Army to Allow Hijabs, Turbans in Junior ROTC

Caroline May, Daily Caller, December 22, 2011

The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has announced that the Department of Defense will now allow Muslim and Sikh students participating in Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) to wear headscarves and turbans while in uniform.

The decision, announced Thursday, followed an October incident in which Muslim teen Demin Zawity quit JROTC when her commanding officer at a Brentwood, Tenn. high school would not allow her to wear her hijab in the homecoming parade.

CAIR later wrote to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta requesting “constitutionally-protected religious accommodations for the girl and for future Muslim JROTC participants.”

In a letter to the Muslim organization sent on Panetta’s behalf, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army Larry Stubblefield explained that based on the incident that led Zawity to quit JROTC, the Army will now be making more accommodations for religious headwear in the training program.

“Based on your concerns, the Army has reviewed its JROTC uniform policy and will develop appropriate procedures to provide Cadets the opportunity to request the wear of religious head dress, such as the turban and hijab,” Stubblefield wrote in the letter, made public by CAIR. “This change will allow Miss Zawity and other students the chance to fully participate in the JROTC program.”

Army spokesman George Wright confirmed Stubblefield’s letter to CAIR and explained to The Daily Caller that while JROTC is affiliated with the Army, it is not actually a part of the Army. The new procedures will provide JROTC with a exemption method more similar to current Army procedure mandated through the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993.

That law allows soldiers on active duty to apply for religious accommodation if they want to alter their uniforms in accordance with their religious beliefs. The exemptions are applied on a case-by-case basis. Soldiers who are transferred must reapply.

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  • CDE

    Where is the ACLU? Isn’t this religious expression in school AND the military?

  • Anonymous

    BOIL THE FROG SLOWLY – works well.

    from the article:

    Still, political commentator Jed Babbin, a former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense, noted that the point of a uniform is uniformity.

    “Look at the word: ‘uni’-’form’ — everybody wears the same thing,” Babbin told TheDC. “The military is by its own nature diverse and creates a culture in which everyone, regardless of their race or creed, is blended into one force for a common purpose. This [uniform exemption] divides it, balkanizes it on religious grounds… the point of JROTC is to get you ready for ROTC in college which is preparing you to go on active duty. So if you are going to allow it for ROTC? Why don’t you allow it on active duty?”

  • HH

    This should end well. Outside of Talk-Radio or Fox News Channel, their are fewer institutions generally less fond of Muslims than the American military (and I don’t mean in terms of “official” policies). If you don’t believe that – you don’t know anyone who serves or has in recent years!!

    Nope, nothing bad can come of this brilliant decision…

  • The Federal Farmer

    Goldman v. Weinberger – a US Supreme Court decision of March 25, 1986, holds that US Air Force regulations requiring an Orthodox Jew to conform with Air Force uniform regulations did not violate the Constitution.

    Significance: Goldman allows the military to sacrifice religious freedom for uniformity to maintain discipline and morale.

    These two groups should get with the program, or vacate our country, immediately.

  • Anonymous

    The Army will allow this, but they have made it clear that Chaplains must preform Same Sex “Marriages” which goes against their Christian Reigion, and are also ordered not to pray in Jesus’name. Likewise, the Navy and Air Force have made the same statements.

    Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt was discharged from the Navy because he refused to stop praying in Jesus’ name, as his Faith directs him to do. He has founded the “Pray in Jesus’ Name Project”, which petitions Congress, and others, on Religious matters, and anti-Christian acts.

    So, once again, hypocrisy is on the forefront of all of these decisions, as Christian Soldiers and Marines are barred from wearing Crosses, or having Bibles with them, as they defend Arab Muslim countries, but Sikhs can wear their Turbans, and Muslim women their headscarves.

  • Anonymous

    When does the US Army form its first suicide bomber corps? America is like the late West Roman empire, decadent, decaying faster and faster and its citizens devoid of any virtue.

  • Anonymous

    5 — Anonymous wrote at 6:32 AM on December 24:

    The Army will allow this, but they have made it clear that Chaplains must preform Same Sex “Marriages” which goes against their Christian Reigion, and are also ordered not to pray in Jesus’name. Likewise, the Navy and Air Force have made the same statements.

    Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt was discharged from the Navy because he refused to stop praying in Jesus’ name, as his Faith directs him to do. He has founded the “Pray in Jesus’ Name Project”, which petitions Congress, and others, on Religious matters, and anti-Christian acts. ”

    But it is not the job of Congress or the obligation of the government to promote any religion or create or maintain special privileges for one or any.

    To imply that Christianity ought to be endorsed or supported by the government in the Armed Forces only sets up a religious competition in a place where there ought to be none.

    Everything I have learned from people enlisted in our armed forces is that they are nearly forced to go to church during bootcamp. If they don’t the alternative is hard work, so many go just to get a break. AND If the Armed Forces support Chaplains, they also are obligated to supply non-Christian advisers to Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, even Wicca members. Further, the back story of the death of Pat Tilman in Afghanistan is that he was an atheist and used to have arguments with men in his outfit. The drive to suppress Christianity in the military is based on its former rampant and intolerant expression therein.

    So of course, this new liberalizing of uniform breaks down further, the idea of the military discipline. But it began when women were admitted into the same corps and allowed to wear makeup and retain long hair, etc., as the slippery slope goes…

    HOWEVER;

    (Legal) consistency is an all-or-nothing proposition.

    Realists should be realistic.

  • Spartan24

    RE- Goldman decision- an Orthodox Jewish soldier who wants to wear a skullcap must wear one that fits under his uniform cap without being seen. In other words a Jewish man wearing a skullcap in a non-visible fashion is IMHO not violate a uniform standard where a Muslim woman or Sikh man wearing a turban that are in lieu of a uniform hat ruins any continuity and defeats the purpose of wearing a uniform.

  • Anonymous

    And why not? You can be part of the military and be a gang member, a foreigner, a homosexual, and someone who likes sex with animals. This is just the logical progression towards the chaos which is modern America a.k.a Babylon. I am surprised they haven’t done something like this sooner.

    I love how we fight these phoney neo con wars against muslims on one hand, and then play the PC game here in America on the other. It would be hilarious if it were not so schizophrenically sad.

  • Stick

    In the Australian Army we have Sikhs who wear turbans and sport beards. So what? They’re great fighters. (Normally only Navy personnel are allowed to have beards here).

  • Awakened

    3 — HH wrote at 12:43 AM on December 24:

    This should end well. Outside of Talk-Radio or Fox News Channel, their are fewer institutions generally less fond of Muslims than the American military (and I don’t mean in terms of “official” policies). If you don’t believe that – you don’t know anyone who serves or has in recent years!!

    Nope, nothing bad can come of this brilliant decision…

    ****************

    I disagree. #2 stated that “boiling the frog slowly works very well. Yes. It does. This is how they get their nose in the tent. In 50 years this country will be as different from 2011 as 2011 is from 1960 if people don’t stand up and do something about it. And because they’re doing it so slowly, White people are becoming slowly conditioned to their displacement one generation after another.