If you google “hinrichs suicide picture” you will see pictures of Joel Hinrichs, the young man who blew himself up outside a packed football stadium at the University of Oklahoma. In some pictures he has a beard but no moustache. In others he is clean-shaven.

Islam has rules about virtually everything, including beards. There are traditions that Mohammed ordered that men grow beards but trim their moustaches. Here’s one:

Ibn ‘Umar relates from the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) that he said: “Do otherwise than those who ascribe partners to Allah (al-mushrikin): leave beards be, and trim mustaches.” And ibn ‘Umar, when he went on hajj or ‘umra, grasped his beard with his hand, and removed what was in excess of it (Sahih al-Bukhari. 9 vols. Cairo 1313/1895. Reprint (9 vols. in 3). Beirut: Dar al-Jil, n.d., 7.206: 5892 and Sahih Muslim, 5 vols. Cairo 1376/1956. Reprint. Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, 1403/1983, 1.222: 259).

Hinrichs appears to have taken note of the Muslim injunction to grow a beard but trim the moustache. This wonderful example of Dutch multiculturalism seems to have read much the same advice.

I’m guessing that Hinrichs was a convert. I’m also guessing that the secrecy surrounding the case is related to that uncomfortable fact.

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