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Taliban ban DiCaprio HairstyleTitanic hairstyle

By AAMIR SHAH

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Jan. 25 -- Afghanistan's Taliban rulers have jailed barbers for giving customers a haircut styled after Leonardo DiCaprio in the film Titanic, officials at the Afghan mission in Islamabad said Thursday.

They said the Taliban religious police have arrested 28 barbers in the capitol of Kabul this week for violating the ban.

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The Taliban ministry for religious affairs has also sent a letter to barbers across Kabul warning them not to give "foreign haircuts." Those arrested have been accused of "popularizing anti-Islamic Western hairstyles," a Taliban official said.

Cuts specifically outlawed include the "Beatles cut" - a reference to the British pop group.

However, both styles have been here for sometime and were so far considered acceptable to the Taliban, who are trying to impose a strict interpretation of Islam with which majority of the Muslims disagree.

But a cut inspired by DiCaprio in the Titanic appears to have been the proverbial final straw on the camel's back. Unaccustomed to DiCaprio's long fringe and cropped-back hair, the Taliban reacted sharply as they saw Afghan youths sporting the Titanic style.

It became popular when copies of the movie, which is banned in Afghanistan, were circulated on video tape. A Titanic craze swept Kabul last November, with wedding cakes in the shape of the ship becoming extremely popular.

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The Taliban first tried to discourage people from copying DiCaprio by catching the youths seen with this hairstyle and taking them to the barbers to shave their heads.

When it did not work, Taliban officials ordered a crackdown on the barbers giving the haircuts. And apparently it seems to have worked. Barbers in Kabul say that several young men have visited their shops to have their haircuts corrected in line with the Taliban's order.

The Taliban movement seized control of Kabul in 1996, banning music and television and enforcing dress codes for men and women.

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