Shopkeepers in Afghanistan have been ordered to remove the heads of their female mannequins, after the Taliban issued a strict decree that all figures representing the human form violate Islamic law.
In a video clip circulating on social media this week, men in the Afghan city of Herat can be seen sawing the heads off of mannequins sporting female clothes.
The order was administered by the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in Herat.
Explaining why the heads had to be removed, minister Aziz Rahman explained, “If they just cover the head or hide the entire mannequin, the angel of Allah will not enter their shop or house and bless them.”
Shopkeepers across the city have complained.
“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,” one shopkeeper bemoaned. The mannequins cost shop owners 5,000 Afghanis (approximately USD 50).
Since returning to power, the Afghan Taliban had assured both weary afghan citizens and the international community alike that they would impose a softer form of their previously harsh rule.
However, incidents like the mannequin beheadings have cropped up across the country, the most severe lodged against women. Girls remain barred from secondary school and women cannot take long journeys without a male chaperone.