Sharia Alert. “Suspected Islamic militants warn barbers,” by Habibullah Khan for Associated Press:
KHAR, Pakistan – Suspected Islamic radicals have issued a Taliban-style warning to barbers in a Pakistani border town not to shave off or cut their customers’ beards, saying it offends Islam, residents said Monday.
Pamphlets with the warnings were found at several shops in Inayat Kalay in Pakistan’s Bajur tribal region near the Afghan border, said Bacha Khan, a barber in the market town.
“Barbers! Correct yourselves,” said the handwritten, Pashto-language notes, one of which was obtained by The Associated Press.
“Any barber shop where acts against Shariah (Islamic law) “” shaving or cutting of beards “” are seen, are given a final warning to stop this anti-Shariah work and if they do not stop, they should take responsibility for whatever harm they come to,” it
The pamphlets were unsigned. However, Khan said he believed the warnings were from mujahedeen, or holy warriors “” a term often used to describe Islamic militants.
He said two dozen barbers had responded by posting notices in their shops asking customers not to insist on getting a shave.
“We do not want to come to harm,” Khan said. “If this work is against Shariah, we will stop it.”
The warning echoed a decree issued under Afghanistan’s ousted Taliban regime ordering all men to grow beards, and it could reinforce concern that Pakistan’s border areas are undergoing a “Talibanization” because of the presence of militants and radical