The activists, who filed a lawsuit against the Alaska Department of Corrections, claim that Muslim inmates received insufficient rations and that some of that which they received, contained pork.

This photo shows the public entrance to the Anchorage Correctional Complex on Wednesday, May 23, 2018, in Anchorage, Alaska. Muslim inmates are suing state corrections officials, claiming that officials at the jail are providing them with inadequate nourishment as they break their daily fasts during Ramadan.
This photo shows the public entrance to the Anchorage Correctional Complex on Wednesday, May 23, 2018, in Anchorage, Alaska. Muslim inmates are suing state corrections officials, claiming that officials at the jail are providing them with inadequate nourishment as they break their daily fasts during Ramadan. (AP)

A US federal judge granted a restraining order on Thursday forcing prison guards in Alaska to stop giving Muslim inmates pork as they break their fasts during Ramadan, rights campaigners said. 

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) filed a lawsuit on Tuesday claiming Anchorage Correctional Complex had violated constitutional prohibitions against "cruel and unusual punishment."

CAIR said the US District Court for Alaska had granted its request for an emergency temporary order requiring guards to provide adequate meals in accordance with government health guidelines.

"CAIR has reported an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president," the Washington-based organization said in a statement.

Muslims are currently marking the holy month of Ramadan, fasting from dawn until sunset, which means going without food for around 18 hours in Anchorage.

Inmates observing the festival are given rations equating to 1,100 calories a day at most, according to the complaint, far short of the recommended daily amount of around 2,500 calories for men.

Packages contain pork

The packages contain food made of pork, which is forbidden in Islam, rendering the actual nutritional value of the meals even more inadequate.

CAIR said the treatment contravened the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act and violated First and 14th Amendment rights to equal protection and free exercise of religion.

The suit seeks a "balanced nutritional diet" for inmates, as well as policy changes and compensatory and punitive damages.

The Alaska corrections department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Ramadan began on May 16 in the United States and will end on or around June 15.

According to the Anchorage Daily News there are between 30 and 40 Muslim inmates who are incarcerated in Alaska prisons.

Department of Corrections spokeswoman, Megan Edge, told the newspaper that any inmate who wants to can sign up for Ramadan meals.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies