Sunday, 11 August 2013

Islamist Terrorists Kidnap Pakistani Father, Threaten To Kill Him For Refusing To Shave His Moustache

A Pakistani father has told how he faces death threats and has been driven into hiding because of his 30ins moustache.

Islamist extremists were so infuriated by Malik Amir Mohammad Khan Afridi’s facial hair they kidnapped the businessman and held him in a cave for a month until he shaved.

But despite his clash with the militants over his prized whiskers, said to signify virility and prosperity, the father-of-ten, from Peshawar, Pakistan, has now grown it back, vowing never to be bowed by the thugs again.

Mr Afridi said: 'I don’t like smoking. I’m not fond of snuff, or drinking. This is the only choice in my life. I’d even sacrifice food, but not the moustache. It’s my life. It’s not part of my life. It is my life. People give me a lot of respect. It’s my identity.'

According to Daily Mail (UK), Mr Afridi started growing it aged 22. He now spends 30 minutes a day caressing and trimming the moustache. The costs of coconut oil and soap used to maintain it comes to an eye-watering £100 a month.

But despite the cost, the death threats, the constant fear of attack and having to spend long periods away from his family, it is all worth it, he insists.

'I feel happy. When it’s ordinary, no one gives me any attention. I got used to all the attention and I like it a lot.'

But Mr Afridi came to the attention of militant group Lashkar-e-Islam, which controlled swathes of the Kyber district of Parkistan, near the border with Afghanistan.

The group was was trying to enforce a strict decree that moustaches and beards must be shaved or trimmed short.

When he refused to pay protection money to the group, he was held prisoner in a cave until he shaved.

Having just escaped with his life, Mr Afridi began regrowing his moustache in what he thought was the relative safe haven city of Peshawar. But he began receiving threats again last year.

He has now been forced to leave his family for long periods of time and move south to Faisalabad where he feels safer.

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