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Soldier says she faced harassment over Muslim name

By Michael Biesecker

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, May 8 2013 1:03 p.m. MDT

RALEIGH, N.C. — A U.S. Army sergeant whose family name led other soldiers mistakenly assume she is a Muslim says she was the target of taunts and discrimination for years.

Sgt. 1st Class Naida Hosan even changed her name to Nadia Christian Nova before deploying to Afghanistan in 2012, but she says that didn't stop the problems. After the Catholic soldier repeatedly complained about racist jokes and epithets, Nova says she was labeled a Muslim sympathizer and that superiors tried to kick her out of the Army.

Nova filed a complaint in federal court in January alleging religious discrimination. She later withdrew the suit after the Army offered to drop all disciplinary action against her. A Persian Farsi linguist who works in military intelligence, Nova reenlisted in the Army last month.

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