August 9, 2013 (New York, New York) - The Sikh Coalition is calling on its supporters to participate in the campaign to end the presumptive ban on Sikh articles of faith in the U.S. military.
Right now, we respectfully ask for one minute of your time to sign a petition to President Obama calling for equal opportunity for all Sikhs who wish to serve in our nation's military.
Summary of the Problem
Under current U.S. military policy, Sikh soldiers are generally not allowed to maintain their articles of faith—specifically turbans, beards, and unshorn hair. This means that America’s largest, most prominent employer can irrationally exclude many Sikhs. It sends the wrong message to other employers and all Americans.
Between 2009 and 2010, because of the grassroots support of the Sikh American community, the U.S. Army granted three Sikhs—Maj. Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi, Capt. Tejdeep Singh Rattan, and Spc. Simranpreet Singh Lamba—temporary waivers to maintain their articles of faith. All three have received excellent feedback about their performance from their commanders and fellow soldiers.
Given the success of these Sikh American soldiers, and given that Sikhs are allowed to serve in the militaries of Canada, Great Britain, and India, we believe it is time for our nation’s military to change its policy so that all aspiring Sikh American soldiers can serve with their articles of faith intact.
Just One Minute Can Make a Difference
If you believe that all Sikh Americans should be allowed to serve in the U.S. military, please sign our petition to President Obama. As of today, only 4200 people have signed this petition. We can do much better. If you have not signed our petition, please sign it today.
Next week, we will send you an update about our efforts to build support for this campaign in the U.S. Congress, where several members of Congress have confirmed their support. In the meantime, please sign and share our petition to President Obama with everyone you know. It’s critical that we show the world that we care about this issue.