GayandRight

My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (www.freethinkingfilms.com)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Are Barbers on the way out in Northern Pakistan?

The Taliban is thriving and that is very, very scary.

In the tribal areas of Pakistan, a shave may cost your life.

"The government is unable to protect us so we will abide by what the Taliban tells us to do and stop shaving beards," said Niamat, a barber in Khar, the headquarters of the Bajaur tribal agency along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

And the Taliban mean business, On Sunday night, bombs destroyed two barber shops and three others suffered partial damage after the owners refused to follow the orders.

"I am a Muslim and I know that no one can force me to shave or not to shave. This should be my decision," said Nasir, a regular customer, wearing a green turtleneck sweater and jeans. "But I was threatened. They asked if I will obey the new laws; I will obey because I am afraid."

A couple of weeks earlier, in the middle of the night, someone slipped leaflets under barbershop doors throughout the Bajaur Tribal Agency. The warning was hand-written in Pashto, the language of the Pashtun tribes who inhabit the border regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The leaflets read: "SHAVING BEARDS AND TRIMMING BEARDS IS UN-ISLAMIC AND IS FORBIDDEN. VIOLATORS WILL BE KILLED."

The customers panicked and the barbers panicked too. In almost every barber shop the owners put up signs begging their customers not to force them to give a shave.

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