The military has had a strict anti-beard policy for a long time. Major Nidal Hasan surely knew that when he signed up, and he apparently had no religious objection to compliance prior to the day in 2009 when he killed 13 people and wounded 32 others in Fort Hood, Texas. He claims he does now. Tough. The NYT reports:
A military judge Thursday ordered officials to forcibly shave Maj. Nidal Hasan, the Army psychiatrist charged in the shooting rampage at the Fort Hood base here in 2009, a move that probably will delay the start of his trial for weeks as his defense lawyers appeal the ruling.
A few months ago, Hasan's assertion that he grew a beard out of devotion to his Muslim faith seemed a side issue as pretrial hearings were held at a military court on the base. But as a hearing Thursday made clear, the beard - and what Army officials can do about it - has become a complex legal issue that has suspended Hasan's trial indefinitely for the second time in the span of a few weeks.