A man in Pakistan spent time in prison and received death threats because he refused to shave his entertaining mustache. He is now contemplating moving to another country so he can keep the facial hair and live without fear.
Malik Amir Mohammad Khan Afridi spends a half an hour every day to take care of his 30-inch mustache before going out and enjoying the attention he receives because of it.
“People give me a lot of respect. It’s my identity,” the 48-year-old man said in an interview with the AFP, according to The Independent. “I feel happy. When it’s ordinary, no one gives me any attention. I got used to all the attention and I like it a lot.”
However, the attention is not always good.
Afridi was originally based in Pakistan’s Khyber agency when he ran into trouble with a militant group that was trying to enforce a rule that decreed mustaches should be trimmed or shaved off. The group told him to pay protection money and when he refused he was taken prisoner and held for a month in cave. He was set free after he agreed to shave the mustache.
Afridi then moved to Peshawar where he once again grew the mustache. The father of 10 thought he wouldd be safe, but last year started receiving more telephone threats and warnings that his throat would be cut.
Afridi is contemplating moving to another country with his family and even seeking asylum if necessary.
“I want to live, that is why I want to get out of Pakistan,” Afridi said. “My first choice would be an Islamic country such as Dubai. But I also willing to go to countries such as the U.S., Canada or Britain. I would like to appeal to the British government to help me.”