‘Don’t blame Muslims for prison pork ban’

‘Don’t blame Muslims for prison pork ban’

America’s pork producers are in an uproar after the federal government last week abruptly removed all pork products from the national menu for 206,000 federal inmates.

But the move delighted  the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the country’s largest Muslim civil rights advocacy group, which yesterday tweeted:

Finally, the government has decided to eliminate pork – from the menu in federal prison.

CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper elaborated here:

In general we welcome the change because it’s facilitating the accommodation of Muslim inmates.

He added:

We hope it’s not an indication of an increasing number of Muslims in the prison system.

Hooper predicted that anti-Islam groups would spin the decision into a case of the federal government acting under pressure from Muslims.

This is just the kind of thing that drives them crazy. It will stoke the fires of Islamophobia based on the usual conspiracy theories.

The reason given for the removal  of bacon, pork chops, ham and all other pig products was that prisoners don’t like the taste.

Edmond Ross, a spokesman for the prison bureau, asked:

Why keep pushing food that people don’t want to eat? Pork has been the lowest-rated food by inmates for several years.

Hogwash, says the National Pork Producers Council.

Dave Warner, a spokesman for the Washington-based trade association, said:

I find it hard to believe that a survey would have found a majority of any population saying, ‘No thanks, I don’t want any bacon’.

We’re going to find out how this came about and go from there. We wouldn’t rule out any options to resolve this.

He said the association “is still formulating our strategy” to reverse the prison decision, which the industry first learned about on Monday.

Warner said pork is healthy and economical, especially for a big buyer like the federal government.

Not to throw beef under the bus, but we cost a lot less than beef.


We’re nutritious. A boneless pork chop or loin is a very healthy alternative to lots of other foods. If you compare a pork tenderloin to a rib eye steak and a boneless chicken breast, we come out pretty well.

Observant Muslims and Jews are forbidden to eat pork, and the prison system has long made accommodations for them by providing alternatives to pork and halal and kosher foods.

Ross declined to say whether there has been an increase in Muslim or Jewish inmates in recent years and whether that may have factored into the survey responses.

31 responses to “‘Don’t blame Muslims for prison pork ban’”

  1. Newspaniard says:

    “…The increasing muslim prison population…” Hang on, he’s talking about the “Religion of Peace” here, why would their prison population increase? The muslim hate books insist that they get into positions of power so that they can increase their influence the decisions of the rest of us. A bacon sandwich; sausages and mash; pork chop and 3 veg… all gone because “some islamist doesn’t like pork so the rest of the prison system doesn’t like pork. Either there is corruption involved here or someone has wormed himself into a position of power and is exploiting it.

  2. Newspaniard says:

    Oh, for the power to edit…

  3. Stephen Mynett says:

    Apart from medical grounds I would not cater for any special diet in a prison. If a person refuses to obey the laws of the land why should the state be expected to obey their laws.

    They will bleat about Human rights but those should be for more important issues and not ideologies based on old or ancient myths. Religion should never be a ground for special treatment, inside or outside of a gaol.

  4. Angela_K says:

    The right of other inmates to a proper fry-up are trampled on because of religious nuts and no doubt the other inmates have to eat ritually slaughtered meats or go without. No one is forcing to eat these pork dodgers to eat the stuff, if they don’t like pork then don’t put it on the plate.

    There was another story I read recently asking those who use a shared kitchen at work not to heat up sausage rolls or other pork products in a microwave or oven lest it offend

