Fort Hood Shooter May Be Forced To Shave Beard Despite Religious Observance

The judge in the Fort Hood massacre case may force the alleged shooter to shave his beard if he doesn’t do it on his own, according to reports.

Major Nidal Hasan, the suspected Fort Hood shooter, is growing a fairly ragged beard that he may be forcibly required to shave if he doesn’t do it of his own volition, reports Newser. Judge Col. Gregory Gross announced that Hasan’s beard is history, but it giving the accused major a chance to shave it himself. Hasan was kicked out of court and held in contempt for not shaving the beard already, and Gross fined him $1,000 over the charge.

Hasan, a former Army psychiatrist charged with killing 13 people in a shooting rampage at Fort Hood, is reportedly growing the beard for religious purposes. Though the beard is a violation of Army regulations, Hasan maintains that the beard is an expression of his faith, reports the Associated Press. Hasan is a practicing Muslim, and there have been reports that the Fort Hood attack was an expression of religious extremism, with Hasan allegedly having been in contact with American ex-patriot and radical Imam Anwar al-Awlaki who reportedly encouraged the shooting, and Hasan himself shouting “Allahhu Akbar” during the attacks.

The 41-year-old Hasan is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the November 2009 shootings. He faces the death penalty if convicted, and his court-martial begins Aug. 20. Though his reasons for leaving his beard unkempt involve observance of the holy Islamic month of Ramadan, the Muslim holiday will be over before he is scheduled to appear in court.

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