Religious group threatens Mansehra barbers over ‘un-Islamic’ beards

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PESHAWAR: Pamphlets warning barber shop owners against styling customers’ beards in ‘un-Islamic’ designs have been distributed across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Mansehra district, it emerged on Thursday.
The pamphlets have been issued by a group called the International Khatm-i-Nabuwat Movement (IKNM). The group has warned barbers to refrain from styling beards in styles such as the ‘French’ or ‘L’ cuts, arguing that “desecrating beards” in such a way is an un-Islamic practice, local barber shop owners confirmed.
The shop of any hairdresser found violating the directive will be vacated on a 15-day notice, the pamphlets warn. According to reports, a local barber’s shop was attacked by a mob over the violation of this code a month ago. He later settled the matter with local activists of the IKNM. Most shop owners have since stopped styling beards in ‘fancy’ designs. A barber shop owner told Dawn.com that two shops have already been shuttered over the alleged violation of the IKNM’s directives. IKNM Hazara division President Qari Wasiur Rehman confirmed that pamphlets were distributed by their organisation in various parts of Mansehra district.
Rehman claimed that the code was being implemented initially in Mansehra and will later be enforced throughout the province and then the entire country.
He warned that those violating the directive will themselves be responsible for the “consequences”, which include the closure of their businesses in the area. He claimed no government official or police department was creating hurdles in this “mission” of the group.
The district administration denied that any such order was in rotation in Mansehra. It also would not comment on the matter any further.