had be heen in America and limited himself to preaching (w/o inciting).
|The end result is the same||Live Steam|
Aug 19, 2003 3:47 PM
|Her ruling lends legitimacy to their hateful teachings. I am no expert on the Nation of Islam and black supremacy, but I believe much of what they teach incites violence. Not that they teach violence, but the message the send has the intent to incite violence.
I know some juked up Ivy League lawyer made a compelling argument, but common sense should have prevailed. I understand the principles she is upholding, but this is idiotic.
|So, that explains the epidemic of black supremacist violence?||czardonic|
Aug 19, 2003 4:16 PM
|Your own article notes that this is a group that splintered from the Nation of Islam somewhere around 40 years ago. So what does the Nation of Islam have to do with any of this?
Do you know anything about this religion or what it teaches? What are you basing your assumptions about it inciting violence on, other than those who follow it who also happen to be convicted felons exhibit the same behaviors as convicted felons of all denominations.
At least you see that your concept of "common sense" is no match for a compelling argument.
Aug 20, 2003 4:51 AM
|smart people suck - they're always bringing up those "compelling arguments" and whatnot - we should go with what the mob/O'Reilly'Steam thinks - especially the mob who acknowledge they don't know the first thing about what they're spouting off about - then go on and tell us what they "believe" it's all about - hey you could be the mob leader and get rid of those pesky judges defending "idiotic principles"
this post should be grounds for taking your voting privileges away on grounds of mental incapacity (I know another pedantic "compelling argument" but there you go...)
you keep pitching 'em underhand for me while I keep working on my swing
|Hey Bozo ...||Live Steam|
Aug 20, 2003 5:14 AM
|a good argument can be made for just about anything. One could be made that there is some modestly intelligent life form sitting in front of your computer monitor, but that doesn't make it so. A good argument and the ability to reason are not necessarily the same thing. Hell, if you prefer the inmates run the asylum, who am I to argue? That is why this society is in the crapper - idiot liberals like yourself. Most of you who want to defend this, have been calling Bush Hitler and would love to have him hung from the highest tree. You all have a very warped sense of riotousness. Maybe a few good-natured black supremacists will move in next door to you. I am sure they make fine neighbors :O)|
|well I guess that told me||MJ|
Aug 20, 2003 6:11 AM
|how do you know I'm not a black supremacist?
inmates/asylum/hanging Bush/society in crapper/riotousness - what the hell are you on about? - you've lost me
anyways - you admitted you don't have a clue about 5%ers then proceed to rail against everything to do with them - from a position of self-declared igonrance - then get upset about smart people and their "compelling arguments" - certainly the most "compelling argument" is understanding what you're speaking about
you can speed up the pitches now - I particularly like the catcher style backchat...
|It's nice that you can be so easily amused||Live Steam|
Aug 20, 2003 6:25 AM
|Simple minded people are easily amused by themselves. Yes I do admit to knowing little about 5%, but I do know that other states treat them like street gangs. I also know that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are considered required reading for their members. I guess you don't have a problem with that do you? Here in NY we have to now tolerate them and treat them with the same respect as legitimate religious societies. I find that to be stupidity in reality.
It's a shame you don't get the association about riotousness and society being in the crapper, but I guess that's the problem. We have become so PC and permissive that criminals now have more rights than the average working Joe. Our desire to be overly fairminded has put a lot in joepardy as far as I am concerned. I guess you feel things are getting better as a result rather than worse? Crime is down. People are more tolerant of one another. People are working harder rather than expecting a handout from their dear Uncle Sam. The funny thing is, from the makeup of our government, I would say that more and more people are getting it and you are in the MINORITY!
|what does "riotousness" mean?||MJ|
Aug 20, 2003 6:45 AM
|"Yes I do admit to knowing little about 5%" - enough said really - that and "riotousness" - are you trying to spell righteousness?
"stupidity in reality" - what does that mean?
it a shame (for you) no one understands what "riotousness and society being in the crapper" means
no wonder you'd be upset about smart peple and their "compelling arguments"
maybe after you've worked on basic spelling, writing and reading comprehension we could have a discussion about the rights of the state vs rights of the individual (this after all should be your argument not mine) - the argument here is that everyone's rights get protected rather than just the lucky few!! America is a great place - shame the judiciary is the only institution able to apply basic democratic principles set outin the Constitution...
