Sikh soldier wins legal battle against US Marines, gets permission to wear turban

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A 26-year-old Indian-origin Sikh officer serving in the United States (US) Marines has been allowed to wear a turban with certain restrictions.

New York: A 26-year-old Indian-origin Sikh officer serving in the United States (US) Marines has been allowed to wear a turban with certain restrictions.

This is a unique event in the 246-year history of the US Navy. The US Navy officer has demanded complete religious freedom and if it doesn’t, she plans to sue the Marine Corps.

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According to a report in The New York Times, Sukhbir Toor has been wearing the US Navy Marine Corps uniform every morning for almost five years. On Thursday, the desire to wear a turban according to Sikhism was also fulfilled. The report said that Toor is the first person in the US Navy Marine Corps’ 246-year history to be allowed to wear a turban.

“I’m glad I didn’t have to choose between my faith and my country,” Toor said in an interview.

“I respect both,” he said.

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Toor has struggled a lot to get this right. He had decided to appeal this year when he was promoted as captain. According to the report, this was the first case of its kind to last for such a long time.

It is worth mentioning that before this, the soldiers of the Sikh community have fought a legal battle with the US Army and the US Air Force for wearing beard and turban. As a result, they were allowed to do so, and about 100 Sikhs are currently serving in the US Army and US Air Force with beards and turbans.

Toor will fight another battle for permission to wear turban everywhere

Toor, of Indian origin, who grew up in Washington and Ohio, has been allowed to wear a turban on duty with some restrictions. The condition is that he can wear a turban while on normal duty, but it will not be allowed when posted in a war zone.

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The New York Times reports that Toor has appealed against the Marine Corps Commandant’s restraining order. Toor says he will sue the Marine Corps if he is not allowed to wear the turban everywhere.

First published:September 27, 2021, 6:25 pm

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