(RNS) — Muslim and Sikh advocacy groups have welcomed new guidelines issued by the U.S. Air Force last week allowing personnel to request a waiver to wear religious apparel, including turbans and hijabs, and to have unshorn hair or beards for religious reasons. 

The updated policy, published Saturday (Feb. 8), says beards and head coverings must appear “neat and conservative,” but requests can only be denied if the policy “furthers a compelling government interest” and is the least restrictive way of furthering that interest.

Advocates said they saw the revisions as a step forward for inclusion, though they ultimately promoted policies that would not require such waivers or exemptions.

“No Sikh American should have to choose between their religious beliefs and their career ambitions,” said Giselle

Read More At Article Source | Article Attribution