Baghdad (AFP) – Every time he looks in a mirror, Laith Ahmed is worried. As of Monday, the young Iraqi’s hopelessly hairless chin could land him in an Islamic State group jail.
The jihadist group has handed out leaflets in their stronghold of Mosul in recent weeks announcing that full beards become compulsory on June 1 and explaining why shaving is punishable.
“My facial hair is just slow to come out for my age,” said the 18-year-old, who like others in this story did not give his real name for fear of retribution.
“I’m scared because they deal ruthlessly with anyone who opposes or ignores their instructions,” he told AFP from Mosul, the de facto Iraqi capital of IS’s self-proclaimed caliphate.