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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Crackdown against ‘Un-Islamic Beards’ in KP: Barbers Arrested for Styling

Hairdressers were kept under detention for reportedly violating an unofficial law of styling a beard. Surprisingly, Police assisted the complainant.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police detained at least four barbers for styling beards in Shabqadar tehsil of Charsadda District. As per the reports, the barbers had violated an unofficial ban imposed by the local trade union on trimming and styling of beards, calling such beards ‘un-Islamic‘.

The incident came to public attention after a video went viral on social media in which a local shopkeeper is directing police to arrest a barber name ‘Sameen’, asking him of why he shaped the beards when there is a ban imposed. According to hairdresser Sameen, the unofficial ban has been placed a few days ago but some shopkeepers approached them for stylish beards.

The union leader spotted in the video asserted, “Despite our decision, some shop owners were trimming the beards in stylish designs.” Adding that, “Police have imposed a fine of Rs5,000 on them each and warned them not to shape beards in that fashion.”

Shabqadar Police has confirmed the arrest stating that the Police took action on September 30 after they received a complaint from the office-bearer of the trade union. “They complained that despite a ban on giving a stylish shape to beards, some hairdressers were still doing so,” said the police officer. The men were released after a few hours in detention confirmed the Police.

It’s up to our customers; whether they ask for a clean shave, trimming, French or other cuts, we will fulfill the demand, the barber asserted.

“We did not register an FIR (first information report) or fine them and released them on the request of the union,” said a Police Officer. The Police added that they had released the hairdressers on the assurance that they will not style the beard again.

The District Police Office of Charsadda denied any arrest in this regard but asserted that they arrested four men to solve the dispute on a petty issue between two barbers.

Other hairdressers from the same area, however, confirmed that a few months ago the meeting of All Pakistan Hairdressers Union held in Charsadda decided to impose a ban on styling on beards.

A similar ban has been reportedly enforced in Peshawar as well. The decision has been taken in the meeting of Frontier Professional Hairdressers Association. The meeting was attended by office-bearers from across the province. At the time, the hairdressers had agreed to abide by the rule of not styling the beards of the customers.

Read more: Pakistan’s Abaya compulsion in schools: Can it protect females from harassment?

Even pamphlets were distributed in this regard in Peshawar and some parts of KPK. Later a barber disagreed with the Union’s decision announcing that he will not act on the pamphlet.

“It’s up to our customers; whether they ask for a clean shave, trimming, French or other cuts, we will fulfill the demand,” the barber asserted.