Stores in Herat province have begun beheading mannequins after the Taliban government’s Ministry of Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice recommended that vendors implement the measure because they consider them to be figures against Islamic law.
Taliban order beheading of mannequins in Afghan store windows
“We told the traders that if they want to display the clothes on the mannequins, they should cut off their heads, which will not create problems in displaying the garments,” Shaikh Abdul Aziz, director of the Ministry of Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, told Efe on Tuesday.
According to Aziz, only by mutilating the figures will their use be acceptable, but “covering the heads of the mannequins will not be enough.”
We only “advise and suggest to the traders to cut the faces of the mannequins,” added the Taliban regime official, who clarified that there is no request to destroy the mannequins completely.
For the time being, these new rules have been imparted only among shopkeepers in Herat, although since the fall of Afghanistan to the Islamists last August, female figures have been disappearing from window displays in stores across the country.
“At this stage, our statement is only a recommendation, but with the passage of time if the shopkeepers did not consider the rules, we will deal with it based on our rules and regulations,” he explained.
Images of vendors mutilating the heads of female figures with saws already began circulating on social media, while several traders confirmed the implementation of the measure for fear of punishment from the Taliban.
“We received the letter about cutting off the head of all mannequins whether it is male or female or child and some of the shopkeepers already started cutting off the heads of mannequins in their stores,” a salesman told Efe on condition of anonymity.
“Mannequin is a normal thing all over the world and Afghanistan, I have several clothing stores and around 50 mannequins that I use in my clothing stores cost me around $80 or $100 each, but with this decision it will cause a huge loss,” another trader said.