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Hairdressers in Pakistan Province Announce Ban on Stylish Beards

FILE - A man sporting a henna-dyed beard fans himself as he sells lumps of brown sugar at the market in Peshawar, Pakistan, June 30, 2017.

Hairdressers in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province on Monday announced a ban on trimming stylish beards such as goatees or so-called French beards, calling the cuts un-Islamic.

“We made the decision after consulting with religious scholars,” KP Hairdressers Association president Muhammad Sharif Kahlun said during a press conference.

Kahlun said religious scholars agreed that stylish and designer beards should be banned, and that beards in Islam are Sunnah (follows the life of Prophet Muhammad).

There is a growing trend among Pakistani youths to wear stylish beards. Many fashion models, actors and even sportsmen wear such beards.

The provincial government has not commented on the ban.

Kahlun said the decision was not the result of any threats or pressure from any group. He added that the decision was taken after a consensus was reached within the association, “but it will be up to each barber whether or not they stick to what we have decided.”

He did not mention any possible repercussions or fines if the ban was violated.

Despite Kahlun's claim of a consensus among the barbers, some shop owners told VOA that they were not happy with the decision, as it would negatively impact their business.

Also, some people, especially youth, expressed displeasure over the decision.

A similar advisory banning fashionable beards was issued in Balochistan province’s Kharan District in June 2017, but it was later withdrawn.

Forcing clean-shaven men to grow Islamic-style beards was an attribute of Taliban rule.

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