From Pakistan, a Truly Bizarre Father's Day Story

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Despite all our political differences, the U.S. and Pakistan also have a great deal in common. We're both democracies, both speak English (mostly), and both share a colonial legacy of throwing off the British crown. Today marks two other important commonalities: our two countries will both celebrate father's day, and will both produce amusing news stories of this modest holiday going terribly awry. Fortunately, because Pakistan is nine hours ahead of the U.S. east coast, we don't have to wait for the end of our father's day to hear how it went in Islamabad.

The Pakistan Express Tribune today carries a father's day-gone-wrong story that is intricate, at times funny, and at other times deeply disturbing. According to the report, a man named Muhammad Imran borrowed a refrigerator from his father-in-law, who also happens to be a cleric. When his father-in-law asked for the fridge to be returned, Imran instead sold it, stormed over to his father-in-law's home, tied up the old man, and then shaved his head and beard. There are many more twists and turns to the story, but one detail stands out:

Hospital officials said that Hanif seemed unconcerned with his health and was much more upset about the fact that he would be humiliated in society. "We were trying to reset his cast and attend to his wounds but he was in a rage about the fact that his son-in-law had dared shave his beard," said Dr Israr Kasb.

"I told him he could always grow his beard back but his health was much more important. He kept repeating that he was a maulvi and nothing was more important," he added.

Dozens of clerics in the village protested outside the hospital in this regard on Tuesday afternoon. "This is an outrage. His son-in-law should be publicly flogged for chopping off the beard of a cleric," said cleric Haji Saifullah Sadaat.

Read the whole story at The Express Tribune.

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Max Fisher is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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