US court's decision - Sikh youth with beard and turban will be able to join Marine Corps
First Sikh mayor in California: US court's decision - Sikh youth with beard and turban will be able to join Marine Corps
There is double good news for the Sikhs living in America. A US court has said that wearing a turban and keeping a beard cannot bar Sikhs from enlisting in the Marine Corps. The court said this while hearing the petition of three Sikh youths. Actually, soldiers are not allowed to shave in the Marine Corps.
On the other hand, Mikey Hothy has been unanimously elected mayor of Lodi City in Northern California. His parents came to America from Punjab. Mikey has also been the Deputy Mayor before this.
Mikey was nominated for the mayoral position by Deputy Mayor and Councilor Lisa Craig. Mikey represents the fifth district on the council. Mikey said I would be happy to represent my community as mayor.
Although he said that the time after the 9/11 incident was difficult. Then many Muslims and Sikhs were persecuted. According to local newspapers, his family was instrumental in getting the Gurudwara built on Armstrong Road.
Akash Singh, Jaskirat Singh and Milap Singh Chahal will be able to attend Marine Corps training without shaving their beards after the US Court of Appeal's decision. The Marine Corps had told him that only after shaving he would be able to join the training. After this, he sought exemption from the court from the 'Marine Grooming Rule' under which the beard has to be shaved. He argued that keeping a beard was a way of expressing his commitment to his religion. The court ruled in their favour.
The counsel for the Sikh youths said that this is a very big decision in terms of religious freedom. For years, Sikh youths have been barred from joining the Marine Corps because of their beards.
The Marine Corps is a branch of the US Armed Forces. It can operate on land, sea and air. It works under the Navy. Although the US Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard can already join Sikhs following their religious beliefs.