Shave and a Haircut, Two Hits

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Rogier van Bakel at Nobody's Business points to this disturbing NY Times report on Baghdad barbers being shot and killed for daring to give male customers "Western-style haircuts" or shaving their beards.

Hair has a long history as a cultural and political signifier–just ask the Roundheads of the English Civil War. With nary a mohawk, wedge, or buzz cut among the staff, Reason has long tracked the phenomena and, more important, tyrannical attempts to control it. Earlier this year, for instance, we noted North Korea's nutjob crackdown on shaggy manes. And Charles Paul Freund's excellent 2003 story, "In Praise of Vulgarity," takes a long look at the Taliban's war against Leonardo DiCaprio-style haircuts and other disapproved tonsorial displays.