Canada: Can a Mountie Be Turbaned?

Can a Mountie Be Turbaned?

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are a much loved national symbol. But a proposal by R.C.M.P. Commissioner Norman Inkster to make their trademark flat- brimmed dress hat optional for Sikh recruits, whose religion demands they wear turbans, is pitting traditionalists against civil rights advocates and the immigrant community.

The R.C.M.P. wants to increase its minority recruits. Less than 1% are members of such non-European groups as Asians and blacks, who constitute 6.3% of the population. The Justice Department has concluded that the hat requirement discourages Sikhs from joining the force and would probably fail a court challenge. But Alberta housewife Dot...

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