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Thu 21 Aug 2008 07:56 AM

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Bahraini MP calls for end to beard ban

Lawmaker says interior ministry's ban on personnel sporting beards should be revoked.

A Bahraini MP has called for the end of a ban on personnel at the Gulf state’s interior ministry growing beards.

Bahrain’s police forces are the only ones in the entire Gulf region not allowed to sport beards and Jasem Al Saeedi said it policy was revoked.

"We urge Interior Minister Shaikh Rashid bin Abdallah Al Khalifa to allow the staff and officers of the ministry to grow beards as they are getting ready for the spiritual atmosphere of the holy month of Ramadan," Al Saeedi said, UAE daily Gulf News quoted on Thursday.

"They have the right to emulate Prophet Mohammad and all the Muslims who grew beards.”

The controversial MP urged the ministry to follow in the footsteps of the Bahrain Defence Force, which in May allowed staff to grow beards if they wished.

"The sons of Bahrain who are the vigilant eyes watching over the country and who are ready to sacrifice their lives for the sake of the nation have high hopes of being allowed to grow beards in line with their convictions,” Al Saeedi added.

Kenneth 11 years ago

At the dawn of the 21st century, humans have perfected the techniques of hair removal. Emulating people who lived 1400 years ago is a regression. 1400 years ago you could die from shaving as it was easy to cut yourself with the type of knife they used and easy to catch infections thereon. If they had the techniques we have today, they would all prefer to be clean and shaved. Today, a police or military officer with a long and untidy beard is less credible than a man who looks tidy in his uniform. That is of course a matter of perception. However there are plenty of examples bearded men in history (aside from religious characters) who also left an impression, such as the vikings, the huns, the visigoths... all of them were murderous barbarians. Clean and tidy is not just an appearance, it can be a state of mind.