Once again the Military is forced to change its standards for political correctness. Sikh’s who wish to follow their customs and religion to the letter are not suitable for service, and should not be allowed to enlist in the Army. This isn’t a welfare program. This is life and death. Is the Military becoming a test for social engineering experiments?
By Michael Doyle
California resident Harpal Singh begins his Army training this week, unshorn and religiously intact.
Facing legal and political heat, including from lawmakers, the Army is accommodating Singh and several other soldiers whose Sikh faith sets unique grooming and clothing requirements. The beginning of Singh’s military service marks a victory for Sikhs.
“The accommodations are an enormous step forward,” Harsimran Kaur, California-based legal director for the Sikh Coalition, said Monday, adding that “they were made under pressure.”
But while Singh, 34, was scheduled to ship out Monday from his San Francisco Bay Area home for Army basic combat training, the systemic policy that once impeded his enlistment remains in place. For now, Sikhs must request religious accommodations on a case-by-case basis.
This tension between religious dictates and military standards is playing out in federal court, where a judge last Friday declined to grant a Ranger-trained West Point graduate firmer protections for following Sikh traditions. This officer, like Harpal Singh, is relying on an individual accommodation.
The judge rejected the request by Army Capt. Simratpal Singh to consolidate his lawsuit with one filed on behalf of several Sikhs including Harpal Singh, who is no relation. A request for a preliminary injunction, which would have given more legal force to Capt. Singh’s individual accommodation, was also denied.
“We’re disappointed,” Kaur said of the Friday ruling by U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell, “but we understand that a preliminary injunction is a high bar to reach.” More