Sikh stu­dent can join US army with beard, tur­ban

Asian Journal - - World -

Washington: A Sikh col­lege stu­dent will be able to join the US Army, with­out be­ing forced to cut his hair, shave his beard or stop wear­ing his tur­ban thanks to a Washington court rul­ing. Dis­trict Court Judge Amy Ber­man Jack­son ruled last week that the Army vi­o­lated Hof­s­tra Univer­sity stu­dent Iknoor Singh’s rights when it re­fused to let him com­pete for a spot as a con­tracted mem­ber of his col­lege’s Re­serve Of­fi­cer Train­ing Corps pro­gramme. “The court finds that de­fen­dants have failed to show that the ap­pli­ca­tion of the Army’s reg­u­la­tions to this plain­tiff and the de­nial of the par­tic­u­lar re­li­gious ac­com­mo­da­tion he seeks fur­ther a com­pelling gov­ern­ment in­ter­est by the least re­stric­tive means,” the judge wrote. She added that the Army’s re­fusal to per­mit Singh to en­rol while ad­her­ing to “ar­ti­cles of faith” that in­clude his hair and tur­ban “can­not sur­vive the strict scru­tiny” of the fed­eral law.

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