Fort Hood shooting: US judge orders Muslim suspect be clean shaven

Fort Hood suspect

A US military judge says the Army psychiatrist charged in a 2009 shooting rampage must be clean shaven or will be forcibly shaved before his murder trial.

Col. Gregory Gross issued the order today after a hearing to determine whether a federal religious freedom law applies to Major Nidal Hasan's case.

Hasan says he grew his beard because his Muslim faith requires it. Army regulations ban beards.

Gross ruled the defence didn't prove that Hasan is growing a beard for sincere religious reasons.

Hasan faces the death penalty if convicted of 13 counts of premeditated murder in the November 2009 attack on a Texas Army post.

The beard issue has repeatedly caused delays in Hasan's case.

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