...As important and connected with the movement as the wearing of dreadlocks is, though, it is not deemed necessary for, or equivalent to, true faith. Popular slogans, often incorporated within Reggae lyrics, include: "Not every dread is a Rasta and not every Rasta is a dread..."; "It's not the dread upon your head, but the love inna your heart, that mek ya Rastaman" (Sugar Minott); and as Morgan Heritage sings: "You don't haffi dread to be Rasta...," and "Children of Selassie I, don't lose your faith; whether you do or don't have your locks 'pon your head..."
You might like to check the Guide on Religion and Beliefs in the MOD and Armed Forces publication which says different to that quoted by the Chaplains. If you PM me I will send you a pdf copy or if you are on DII you can search on the Intranet.
Rastafarianism originated in Jamaica in 1930 and it has been estimated that there are about 5,000
Rastafarians in the UK.
Beliefs and Practices
Rastafarianism links with Judaism and early Christianity.Obedience to the Ten Commandments is
very important and both the Bible and Ethiopian history are closely studied. The Nazarite Vow of
Separation is followed closely and prohibits the cutting of hair. It also emphasizes the celebration
of life, rather than death.
Many British Rastafarians belong to the Twelve Tribes of Israel movement, which seeks to educate
youngsters in the advancement of black people.The crowned Lion of Judah, bearing the Ethiopian
flag of red, gold and green, is a highly recognised symbol, as too are the Star of David and the
l Birthday of Haile Selassie I (23 July)
l Ethiopian New Year (11 September)
l Anniversary of the Crowning of Hiale Selassie I (2 November)
l Christmas (25 December)
Rastafarians prefer natural food such as fruits and vegetables (called I-tal). Salt is avoided but spices
and pepper are very popular.Most do not eat pork as it is seen as unclean and some refuse alcohol.
Hair is worn uncut in dreadlocks often covered by a hat which is usually red, green and gold.
Other Points of Note
Whilst the faith supports the smoking of ganga (marijuana) this practice remains unlawful in the
UK, and is unaffected by the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief ) Regulations.
GUIDE ON RELIGION AND BELIEF IN THE MOD AND ARMED FORCES
The same publication has an Annex just about different dress permitted and I have copied it below:
RELIGIOUS DRESS IN THE ARMED FORCES
1. All Service personnel are required to wear standard pattern uniforms and adhere to Service
clothing policy and instructions. However, the Armed Forces recognise the need to observe
specific codes of dress in accordance with particular religious beliefs. For operational and health
and safety reasons,members of the Armed Forces may have to be flexible in some circumstances.
More detailed information on religious dress can be found in single-Service Dress Regulations.
2. In the Armed Forces Sikhs are permitted to wear the 5Ks: Kara (steel bangle), Kesh (uncut
hair), Kanga (small comb), Kaccha (special design knee length underwear) and Kirpan (small
sword); male Sikhs can also wear a turban. However, some constraints regarding the wearing of a
turban and keeping facial hair uncut do exist:
Some trades require specialist headgear to be worn, especially in operational circumstances.
Examples of this are Commanderâs helmets in armoured fighting vehicles, combat helmets,
breathing apparatus (full hood) for fire fighters, and flying helmets for aircrew in some types
of aircraft. Turbans are incompatible with such specialist headgear, which must be worn on
health and safety grounds. Male Sikh personnel can normally wear a patka under specialist
headgear, however, this is not possible under a flying helmet which must be closely fitted to
the contours of the head. Aircrew with long hair, male and female,may be required to have
their hair cut short in order to achieve a satisfactory fit of a flying helmet.
Muslim and Sikh Men
3. Muslim and Sikh men are permitted to wear short neatly trimmed beards. However, for
occupational or operational reasons, where a hazard clearly exists, personnel authorised to wear
beards on religious grounds will have to be prepared to modify or remove their beards to such an
extent as to enable the correct wearing of a respirator or breathing apparatus.
a. Aircrew It is unlikely that a male Muslim or Sikh would be able to obtain an
effective seal on his oxygen mask without trimming his beard.
b. Respirator An effective seal on a respirator can only be achieved when the skin is
clean shaven. In an operational environment (including training in preparation for
operational deployment) where there is an NBC threat,Muslims, Sikhs and indeed all
personnel with beards,would need to shave. However, when practising NBC drills, male
Muslim and Sikh personnel will not be required to shave their beards.
4. Muslim women are allowed to wear uniform trousers, rather than a skirt and may wear a hijab
except when operational or health and safety considerations dictate otherwise. Long sleeve shirts
are also available with most forms of Service dress. Tracksuit bottoms may be worn for sport. All
Service personnel are required to achieve a basic swimming standard as part of their training.
Although every effort will be made to ensure that these tests take place in an all female
environment, it should be stressed to female Muslim applicants that this will not always be possible.
5. A male member of the Jewish faith may wear a dark plain or patterned yarmulke whenever he removes other headdress