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Sikh student sues Army, says joining ROTC would require him to violate his religion

A college student sued the U.S. Army on Wednesday, saying he can't join ROTC without violating his religious beliefs, The Associated Press reports.

Nineteen-year-old Hofstra University student Iknoor Singh practices Sikhism, a religion founded in India that requires men to wear a turban, grow a beard, and leave hair uncut. To join ROTC, he'd have to remove his turban and shave his hair. United Sikhs and the American Civil Liberties United filed the federal lawsuit on Singh's behalf.

Singh is allowed to audit ROTC classes until the end of his sophomore year, Lt. Col. Daniel Cederman, the head of Hofstra's program, told AP.

The one way Singh can enroll has a catch: ACLU attorney Heather Weaver says he can ask for a waiver to wear a turban and leave his hair long — but only after he has first complied with the Army' rules and shaved.