Decision follows furor over pastor who distributed anti-Islamic cartoons
The Associated Press
Updated: 1:10 p.m. ET May 9, 2007
NEW CITY, N.Y. - The county jail where a Christian minister handed out anti-Islamic cartoons announced it will hire an imam for its Muslim inmates.
The Rockland County Jail also said it will provide religiously appropriate food.
Rockland Undersheriff Thomas Guthrie said Tuesday that the imam will work one day a week, joining the jail’s priest and rabbi.
The Christian chaplain, the Rev. Teresa Darden Clapp, was suspended with pay last month after inmates complained she was passing out anti-Islam booklets.
In the cartoon panel stories, a tract titled “Men of Peace?” said Islamic fundamentalists who commit terrorist acts are not “bad Muslims” but “very good Muslims” who act in accordance with their religion. Another tract, titled “Allah Has No Son,” said Allah is not God, Muhammad was no prophet, and the Quran is not the word of God. Both stories end with people being convinced Islam is false. In one, a Muslim converts to Christianity.
Local Muslims have called for Clapp’s dismissal, and the county requested an independent investigation.
Clapp has not commented public about the controversy and has not responded to messages seeking comment.
© 2007 The Associated Press. URL: www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18572667/
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