At long last, the Army psychiatrist who went on a shooting rampage through Fort Hood, claiming in court he killed 13 and wounded 30 to defend his Muslim faith, has been forcibly shaved by Fort Leavenworth prison authorities.
Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan began growing his beard in November 2009 despite Army regulations against facial hair. He was able to keep and grow the beard during the course of his trial because he claimed it was for religious reasons. He was convicted last month in a court-martial and sentenced to death. He’s now incarcerated at the U.S. Detention Barracks at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.
And death row inmates aren’t allowed to maintain beards.
On Tuesday, Lt. Col. S. Justin Platt, an Army spokesman, confirmed that Hasan had been shaved, The Associated Press reported.
His shaving provides a bit of comfort to family members of victims who have been outraged at what they see as the soft handling of a murderer with no remorse for his crimes — and who, in fact, stands proud at the fact he killed for his faith.
The Texas newspaper the Killeen Daily Herald published a note that Hasan mailed to Fox News in which he explained his motive for the Nov. 5, 2009, rampage: “I was defending my religion,” he wrote. He then in his note went on to push for the implementation of Shariah law in the United States.
Meanwhile, military authorities along with high-ranking politicos refused to try Hasan as a terrorist, despite ample evidence that he was acting on his faith, and even shouted “Allahu Akbar” — meaning “Allah is great” — while shooting. Authorities termed the killings acts of “workplace violence” and, in so doing, shut out victims and victims’ families from receiving certain military honors and benefits.