January 18, 2014 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Washington, DC (January 18, 2014): It is learnt that on January 8, 2014, the Sikh Coalition—in partnership with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and the law firm McDermott Will & Emery—organized a Congressional briefing to highlight ongoing challenges faced by Sikhs who wish to serve in the U.S. military. Major Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi spoke about his military career and barriers to religious liberty for Sikhs who wish to join the U.S. military.
“The Sikh Coalition is grateful to its friends at the Becket Fund and McDermott Will & Emery, and to Major Kalsi, for their partnership on this groundbreaking campaign. We are also grateful to Representatives Joseph Crowley, Rodney Frelinghuysen, David Valadao, and Judy Chu for building momentum in Congress to end the presumptive ban on Sikh articles of faith in the U.S. Military”, a newsletter by the Sikh Coalition reads.
It is notable that since 2009, three Sikh Coalition clients—Major Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi, Captain Tejdeep Singh Rattan, and Corporal Simran Preet Singh Lamba—have received rare and historic accommodations to serve in the U.S. Army with their articles of faith intact.
“These soldiers have won awards and promotions and courageously proved that Sikhs can make great soldiers without abandoning their faith. Now we must support them by expanding opportunities for all Sikh Americans who wish to serve their nation”, the Sikh Coalition has noted in the newsletter.
According to the Sikh Coalition the ban on Sikh articles of faith in the U.S. military is one of the last institutional barriers to religious liberty for Sikhs in the United States. The Sikh Coalition has urged it’s members and supporters to write letters to concerned authorities to remove ban on Sikh articles of faith in the US military.
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