Beard at center of Fort Hood hearing

Oct. 3, 2012 at 1:30 PM
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FORT HOOD, Texas, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- The refusal of accused Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan to shave his beard before court appearances remains an issue at his appeal hearing, Army officials say.

The military psychiatrist's trial on charges he killed 13 service members and wounded 32 has been delayed from its scheduled start in August as the Court of Criminal Appeals considered whether his beard could be forcibly shaved, CNN reported.

A ruling on the beard could come during an Oct. 11 meeting of the military appeals court.

At an August hearing, Hasan told a judge, "Your honor, in the name of almighty Allah, I am a Muslim. I believe that my religion requires me to wear a beard."

Army regulations prevent soldiers from wearing facial hair while in uniform. Hasan, who is still considered a soldier, says he has the right to grow a beard under U.S. laws concerning religious freedom.

Hasan is accused of shooting fellow soldiers three years ago at the Army processing center at Fort Hood, Texas.

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