CAIR says Navy discriminated over enlisted man’s beard – and they may win

There’s hypocrisy and then there’s just blatant hypocrisy.

Just to set the stage here, when I served in the military, a male could have a beard based on medical reasons — he had to be granted a “profile.”

The condition was normally known with black troops who suffered from severe “razor bumps.” Now, back in the day, stellar troops would buy “magic shave” which was a power-cream application that would draw out the ingrown facial hairs — similar to Nair for women. If you could survive the smell you’d end up with a smooth face. There was also another product called “Black Man Bump Free” which also was used for the severe ingrown facial hair issue.

However, trying to beat the system and grow a beard without a medical allowance wasn’t tolerated. Currently the only possibility for having a beard in the U.S. military is for mission purposes and normally seen in combat zones on the faces of our Special Operations forces. The main reason why beards weren’t accepted is that you can’t get a proper seal on a gas mask with one — and that could force a trooper to be declared “non-deployable.”

So here we go with the hypocrisy of the day, as reported by SFGate.com, “A Muslim civil rights group has sued the government on behalf of a former Navy enlisted man from Northern California who says he was the target of ethnic slurs, was reassigned to a menial job, and was later denied re-enlistment after seeking permission to wear a beard for religious reasons.”

‘Jonathan Berts of Fairfield applied to wear a beard in January 2011, but Defense Department policy did not allow religious exemptions from grooming requirements. The Pentagon relaxed its policy in January, allowing accommodations for an individual’s religious beliefs, but it came too late to help Berts, said his lawyers at the Council on American-Islamic Relations.” (oh, CAIR, what a surprise)

“After his request for a religious accommodation was turned down, Berts, an African American Muslim who had enlisted in 2002, was denied a previously recommended promotion and was subjected to “a barrage of derogatory terms, anti-Islamic slurs, and inappropriate lines of questions about his religious beliefs and loyalty to the United States,” said the lawsuit, filed this week in U.S. District Court in Sacramento.”

This is the slippery slope when you relax standards — as the military did in allowing Sikhs to maintain their beards. The U.S military is based on a simple concept — uniformed discipline — hence why you get a buzz cut upon entering basic training. It’s all about understanding that individual behavior is transitioned into the ideal of the unit. It’s why the phalanx was a formidable formation, instead of individual fighters.

When accommodations for external appearance are made based on individual beliefs, religious or otherwise, it breaks down unit cohesion. You don’t have Jewish troops wearing their yarmulkes under our military headgear.

Now, here is the blatant hypocrisy — where is the Freedom from Religion Foundation or Mikey Weinstein’s Military Religious Freedom Foundation? We just recently shared the story of an Army Chaplain being disciplined by his commander for speaking of his faith during a suicide prevention training session.

So why isn’t ol’ Mikey chiming in on this case? Or is it just Christians who should be court-martialed for professing their faith openly and charged with the crime of sedition?

Let me explain why I believe this case will be won by the plaintiff, Mr. Berts.

The U.S. Army can be blamed for establishing a precedent because it allowed Malik Nidal Hasan to wear his beard while still an active duty officer due to his “religious beliefs” as he underwent trial for the Islamic jihadist attack resulting in the death of 13 and severe wounding of another 31 in December of 2009 at Ft Hood Texas.

As a matter of fact, the original Army judge who ordered Hasan to be shaved was taken off the case and replaced by a female Army judge who allowed Hasan to keep his beard — as it signified his Islamist belief. And if you review this current case, you’ll find Mr. Berts was given allowance for his beard in his first four-year tour in the Navy — due to medical reasons — Berts is black which is why I provided the shaving bump background.

As SF Gate reports, “Berts, who had wanted to stay in the Navy, agreed to an honorable discharge in December 2011 and has applied unsuccessfully for re-enlistment several times since, the suit said. He manages low-income apartment buildings in Fairfield but still serves in the Naval Reserves with high evaluations, said attorney Brice Hamack, the Muslim group’s Northern California civil rights coordinator. Hamack said Berts was allowed to wear a beard during his first four years in the Navy for medical reasons, because of a skin condition, and was turned down only when he later asked to wear one because of his Islamic faith.”

That was the correct assessment but the relaxing of standards created a gap that could be exploited. But there may well be another reason for this folly, willfully championed by the venerable Council for American Islamic Relations — an Islamic terrorist group as designated by the United Arab Emirates and an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest Islamic terrorist funding case in the United States.

“We appreciate that the Department of Defense has made strides in updating its stance on religious accommodations,” Hamack said, but it also needs to “remedy the harm caused” to people like Berts under the previous policy. The suit seeks court orders returning Berts to active duty and restoring the losses he suffered to his pension and other benefits because of his discharge.”

