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Guantanamo detainee sues to get Bible

Nov. 23, 2005 at 11:06 AM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- A former Pakistani businessman and accused al-Qaida operative held two years at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has sued to get a copy of the King James Bible.

Saifullah Paracha, 58, said he is entitled to a copy of the Bible, a scripture accepted by Islam, in addition to the Koran, which is available to Guantanamo detainees.

In response to his Washington suit, U.S. officials said some books are withheld because they could "incite" inmates. The government also said allowing Paracha to have a Bible would set off a "chain reaction" among 170 other detainees suing the government, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The government has, however, cleared Paracha to receive William Shakespeare's "Hamlet" and "Julius Caesar," which his lawyer mailed in September.

Paracha is accused of conspiring to ship chemical components to the United States.

His son, Uzair Paracha, is on trial in New York on charges he tried to help an al-Qaida operative enter the country and plan the chemical attack.

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