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To: President Obama

End the ban on devout Sikhs in the military

Allow devout Sikhs to serve in the US military with their articles of faith intact.

Why is this important?

Major Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi is an American hero who served bravely in Afghanistan as a doctor, earning a bronze star. But he was only allowed in the military in the first place after petitioning for two years for a special accommodation.

Today, in America, turbaned Sikhs are effectively barred from military service. Although the U.S. military technically permits soldiers to wear turbans, yarmulkes, and certain other articles of faith, they may only do so after requesting a special exemption from their commanding officer.

This process is often long and laborious and essentially requires Sikhs and members of other religious traditions to choose between faith and military service. Major Kalsi is standing up to the military’s policy, and we, as people of many faiths and backgrounds, stand with him.

President Obama, we respectfully call on your Administration to give turbaned Sikh American an equal opportunity to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces. As people of faith and moral conscious, we speak out against the U.S. military’s policy hindering Sikh Americans and others from serving military duty.

“[A]sking a person to choose between religion and country, that’s not who we are as a nation,” said Major Kalsi when he told his remarkable story to the New York Times. “We’re better than that. We can be Sikhs and soldiers at the same time.”

African-Americans fought to desegregate military units. Women fought to overcome combat prohibitions. Under your leadership, LGBTQ people successfully fought the military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

Now, we follow the lead of the Sikh Coalition and SIkh Americans across the nation –  to call for an end to the presumptive ban on devout Sikh soldiers in the U.S. Armed Forces.

As the Sikh American community heals from Oak Creek – the largest hate-based mass shooting in recent U.S. history – now is the time to end a policy that undermines their status as equal Americans.

May all patriotic Americans – regardless of race, gender, orientation, or religion – be able to serve the nation they love.


2014-05-14 17:07:43 -0400

In January, the Department of Defense announced it was loosening its dress code to allow soldiers to wear turbans, yarmulkes, and certain other articles of faith while serving in the military. But not everyone is celebrating the news:
Fox News covered the story and the depth of their fear tactics are astonishing. They even compare American soldiers like Major Kalsi to the Fort Hood shooter.

Right now we need a groundswell of support to stand up for the policy. Add your name to support our brothers and sisters of faith who are serving this country.

2013-07-19 20:59:03 -0400

500 signatures reached

2013-07-19 12:58:14 -0400

100 signatures reached

2013-07-19 12:05:06 -0400

50 signatures reached

2013-07-19 11:38:09 -0400

25 signatures reached

2013-07-19 11:16:16 -0400

10 signatures reached