A US Federal court has allowed a Sikh student to enroll in its Reserve Officer Training Corps unit without shaving his beard, cutting long hair, and removing his turban.
In 2013, a student of Hofstra University, Iknoor Singh, was barred from enrolling in the ROTC program, unless he got rid of all his articles of faith.
The court ruled that the US Army’s refusal to allow Iknoor to keep following his religious practices of Sikh faith violated his rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps is a college-based program for training commissioned officers of the United States Armed Forces.
“I am very grateful that the freedom of religion our country fought so hard for, will allow me to pursue my dream career- serving this country as a military intelligence officer- without violating my faith,” Iknoor was reported as saying by a media outlet.
“Justice is about making sure that being polite is not the same thing as ‘being quiet”, says Alexandria Ocaso Cortez, Representative of the Bronx and New York while rallying in the women’s march in New York City.
The United States of America woke up on 19th January and saw thousands of women March for gender equality and bring pressing issues like the partial shutdown, Trump’s border wall and women’s reproductive rights to the light.
‘The crowd stretches so far that there’s no room left to march’ is how the first Women’s March was described when it was first held in 2016. Thousands of women marched together to show solidarity in lieu of ‘Anti-Trump Sentiments’, a day after Donald Trump swore in as the President.
Women’s March of 2017 inspired millions to run, to vote and dozens to win elections. A women’s wave swept away the U.S. this midterm election, with record number of women being elected as representatives of the house. The wave, however, did not end there and brought together people of different color, races, sexualities and abilities during the rally which took place across the country.
Women’s March Disability Coordinator, Mia Ives-Rublee says,” My hope is to continue to talk about how these different identities interact, how we can support each other, and how its so important that we are able to talk about disabilities, especially in Asian-American Communities”.
This year’s march is different because the organizers of the march are pushing aheead with a solid agenda. There are really specific policy demands which are crafted by a policy table of 50-70 women who are movement and policy experts.
Even after the recent disputes surrounding the leaders of the women’s march regarding the allegations of anti-Semitism, many women turned up not wanting to lose a seat at the table and to make sure that anti-Semitism is something that is addressed.