New Delhi: The Indian Supreme Court has ordered that Muslim men can not support the beard while in the Air Force. The reason cited was that majority of Muslims don’t grow beards and it’s not religious for them to do so. However, the Muslim petitioners Air Force official Ansari Aftab Ahmed cited exemption to Sikhs as part of his petition to the Supreme Court.
Ansari also cited that keeping his beard was his fundamental right to freedom of religion. The Supreme Court in the ruling stated that keeping facial hair wasn’t part of the Muslim religion and claiming equality with the Sikh exemption isn’t even a comparison.
The Indian Airforce released a statement in regards via: Indian Express:
“all Muslims do not carry beard. The practice of growing and keeping beard is optional and sporting a beard is not universally recognised in the religion of Islam. Therefore, it cannot be said that Muslim religion prohibits the cutting of hair or shaving of the face of its member.”
The Muslims who joined the Air Force with a beard prior to January 1, 2002 are only allowed to carry a beard according to the defense ministry of India.