Okay, so it’s not just films, and cartoons, and dogs and teddy bears and Winnie-the-Pooh’s Piglet and decorative swirls on Burger King ice-cream tubs, but also non-sharia-compliant mustaches:
A Pakistani man with a 30-inch mustache said he moved to Peshawar from his native town in the Khyber Agency after Islamic militants shaved him…
Afridi, 47, who operates an electronics business, spends 30 minutes a day grooming his mustache. He sports thick hair in a straight line from his mouth that tapers into thin points curling up to his forehead on both sides.
“My mustache style is unique,” he said. “It has made my tribesmen proud as no one in Pakistan has such a mustache.”
But in Bara, his hometown, the mustache angered members of Lashkar-e-Islaami. They arrested him, took him to a cleric who confirmed their belief the mustache was not in accordance with Islamic law and then shaved him at gunpoint.
Why has the Tweeting Desk of the U.S. Embassy remained silent on the hurt caused by disrespectful mustaches?
Mr. Afridi remains defiant:
“I left my dear homeland, my friends and relatives and prepared to sacrifice all that but will not compromise my mustache,” he said.
If we could have President Obama’s and General Dempsey’s backbones replaced by waxed Pakistani mustaches, we might have a sporting chance.
UPDATE: Several readers have demanded to see a picture of the non-Sharia-compliant mustache. Here it is. I must say the splendid Raj English of the Karachi Express Tribune puts the bloodless prose of UPI to shame:
The iconoclastic facial hair caused him to abandon his hometown of Bara in Khyber Agency after the militants declared it ‘un-Islamic’…
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.
If American reporters could write like that, they might still have long-term career prospects. And, as I said above, if only the U.S. government felt about the First Amendment the way Mr. Afridi feels about his facial hair:
Despite his wife’s protestations, Afridi said he would only surrender his moustache – over his dead body.