Tuesday, January 18

Afghanistan. Clothing vendors must behead their mannequins on Taliban orders

Despite promises and declarations of moderation since their return to power in August 2021, the Taliban are continuing their measures to impose their rigorous vision of Islam in Afghanistan.

In Herat (west), the third largest city in the country, they ordered clothing vendors to behead mannequins in their stores, which they considered to be contrary to their interpretation of Islamic law.

“This goes against Sharia law”

“We asked the traders to cut off the heads of the models, because it goes against the (Islamic) law of the Sharia”, confirmed Wednesday Aziz Rahman, head of the department for the Promotion of the virtue and the Prevention of the vice of Herat. .

“If they just cover the head, or hide the (entire) mannequin, Allah’s angel will not come into their store or their home to bless them,” he added.

He claimed the clothing vendors promised they would obey. Thus, since Tuesday, a video showing men sawing the heads of female plastic mannequins has been circulating widely on social networks.

Restrictions mainly targeting women and girls

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.

But the decision comes on top of a series of measures limiting public freedoms, especially of women and girls. Since their return to power, the Taliban have announced that women wishing to travel long distances must be accompanied by a male relative and have called on taxi drivers to accept women in their vehicles only if they are wear the “Islamic veil”.

And this, even as they say they are more moderate and seek to be recognized by the international community, hoping for the return of crucial humanitarian aid for Afghanistan.


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