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U.S. Army Allows Turbans, Veils and Beards | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Captain Kamal Kalsi, a Sikh, is seen with a camouflage turban in this September 2015 file photo/ AFP

Washington- Days after New York police announcement of allowing religious people to wear turbans and beards, the U.S. army issued a new list of regulations and rules. Among these updated regulations there is a rule similar to that of New York police – the new list allowed members of the U.S. army of women to wear veils if this was part of their religion duties.

Noticeably, this was not totally forbidden in the U.S. army before, but was given permission after considering every case individually. The army’s procedure was not an imitation to New York police but a result to filed lawsuits against the army since 2016 – Sikhs mainly stood behind these lawsuits.

Sikhism is an Indian sect that urges its followers to wear turbans and beards in a unique way.

Although Sikhs who are serving in the army were the main backers of this decision, yet the benefit of new regulations is not restricted to them only but extends to other religions including Muslims.

New regulations also give the head of the military unit the power to prohibit wearing beards, turbans or veils if this was to cause danger on the safety of the individual or his surrounding, a health or security danger.

Congressman Joe Crowley considered the U.S. army procedure as a huge victory – not only to Sikhs but also to the army as a whole with all its religions and sects.

“These are Americans who love their country and seek fair chances to serve along with other Americans – this new list by the army will help accomplish that,” he added.