In a despicable event, the citizens of Karachi were stopped from holding a shave-a-thon to break the world record of mass shaving. Gillette Pakistan had organized a "Shave it and Break it" event at Karachi Expo Center on March 30 to break the Indian record of mass shavings. As expected, local media did not pay any attention and there was no promotion of the event. Nevertheless, Karachi Metblogs did write about the event to generate some publicity.
Some prizes were also on offer including cash vouchers and iPods besides free lunch for the participants and, of course, free razors.
The event, however, ended up being embroiled in controversy when Islamic extremists blasted the website with hate messages and threats to anyone attending the event. "We will stop anyone attending this event and will not hesitate from using force," one commenter wrote on the blog. Another one termed all the people planning to attend the event as 'infidels'. Organizers of the events also received threats from the All Pakistan Federation of Madressahs and other organizations.
The threats materialized when dozens of Islamic activists gathered at the venue and started shouting slogans. Many succeeded in breaking into the venue, thanks to wafer-thin security, and disrupted the proceedings.
Organizers had no other option but to cancel the event. Pakistani media, which has always played a major role in political upheavals and inciting mass protests, remained silent and did not even report the furor caused by this event. An Indian news outlet did report the event and blamed Jamaat-ud-Dawah for the disruption and cancellation of the event. In actuality, other Islamist organizations also participated in the protest at the venue including Jamaat-e-Islami and madressah students, some were wielding sticks and other 'weapons'.
Gillette Pakistan refused to comment on the cancellation and did not return my calls. Shaving is considered as repugnant to Islamic teachings though millions of men in Pakistan and other countries of the Muslim World regularly indulge in this 'abomination.'
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