Skip to comments.Task Force Tends to Detainees' Dietary Needs During Ramadan
Posted on 10/22/2005 11:08:58 PM PDT by FairOpinion
WASHINGTON, Oct. 21, 2005 Members of Joint Task Force Guantanamo are ensuring detainees get special consideration for religious requirements of observing Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, which began Oct. 4 and runs to Nov. 3 this year.
Contracted food service workers prepare rice that will be fed to detainees at the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Photo courtesy of Joint Task Force Guantanamo (Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Most observant Muslims fast from sunup to sundown during Ramadan, and food-service officials at the U.S. military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are providing pre-dawn and midnight meals to help the detainees observe their customs during this holy period, the joint task force's food-service officer explained.
Breakfast, which might normally be served around 7 a.m., is now served at 4 a.m. "because obviously we want to make sure that they have plenty of time to eat before sunup," Navy Lt. Jonathan Sym said in a telephone interview from the island naval base.
He said a religious adviser also provides input as to what's appropriate to serve during Ramadan.
Detainees who choose not to fast still receive meals on the regular schedule. But, Sym said, most Guantanamo detainees are fasting during Ramadan, though many have chosen not to fast.
The extra early and late meals, generally consisting of dates, fruit and bread, mean the food service staff works nearly around the clock during Ramadan, Sym said. Contractors provide food service to detainees and servicemembers at Guantanamo Bay.
"Everyone in the JTF took some great pains to make sure their observation of Ramadan was done as best as we possibly could," he said.
Sym explained that officials at the detention facility strive to cater to the religious and social preferences of the detainees throughout the year, not just during Ramadan. Detainees are served only Halal meats, from animals that were ritually slaughtered according to Islamic practice, and are not served pork. Muslims are forbidden from eating pork or products made from any part of pigs. For instance, gelatin and lard often are derived from rendered pig bones or skin.
Officials also try to provide foods familiar to Middle Easterners, but that many Westerners don't eat regularly, such as lamb and dates.
"During Ramadan, we still obviously will cater to that level of quality," Sym said.
A menu review board meets quarterly to discuss dietary issues affecting the detainees and plan menus. The commander and logistics officer of the Joint Detention Operations Group, the Joint Task Fore Guantanamo food service officer, a nutritionist, a preventive medicine specialist, and the contract galley manager make up the menu review board. Menus generally rotate and repeat on a two-week cycle, Sym said.
Even at the detention center, special occasions deserve special meals. Sym said officials began several weeks ago to plan a suitable meal for the detainees to celebrate "Eid al-Fitr," the celebration of breaking the fast at the end of Ramadan. Eid al-Fitr is one of Islam's most important celebrations.
Sym said he's never heard anyone question whether it's appropriate to cater to detainees' religious preferences during their holy time. It's just the right thing to do, he said.
"I think all the things that we do here is exactly the way that I know we would like our counterparts to treat Americans if we were in that situation," Sym said. "I don't even think it was a matter of choice whether we're going to do what we can; I think it just came naturally.
"I'm not a policy maker in the military; I'm just a junior officer," he added. "But ... I think we set a standard for ourselves and for the way we will treat other people, and we won't go below that."
All this catering to the scum is BS. Feed the prison loaf period.
You got THAT right. TOTAL BS. These jackals tried to kill our people and for that we CATER to them?
We should treat them the way the Saudis do:
Alleged Al Qaeda Terrorist Bemoans Saudi Interrogation Technique
An alleged member of Al-Qaeda, charged with plotting to kill President George W. Bush, claims Saudi Arabian interrogators used torture techniques, including chaining, beating and whipping, to make him talk.
Well, troll, no. I don't know any terrorists by name. I do know what they did and want to do still when we let them go free. There are no convictions in a court because there havent been any TRIALS yet. I do know that we bend over backwards to treat these vermin as though they are actually human.
They're irregulars. They should be shot, troll.
All these TERRORISTS were picked up FIGHTING against us.
We didn't pick them up from a local mosque while they were peacefully praying.
Several that we freed out of misplaced compassion, went back to continue being terrorists and continue to fight against us.
Hi troll, register to support terrorist scum?
Unfortunately, their track record with captured Westerners is not good.
Hard to eat with no head.
I hate it when trolls get kicked off so fast. It's so fun to play with them. All it takes is a few facts and a little logic and they start foaming at the mouth.
The Admin Mods are FAST!!!
"Heckuvajob Rummy" Account banned.
Good job, Mods! :)
What did post #8 say? I missed it.
The same old leftist crap. Not convicted and we don't know their names.
They just make-up their own facts and get ME foaming at the mouth. But, yeah, it would be fun to pummel them for a little while.
How about making it easy on everyone and help them observe the fast not only from sunup to sundown, but also from sundown to sunup.
We are way too caring.
Some of them went on hungerstrike, and instead of letting themselves starve to death, we fed them through feeding tubes.
I would have let them starve. Brought him the food, some really good specials that are their favorites, those nice glazed chicken and rice dishes, let them smell the aroma, then if they don't eat, well let them starve.
Then they complained that it was "torture" that we fed them.
(we only put those temporary feeding tubes in, that go in through the nose, not the permanent ones for which surgery is needed).
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