Kuwait MP calls for end of armed forces beard ban

Islamist Salafist MP Abdulrahman Al Jeeran says exemption should apply to the army, police and the national guard, in addition to military academy students
Kuwait MP calls for end of armed forces beard ban
(Photo for illustrative purposes only)
By Beatrice Thomas
Tue 03 Jun 2014 01:38 PM

A Kuwait MP has called for servicemen to be allowed to grow beards without any restrictions in a proposal set to reignite debate over the vexed issue.

In a proposal submitted to the Kuwait Parliament, Islamist Salafist MP Abdulrahman Al Jeeran said the exemption should apply to the army, police and the national guard, in addition to students at military academies, Kuwait Times reported.

Under existing rules, servicemen can grow their beards slightly with some exceptions in the national guard, where soldiers can wear long beards.

According to the newspaper, the issue has been repeatedly contested and criticised by hardline Islamists who insist that growing a beard is a religious duty that must be respected.

However, Al Jeeran said personal freedom was guaranteed under the Kuwaiti constitution.

He said in the proposal that servicemen should have full freedom to grow their beards and any provisions forcing them to trim their beards or shave them should be “null and void”.

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