  5. The reason pork might be removed is that the quality of food served in prisons is typically poor, with purchases being made from the cheapest supplier, not the best supplier.
    The food they get, the pork they get is not the pork you think of in your own kitchens, so it is entirely possible that inmates taking a survey rejected bad pork on the basis of bad taste.
    As to the other comments here, I have no conflict – no ‘beef” as it were – with prisons providing halal and kosher meals, or vegetarian meals for that matter. If you expect the decision to be an atheist or agnostic to receive respect and be permitted, then it also follows that religious belief, however much you disagree with it, should also be respected on the basis of a basic human liberty to hold a philosophy or ideology.
    As to issues of health, while the pork industry is correct about some forms of pork being healthy, not all forms are – bacon contains some unhealthy components like nitrates and salt, and many forms of bacon contain highly UN-healthy forms of fat.
    People lose their liberty, their freedom to come and go, to make decisions about what the wear, when they sleep, etc. They do not lose every right, and if you do not intend to be as brutally dehumanizing as possible — and you do not want people who have been further dehumanized in your population AFTER they get out of prison, the consequences are bad with that, then you do not take away the few liberties, the few choices people do have. It is long term versus short term thinking.
    The old eye-for-an-eye retributive/ revenge based justice of the old testament Bible is a bad one, an ignorant, brutish, revenge based notion; it has largely been replaced by the concept of restorative justice, which is a better one, that seeks to provide whatever restoration and compensation is possible to the victim, but also so far as is feasible to rehabilitate the criminal.
    Punishment, or negative reinforcement, has been demonstrated in the psychology research to be less effective than positive reinforcement, generally. So do you want to do what works? Or do you want the gratification of making people suffer who did something wrong? Because that is the essence of the issue here. FYI, when it comes to how the actual victims of crime feel, if you think THEIR feelings should receive the most consideration, then you should know they feel best within systems of restorative justice. You might check this out, because the conclusion is not based on speculation but on actual research:
    Lawrence W Sherman and Heather Strang (2007). “Restorative Justice: The Evidence” (PDF). University of Pennsylvania.
    The comments here do not reflect well, in that context, on the character or intellect of the people who want more vengeance on prisoners, or if they are commenting as atheists, on their ethics and morals as atheists.
    You just look like a bunch of assholes.
    Less ignorance and more humanity would represent atheism better.
    Excellent to report the change in the correctional system; it will be interesting to see what the ACTUAL reason is, not the speculative possibilities for the change as it becomes available. I look forward to a follow up piece here.

  6. Stephen Mynett says:

    There is a rules list on this person’s blog: 4. Courtesy is expected and required.

    Obviously calling people a bunch of assholes is a courteous gesture, or do some rules only apply to certain people.

    Probably just another troll, certainly anyone who makes decisions about posters on here from reading just one article is not exactly going to care about making realistic judgements.

  7. Prison Goveror Imam Iamatwat says:

    Soon we will have Minarets and the Star and Crescent on all USA Prisons. We will fill them full of muslims.

  8. Club Secretary says:

    Isn’t depriving a prisoner of bacon a cruel and unusual punishment and contrary to the eighth amendment of the constitution?

  9. Red Neck says:

    I would feed them only pork. No beef or chicken or fish or goat or mutton. And they should raise the pigs themselves. That should make prison uncomfortable for them .. which is the purpose of prison is it not? Or even better deport them back to their country of origin.

  10. Barry Duke says:

    No, Red Neck, prisoners are meant to be rehabilitated in jails, not subjected to the sort of cruelty you’re advocating.

  11. Marcus says:

    Meanwhile in Spain it seems as if Spanish kids attending Muslim majority schools are being bullied and attacked if they bring sandwiches containing pork products to school. A 2012 report (in Spanish) says that parents are outraged that sandwiches are snatched from their children’s hands and thrown into the garbage by the Muslim students.

    Interestingly, Spanish TV stations are currently running ads to encourage healthier eating. These ads promote pork as being better than red meats.

  12. Angela_K says:

    Reading some of the posts above it appears the USA has woken up.

    @Cheryl. You make it sound as though you have some first hand experience of prison food. Feed the prisoners what they want rather than denying some due to religious nonsense.

    @Red neck. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Prison should be about character reform, although there are many for whom rehabilitation fails.

    Just re-read my post above – oh for an edit button.

  13. Laura Roberts says:

    Good decision, not sure about their reasoning. Serving nutritious food would be all the reason they need to get rid of pork, given the health risks associated with eating pork products, such as blood-borne hepatitis E (see, e.g., and

  14. Vanity Unfair says:

    “A boneless pork chop…” how is that done? I have a horrible feeling this is about reconstituted meat. Now that would be cruel punishment.

  15. Cali Ron says:

    Ironic the timing of this article. I just took my mother to Taft Federal Prison Camp in California yesterday to visit my brother who is doing 7 1/2 years for nonviolent financial crimes. I won’ elaborate on that, but I must say most of the comments are being made without any idea of the actual facts. It is highly unlikely that the decision had anything to do with Islam or religion. Our prisons are privatized and these types of decisions are usually driven by money and politics. Mostly money. These institutions don’t care what the inmates want or think. The food is all poor quality and mostly hated by the inmates. My brother’s first request was for orange juice and one of those prepackaged sandwiches. He loved it., even though I couldn’t have eaten it. That’s how bad it is. Pork, beef, or any meat is all crap.

    @redneck: Inmates punishment is being deprived of freedom. What you suggest is more like torture. It should be about rehabilitation, but sadly America has largely abandoned most pretext of that. I hope you never have to learn personally through a loved one the reality of what prison culture and our judicial system is like. You clearly have no clue.

