2 Muslims settle lawsuits over church services in Ohio jail

CLEVELAND (AP) — Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH’-guh) County has settled federal lawsuits with two Muslim women who claimed they were forced to attend Christian church services while serving sentences in the county jail in Cleveland.

The county released settlement agreements Wednesday that show it paid $48,500 to Shakeena (shuh-KEE’-nuh) Majeed (muh-JEED’) and $32,500 to Sonya Abderrazzaq (AB’-durh-uh-zokz).

Both women were serving sentences for misdemeanor convictions. They alleged in separate lawsuits that they were required to attend religious services led by a Baptist minister while they were housed in a trustee pod at the county jail. They also said they were harangued for not actively participating.

Attorneys for the two women say the practice has been stopped.

A Cuyahoga County spokeswoman says the settlements aren’t an admission of liability but are an exercise in risk management.