Every day mainstream media publishes another story about the rights of minorities being subtly crushed in the face of an administration that promotes an American Pie, 1930’s version of what made this country great.
So it comes as a breath of fresh air to read about a recent New York State ruling that allows practicing Muslims and Sikhs an exception from an NYPD facial hair policy which bans facial hair longer than 1mm.
In June 2016, Masood Syed argued in Manhattan Federal Court that the NYPD’s policy established in December 2016 had no justifiable grounds. Despite that, per department records, the NYPD has not denied exception requests from anyone on the basis of religious practice.
The settlement between Syed and the NYPD is still pending a signature from the Judge. One the settlement is signed, the Court will monitor the acceptance or denial of facial hair accommodations at the NYPD for the next 18 months.
The NYPD facial hair policy will also include turbans. “We are pleased with the resolution of this case,” a City Law Department spokesperson said of the settlement. “The agreed upon reforms balance the operational needs of the police department with the religious beliefs and needs of officers.” “It’s a major change,” Police Commissioner James O’Neill previously said of the rule change. “Hopefully with this change in policy we’ll get more people to apply.”