No wonder Malik Amir Mohammad Khan Afridi has so many haters — his fabulous 30-inch moustache, which he spends $150 treating every month – sends a powerful message of virility that other men can only dream of.
“People give me a lot of respect”, says Afridi. “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.”
But with all that respect also comes an avalanche of haters hell-bent on bringing Afridi down. Islamic extremists consider Afridi’s moustache an insult and kidnapped him after he refused to pay a $500 monthly protection bill. They freed him once he’d shaved it off, but he just moved town and grew it back again. Just as he feared, the envious stares and threatening phone calls returned, and now Afridi is thinking that political asylum is the only way he can escape with his prized moustache in tact.
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People might ask; why doesn’t Afridi just stay clean shaven or trim his moustache down to a more modest moustache? But that’s what people without moustaches don’t understand — it’s not a choice, it’s a lifestyle. Just like Afridi said. And to be prosecuted for your supreme moustache lifestyle is just as bad as being prosecuted for being gay or for your religion.