Jun 28, 2006

Baghdad: Where a bad hair day can spell death

Sharon Behn reports that the wrong haircut can be lethal.
"The 'Marine' cut, or shaven head, is forbidden. It is considered to be something of the foreigners," said Mr. Saif, 52, who has been cutting hair and shaving beards in his small Mansour barber shop since he was a boy of 12.

Above all, he said, Iraqi barbers have given up "threading" -- a practice common in the Middle East and Asia that involves removing facial hair with two threads tied together, rather than with a razor.

For some, the punishment for doing so was death.

"I put a poster in the window of my shop, that I apologized for threading and I said we were not doing that anymore," Mr. Saif said. "This is terrorism. One day they attack bakers, the next day they attack barbers."

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