Dramatic moustache causes man to flee hometown

Published: September 12, 2012

Afridi’s 30-inch moustache is clearly one of its kind. PHOTO: EXPRESS

PESHAWAR: 

Malik Ameer Muhammad Afridi has become a celebrity in his own right owing to his 30-inch long moustache curling up to his forehead which he proudly displays along the streets of Peshawar.

Aside from the usual looks of amusement, Afridi’s gangling moustache managed to draw the attention of members of militant group Lashkar-e-Islami.

The iconoclastic facial hair caused him to abandon his hometown of Bara in Khyber Agency after the militants declared it ‘un-Islamic’.

“It was the summer of 2008, when members of the LeI arrested me and took me to a religious scholar who declared the moustache un-Islamic and ordered it to be shaved,” he said.

The pride of Afridi’s life was shaved at gunpoint. Refusing to be cowed by the militants’ threats, however, he decided to move to Peshawar so that his moustache may thrive unfettered.

Afridi said he has not been able to visit his hometown for four years owing to the threat of ‘anti-moustache’ militants. “I left my dear homeland, my friends and relatives and prepared to sacrifice all that but will not compromise my moustache,” he said.

Afridi has been living in Peshawar after braving ‘anti-moustache’ hardliners in Khyber Agency.

Now, he proudly displays his handle-bar moustache in the relatively secure environs of the provincial capital. The 47-year-old runs an electronics business in Deen Plaza and says, “My moustache style is unique. It has made my tribesmen proud as no one in Pakistan has such a moustache.”

Afridi also said his moustache had gained him respect, adding that people even give him their turn while standing in queues outside banks and other places.

Afridi’s moustache-care regime is elaborate. Spending 30 minutes grooming himself every day, he uses oil extracts of almond and coconut to nourish the hair. He then fashions the handlebar whiskers into crescent-like curls using a German-made gel.

However, his gangling whiskers did not amuse his wife. She urged him to get rid of it since he had run afoul of the militants.

Despite his wife’s protestations, Afridi said he would only surrender his moustache – over his dead body.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 12th, 2012.

Reader Comments (55)

  • Asad
    Sep 12, 2012 - 10:10AM

    poor guys gonna get another trim once “they” read this article… all the best!

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  • GhostRider
    Sep 12, 2012 - 10:42AM

    You rock man….

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  • Lashkar-e-Cuckoo
    Sep 12, 2012 - 10:51AM

    Exactly how many of these Lashkars are there? Everyday you hear of something insane coming from some Lashkar or Tehreek or whatever. Someone should write an encyclopedia of crazy Pakistani religious organizations. It would be helpful to assess just how much this cancer has spread.

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  • Munir Azam
    Sep 12, 2012 - 11:00AM

    I have already meet with Malik Ameer Muhammad Afridi with Mr.Umar Afridi & Mr.Ayaz Mehmmod last Ijtma at Raiwind.

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  • Chotay Mahraj
    Sep 12, 2012 - 11:06AM

    His mustache brings Talibans to the yard !!!

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  • Umair
    Sep 12, 2012 - 11:22AM

    i saw that man 2 days back at Garrison Park Peshawar

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  • saad
    Sep 12, 2012 - 11:25AM

    for the people who confuses khyber agency wth peshawar.. PESHAWAR is a safe and secure place

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  • SaneVoice
    Sep 12, 2012 - 12:19PM

    Proved: Mooch Nahi to Kuch Nahi “No Moustache then Nothing you have”.

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  • Sep 12, 2012 - 12:21PM

    are not mustaches secular? :o

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  • Sep 12, 2012 - 12:36PM

    Good and appreciate able story……..

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  • gul bahadur
    Sep 12, 2012 - 12:45PM

    AGENCIES dont like MEN WITH IMPOSING PERSONALITY.He better shave them off,or face consequences.There cant be two lions in their territory.

