Why the Muslim Beard Bodes Trouble

To develop a thorough understanding of Islam, one must learn to "connect the dots." For instance, Muslims who adhere to non-problematic aspects of Islam, indirectly indicate their acceptance of problematic aspects of Islam — such as enmity for infidels, death for apostates, subjugation for women, and so on.

Consider the Muslim beard. Because Muhammad wanted his Muslims to look different from infidel Christians and Jews, he ordered them to “trim closely the moustache and grow the beard.” Accordingly, all Sunni schools of law maintain that it is forbidden, a “major sin,” for men to shave their beards -- unless, of course, it is part of a stratagem against the infidel, in which case it is permissible.

Prior to Ramadan, Islamic leaders in Egypt called for a million men to grow their beards and show Egypt’s adherence to Muhammad’s commands. Popular and enthusiastic preachers such as Muhammad Hassan went as far as to pray for the day when 80 million Egyptians grew their beards — a figure that presumably includes women and children, as 80 million is the size of Egypt’s entire population.

Amr Adib, a popular talk show host on Cairo Today, mocked this call for a “million man beard” with his trademark sarcasm: “This is a great endeavor! After all, a man with a beard can never be a thug, can never rape a woman in the street, can never set a church on fire, can never fight and quarrel, can never steal, and can never be dishonest!”

He and his Egyptian viewers know quite well that it is precisely those Muslims who most closely follow the minutia of Muhammad — the Salafists — that are most prone to violence and deceit, which were also advocated by the prophet. Towards the end of the program, Adib spoke seriously, ominously, saying this issue is not about growing a beard, but rather, “once you grow your beard, you give proof of your commitment and fealty to everything in Islam."

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