On March 13, 2014, the Sikh Coalition released a groundbreaking national report on the endemic bullying of Sikh school children in America. The report was released at a briefing in the US Capitol Building organized by the Congressional Anti-Bullying Caucus, the American Sikh Congressional Caucus, and The Sikh Coalition.

To learn more, please visit www.sikhcoalition.org/endbullying.

Congressman Heck Stands Up for Sikhs in the U.S. Armed Forces

On January 29, 2014, at a hearing before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel, Nevada Congressman Dr. Joseph Heck asked a Pentagon representative to explain why Sikh Americans are still being denied opportunities to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces with their articles of faith. Click here to watch the video.

Sikh Coalition Responds to Amended DOD Religious Guidelines

The Sikh Coalition issued the following statement today in response to new Pentagon rules governing religious liberty in the U.S. military
Click here to read more.

Read the coverage in The New York Times , BBC , Reuters, ABC, The Washington Post , Huffington Post, Religion News Services and Zee News.

Sikhi Included in School Curricula and Medical Manual

We are pleased to share three new educational resources that the Sikh Coalition reviewed and for which we submitted Sikh-related content. "Lets Get Real" by Groundspark, "In the Face of Xenophobia: Lessons to Address Bullying of South Asian American Youth" by South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) and The Medical Manual for Religio-Cultural Competenceby the the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding
Click here to read more

Legal Victory! Lexus Car Dealership to Change Policy & Pay Damages

The Sikh Coalition, Ravinder Bhalla Esq. and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reached a settlement with Tri-County Lexus, a car dealership in New Jersey, on behalf of Mr. Gurpreet S. Kherha who filed a discrimination charge with the EEOC and a lawsuit in 2009, claiming he was not hired by the car dealership because he maintains a beard, in violation of the dealership’s “no-beard” policy for sales and administrative personnel.
Click here to read more

[Press Release]Interfaith Coalition to Pentagon: New Religion Guidelines Still Discriminate

April 2, 2014 (Washington, DC) – In a show of unity, 21 national faith and interfaith organizations that occasionally disagree on religious liberty issues jointly sent a letter to the Department of Defense today to highlight discriminatory loopholes in the Pentagon’s new religious accommodation guidelines.

According to the letter, which was signed by the Sikh Coalition, the new guidelines require service members to violate their religion while accommodation requests are pending (a Catch-22) and repeatedly apply for temporary waivers. The letter states that these “stifling” requirements “may needlessly limit career opportunities – or, in some cases, end careers.”

Click here to read the letter.

“The Sikh Coalition is grateful to its partners in the interfaith community for uniting in support of equal opportunity in the U.S. Armed Forces,” said Rajdeep Singh, Director of Law and Policy for the Sikh Coalition. “If a service member can graduate from boot camp and successfully perform his or her military duties, their religion alone shouldn’t be a barrier to serving our country.”

Since the Pentagon began restricting the ability of Sikhs to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces in 1981, only three Sikhs – Maj. Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi, Capt. Tejdeep Singh Rattan, and Cpl. Simran Preet Singh Lamba – have received permission to serve in the U.S. Army while maintaining their articles of faith.

Despite their achievements, including promotions, awards, and two successful deployments to Afghanistan, their religious accommodations are neither permanent nor guaranteed under the new guidelines, must be constantly renewed, and can be taken away at any time, even shortly before retirement. Because of the new guidelines, current and future Sikh service members may also be required to remove their turbans, cut their hair, and shave their beards in violation of their religion while their accommodation requests are pending.


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