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  • Ali
    Sep 12, 2012 - 1:47PM

    Where we are heading….. :s

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  • AD
    Sep 12, 2012 - 2:24PM

    More then any thing else, these militants are un islamic.

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  • Fizz
    Sep 12, 2012 - 2:30PM

    @saad:
    Yes, relatively secure. Thanks to God.

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  • Leopard
    Sep 12, 2012 - 2:39PM

    Those left with some sense, rationale and logic read the news and commented, laughter is the best medicine. So is the image Pakistan is getting every where due to these uncontrollable militants.

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  • MG
    Sep 12, 2012 - 2:52PM

    Cute story!

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  • G. Din
    Sep 12, 2012 - 4:41PM

    Mustaches have been very important in South Asia from times immemorial. The worst way you could insult your enemy/adversary was to shave off his mustache. Being Pakistanis, you do know the story of your President and the Half Mustache, I am sure.

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  • caesar
    Sep 12, 2012 - 5:12PM

    LOL! im rolling on the floor…..
    hats off to the mans determination against these talibunnies….

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  • Sep 12, 2012 - 5:21PM

    Nice decision by taliban.;

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  • Pak12
    Sep 12, 2012 - 6:05PM

    The “Scholar” who declared these mostaches un-Islamic could not shaved mostache of his wife. That explains the hatred.

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  • Polpot
    Sep 12, 2012 - 6:07PM

    My qn is: is it the left or the right mustache thats blasphemous?
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    One cant be too careful these days.

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  • Fawad
    Sep 12, 2012 - 6:59PM

    Good job Assad,

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  • John B
    Sep 12, 2012 - 7:21PM

    Aside from the amusement of the story, here is a serious consequence in making, so watch out:

    These same mullahs won’t hesitate to declare the clean shaven ones as unislamic and the punishment won’t be shaving the face. I am not kidding here.

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  • Shahida
    Sep 12, 2012 - 7:31PM

    Pakistanis have nothing better to focus their lives on in a constructive manner. At least the poor guy is not causing harm to anyone by his act of keeping a peculiar mustache style. Let him keep his mustache this way, if thats what that makes him happy.

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  • waqas
    Sep 12, 2012 - 7:36PM

    @Lashkar-e-Cuckoo:

    hahaha “Lashkar-e-Cuckoo” .nice :p

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  • Ali khan
    Sep 12, 2012 - 7:38PM

    Lashkar-e-cuckoo….hahhaha love your name.

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  • Naseer
    Sep 12, 2012 - 7:46PM

    LOL! Lashkar only approves WILD beard with a dash of dirt.

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  • Pakistani Pashtoon
    Sep 12, 2012 - 8:03PM

    sorry for this guy we pakhtoons are with you and salute you.. Recommend

  • concerned citizen
    Sep 12, 2012 - 8:08PM

    a big LOL

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  • Saz
    Sep 12, 2012 - 8:18PM

    Sorry unfortunately no where in Pakistan is really safe for one reason or another@saad:

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  • Saz
    Sep 12, 2012 - 8:20PM

    When will this lunacy end

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  • Enlightened
    Sep 12, 2012 - 8:21PM

    Now its jihad against the mustaches, keep it up Lashkar-e-M.

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  • dcedc
    Sep 12, 2012 - 8:34PM

    @Chotay Mahraj:
    And they’re like “my beard is better than yours”.

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  • janaan
    Sep 12, 2012 - 8:36PM

    May God be with you against these ignorant, lifeless, barbaric and lower than life thugs who very shamelessly call them selves Muslims and above all humanbeings.

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  • Jibran
    Sep 12, 2012 - 8:43PM

    what a moustache; i believe he has the biggest moustache in Pakistan. the govt should buy from him to place it in a museum.

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  • A J Khan
    Sep 12, 2012 - 8:49PM

    Rana Sana Ullah should be careful. His whiskers too were shaved by Lashker e Mussharraf.

