US Army graduates first Sikh in decades: News Roundup

This week, the army serves as a powerful example of religious tolerance in the workplace, Muslims in the Philippines protest Switzerland’s minaret ban and news sources from across the country continue discussing the Texas curriculum debate.

First, the Sikh army graduate. The army made its first exemption in 25 years, allowing Capt. Tejdeep Singh Rattan, an immigrant from India, to complete basic training without sacrificing the articles of his faith.
 
For the last 25 years, ostensibly for safety and discipline reasons, Sikhs could only join the army if they shaved their beards and abandoned their turbans. But the Sikh community in India has a long tradition of military service, so Rattan and the army had a model as they worked together to make sure neither his safety nor their strict discipline codes would not be at risk. He wore a small helmet over his turban and was able to fit his gas mask over his beard; the army created a small insignia patch normally worn on soldiers’ berets for his turban.
 
Though the army anticipated Rattan’s presence would cause trouble, Rattan didn’t get any flack from other soldiers.
 
He said:
"The Army is all about what you have to offer. If you’re sitting back there, not doing anything, they’re definitely going to talk about you. But if you’re up there running with them, you have good scores, you run neck-and-neck with them, they love you," he said. "I made a lot of friends" (Associated Press reports).
The army proved that with some small accommodations they can welcome religious diversity in their ranks. If they hadn’t made adjustments for Rattan, they would have lost a valuable member who can provide needed health care for our soldiers in the field. Hopefully, this employer’s tolerance of different religious practices will serve as an example to other workplaces. Beliefnet also weighs in.
 
In other news, the Swiss ban on minarets that took place last December is still reverberating around the world. This week Muslims in the Philippines rallied against the decision in a public square demanding the government overturn its decision.
 
 
 
 

Chatter over the Texas curriculum debate hasn’t died down either:

And some of the week’s other headlines:
Have a great weekend!