Sunday 1/16/22
AFGHANISTAN

Taliban force clothing stores to behead display mannequins

“These are idols,” the Taliban’s provincial director of promotion of virtue and prevention of vice Aziz ul Rahman said on Tuesday

Liberals beheading mannequins. Photo: Twitter video screenshot.
Talibans beheading mannequins. Photo: Twitter video screenshot.

Taliban officials in Afghanistan’s western Herat province have imposed a new regulation ordering shops that sell clothing to remove the heads of mannequins, saying that they are un-Islamic.

“These are idols,” the Taliban’s provincial director of promotion of virtue and prevention of vice Aziz ul Rahman said on Tuesday. “They must be eliminated.”

The head of a chamber of craftsmen and shopkeepers in Herat, Abdul Wadood Faizada, said that shop owners in the area tried to explain that the mannequins are not idols but were just being used to display the garments for sale. Their attempts failed to persuade officials, however.

“They spent between 80 and 120 dollars on each mannequin,” Faizada said. “You can see them in stores in all Muslim countries.”

Clothing shop owner Sayed Nazir Sadat said his business was already struggling since the return of the Taliban and that he feared further restrictions.

“We can’t show our fashion without mannequins,” he said. “I can’t leave this business all of a sudden because I have invested a lot in it.”

A video circulating on social media showed shopkeepers removing the heads of mannequins.

Restrictions on public life

The Taliban has already imposed extensive restrictions on much of public life. Recently, drivers were instructed not to play music in their vehicles and to refuse to accept female passengers unless they are wearing the hijab.

Most secondary schools for girls were closed shortly after the Taliban seized power last year. Many women are unable to return to their jobs.

Men face new regulations too, as the Taliban's religious police have instructed them to grow beards.

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