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Lawmaker calls for end of ban on Sikh articles in US military

Washington: A top American lawmaker today asked the Pentagon to end a ban on Sikh articles of faith including turban and beard in the US military—a long-standing demand of the Sikh-American community.  In the wake
PTI January 23, 2014 22:58 IST
PTI
Washington: A top American lawmaker today asked the Pentagon to end a ban on Sikh articles of faith including turban and beard in the US military—a long-standing demand of the Sikh-American community.  

In the wake of new Pentagon rules permitting limited religious accommodations, Congressman Joe Crowley requested the US Armed Forces to update their appearance regulations to allow Sikh-Americans to serve while abiding by their articles of faith.

Led by Crowley, a top Democratic leader who has spearheaded the campaign on behalf of the Sikh community, as many as 20 lawmakers signed a letter in this regard addressed to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

The letter is still being circulated in the Congress for other lawmakers to sign.

“Depending on how they are implemented, some aspects of the new Department of Defense rules may be a step in the right direction,” said Crowley, referring to the new rules which relax norms for religious accommodations requested by service members on a case by case basis.