Pakistani man chooses mustache over home

Sept. 12, 2012 at 7:57 PM

PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- 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.

Malik Ameer Muhammad Afridi told The Express Tribune of Karachi his mustache has made him a minor celebrity in Peshawar. He said strangers have even let him get in line first.

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.

He has not been back to Bara for four years.

"I left my dear homeland, my friends and relatives and prepared to sacrifice all that but will not compromise my mustache," he said.

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