A Muslim man has filed a religious discrimination suit against Maricopa County and Sheriff Joe Arpaio alleging he was fired from his job as a jail detention officer over a fight to wear a beard.

Sinan Fazlovic alleges in the suit filed in U.S. District Court in Phoenix that when he was hired the sheriff's office had no problem with his beard, which he wore in accordance with religious tenets.

It became a problem when he met personally with Arpaio while he was in the training academy in 2005.

Fazlovic's superiors made him shave the beard under orders from Arpaio and then later upheld the decision by saying he would need to be clean shaven for a self-contained breathing apparatus to fit snugly on his face, the suit alleges.

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