So excuse me for believing this isn’t so much about the right to wear a beard as much as bilking the U.S. Navy for money. First of all, Berts did not serve 20 years so he doesn’t qualify for a pension. Second, Berts is serving in the U.S. Naval Reserve after receiving an Honorable Discharge — denied reenlistment into the active duty Navy due to his changed status from a medical exemption to a religious belief for maintaining a beard.

All of this would be easy if our military wasn’t moving towards a “Happyland” of social egalitarianism where definitive and distinguishing standards are dismissed, all for some misguided sense of social justice.

Yes, the military is a discriminatory organization — it has to be, as the profit margin is measured in lives, not dollars and cents. Everyone doesn’t get to have a trophy and we don’t hand out medals based on what we think someone will achieve. It’s a volunteer force and that means the individual conforms to the military – that’s what makes our modern day warriors the best. They want to serve and take a post on that wall.

If Mr. Berts’ beard is more important than this country, I know there are more who are willing to take his place.

Leave a Reply

33 Comments on "CAIR says Navy discriminated over enlisted man’s beard – and they may win"

avatar
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
VL123
Guest

About time to not let Muslims in our armed services.

Angela Martin
Guest

Please would a US resident report this to Freedom From Religion at:

http://ffrf.org/legal/report

Please note this important information on the form:

“Religion in military (You MUST include chain of command and contact information for your superiors if you are requesting FFRF action)”

Thanks. It’s probable that it’s simply not been noticed yet by FFRF, due to the end of the year?

Debbrisean Fowler
Guest

What is preventing YOU from doing this Angela? I am sure they are fully aware of this situation as it has been ongoing for a number of years.

BTW, the FFR group is NOT about freedom from religion for themselves, but won’t be happy until they force ALL people to abandon religion. Where is the freedom there?

Angela Martin
Guest

I’m not a US resident. Simple as that.

bobmontgomery
Guest
So the NSA, which merely collects information, is allowed to bypass the Constitution just to collect data, but the military, which is actually taked with defending the nation, has to sacrifice unit cohesion and mission readiness in order to humor the individual. .Might as well throw out 3,000 years worth of military training and operational readiness history and philosophy texts along with our bibles and the aforementoned Constitution. All Christians who serve have ever asked was a chance to pray quietly during a lull in the battle; never ever to disturb or interfere or distract. Not only the military, but… Read more »
Paul Sheridan
Guest

Wow, that’s some slippery slope there. It starts with a bearded guy in the navy and ends with the demise of western civilization and Christianity. You think maybe you’re exaggerating the danger a little?

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

Now you are complaining about someone wanting a BEARD!! How petty are you ALLEN WEST?

Tatti Bear
Guest

How petty are you for stalking someone’s page just to rant?? Coming from a military background, something you’re oblivious to, Colonel West is 100% correct.. Now go back to your DNC plantation and spew your PC propaganda there.

John McMickle
Guest
You realize that a person with a beard aboard ship could cause a problem. In the event of a fire they could not use a breathing apparatus. That means the at the very least you will suffer ling damage from smoke inhalation, at the worst you will die from smoke inhalation. Unitrom standards were set for a reason, the short hair dates to World War I. Living in the trenches caused head lice, The remedy very short hair. Further why is the beard necessary, I am almost positive they do not have special rations to meet religious beliefs. No Kosher… Read more »
Paul Sheridan
Guest

Okay but trench warfare has been rendered extinct at this point so why keep the short hair requirements? Firefighters in Washington DC won a similar case against their department after the department was forced to admit that “The Department fully concedes that bearded firefighters have worn SCBA units for many years without incident.”
There are actually Kosher and Halal MREs too, although they could always opt for the veggie omelet if they’re really trying to prove their faith

John McMickle
Guest
“Okay but trench warfare has been rendered extinct at this point so why keep the short hair requirements?” Dirty and unsanitary field conditions still exist. Living in close proximity makes thing worse if something starts. “The Department fully concedes that bearded firefighters have worn SCBA units for many years without incident.” That is a positive pressure device. Not every device is an SCBA with positive pressure. Next by NFPA 1500 facial hair is not allowed and the workers compensation insurance may have a lot to say about the situation if someone is injured. “There are actually Kosher and Halal MREs… Read more »
Paul Sheridan
Guest
Dirty and unsanitary conditions exist yes but that’s not why the grooming regulations are so strict. The worst possible hardship posting in Afghanistan is still orders of magnitude cleaner and more sanitary than a trench in Verdun. It’s about maintaining uniformity and discipline, which I can understand. However it’s not essential to the military mission that everybody look exactly the same. It’s just traditional at this point. And traditions should be periodically reexamined to see if they’re still serving a useful purpose. So the point remains, the military doesn’t bend over backward to accommodate people’s religious preferences but it does… Read more »
John McMickle
Guest
“For example, Sunday and Saturday are generally not working days because of the religious observances of Christians and Jews.” You get into a real fight and there are no days off. “If this sailor was serving aboard ship in wartime or in a firefighters billet (I think I used that term correctly, I don’t speak squid) then let the captain decide if he has to shave his beard. If he’s in the rear with the gear then why not let it go?” You ever heard of sick call commandos. You start letting everyone that cannot shave for religious reasons stay… Read more »
Paul Sheridan
Guest

There are easier ways to malinger than converting publicly to Islam. That’s some Corporal Klinger level of effort.

