Palm Beach County sheriff, jail meet with South Florida Muslims to discuss inmate meal controversy

Sheriff, Muslim leaders working on Halal meals

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- - A religious controversy continued on Friday surrounding religious meals being given out at the Palm Beach County Jail.

After word got around Muslim inmates were not being fed special meals like their Jewish counterparts, the South Florida Muslim community demanded a meeting with Sheriff Ric Bradshaw.

"We thought that everyone should be treated alike," said Abdool Ghanie with the American Muslim Alliance of Florida.

The meeting with the sheriff lasted 45 minutes and Ghanie said the sheriff used the time to explain the situation.
"There was an issue about the budget, that it was very expensive," Ghanie said the sheriff told him. "People who are not Muslims claimed to have Muslim food and the budget went up $1.5 million."

A spokesperson said the sheriff was not available to speak with the media.

PBSO released this statement on its Facebook page:

"Earlier today, Sheriff Bradshaw and Chief Deputy Gauger met with members of the Muslim Community to discuss a recent jail issue. We are happy to report that the issue has been resolved and the Sheriff and Chief Deputy are looking forward to a continued open and ongoing dialogue with the Muslim Community."

"What I take away from this meeting is that it will happen and they're going to work with us to make it happen," said Ghanie.

The American Muslim Alliance of Florida plans to meet with Sheriff Bradshaw again where members hope to bring down costs and provide Halal meat for followers of Islam.

"It's not a Muslim problem, it's a national problem in terms of everybody should be treated alike," said Ghanie.

PBSO has yet to answer why it made a change now and why Jewish inmates never lost their Kosher meals.

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