When Nidal Hasan arrived at the Fort Leavenworth military prison in Kansas after receiving his death sentence on August 28, he was wearing an Islamic beard.  The Koran is sketchy on the exact requirements for facial hair, but many imams, past and present, have argued that shaving the face is haram.  (Whereas trimming the mustache is encouraged, as Allah permitted this to Adam and Abraham.)  Bear in mind that, according to a prison letter to a medical student in which he offered test-taking advice, Hasan has been “trying to concentrate on being good so that I can go to Heaven—eternity is a long time and I don’t want to spend it in Hell.”

The holy hairs didn’t last long at Leavenworth.  “In keeping with AR 670-1 and AR 190-47, . . . inmate Hasan has been shaved,” announced Lt. Col. S. Justin Platt, a Pentagon spokesman, immediately after Hasan’s arrival, according to the Killeen Daily Herald.

Indeed, Army Regulation 670-1 plainly states that “beards are not permitted,” and AR 190-47, which governs the Army Corrections System, requires that “Prison haircut standards will comply with AR 670-1.”  The rules also note that, if an inmate “refuses to bathe or comply with haircut or shave standards . . . the prisoner may be restrained with the reasonable force necessary to administer the appropriate action.”

Naturally, attorney John Galligan, a retired Army colonel, is planning to sue in federal court, on account of Hasan’s civil rights being violated.  Galligan, who compared himself with John Adams in describing his commitment to Hasan’s cause as “one of the most gallant, generous, manly and disinterested actions of my whole life,” was fired by Hasan before the trial began.  At that time, Galligan portended that he would “forever be a part of Maj. Hasan’s team in the broad sense of the word.”  Forever Teammate Galligan now insists that the forced shaving of the Fort Hood murderer of 13 adults and 1 unborn child in the name of violent jihad is purely “vindictive.”

Now, every other military prisoner in the United States is required to follow the same Army regulations, so the idea of Galligan prevailing in federal court might seem far-fetched.  But consider this: Hasan’s trial was delayed for several months because he refused to shave his beard.  Fort Hood Chief Circuit Judge Gregory Gross twice held Hasan in contempt of court and fined him, but Hasan appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces to keep his Islamic beard—and won.

Well, essentially he won.  The court refused to rule on whether a Muslim member of the U.S. military could keep his beard if he was suddenly possessed of a deep commitment to the teachings of the imams.  Instead, the court simply removed Colonel Gross as presiding judge for demonstrating “bias” against the killer by ordering him to follow the law.

Oddly enough, some legal experts suggest that Judge Gross was actually demonstrating bias in favor of juror impartiality, as sporting such a beard, when coupled with Hasan’s rhetoric, would (perhaps did) bolster the defendant’s attempts to paint himself as a righteous jihadist in a quest for martyrdom, a reward guaranteed in Hasan’s mind by the death sentence he sought and got.

Nidal Malik Hasan is the American-born son of Palestinian immigrants.  Like the Brothers Tsarnaev, he was the beneficiary of American largesse.  He served at the rank of major as an Army psychiatrist and earned a substantial government paycheck.  But his breaking point came when he began to hear gruesome battlefield tales from soldiers returning from Afghanistan, then found out he was to be deployed there himself.  Then the e-mails (intercepted and read by the FBI, but not acted upon) began to fly between him and Anwar al-Awlaki, the radical Yemeni imam and future Al Qaeda spokesman he’d studied under at the Dar al-Hijrah mosque of Falls Church, Virginia.  Among other things, the two discussed whether it was acceptable for a Muslim to serve in the U.S. military.

Al-Awlaki made his answer public after Hasan executed the Fort Hood massacre on November 5, 2009: “How can there be any dispute about the virtue of what he has done?  In fact the only way a Muslim could Islamically justify serving as a soldier in the U.S. army is if his intention is to follow the footsteps of men like Nidal.”

Al-Awlaki met his Maker on September 30, 2011, in his native Yemen, when his vehicle encountered Hellfire missiles launched from a Predator drone.  Hasan has said he “can’t wait to join” his teacher.

It is impossible for modern post-Christian Americans to understand the simple fact that Hasan’s religious beliefs trump his commitment to America and his fellow Americans.  Yet in a letter he told FOX News that he has renounced “any oaths of allegiances that require me to support/defend [any] man-made constitution over the commandments mandated in Islam.”

Practically speaking, that means ignoring rules that prohibit facial hair in the military as well as laws that prohibit jihad against Americans whose only crime was that they didn’t submit to what he deemed to be the will of Allah.

Of course, most American Muslims don’t take their religion that seriously.  Then again, how would we know?