A Seattle-area Muslim man is suing his former employer, claiming he was fired as a security guard for refusing to shave the beard he wears for religious reasons.

Abdulkadir Omar, 22, filed his federal lawsuit July 15 in Seattle against Sacramento-based American Patriot Security, seeking back pay and unspecified damages for emotional pain and loss of enjoyment of life, among other reasons.

"Growing up in this country, where the Bill of Rights guarantees freedom of religion, I was let down," Omar said Thursday at a press conference.

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