It’s a myth that Islamists are fans of facial hair. Sure they want the obligatory Islamic scraggly beard that looks like dust bunnies caught in a spiderweb, but show them a man with a proud 30 inch mustache and they declare a fatwa on his facial hair.
Malik Ameer Muhammad Afridi has become a celebrity in his own right owing to his 30-inch long moustache curling up to his forehead which he proudly displays along the streets of Peshawar.
“It was the summer of 2008, when members of the LeI arrested me and took me to a religious scholar who declared the moustache un-Islamic and ordered it to be shaved,” he said.
The pride of Afridi’s life was shaved at gunpoint. Refusing to be cowed by the militants’ threats, however, he decided to move to Peshawar so that his moustache may thrive unfettered.
Afridi said he has not been able to visit his hometown for four years owing to the threat of ‘anti-moustache’ militants. “I left my dear homeland, my friends and relatives and prepared to sacrifice all that but will not compromise my moustache,” he said.
The bad news for Afridi is that Obama has already declared that the United States does not support mustaches which offend Islamic sensibilities and authorities have gotten in touch with Afridi urging him to shave off his mustache for the greater good of harmonious relations with the Muslim world.