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Legal US rights body asks Hagel to explain 'Army bias' against Sikhs

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by spnadmin, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    US rights body asks Hagel to explain 'Army bias' against Sikhs

    A US commission has asked defence secretary Chuck Hagel to explain the exclusion of Sikhs, known for their valour and pride, from the American armed forces.

    In a letter, the US Commission on Civil Rights requested Hagel to justify a department of defence policy that appears to presumptively exclude Sikh Americans from serving in the US armed forces if they do not give up certain articles of their faith, or unless an individual accommodation is granted.

    Established in 1957, the federal commission is charged with the responsibility to investigate, report on, and make recommendations concerning civil rights issues that face the US.

    Simran Lamba, centre, is the first enlisted Soldier to be granted a religious accommodation for his Sikh articles of faith since 1984, and one of only three Sikhs in the US army

    Simran Lamba, centre, is the first enlisted Soldier to be granted a religious accommodation for his Sikh articles of faith since 1984, and one of only three Sikhs in the US army

    In its letter dated December 3, which was released on Monday, the commission said the current US military regulations generally prohibit the wearing of religious headgear and maintaining other religious requirements such as unshorn hair and beards.

    The letter acknowledges the legitimate concerns of the military about service member safety and military necessity, but expresses concern over the apparent deterrent effect of such regulations on participation by affected groups in the US Army.

    "The privilege of serving one's country should not be denied to a person for adhering to his or her religious beliefs," commission chairman Martin R. Castro said.

    The Commission wrote to Hagel months after Major Kamaldeep Singh Kalsi - a Sikh who had received a personal accommodation, or exception, from the Army's policy - in a briefing helped the commission understand the exclusionary impact of the military's policy on Sikh Americans service members.

    To date, only two other Sikh Americans have joined Major Kalsi in serving in armed forces - Captains Tajdeep Rataan and Simranpreet Singh Lamba.

    Read more:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahom...el-explain-Army-bias-Sikhs.html#ixzz2nClCLeib
     

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  3. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Preceding the story

    U.S. Commission On Civil Rights Releases Letter To Department Of Defense On Religious Rights Of Sikhs In The Military

     
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