Bearded Bloggers Beware: Facial Hair May Be Interpreted As National Security Threat, Tajik Official Warns

The head of Tajikistan's Committee for Youth and Sports, Abdullo Rahmonzoda, has urged bloggers not to wear beards and stay away from promoting beards online, saying they might be interpreted as "an expression of solidarity with terrorist groups" such as the Taliban. The authorities in the Central Asian nation have been known for forcing practicing Muslims to shave off their beards, a move that has been criticized by domestic and international rights organizations for years. Rahmonzoda told bloggers on April 28 that beards can also impose "a threat to national security and statehood." To read the original story by RFE/RL's Tajik Service, click here.