Murder suspect’s complaint: ACLU sues Corrections Department over Muslim skullcap discrimination


The American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska has filed a class action lawsuit against the Alaska Department of Corrections for the denial of religious accommodations for Muslim people detained at Anchorage Correctional Complex.

William Jamal Gary has been in pre-trial custody at ACC on charges of murder since February 2022. Gary is accused of shooting and killing Kaupoe Magalei Jr., 30, inside Al’s Alaskan Inn, a bar on Old Seward Highway in Anchorage on Feb. 27, 2022. There are three charges against him, including first degree murder.

Gary says he is a practicing Muslim and is bringing the class action on behalf of all current and future Muslims detained at ACC.   

He says the prison staff have refused him permission to wear his kufi, which is a type of skullcap, and have refused to accommodate his prayer needs, and made anti-Muslim comments towards Gary.

Islamic law does not require followers to wear a kufi at any time, including prayer; it is considered optional.

The ACLU says the actions of the department violate the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act and “has unconstitutionally infringed on equal protection guarantees and religious freedom rights under the U.S. and Alaska Constitutions.

“Throughout his life, he prayed daily on a prayer rug and maintained regular practices in accordance with the Hadith – an Islamic text with instructions on how to live one’s life,” according to the ACLU.

Originally, Gary and other Muslim detainees were permitted to wear a kufi in all parts of the prison. But Anchorage Correctional Center staff has, has, for over a year, required them to have their heads uncovered outside the housing unit, citing security reasons, despite Gary offering to have his kufi searched, according to the claims made in the lawsuit.

The ACLU argues that other facilities allow inmates to wear religious headwear. Gary has refused to attend doctor’s appointments for an injured hand unless he can wear his kufi outside of his housing unit.

Similar lawsuits around the country have led to prison reforms that allow the wearing of religious headwear such as kufis.

Other details surrounding ACC staff’s denial of reasonable accommodations can be found in the complaint.


  1. You should have no rights as you saw it okay to permanently take someone else’s rights away. It’s obvious that praying did nothing for you unless you were praying to satan !

  2. See. That’s why I follow Jesus. He’s not religious, he won’t condemn his followers being imperfect. If we miss a day or few days praying Jesus and his true followers won’t condemn the one who made other things a priority to use their time instead of praying. Same thing about dressing, Jesus doesn’t condemn the woman walking into church not wearing a dress. If one is in Christ they naturally will choose modest appeal either plain or fashionably modest-bernedette Wilson even Suzanne downing are good modern examples of women dressing modestly and fashionably.

  3. I think the Dept of Corrections will be settling unless their state attorney can prove the man is loco and not really a follower of Allah and Muhammad. He just saying that to be a stubborn controlling man.

  4. Cause if he truly was a follower he would be peaceful and employed likely not in jail. Anchorage Muslim men I seen around Anchorage including two I worked with at one time they usually are quiet men and working to care for their wife and children.

  5. The founding documents refer to International Law which is long and descendent to the nation building of this republic as well as the International War Manual. The de-emphasis of the US Constitution and concepts surrounding continuation of governments just gives further evidence of insufficiencies of contemporary public education so that reasonable men in the community feel perfectly comfortable acting outside these law concepts of civil society dating back realms.

  6. “Gary is accused of shooting and killing Kaupoe Magalei Jr., 30, inside Al’s Alaskan Inn, a bar on Old Seward Highway in Anchorage on Feb. 27, 2022.”

    “Gary says he is a practicing Muslim”

    I’d say that Gary needs more practice.

    • Since Islam teaches that all infidels must convert or die, suing to establish religious accommodation potentially excuses his murder conviction.

    • That depends upon which branch of the Muslim religion Gary identifies with. Some Muslims believe that the murder, rape, beheading, torture, burning, mutilation, and kidnapping of innocent women and children is perfectly justified.

    • LOL, so true. The vast majority of those incarcerated belong to one faith or another, and as you aptly point out, they could be somewhat more diligent about practicing those beliefs.

  7. So, let me get this straight, you want your religious freedom but you are in prison for killing somebody. You, took away that person’s freedom to practice their religion because you killed them and now you are upset about your religious freedom. Shut up!

  8. “Gary has refused to attend doctor’s appointments for an injured hand unless he can wear his kufi outside of his housing unit.”. Religion makes people stupid.

  9. Practicing Muslim murderer crying foul because they won’t let him wear his little hat? He’s in PRISON not a country club.
    Ridiculous frivolous charges. He’s being fed, housed and is clearly comfortable.
    That’s all that is required for a MURDER.
    Enjoy your choices! Maybe he should have thought about his little hat before taking another persons life! No sympathy!

    • That “hat” isn’t important to you, but it may be to him. Would you feel the same way if he wasn’t allowed to wear a cross? Or an image of Jesus?

      I don’t know if the guy’s actually religious or not. But whatever rules they have should be applied regardless of the inmate’s religious affiliation, and regardless of the charge (in this context, jaywalking and murder are irrelevant; it’s the status as inmate).

  10. Hint: Natural Law, the Law of Nations, the Law of War, Maxims of Law, the Common (not royal) Law of America, the British Common Law, the Magna Carta, the Assize of Clarendon. DId they just go poof when TV got turned on? No?

    Make it go away! I have a fervent feeling!

  11. I left out Admiralty Law. My bad. So the law of this
    Alaska land came in a clean fabric knapsack carried by air over the lands and oceans to Alaska by this possibly murderous gentleman to takeover and our law of our land. Is that right?

  12. Is it true that there are those of you who do not know your right from your left (spiritually speaking): true? Or false? or is is refutable depending upon which island or continent upon which you “land” exactly all you God deniers??

  13. Is there an expected response. Television programming leaves out historical laws an able defender can apply.regardless of emotion.


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