CAIR-Sacramento, Church State Council Sue Over Navy Beard Ban, Harassment of Muslim Petty Officer

(SACRAMENTO, CA, 12/23/2014) – The Sacramento Valley office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SV) and the Church State Council today announced the filing of a lawsuit against the United States Navy and the Department of Defense alleging violations of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and the Administrative Procedures Act (APA).

According to the lawsuit, Jonathon Berts, an African-American Muslim who enlisted in 2002, was consistently given positive reviews, was placed in positions of leadership, and received several medals for his performance.

In early 2011, Berts applied for a religious accommodation to grow a beard in accordance with his sincerely-held religious beliefs. His request and subsequent appeal were denied.

Following this request, his commanding officers reportedly subjected him to intense harassment targeting his Islamic beliefs. His commanding officers allegedly used his Islamic faith as a reason to directly question his loyalty to the United States.

In addition to the accommodation denial and harassment, Berts’ commanding officers stripped him of his leadership positions and re-assigned him to an abandoned “roach infested” building where he was instructed to stand guard over old office equipment.

Ultimately, despite almost a decade of positive reviews and accolades, he was denied reenlistment into active duty in early 2012.

“We appreciate that the Department of Defense has made strides in updating its stance on religious accommodations,” said Brice Hamack, CAIR California’s northern California civil rights coordinator. “But for persons like Mr. Berts, these updates have come too late and corrective action must to be taken to remedy the harm caused.”

“This case clearly shows that it’s not enough to issue regulations prohibiting discrimination – much more diligence is needed to enforce those regulations,” said Alan Reinach, Church State Council’s executive director. “We hope that Mr. Berts’ courage in coming forward will encourage others to stand up against religious discrimination in the military.”

CAIR-SV is an office of CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

The Church State Council is the oldest public policy organization in the southwestern United States devoted exclusively to issues of liberty of conscience and religion and the separation of church and state.

Source: CAIR Newsletter (not loaded on their site yet).

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  • Drunk_by_Noon

    This is so horrible!
    It would be like questioning the loyalty of any ardent Nazis during WW-II.
    Nazis are just another political party, and we don’t question Democrats or Republicans, so it would be hypocritical to question the loyalty of a Nazi.

    • Yes, the Nazis were Nationalists. If you can’t trust them to be patriotic, who can you trust?

      • DVult

        The puslums of course.

        • Ah, yes, they’re great patriots.

          • DVult

            You can trust the puslums to be puslums like you can trust a fire to be hot and an icepick in the eye to be painful.

          • Leon Trotsky knew a great deal about icepicks.

          • DVult

            I heard that his last words were arrrghh, oucchhh.

          • Words of wisdom.

          • DVult

            puslums are the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human beings I’ve ever known in my life.

          • I hear that a lot. Mostly from them but still …

          • DVult

            Also many politicians after they blow stuff up and kill p[eople.

          • Yes, somebody has to take the lead and show the rest of us how to be good dhimmis.

          • DVult

            I thought they were showing us how to be insane.

          • That too.

      • Drunk_by_Noon

        Damn, that almost made sense!
        Well done Gary.

  • Canadian

    After all those years, he suddenly wants to grow a beard!
    The next step is to suddenly start killing his fellow soldiers.
    Déjà vu….

    • Nothing to do with pislam. It’s all just a coincidence.

      • Canadian

        Sure. It`s happened with every other religions. Just ask CAIR, they`ll tell you.

  • Iamnotweetoddit

    His officers are on the right track.

    • Gary

      This is looking like the early stages of the Fort Hood jihadist that got glowing reviews and was promoted up the ladder very quickly .
      No big Shock that CAIR is once again aiding in a Jihadist doing dawah in the Armed Forces while earning money from the taxpayers.
      The only time CAIR doesn’t defend a muslims is after the jihad slaughter when CAIR then takes the fall back position that the Person wasn’t a true muslim.
      Disney had this same problem with the Hijab and CAIR was right there to threaten a Lawsuit . The scam is to get a job looking like the average person, then later on you suddenly become a devout muslim that must wear the Hijab or grow a beard or stop working to pray .
      Funny how they never think of moving to one of those islamic hell holes if they love islam and sharia so much.

  • Xavier

    What happens when he has a female superior officer?

    • Blacksmith

      It is a slippery slope indeed.

  • Blacksmith

    Assimilate or leave. I did not like the mustache/beard policy when I was in the navy, but it is what it is, deal with it.

  • cmh

    He will win