  16. Barry Duke says:

    @ Vanity Unfair, boneless pork chops (aka pork loin fillets) are basically top loin or rib chops with the bones removed.

  17. Red Neck says:

    Muslims don’t understand your concept of rehab. Commit a crime, or even get maliciously accused of committing a crime, in an islamic country and at best you get an extremity hacked off by some self appointed henchman. At worst you get publicly stoned to death, or decapitated, or shot through the head, thrown off a high place or maybe even immolated. Sharia is what muslims want and expect. How is eating pork that bad? Get real and look at the danger in plain sight that islamists, and that means most muslims, are bent on forcing you to convert to islam or to be murdered if you don’t.

  18. Goindy51 says:

    Pork is anything but cheap this year and possibly next year as well. The disease that has wiped out several million piglets is what is responsible for the higher cost per pound ALL of us are seeing when it comes to pork products. The bottom line of the privatized prisons has to be maintained for them to show enough of a profit to satisfy their shareholders and investors. Cutting back on the cost of meals for millions of prisoners is one easy way to do it.

  19. Red Neck says:

    “School of islamics” … what a joke. School … yeah right.

    Proper name … ‘ Dangerous Myth and Anti-Civilisation Indoctrination and Mind Retarding Pollution Centre.

  20. barfly says:

    I see our favourite Islamic troll as popped up again. As a lover of all things porcine who eats bacon sausage roast pork, pork of all sorts and have done for years I do wonder why I am still fit and healthy. Having just been to the docs for a health check I know I am healthy. I know why I am healthy I am living in a modern country and the pork is cooked properly and raised and butchered to modern high standards.

  21. Angela_K says:

    Barry, perhaps it is time to edit Iftikhar Ahmad’s bullshit posts in the manner you do to our other favourite troll Bob.

    I’ve just worked out this anti-pork nonsense, it is because Muslims and Jews can’t cook meat properly.

  22. Stephen Mynett says:

    Good idea Angela, perhaps adding something like: “Mohammed (piss be upon him)”.

  23. Barry Duke says:

    Nah, Angela, I’d rather just trash the idiot’s posts, as I have done with his latest, and ask other please not to acknowledge any that slip through.

  24. barriejohn says:

    He has posted the exact same spiel here before. He must have hundreds of such articles ready for pasting onto internet sites. Deleting the drivel is the only way of dealing with such imbeciles, as he is never going to read any replies that his bullshit may garner!

  25. John the Drunkard says:

    ‘We hope it’s not an indication of an increasing number of Muslims in the prison system.’

    A cheap jest at CAIR’s expence: then perhaps the US government should stop sponsoring Saudi-funded proselytizing in American prisons.

  26. Great Satan says:

    If they like neither pork nor our laws – just deport them back to their country of origin !
    On a humerous note, here is one way a Tesco customer demonstrates against halal ! ;

  27. Newspaniard says:

    @Great Satan. The link didn’t work.

  28. Brian Jordan says:

    @Call Ron
    While the food in American gaols may be cheap and nasty. it seems highly unlikely that all the states and all the contractors have simultaneously acceeded to the wishes of the proportion of inmates who think the pork is the worst and banned it. The header here says that the federal government has ordered the withdrawal of pork. If the government were so concerned about the general quality of food, an equivalent action would be to ban meals!
    What proportion of inmates, in what proportion of the gaols, would have to hate the pork to provoke an absolute ban? What proportion prefer pork to the other nasty food they are given? Shurely we should be told.

  29. Vanity Unfair says:

    To Barry,
    Thank you for the link. Once again, I have been caught out by the language difference.

  30. dennis says:

    my cousin spent 20 years in TEXAS prisons and worked in the mess halls. he believes that TEXAS feed the prisoners dog food, his evidence when he opened the 50 pound bags of “something” and it smelled like dog food. this is a guy who had dogs in and out side the house before being locked up.

    if I was in prison I would answer no to pork of any kind as I don’t like pork. I see this as a prisoner saying “lets get steak in here by saying no to pork even if the steak is bad.”

    I am for rehabilitating prisoners but theist rehabilitating is a oxy moron, they are in a secular setting (the government is punishing them) so theist dogma should not be expressed. what is more important is returning them to the streets with secular defenses to break old crew, comrades and family life styles. Religion only supplements the bad behavior. I have a daughter whose preacher got out of prison and now really stealing from the ghetto.