The U.S. Military Judge presiding over the trial of alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his four co-defendants has suspended hearings at Guantanamo Bay “to avoid a conflict with the Muslim holy period of Ramadan.”
The judge, Army Col. James Pohl, also granted that there would be no future hearings held on Fridays, because it’s “a day on which many Muslims do not work.”
Both of these decisions were made against the will of military prosecutors, who argued that eliminating Fridays and Ramadan from the calendar removed nearly 20% of possible hearing dates available to begin with. But the prosecutors were countered by defense arguments that the defendants would not be able to endure the hearings because of the fasting and other deprivations they undertake during their holy periods.
Judge Pohl sided with the defense, and as quick as that the precedent was set for Islamists to control the pace of the military hearings, if not the outcome.