Attorneys for the 9/11 trial defendants have requested a court hearing next month be postponed to avoid conflicting with the end of the Muslim holy period of Ramadan.
According to the Miami Herald, trial judge Army Col. James Pohl set the date for the Aug. 8-12 hearing in May, specifically ruling at the time that he would not postpone it because of Ramadan. No defense lawyer for either self-proclaimed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammad or any of his four co-defendants raised objection at that point to holding proceedings during Islam's fasting month.
That changed last month in a June 21 court filing, the Herald reported.
"The last 10 days of Ramadan commemorate the night God — Allah — revealed the Holy Quran to the Prophet Mohammed," wrote James Connell, the Pentagon-paid attorney for Mohammad's nephew, Ammar al Baluchi. "These 10 days are the most holy period of the Muslim calendar and are typically observed by fasting, prayer, and seclusion."
The 9/11 prosecutor opposed the delay in a separate motion.
The Herald noted that the hearing, should it move forward, would not be the first time the accused plotters have appeared in court during Ramadan. They appeared in September 2008 as the holy month was coming to a close, against Mohammad's objections.
In May, the female attorney of one of the defendants called for all women in the Guantanamo Bay courtroom to wear “appropriate” clothing during trial proceedings out of respect for her client’s religious beliefs.