Alexandria Digital Research Library

Religious legitimacy and the nation of islam: In re ferguson and muslim inmates' religious rights in the 1950s and 1960s

Author:
Morrison, Adam Daniel
Degree Grantor:
University of California, Santa Barbara. Religious Studies
Degree Supervisor:
Kathleen Moore
Place of Publication:
[Santa Barbara, Calif.]
Publisher:
University of California, Santa Barbara
Creation Date:
2014
Issued Date:
2014
Topics:
Law, Religion, General, and History, United States
Keywords:
Nation of Islam
Religious Freedom
California Department of Corrections
In re Ferguson
Muslim inmates
Genres:
Dissertations, Academic and Online resources
Dissertation:
M.A.--University of California, Santa Barbara, 2014
Description:

On January 9, 1961, Folsom State Prison inmate Jesse L. Ferguson filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus to the Supreme Court of the State of California. Ferguson, a member of the Nation of Islam, alleged that prison administrators had denied Muslim inmates the right to freely practice their religion, violating their constitutionally guaranteed rights. In his defense, however, Director of Corrections, Robert A. McGee, argued that the Muslim inmates' "quasi-religion" posed a significant threat to the health, safety, and welfare of correctional facilities, inmates, and staff. In this thesis I examine the case documents, analyzing the context and content of In re Ferguson with the aim of explicating the arguments made before the court and situating them in a broader historical narrative. The Ferguson case reflects many of the religious and judicial debates of the 1950s and 1960s. These debates had a significant impact on the Nation of Islam's legal status in prisons and the extent to which constitutional protections of incarcerated members' religious rights applied. What I present is an analysis of relevant historical material through which we can trace contestations over the Nation of Islam's religious nature and its recognition as a religious organization in prisons.

Physical Description:
1 online resource (109 pages)
Format:
Text
Collection(s):
UCSB electronic theses and dissertations
ARK:
ark:/48907/f3sb43vb
ISBN:
9781303731440
Catalog System Number:
990041153090203776
Rights:
Inc.icon only.dark In Copyright
Copyright Holder:
Adam Morrison
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