|FILE - This Jan. 23, 2002 file photo provided by the Alexandria County Sheriff's Department in Alexandria, Va., shows John Walker Lindh. Lindh is expected to testify Monday, Aug. 27, 2012, in Indianapolis during the first day of the trial over prayer policies in a tightly restricted prison unit where he and other high-risk inmates have severely limited contact with the outside world. (AP Photo/Alexandria County Sheriff's Department, File)|
By CHARLES WILSON
INDIANAPOLIS - American-born Taliban fighter John Walker Lindh says a federal prison rule barring him and other Muslims from praying together daily is "absurd" and contends the U.S. is causing him to sin against his religion by prohibiting such gatherings in the name of security.
Lindh testified Monday in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis during a trial in a civil lawsuit seeking to overturn the prison policy, which he argues violates a 1993 law barring the government from curtailing religious expression without showing it has a compelling interest.
Lindh, who is serving a 20-year sentence for aiding Afghanistan's Taliban government before its overthrow, is one of 43 inmates housed in a closely monitored unit at the federal prison in Terre Haute. Twenty-four of them are Muslim.
Read Full Article