Scared Dad Seeks Asylum Over Moustache

Pakistani man: Extremists are threatening my life
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2013 3:34 PM CDT

(Newser) – Now that's a stache: Pakistani businessman Malik Amir Mohammad Khan Afridi sports a 30-inch moustache that he calls his pride and joy—but admits could get him killed, the Independent reports. "People give me a lot of respect," says Afridi, who spends $150 monthly to treat the Daliesque lip hair with soaps and oils. "It's my identity. ... I'd even sacrifice food, but not the moustache. It's my life. It's not part of my life. It is my life." Note that in South Asia, dramatic facial hair is often associated with male virility.

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But Islamic extremists consider it an insult, and Afridi says they kidnapped him after he refused to pay a $500 monthly protection bill. They freed him once he shaved it off, but the father of ten moved from the Khyber district to Peshawar and grew it back. Phone threats followed, so he moved south to Punjab. Now he's hoping the moustache will open the door to political asylum. "My first choice would be an Islamic country such as Dubai," he told a journalist. "But I also willing to go to countries such as the US, Canada, or Britain. " (Read more moustache stories.)

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