Fort Hood jihad mass murderer Major Nidal Malik Hasan was in the news again last week, when he was found in contempt of court for the third time and fined $3,000 for refusing to shave his beard. (He can afford it; he is still receiving his salary from the U.S. military.) Also last week, a man who considers Hasan his hero and role model, Army soldier Naser Abdo, received a life sentence for attempting to repeat Hasan's murderous attack at Fort Hood. Both cases demonstrate, in different ways, the abject failure of government and law enforcement officials to deal adequately with the challenge of Islamic jihad terrorism.
The judge who found Hasan in contempt again and fined him is treating the former Army psychiatrist as if he were a delinquent American soldier, which in a technical sense he is. But Hasan's beard is not just facial hair; it is a statement. It is his assertion that he is not an American at all, but a Muslim and a jihadist, someone who regards America as an evil enemy, the "Great Satan" indeed — an enemy that he believes must be fought against as a matter of divine principle. Hasan's beard is his silent declaration that he is an enemy combatant, and that it is ludicrous to try him as if he were in any meaningful sense an American soldier who has even the slightest degree of interest in following any of the rules of the U.S. military. And it is.