Taliban order Afghan shop owners to behead mannequins

Shopkeepers try to get around the order by covering mannequin heads with scarves or bags



Published: Wed 5 Jan 2022, 6:43 PM

The Taliban have ordered shop owners in western Afghanistan to cut the heads off mannequins, insisting figures representing the human form violate the law.

A video clip showing men sawing the heads off shop dummies in Herat has gone viral on social media, drawing scorn both inside and outside the country.

Since returning to power in August, the Taliban have increasingly imposed a harsh interpretation of Islamic law and severely curtailed freedoms.

While the Islamists have not issued any formal national policy on mannequins — or other creeping restrictions — various local authorities are clamping down on what they say are immoral practices.

Aziz Rahman, head of the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in Herat, confirmed the order to AFP on Wednesday.

Some shopkeepers had tried to get around the order by covering mannequin heads with scarves or bags, but Rahman said that did not go far enough.

Several shopkeepers in the city of around 600,000 were angered by the order.

“As you can see, we have cut the heads off,” Basheer Ahmed, a garment seller, told AFP, adding each dummy had cost 5,000 afghanis (around $50).

“When there is no mannequin how do you expect us to sell our products? The customer likes it when the garment is draped properly over a mannequin.”

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