Hagel folds to Hasan: Muslim Beards are In

hasan_beardedThis is from a week or two ago, and we’ve been having trouble believing it, but it’s real (.pdf). He’s still on track to get executed, but Nidal Hasan wins: SecDef Hagel has caved on his beard, and on any other extremist Mohammedans, and on any other bizarre religious style, affectation or disfiguration.

So Hasan has beaten the Army twice: once when he shot up dozens of people, and once again when the Secretary of Defense elevated Hasan’s religious whims above good order, uniformity, and discipline. Heartless Hasan has to be laughing his, again bearded, face off.

The Pentagon on Wednesday is expected to announce widespread changes to rules governing religious items and religion-based physical attributes that service members can maintain while in uniform — including beards, some religious tattoos, and turbans.

NBC News obtained an early draft of the new Department of Defense instruction which states that the military will make every effort to accommodate “individual expressions of sincerely held beliefs” (conscience, moral principles, or religious beliefs) of service members.

It goes on to say that unless doing so could have an adverse impact on military readiness, unit cohesion, good order and discipline, health and safety, or any other military requirement, commanders can grant service members special permission to display their religious articles while in uniform.

Requests for religious accommodation can be denied when the “needs of mission accomplishment outweigh the needs of the service member,” the directive will explain.

Earlier this month, a major in the U.S. Army who is a Sikh American took his case to staffers on the Hill, explaining how he and other Sikhs should be able to serve in uniform and still maintain their religious beliefs, including wearing turbans and unshorn hair, including beards.

The new directive will explain that if the articles of faith or physical attributes interfere with the proper function of protective clothing and equipment, the request could be denied.  For example, a beard or unshorn hair cannot interfere with gas masks or helmets.

Jewish service members can request permission to wear a yarmulke while in uniform. Muslim service members can request to wear a beard and carry prayer beads. Even Wiccan service members, those who practice “Magick,” can seek accommodation — the directive covers all religions recognized by the U.S. military.

via Pentagon to relax rules on personal religious wear — including beards, turbans – U.S. News.

Hood_victimThe Pentangle did indeed make the announcement, and you can read the regulation change here (.pdf). It reads as if it was drafted by anti-military lawyers.

It was probably inevitable once you realize the Administration views the military as a workplace like any other. After all, Hasan’s attack was simple “workplace violence.” And General Casey responded that the death of a few soldiers was no big deal, but it would be terrible if we let a few deaths threaten the overriding greatest value, “diversity.”

We have a diversity of ideas on that. And we reckon none of them would be pleasing to GEN Casey, or any of the other politicians, suited or uniformed alike.

15 thoughts on “Hagel folds to Hasan: Muslim Beards are In

  1. Aesop

    This should make the annual trip to the CS chamber a special treat to the three Muslim members in each service, and put a quick period to the end of their sentence should some enemy deploy something like GB or VX.

    Let’s go whole hog (Muslims should forgive the unfortunate pun) and simply save a couple hundred bucks, and decline to issue them gas masksat all, since they’ll never fit, and tell them if Mohammed loves them, the gas will not harm his chosen ones?

    Just trying to help out, Mr. Hagel, you gutless shitstain on the Pentagon porcelain.

    1. Samuel Leoon Suggs

      ACU burkas: I’m telling you it’s the new wave of a diverse military future.

      1. Bill K

        I’m not familiar with military terminology. ACU burka – would that be a MOPP suit with the finest silk niqab a riyal can buy?

        1. Hognose Post author

          ACU is the current Army uniform, the “Army Combat Uniform.” It’s also used to refer to the Army’s Universal Camouflage Pattern that’s on the ACU.

          1. Samuel Leoon Suggs

            I think all or part of that statement was sarcastic. However I’m very confused myself.

  2. TFA303

    I thought that we’ve let Sikhs wear their turbans and beards for a long time now – ditto yarmulkes. I never had a problem with that, as Sikhs are tough mofos who I’d be happy to have on my ship.

    The interesting thing to me is that this now isn’t just religious – it’s “sincerely held beliefs”. So.. if my “conscience, moral principles, or religious beliefs” is “Jedi Knight”, can I wear a beard like Obi-Wan?

    1. Hognose Post author

      Sure, go for it. Frankly, we’re Ventilarians here, and we worship ammunition. So our religious accommodation is hardware.

    2. Hognose Post author

      Sikhs were permitted by exception to regulation until circa 1982-3. At that time there were a couple dozen Sikhs in the Army including at least 2 SF qualified ones. But with the Sikhs having an exception, the moslems wanted beards, the Jews yarmulkes (one would-be kippah wearer actually sued and it went to the court of appeals or even Supreme Court), and the Wiccans, well, I dunno what Wiccans want. To go without bathing, perhaps. (In my limited experience, Wiccans were children traumatized by their bad decision to join up, and therefore seeking attention and anything to set them apart from the regimented herd. Obviously that’s a reference to specific people, and maybe other specific Wiccans aren’t like that, but I’m not interested in finding out. They’re at the intersection of It’s a Free Country so I don’t care what you do with Don’t Get in My Face). So, to quiet this barrage of conscientious objectors and attention seekers (and good luck determining which is which; how does any military organization do that?), they simply said: this is the uniform regulation, no exceptions. It worked for 30 years.

      Yes, the Sikhs do make excellent warriors. Conversely, the Wiccans don’t, and there are a lot more of them.

      1. Samuel Leoon Suggs

        I never would of thought their would be more Wiccan’s than Sikhs, it confounds me that you’ve actually run into an army Wiccan so what do I know?

        1. Hognose Post author

          There were hordes of them in MI, where I spent a miserable couple years herding those cats before escaping back to SF. Maybe it was a fad, because each soldier in MI was determined to be a Unique And Special Snowflake™.

  3. Samuel Leoon Suggs

    didn’t he used too have unibrow; I thought that was also part of his culture. a sign of virility or some such thing.

  4. Aesop

    BTW, I was just wondering if the current SecArmy or SecDef plan on using some form of execution on this lump of diaper spackle other than the calendar and actuarial tables.

    Can’t we just hand him off to some British contingent on St. Helena for custody pending trial, and slip them $50 to start putting low-dose arsenic in his daily allocation of halal baby food? It’s not like they’ve never done anything like that before.

    If that’s too harsh, drop all charges, return him to his room at the base BOQ, push him out of his wheelchair, and leave him there to fend for himself. Maybe even send him to Jump School with an Initial PRT waiver…

    Then he’d go out like most of his Islamic comrades’ weapons: Never been fired, and only dropped once!

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