Muslim Group Suing Navy Over ‘Beard Discrimination’

A Muslim group is suing the Navy on behalf of a man who says he was discriminated against because of his beard.

The former Navy enlisted man alleges that he requested to keep his beard for religious reasons and was later made fun of because of it. He also claims he was rejected for a promotion due to his beard.

The Navy has not commented on the lawsuit.

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Jonathan Berts of Fairfield applied to wear a beard in January 2011, but Defense Department policy did not allow religious exemptions from grooming requirements. The Pentagon relaxed its policy in January, allowing accommodations for an individual’s religious beliefs, but it came too late to help Berts, said his lawyers at the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

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