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Muslim Security Guard Files Suit Claiming He Was Fired for Wearing a Beard

4 August 2011 General 12 Comments Email This Post Email This Post
Beard

Beard

By Nina Shapiro Thu., Aug. 4 2011 at 11:20 AM

​As a Muslim, Sea-Tac resident Abdulkadir Omar wears a beard for religious reasons. The security firm that hired him in the spring of 2009–a California-based outfit that broadcasts its conservative leanings with the name American Patriot Security–didn’t seem to have a problem with that. But then it did, as Omar plans to tell reporters today at a press conference organized by the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

According to a suit he filed last month in the U.S. District Court for Western Washington, American Patriot informed Omar after about five months of work as a security guard that his beard violated the firm’s “grooming policy.”

Omar, who was born in East Africa and immigrated here as a child, contacted the local office of CAIR, which wrote the company a letter explaining how his beard was an outgrowth of his religious beliefs. The letter failed to persuade American Patriot CEO Scott Jacobs, who told Omar that if he didn’t shave, he wouldn’t work, according to the suit. Omar refused, and that was the end of his career at American Patriot.

Perhaps Jacobs, who couldn’t be reached for comment this morning, was influenced by his law-enforcement background. According to his firm’s website, the American Patriot CEO spent 11 years as a deputy for the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department. Grooming policies are not uncommon in such agencies. Take the Seattle Police Department, which has an incredibly detailed list of “male hair standards” contained in its manual (see pdf). Among them:

The face will be clean shaven, except that mustaches will be permitted. If a mustache is worn, it shall be kept neatly trimmed and tidy. Mustaches may extend laterally not more than one-half inch (1/2″) from the corner of the mouth, nor more than one-quarter inch (1/4″) below the corner of the mouth, nor more than one-quarter inch (1/4″) down over the upper lip.

There are also “female hair standards,” incidentally, which mandate that women keep their hair shorter than their uniform collar.

SPD spokesperson Mark Jameison says he doesn’t know whether any officer has ever challenged those policies for religious reasons. But if someone did so, he says, “I’m sure it would be considered.”

In fact, employers are obligated by state and federal anti-discrimination laws to make such accommodations, according to Omar’s suit. CAIR says Omar already has a ruling from the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission saying that he was wrongfully terminated. Now, Omar is hauling American Patriot into court for back wages he says he’s due and a reform of the company’s policies.

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Original post: Muslim Security Guard Files Suit Claiming He Was Fired for Wearing a Beard

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12 Comments »

  1. Another case of discrimination against a Muslim by an employer.

    My only questions are:

    1) Did the brother have a beard when he was hired? If so, then it would seem that the employer doesn’t have a legal leg to stand upon. If he didn’t have a beard when he was interviewed & hired.
    2) How could he have worked there for 5 months and not been disciplined by inspecting security officers for not complying with their company’s policy on facial hair?

  2. Frankly I think this is another example of Muslims being their own worst enemy.These lawsuits by unsavory groups like CAIR hurt rather then help the image of Muslims in America. Muslims though less then 1% of the population appears to always need special handling and to be constantly complaining of discrimination and victimization. I never hear of these type of lawsuits and need for “accommodation” from Hindus, Buddhists or The Amish.It would be unthinkable for an Amish woman to insist on wearing an 1860s outfit while working at Abecrombie and Finch or for an Amish man to insist on wearing a long beard as a security guard.The Amish have customs outside the norm of the larger community but you never hear of them suing for “accommodation”.They have their own communities while working successfully as carpenters with the non-Amish community. The Amish are known for being hardworking, honest and peaceful. Other then watching out for their horse and buggys on the road they are no trouble to the non-Amish community.

  3. Koran 9:15 “whenever four forbidden months are over , wherever you find the polytheists, kill them, seize them, besiege them, ambush them”. These are the words from the Koran… So, non-Muslims , beware of the followers of Islam. They are here by mass immigration to conquer our country and impose their evil Shariah Law! Let us all unite and let us not be another Europe or England who are now trashed by these primitives!

  4. From what I have read the wearing of a beard is optional. So this could be a case of a devout man wanting to engage in a tradition, not a requirement or a man who just want to get his way and is using religion to do so. Either way the beard should have been shaved.

  5. Here we go again. Let me pull out my tiny violin.

  6. @angel i’ll advice to be careful of what you speak…..indeed if you want to learn about what quran say’s do not learn on hate sites it wont help you instead your hear will always be feeled with hate….the bible says love your neighbour as you love your self….i think we are done here! and by the way did the quran mentioned america? perhabs i may be mistaken….,,

  7. Almost as bad as China, if you fast during the month of Ramadan you get put into jail.

    Wonder what the USA is being lead into by the Islamaphobes and bigots.

  8. I am not sure what other communities are doing but in my home town if 4 upright citizens can find a person fasting during Ramadan we are allowed to sieze and auction his car off on Ebay.

  9. DeucePrez,

    1. Perhaps the person doing the interveiw wasn’t aware of the no beards policy. i know i’ve signed several papers saying i’ve read the employee handbook without having actually read it.

    2. As for “How could he have worked there for 5 months and not been disciplined by inspecting security officers for not complying with their company’s policy on facial hair?” perhaps he took a vacation and came back with facial hair? perhaps, where he reported to work didn’t have a “inspecting security officer”. sometimes security guys just show up at a building they are guarding, change shifts with the other security guard without a supervisor on site. maybe he came back from a three day weekend with some stubble, and the fired him. just because you see him with a pretty good beard in the picture doesn’t mean that’s how it looked when he was fired in what 2009.

    either way a company should have the right to demand a certain image from their employees. i remember when dominos was sued for not allowing a driver to have a beard. he sued under ada and won. i knew that was the end of freedom in america as we know it.

  10. ccc,

    that’s funny.

    perseverance,

    how in the world do they know if you’re fasting? hey look at that guy, he’s not eating, throw him in jail. seriously? talk about hard to prove. maybe there have only been 3 people arrested for fasting in the last 1000 years. you’re funny.

  11. That is why you will never catch me fasting Mike. My luck is not to great and I know if 3 people have went to jail in the last 1000 years for fasting, I would end up being the 4th.

  12. yeah i’ll make sure to carry half a sandwich with me next time i’m in china. sorry but that is hilarious perseveranze. really?

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