An Islamic cleric in Turkey, Murat Bayaral, has drawn backlash after suggesting that clean-shaven men sometimes “cannot be distinguished from women” and can cause “indecent thoughts’ in some men. Speaking on a private religious station, Fatih Medreseleri (Madrasahs) TV, on Dec. 16th, Bayaral blasted beardless men and said there is no need to receive permission from wives for a man to shave his beard.

“Men should grow beard. One of the two body parts that separate men from women is the beard. For example, if you see a man with long hair from afar you may think he is a woman if he does not have a beard. Because nowadays women and men dress similarly. God forbid! You could be possessed by indecent thoughts,” he said.

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