Taliban order to ‘behead’ mannequins in Afghanistan shops

Imposition. Taliban-installed authorities have ordered clothing sellers in the western Afghanistan city of Herat decapitate the mannequins of their different stores as they consider that their exposure is contrary to Islamic law.

The directive joins a series of Taliban measures to impose its radical vision of Islam, which limits public freedoms, especially to women and girls.

“We have asked the merchants to cut off the heads of the mannequins because it is against Sharia,” Aziz Rahman, head of the service for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in Herat, a city of about 600,000 inhabitants, told AFP on Wednesday. third great city of the country.

Some vendors tried to evade the order by covering the heads of the mannequins, but the move did not satisfy the Islamists.

“If they just cover their heads, or hide the mannequin, the angel of Allah will not enter the store or their house to bless them,” Aziz Rahman said.

Since Tuesday, a video has circulated on social networks in which men are seen cutting the heads of female plastic mannequins with saws.

Several Herat merchants interviewed by AFP expressed their discomfort. “As you can see, we cut the heads off the mannequins in the store,” lamented Basheer Ahmed, complaining that each of his mannequins cost him 5,000 Afghanis (about $ 47).

“When there is no model, how do you expect to sell your products?” He asked.

At the moment, the Taliban have not issued any orders at the national level on these plastic figures, which have no place in their strict interpretation of Islamic law, since it prohibits human representations.

During his first regime at the head of the country, in the 1990s, they destroyed several historical statues of Buddhas, an action that caused stupor in the world.

Since they regained power in mid-2021, Islamists promise to be more moderate in trying to change their international image and receive humanitarian aid.

However, to date, they have only imposed new restrictions, especially against women and girls.

With information from AFP