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.