I'm not only ashamed for my country, but absolutely infuriated by this report from Yahoo! News.
Sgt. 1st Class Naida Hosan is not a Muslim — she's a Catholic. But her name sounded Islamic to fellow U.S. soldiers in Iraq, and they would taunt her, calling her "Sgt. Hussein" and asking what God she prayed to.
So before deploying to Afghanistan last year for her second war tour, she legally changed her name — to Naida Christian Nova.
This did not solve her problems.
Instead, matters escalated. Nova complained to her superiors about constant anti-Muslim slurs and jokes. She says they responded with a series of reprisals intended to drive her out of the Army, leading her to consider suicide.
"My complaints fell on deaf ears every time," said Nova, 41, a member of the Army's 82nd Airborne Division based at Fort Bragg, N.C. "Any time I would say something about it I was treated like I didn't know what I was talking about or that I'm an idiot or that I was a Muslim sympathizer. It was just a very lonely feeling."
Determined to remain in the service for at least eight years, until she is eligible for retirement, Nova recently re-enlisted. But she agreed to tell her story to The Associated Press because "I don't want this to happen to anyone else if I can help it. It's a horrible to feel like people are against you when you are supposed to be on the same team."
There's much more at the link. Go read the whole thing - including the official harassment and legal actions involved - then hang your head in reflected shame at how the members of our armed forces treated one of their own.
I've written about such attitudes in the past. If you're interested, see these articles, in the order linked below:
It's attitudes like those discussed in the articles linked above (and sometimes exhibited by some of those who commented on them) that lead to precisely the sort of moral atrocity perpetrated against SFC Nova. This is totally, completely and utterly unacceptable conduct on the part of her erstwhile comrades-in-arms, and even more so from her superiors and the entire chain of command. I can only hope against hope that the heads of those responsible will roll, career-wise . . . but I won't hold my breath waiting for that to happen. Anti-Muslim xenophobia is too deeply entrenched in the 'system' right now - and the 'system' notoriously protects its own, whether they're right or wrong. We saw that confirmed last month.
How can our armed forces claim to represent and defend the 'land of the free' when they imprison one of their own behind the bars of their unthinking, illogical, false, misguided prejudices?
Walks away, shaking head in disbelief and despair . . .