Hasan Fort Hood Trial Delayed over Beard
US Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan’s trial over murder charges stemming from the 2009 Fort Hood massacre was delayed — again — when Hasan showed up to court with a beard. He is still considered a member of the military and is required to maintain military standards of uniform wear.
Judge Col. Gregory Gross ordered the motions delayed “until the near future,” when Hasan meets Army grooming standards or “a closed circuit feed can be set up for the accused to watch the hearings from outside the court room.”
Defense attorneys said they will file a request for a religious accommodation exemption to the grooming standards. Hasan is a Muslim.
Under normal circumstances, there’s no way Hasan would get a waiver. Thousands of Muslims serve in the US military without beards. However, it is possible the judge in this case might let it go (outside the courtroom) to move the case along with as little chance as possible Hasan could later claim a biased court.
Official religious accommodation requests for uniform waivers often take months or years.
Notably, this was just a hearing on pre-trial motions. It is worth noting the “other” Fort Hood plotter, Army PFC Naser Abdo, who was “inspired” by Hasan, recently had his short, quick trial conclude…with a conviction.