John McMickle
Guest

Their is some religion out there they could claim some where. One would be to claim you took the Nazarite Vow. Ironically that is what the family that filed the suit removing prayer from school tried to use in a later lawsuit or her son being sent home for hair that violated the school dress code.

Paul Sheridan
Guest

Dude, you realize you’re grasping at straws at this point right?

John McMickle
Guest
No more than you trying to justify relaxing the standards for no reason. There only reason is political correctness simply tell everyone what the rules are before they sign the contract if they do not like it do not sign. Plain and simple there is no need to change rules every time someone comes along and feels offended. Any one can claim they are a member of any religion. Technically a person h could claim to be muslim to get friday off, then claim to be Jewish or Seventh Day Adventist to get Saturday off and then Catholic or Christian… Read more »
bobmontgomery
Guest

Thank ‘my deity’ you don’t plan missions or decide what the requirements for them are.

Paul Sheridan
Guest

Because beards = defeat?

Dan Buhr
Guest

Are you as dense as you sound ? It starts with these things you consider meaningless and just grows. Like CAIR, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Berts Beard. You have to snip it in the bud or at skin level in this case. You obviously never served and have no love for our country. Those who have served and do love the country understand that discomfort or lack of freedom to do as you please in the military, it can cost lives. Not that you’d care.

Paul Sheridan
Guest

I served, I fought, I killed for this country. And I still think this is silly.

rapid_apathy
Guest

A terrorist organization wants the US military to have different rules for dhimmis and Muslims? What a surprise.

anarchyst
Guest
this will probably get me banned from this site, but I don’t care…the TRUTH needs to be told. Mikey Weinstein is of a certain “race”, “culture”, what have you…who were the inventors and promoters of communism, many who espouse communistic beliefs, one being that the social order and culture of an enemy society has to be torn down and otherwise destroyed (from within) so that it can be replaced with a new communist “order”. Look at the damage that Mikey Weinstein has done to our nation’s military. It might interest some to know that this turd Weinstein holds dual-citizenship with… Read more »
John McMickle
Guest

Allen West is correct, it is about forcing everyone to conform to the same grooming and dress codes. There is not a lot of room for individuality, it is does not work well.

Tatti Bear
Guest

Political correctness in the military is a death knell.. WTG Progressives and your quest to destroy everything America is known for.

CheetoBuster
Guest

If you are Muslim, you can’t join our military…it should be that simple anymore if this is what these fools want to do to our military. They just want to destroy it, they want their own special rules and it is a disgrace our military has sunk this low to let this happen! Enough is enough already!

Paul Sheridan
Guest

Who cares? Just let soldiers have a beard if they want. We let special ops people wear beards for no really legitimate reason. It’s just a special perk they get for being a bad4ss. Put a razor in your rucksack and if the commander determines that there’s a risk of chemical attack then everybody needs to shave that thing off – no exceptions. This isn’t worth losing good soldiers over.

CheetoBuster
Guest

If you can’t stay disciplined enough not to grow a beard, you aren’t a good soldier. There is no reason to change the military now just because of a few Muslims!

Diana Spirit
Guest

I agree.. There is no such thing as a moderate Muslim. They want to form a Caliphate here and they been crossing our borders since Obama.. Every where around the world Muslims are killing innocent people. They don’t belong on American soil.. They believe everything Officers put people in jail for.. They rape babies , Children and Woman,. They beat their wives and fk animals. They control everything they want. They are sick evil sub human who pray to the one below.

meghann8211
Guest

Caroline . even though Patrick `s blog is amazing, I just bought a new Porsche 911 sincee geting a check for $6052 this-last/5 weeks and even more than $10 thousand this past month . with-out any doubt it’s the most-comfortable job I have ever done . I started this seven months/ago and pretty much immediately was bringin in more than $71, p/h . go to the website……..>> -> check it out now from here!! <-

Paul Sheridan
Guest

We changed it to ban beards already at the beginning of the 20th century. Ambrose Burnside was a good soldier despite his impeccable facial hair. So are the guys in special ops.

Edited: I guess Burnside wasn’t a great example of a soldier, just a soldier with great facial hair. Replace with Robert E. Lee or Ulysses Grant depending on your latitude.

CheetoBuster
Guest

If your beard is that important to you, don’t join the military

Paul Sheridan
Guest

You could use that reasoning to justify any arbitrary and stupid rule.