'Bearded' American Muslim sues police department for being sacked

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Washington, July 27 : A Muslim man in the US has reportedly sued a police department where he formerly worked, for sacking him simply because he refused to shave his beard, which he considered as "an expression of Muslim belief and practice".

The Muslim man identified as A. Zaidi worked as a Kane County correctional officer with the Illinois police department till last year, before he was sacked from his services for keeping beard.

He sued the Kane County Sheriff's Department, where he worked from July-December 2006, reported the Daily Times.

Zaidi had lost his job as a Kane County correctional officer last year when the new sheriff Pat Perez ordered that all employees must be clean-shaven. Zaidi refused explaining that his beard was "an expression of his Muslim practice and belief", added the paper.

In his complaint, he claimed that a supervisor had asked him for a proof that he was Muslim, but before he could do so, he was told to quit or he will be dismissed.

A court will now review Zaidi's complaint.

According to the paper, the major problems being faced by American Muslims are prejudice and being viewed as terrorists.

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