(Reuters) - A U.S. military court ruled on Thursday that Fort Hood shooting suspect Major Nidal Hasan must shave his beard before appearing for court martial on murder charges connected to the November, 2009 massacre.
"In front of a military panel, it is undeniable that failure to comply with Army grooming regulations would cast him in a negative light," a majority of judges on the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals ruled. "The military judge has the authority to prescribe the proper uniform for trial."
Hasan is charged with killing 13 people and wounding 32 in a shooting rampage at the central Texas Army post, and could face the death penalty if convicted by a court martial. His trial has been on hold for months while the issue of his beard was adjudicated.
Hasan argued that he has a beard because of his Muslim beliefs and requiring him to shave it would amount to religious discrimination.