A Turkish preacher believes that all men should grow beards to differentiate themselves from women. Islamic speaker Murat Bayaral spoke on TV show Fatih Medreseleri this weekend, condemning men without beards, reported Hurriyet Daily News.
“Men should grow beards. One of the two body parts that separate men from women is the beard,” he expressed.
Bayaral continued, “For example, when you see a man with long hair from afar, you may think he’s a woman if he doesn’t’ have a beard as men and women dress quite similarly nowadays.”
“God forbid! You could be possessed by indecent thoughts!” he exclaimed.
This criticism of clean shaven men has brought repercussions. Magdalena Kirchner, a fellow at the Istanbul Policy Center, said that outbursts like Bayaral’s are pretty common. “Turkish debates on piety and modesty reoccur frequently,” she told Newsweek.
She added, “In 2012, Turkish President Erdogan declared his intent to raise ‘devout generations’ and former Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arinç stated in 2014 that women should not laugh out loud in public.”
Kirchner went on to add that Bayaral’s beliefs revealed the Turkish government’s desire to manufacture a ‘bottom-up pressure against a secular way of life without having to impose legal constraints.”
Sydney-based Muslim preacher Nassim Abdi, made headlines in October when he slammed parents for letting their children listen to music in the car and dance when at home.