New Humanist carries an interesting piece on the social and religious history of the beard, but with good humour:
And it is this deep prejudice that can lead to discrimination, according to the flamboyantly bearded Keith Flett, organiser of the Beard Liberation Front. This informal network of beard-wearers defends the rights of those who choose not to shave and collates evidence of their unfair treatment. This month they are urging a boycott of The Passion of the Christ:Mel Gibson's film is a very unsympathetic treatment of beards and we feel fully justified in boycotting it.
They see the invasion of Iraq as an attack on men with beards -- a view echoed by beard-wearing MP Jeremy Corbyn, who specifically denounced in Parliament the racism as well as the general injustice of the war.
Take it on the chin - New Humanist, 4th May 2004.