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It's always "Sunni" in Philadelphia

What is a "Sunni" beard?

Add another illustrious claim to fame for Philadelphia -- apparently we're the home of the "Sunni-type beard."

What am I talking about? A Friend of Attytood just forwarded a news release from the Philadelphia Police Department about two criminal suspects in a May 16 murder and home invasion. The first one is a black male who's described as wearing "a gray hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans. Black boots. Full sunni (sic) type beard."

I had never heard of a Sunni, or sunni type beard -- hopefully there's not a bloody civil war involving them against Shia, or shia, type beards on the streets of Philadelphia. Actually, at first I assumed it was just my own ignorance, that "sunni type beards" were a well-known phenomenon.

Except that it isn't a well-known phenomenon. Just Google the words "sunni type beard" and you only get 12 results, and several of them are news releases from the Philadelphia Police Department. Then you learn from the police Web site Domelights that at least one commanding officer tried to ban the phrase last year, leading to this anonymous rant against political correctness:

Thanks to liberal political correct pencil pushers with authority like you, you are placing the citizens of your district in danger and destroying our ability to our job, a job you seem to have forgotten how to do. Well at least you can say to the mother of a shooting victim "well we could have caught him but he had a certain type of beard we are not allowed to say in case his feelings were hurt as he shot your son while running from the point of gun robbery he just committed." Disgraceful, simply put and you should be ashamed.

Nothing's more important than getting a murderous home-invading thug off the street, so if the phrase "sunni type beard" somehow helped catch this guy, I'd be all for it. But it's really not at all clear what a "sunni type beard" is. One of the other news releases describes the suspect as a having a "long sunni type beard," but the beard as drawn in the first news release is short (and drawn completely differently).

In fact, the first guy's beard, as drawn, looks exactly like what I would call...a goatee. So what's the deal with the "sunni type beard"? I have no earthly idea.