Marriage is love.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Iraqi Barbers Now An Endangered Species

A Haircut in Iraq Can Be the Death of the Barber

Published: March 18, 2005 in the New York Times

BAGHDAD, Iraq, March 17 - It was almost closing time in Sadiq Abdul Hussein's barbershop when a man in a black mask walked in, pulled out a pistol, and began spinning it on his finger, cowboy style.

The gunman was not after government officials or American collaborators. He had come because of the way Mr. Hussein cut hair.

Within seconds, the masked man opened fire, fatally wounding Mr. Hussein, 23, who lived long enough to describe the attack. The gunman also killed his partner and a customer.

In southern Baghdad, the hazards of life have come to this: gangs of militant Islamists are warning barbers that it is haram - forbidden - to shave men's beards or do Western-style haircuts. As many as 12 barbers have been killed, Iraqi officials say, including five in one day in late January. With little hope of police protection, most now refuse to offer the offending cuts, and have placed prominent signs in their front windows saying so....