Wednesday, January 26

Afghanistan: Taliban ask traders to behead mannequins in their stores

A clothing vendor in a market in Kabul, Afghanistan on December 29, 2021 Mohd RASFAN

The Taliban have ordered clothing vendors in Herat, western Afghanistan, to behead mannequins in their stores, which they consider to be contrary to their interpretation of Islamic law.

The directive comes on top of a series of measures taken by the Taliban to impose on the country their rigorous vision of Islam, limiting public freedoms, especially of women and girls.

“We asked the traders to cut off the heads of the models, because it goes against the (Islamic) law of the Sharia,” Aziz Rahman, head of the Department for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention, told AFP on Wednesday. vice in Herat, the third largest city in the country with about 600,000 inhabitants.

“If they just cover the head, or hide the (entire) mannequin, the angel of Allah will not come into their store or their home to bless them,” he continued, adding that the sellers of clothes promised they would obey.

A video showing men sawing the heads of female plastic mannequins has been circulating widely on social media since Tuesday.

The Taliban have so far not issued any national directives regarding these plastic mannequins, in conflict with their strict interpretation of Islamic law, which prohibits the depiction of human figures.

During their first reign in the 1990s, the Taliban shocked the world with the destruction of two Buddah statues.

Since their return to power in Afghanistan, the Taliban, who seek to be recognized by the international community and would like the return of crucial humanitarian aid for Afghanistan, say they are more moderate.

But Islamists have since imposed several restrictions, especially on women and girls. They announced that women wishing to travel long distances should be accompanied by a male relative and called on taxi drivers to accept women in their vehicles only if they wear the “Islamic veil”.

The Taliban authorities have also increased searches for alcohol and banned music.

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