by Gary Brooks Waid


Kay, there is a situation here involving another federal inmate that one of your readers may be able to help with.

Mr. Zafar Mian is a Muslin, a very devout man born in India, but a citizen of Pakistan (as well as the U.S.).  I first noticed him when my group of feds got off the bus briefly at Central Florida Reception Center (Lake Butler) on our way to be processed in.  The D.O.C. Bully Boys had lined up to taunt us and shout at us etc..., and they picked him out for special treatment because of his long beard and his little cap.  

"Wha'da fuck yew think yew doin' with that shit all over yer face, fuck boy?" ...and on and on.  We were all pretty shocked, but Mian took the tirade like a stoic or a martyr, and the stupid guards (fat pieces of shit!) looked like fools.  Later, in the bullpen at Lake Butler, he was again singled out during the ignominious shearing and shaving process.

Since then he has been D.R.'d for his religious convictions, but has beaten them.  Until now.

Zafar Mian is now in the box (10-20-2000) for performing his morning prayer rituals.  No federal court would stand for this blatant violation of his first-Amendment rights, but the D.O.C. just re-words the infraction and laughs about it.  In fact, Mr. Zafar had been roused by the Sgt. for early morning work call.  He performed his prayers and went to the bathroom.  Part of the ritual ablutions involves the washing or symbolic washing of the feet - so here's Zafar using the old mop-bucket sink and quietly reciting his prayers in the pre-dawn, solitary darkness, and they busted him and threw him in the hole.  They said he couldn't use the bathroom facilities until lights-on, or at least that's what they said later in the day.  BUT THEY WOKE HIM FOR WORK CALL.  OF COURSE HE WAS ALLOWED TO USE THE BATHROOM.  THE SGT. JUST DIDN'T LIKE HIS PRAYERFUL USE OF THE OLD UTILITY SINK.  

The Sgt., by the way, had been leaning on Zafar for two weeks about his early morning prayers.  And Zafar is a very learned Muslim Scholar who serves as the Imam here at River Junction.  What needs to be done is for Mr. Mian's family to contact someone who will do some pushing.  This is America, after all.  I'll bet the Black Muslims would like to know about this.  There are 1.5 billion Muslims.  Surely one xenophobic, provincial, moron prison guard won't be allowed to push Mr. Mian around.  Five minutes with Zafar would satisfy anybody that the quiet, polite, prepossessing little guy just wants to worship his God in his own way.  Maybe one of your readers can help.

Take Care,
Gary Brooks Waid
124551   E-1124
River Junction Work Camp
300 Pecan Lane
Chattahoochee, Florida  32324


Mr. Zafar Mian
River Junction Work Camp
300 Pecan Lane
Chattahoochee, Florida  32324


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