This post from Lakewood outlines just a bit of the collectivist mentality (ascribing characteristics to individuals based on something beyond their control, such as the place of their birth, their skin color, or their gender) communicated in comments by some who claim to be integrous. Are you surprised? After all, the very institution for which they work says that they and their friends can steal from you to protect you. Once you allow for such a double-standard it only creates and exacerbates the “us vs. them” mentality. And, at the end of the day, it’s pretty ridiculous to be distracted by the thought that a handful of people in a bureaucratic monolith have the “right” to define the dress of others. Such a concern only ignores the real issue. -Pete
The Army allows Sikhs to practice the tenets of their faith, including hair and turbans. A few years back I met one of our active duty Sikh officers in his modified uniform. I stopped to shake his hand and tell him how much I admire his faith, and that if I weren’t a Christian, my next faith choice would be Sikh. With a long warrior tradition, a faith that calls for clean living, resistance of evil and fidelity and service, it is little wonder they would find a home in the US Army, minor and easy accommodations of uniform aside.
Cops, on the other hand, are less open minded than soldiers. See if you can count the number of “raghead” and haji references in the comments left to this PoliceOne.com article, “DC police to allow Sikh beards, turbans on duty: Department became the first major metro agency in the US to permit religious items worn on the job” by the New Indian Express
The new uniform policy announced by Washington DC police Chief Cathy Lanier Wednesday makes it the first major metropolitan police department in the US to permit Sikhs to maintain their articles of faith.
Developed with the Sikh American Legal Defence and Education Fund (SALDEF), the new police policy states that Sikh officers can wear turbans that are the same colour as the uniform that they would otherwise be required to wear, with the department badge that is normally on hats pinned to the front of the turban.
Male Sikh officers will also be able to wear beards that are neatly kept. Other officers are allowed to grow beards if they get a waiver from the department.
Lanier said that it is hard to find qualified police officers, so it is practical to accommodate candidates who would otherwise be fit for the job. “This is a common-sense decision,” she said.
There are no known observant Sikhs among Washington’s roughly 3,800 officers. However, the new policy was motivated in part because a Sikh who will graduate from the Police academy in August and plans to become a reserve officer, has requested the accommodation, Lanier said.
“This first of a kind guidance by one of the nation’s premier law enforcement agencies serves as a model for other agencies across the country.” said Jasjit Singh, Executive Director of SALDEF.
In other parts of the country, Sikhs have had to fight for religious accommodations, he said, noting that nine years ago members of the Sikh community sued New York City to become traffic enforcement officers.
In the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, observant Sikhs can serve in the reserves but not as full-time officers.
There are about 700,000 adherents to the Sikh faith in the US, according to SALDEF.