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  • Hamid
    Sep 12, 2012 - 9:15PM

    This is not Islam this is talbanization. I wonder why other religions are failed to produce such terrorists groups.

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  • Waseem
    Sep 12, 2012 - 9:39PM

    Thanks to ET for mentioning where this poor guy is doing business…………..pathetic.
    Who well be responsible if they reach him after this article?

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  • Enlightened
    Sep 12, 2012 - 9:40PM

    @Jibran:
    Surely a good suggestion, but the museum shall have to be protected against an attack by the outfits of Islamic values.

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  • Ravi
    Sep 12, 2012 - 11:28PM

    Looking like maharaja from indian history book.

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  • Sep 12, 2012 - 11:33PM

    Hats off this man rocks very nice mustaches lot of claps for him, Real talibans are fighting in Afghanistan for their sovereignty all other kind of criminal gangsters talibans creating instability in Pakistan on the orders of CIA raw mossad as Pakistan got nuclear bomb just making excuses for their terrorist activities rather then helping the talibans fighting in Afghanistan oil hunger of west is increasing all Muslim states in trouble need unity strong economy and technology.

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  • G. Din
    Sep 13, 2012 - 12:02AM

    Incidentally, the Guinness record for the longest mustache is held by an Indian. But, regrettably, his mustache droops down instead of curling up proudly as this man’s!

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  • Domlurian
    Sep 13, 2012 - 12:26AM

    Even a moustache is not safe in Pakistan!

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  • Muhammad
    Sep 13, 2012 - 1:09AM

    Pakistanis every day fail to realize that as long as they allow the mullahs and religious clerics in their corner mosques and madrassas to control their lives, such nonsense will never cease to finish. It will always come up in one form or the other. Religion has no space in pubic and must always be kept private but sadly, people fail to realize this and as a result, suffer from its consequences on a daily basis.

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  • Saima Cheema
    Sep 13, 2012 - 5:28AM

    Lord, these idiots will go after anything. What’s next banning women from wearing chapals because you can see their toes?

    a tache? REALLY? He’s probably, actually since these idiots go against everything that Islam stands for, he IS a better Muslim then they will ever be, give him a break.

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  • mr. righty rightist
    Sep 13, 2012 - 11:33AM

    By the way Pakistanis,

    Dr. Shakil Afridi is actually accused of being a part of this very same extremist group. He is not accused for treason.

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  • Mad-Paki
    Sep 13, 2012 - 5:19PM

    He should definitely attend World Mustache and Beard Championship.

    http://www.worldbeardchampionships.com/

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  • mindless
    Sep 13, 2012 - 7:25PM

    Please come to Germany for world mustache championship.

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  • JoeC
    Sep 14, 2012 - 5:19AM

    @Asad: You assume they can read, huh? :)

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  • Ak47
    Sep 14, 2012 - 1:55PM

    @saad:
    Is Peshawar not in Pakistan?

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  • aiz
    Sep 14, 2012 - 3:48PM

    Afridi saab, you have attached.

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  • FF
    Sep 15, 2012 - 10:44AM

    @Waseem: and one of the persons say in the comments that he saw him few days back in garrision park Peshawar…..God protect him from evil eyes

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  • ibad
    Sep 19, 2012 - 2:13PM

    @Saima Cheema:
    shame on u..

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  • KSU
    Sep 20, 2012 - 6:24AM

    @mr. righty rightist:
    But Dr. Shakeel has a tash too, albeit a much smaller one, doesn’t he?

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  • Oct 5, 2012 - 4:11AM

    Here in the United States, there are Beard and Mustache championships all the time. This man would win some of them, but he would face stiff competition. His mustache style is known as an “Imperial” mustache.

    He would be competing in my category, as I have a mustache similar to this man’s, but nowhere near as long. He should come to the U.S. in November for the U.S. beard and Mustache championship…he would surely win!

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