I understand you do not like minorities - change the record please
3-0 or we could use American football scoring 21-0
still not warmed up - keep going please - do you even realise that you're getting your arse kicked and looking more ridiculous with every inane post? next time get somebody to proofread your post first - it'll take away some of the cheap shots you're leaving me
|I guess I have a stupid||Live Steam|
Aug 20, 2003 8:32 AM
|spell checker. No excuse though. You should check your posts for typos and misspellings too. That is a fools argument, and you my friend are a fool.
My point is that these 5% idiots have a right to preach their stupid, hateful crap. I have no real problem with that - freedom of speech is protected. However, this idiotic jurist has just certified them as a religion. Her ruling is a slam against all legitimate religions. She has deemed that the State of New York now must recognize a new religion that the rest of the World views as criminals and thugs. I have no problem with minorities bozo. I have a problem with fools like yourself who are slowly but surely destroying the moral fiber of our society by your permissiveness all so that you can feel some sort of moral superiority. If you don't understand the rest of what I had to say, you are part of the problem. Go away fool!
I say we start a new religion here today. I am a God and you must kiss my pituty on the hour, every hour and bow down to me for I am vastly superior to you.
|"riotousness" is more than a spell checker problem||MJ|
Aug 20, 2003 9:00 AM
|if you don't know anything re 5%ers then you really aren't in a position to comment on whether they, as an institution, legitimately constitute a religion, or preach "stupid, hateful crap" - it's pretty simple really you've admitted you don't have a clue
permissive - moi? - you have no idea
am I really destroying the moral fiber of society? I guess if that's where compelling arguments lead then so be it...
am getting bored now - you're whining like my grandmother - you gonna tell me about the good old days next when people didn't have to lock their doors etc?
BTW do you get wood when you ask me to kiss your arse, bow down before, claim Godship and vast superiority? - you wanna take another run about minorities?
|She ruled that ...||Spoiler|
Aug 19, 2003 4:12 PM
|I know nothing about the exact tenants of the religion, but shouldn't people have the right to preach hate, Arian supremacy, love, Black supremacy, etc?
Maybe I've got the semantics of "preaching" wrong. Is "preaching" telling the world that you hate and encouraging other's to hate? Do we have to draw up a legal list of "good" things to hate and "bad" things to hate?
Saying you can't preach hate is like saying you can hate, you just have to hide it; make sure you fool the world into thinking you love. Now the world has a false impression of you. You can cause much more harm as a wolf in sheep's clothing.
|She ruled that ...||filtersweep|
Aug 19, 2003 4:27 PM
|endorsement or tolerance?
Hitler DID have the right to preach hate and Arian supremacy- and it did it very well- dazzled all sorts of conservatives of his day...
|Minor Distinction?||Jon Billheimer|
Aug 20, 2003 6:57 AM
|From the article, the inmate in question maintains that the 5%ers are practicing a way of life, not a religion. So now I'm confused about the judge's ruling. Regardless of any left/right knee jerk reactions here, I don't find practicing a way of life that endorses hatred, bigotry and violence acceptable inside or outside of prison.|
Aug 20, 2003 7:27 AM
|Sounds like the correction systems just did a poor job in court...
""New York didn't put in much evidence that these guys were doing anything bad," he said in a telephone interview on Friday. In the lawsuits in South Carolina and New Jersey, defense lawyers produced evidence of Five Percenters attacking correction officers and fighting with other inmates. "If, in another state, the prison system put together a long list of violent acts committed by members of this group," Professor Laycock added, "it's easy for that judge to say, `If they're out there hurting people, I don't care if they're a religion or not.' "
|Yeah. DARN that pesky Constitution anyway (nm)||Silverback|
Aug 20, 2003 8:27 AM
|It has not one thing to do with the Constitution||Live Steam|
Aug 20, 2003 8:41 AM
|She has given them legal endorsement as a religion. This has nothing to do with "free speech"! Do you believe they should be viewed as a religion?
I love you liberals being protective of the Constitution you so free step on when it suits your needs.
|yes it does - or at least it has to do with||MJ|
Aug 20, 2003 9:04 AM
|someone who actually listened to the arguments in the court and understood the nature of the 5%ers argument - which you have admitted you do not know anything about
BTW the Constitution is about more than free speech
too easy to pass up really - like T-Ball - and you're the kid in right field who has to be told when it's his turn to bat