A Sikh student who attends Hofstra University is suing the US Army after being barred from the college’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, reports Brown Girl Magazine.
Iknoor Singh says the Corps won’t accept him unless he cuts his hair and beard. Hair is one of the five articles of faith in the Sikh religion and Singh had applied for a religious exemption to the Army’s grooming rules.
The Army denied the exemption saying he couldn’t apply for one until after he was admitted.
“The decision made little sense to me,” said Singh. “In addition to religious accommodations that have been granted, the Army allows men to wear beards for medical reasons and wigs to cover baldness. Women may have long hair provided they keep it neat and out of the way. There is no indication that these existing grooming policies and accommodations have caused problems.”
You can find out more about the exemptions the Army has granted in the past in Brown Girl Magazine.