DC Fire Department Ordered to Permit Beards for Muslim Firefighters

June 14, 2005

Source: The Washington Times


On June 14, 2005 The Washington Times reported, "A federal judge yesterday ordered the D.C. fire department to allow three bearded Muslim firefighters to serve on full duty until Aug. 1, when he expects to decide whether the safety issues outweigh the men's claims that shaving would violate their religious rights. U.S. District Judge James Robertson told an attorney for the city and an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union that he would decide the case after a one-day hearing Aug. 1 that will examine whether facial hair puts firefighters at risk. The case was first filed in 2001. 'This is definitely a victory, even though it is temporary,' said plaintiff Hassan A. Umrani, a city firefighter who has worn a full beard since his first day on the job 16 years ago."