Thu. Jan 20th, 2022

A video clip showing men sawing off the plastic heads of life-size dummies is going viral on social media.

The Taliban have ordered shopkeepers in western Afghanistan to cut off the heads of mannequins, insisting the life-size figures are being violated Islamic law, according to a report.

A video clip showing men sawing off the plastic heads of female dummies went viral on social media, the AFP news agency reported on Wednesday.

Since returning to power in August, the Taliban have increasingly enforced their interpretation of Islamic law, severely restricting freedoms, especially those of women and girls.

“We have ordered the shopkeepers to cut off the heads of mannequins, as this is against (Islamic) Sharia law,” said Aziz Rahman, head of the ministry for the promotion of virtue and the prevention of vice in the city. Herat, said Wednesday.

“If they just cover the head or hide the whole mannequin, the angel of Allah will not enter their shop or house and bless them,” Rahman added after some vendors initially reacted by covering the heads of mannequins with plastic bags or headscarves. .

The Taliban has so far issued no national policy on mannequins or statues. Under the group’s interpretation of Islamic law, depictions of the human figure are prohibited.

During their first government in the 1990s, the Taliban unleashed worldwide indignation after blowing up two ancient Buddha statues.

Since taking power, they have banned girls from secondary schools in several provinces while women have been largely prevented from work in the public sector and excluded from government positions.

Burka-wearing Afghan women walk past a clothing store in HeratAfghan women walk past clothing store in Herat, Afghanistan [File: Petros Giannakouris/AP]

Last week, authorities in Kabul said women looking to travel long distances should not be offered road transport unless accompanied by a close male family member.

The group increased raids on liquor sellers, rounded off drug addicts and forbidden music.

The Taliban takeover has devastated Afghanistan’s economy, with billions of dollars of assets frozen by the United States and international aid largely disrupted.

However, the UN Security Council last week adopted a US-proposed resolution to help humanitarian aid reaches desperate Afghans as they try to keep funds out of the hands of the Taliban government, which has yet to be recognized by any country.

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