Hood Suspect's Beard Case at Appeals Court

This undated photo provided by the Bell County Sheriff's Department via The Temple Daily Telegram shows a bearded Army Maj. Nidal Hasan,the psychiatrist charged with killing 13 people in the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas.

FORT WORTH, Texas - An Army appeals court is set to hear arguments about an issue that's delaying the murder trial for the suspect in the Fort Hood shooting rampage: his beard.

Maj. Nidal Hasan has appealed the trial judge's order that he must be either clean-shaven or forcibly shaved before his court-martial.

The Army psychiatrist says the order violates his religious rights because his Muslim faith requires him to grow a beard.

The U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals at Fort Belvoir in Virginia will hear from government attorneys and Hasan's lawyers Thursday. Government attorneys have said the judge is allowed to enforce the Army rule that prohibits beards.

Hasan faces the death penalty if convicted in the 2009 attack that killed 13 people at the Texas Army post.

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