CAIR Slaps Lawsuit Against U.S. Navy Over Beard Discrimination

Underneath the presidency of Barack Obama, the United States military has been more empathetic towards the religion of Islam and its followers. The Inquisitr reported on such news in which Obama has expressed his desire for the U.S. military to be Muslim-friendly. For example, Obama pushed for all military personnel in Middle Eastern countries to respect Sharia Law during the month of Ramadan last year.

Despite Barack Obama’s attempt to make the U.S. military Muslim-friendly and Muslim-acceptable, there were certain statutes Muslims follow that may be in violation with certain conditions that were in place. Case in point, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim civil rights group, has now sued the government on behalf of a Northern California Muslim man. The primary reason: the man was denied re-enlistment for wearing a beard for religious reasons when he served in the U.S. Navy.

According to an article by SFGate and followed up by Fox News, it reports that Jonathan Berts of Fairfield, California, applied to wear a beard in the U.S. Navy back in January of 2011. However, the Department of Defense did not allow religious exemptions from grooming requirements at the time. Unfortunately for Berts, when religious acceptance was implemented back in January of 2014, it was too late for him. From what the CAIR lawyers of the lawsuit have stated, Berts was denied a previous promotion, subjected to a barrage of derogatory terms and anti-Islamic slurs, and asked inappropriate questions about his religious beliefs and loyalty to the United States.

After the disrespect, which includes the supervisor who rejected Jonathan Berts’ promotion calling him “camel jockey” and “towel head,” Berts agreed to an honorable discharge back in December of 2011. Brice Hamack, the civil rights coordinator for CAIR, stated that the military needs to “remedy the harm caused” to people like Berts. Hamack, however, recognized the strides the Department of Defense has made for Muslims.

“We appreciate that the Department of Defense has made strides in updating its stance on religious accommodations.”

Late last year, there was another dispute similar to the one between Jonathan Berts and the U.S. Navy. In October, a Muslim man was denied permission to grow a half-inch beard in an Arkansas prison. The reason for the denial is because the Arkansas prison system does not allow inmates to grow beards. Arkansas is also one of ten states in the United States that enforce this condition for their inmates.

Right now, there is no comment by the U.S. Navy pertaining to this situation. The lawsuit is still developing. The Inquisitr will report on any new information pertaining to the lawsuit as it becomes readily available.

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