Bera Applauds Air Force Decision to Allow Religious Accommodation for Sikh Airman
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Ami Bera (CA-07) today applauded the decision of the U.S. Air Force to the authorize the first active Airman to wear a turban, beard, and long beard in adherence to his religious beliefs.
“Sikhs have long played an important role in protecting and defending our nation,” said Rep. Bera. “It is only right that these patriots be able to serve while in their religious attire or grooming. I urge the Department of Defense to expand these religious accommodations and make them more easily accessible.”
Prior to the announcement, Sikhs were not permitted to adhere to certain Sikh beliefs due to grooming and dress guidelines.
In 2017, the Army became the first military branch to allow Sikh Americans to receive career-long accommodations to wear articles of faith. Bera, in concert with the Sikh Coalition, advocated for a constituent from California’s 7th District, Private Shabaddeep Singh Jammu, to obtain long-term religious accommodation.
Since taking office, Bera has led efforts on behalf of Sikhs in the military, law enforcement, and sports.
Bera pushed the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) to change its policy requiring Sikhs and other players to remove articles of faith during international competition, in addition to multiple letters signed by dozens of Members of Congress urging FIBA’s board to end its discriminatory policy against players who wear turbans.
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