Taliban, known for their austere brand of Islam, has said that the use of mannequins is a breach of Shariah law as the statues are sinful idols.
The Directorate for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (DPVPV) had earlier ordered the shops to do away with the mannequins. A note to shopkeepers said,” “All the statues and mannequins in your stores must be headless.”
But after the shopkeepers raised the issue of heavy losses, the ministry tweaked its order and made it even more extreme by asking them to behead the mannequins instead.
Sheikh Aziz-u-Rahman, head of the ministry responsible to ensure the Taliban’s strict interpretation of Islam, had made the announcement of beheading after the shopkeepers hit back at the previous order.
“The heads of the mannequins should be covered, not removed. Each mannequin costs $100, or $80 or $70, and beheading them will be a huge financial loss,” Abdul Wadood Faiz Zada told Italian newspaper Repubblica.
Another shopkeeper, Mohammad Yusuf added, “The Taliban have not changed, there will be restrictions once again. They have not gained international recognition, but should they obtain it, they would bring back even stricter limitations,” according to a report in The Sun.
The recent move falls in line with the group’s previous regressive decisions, especially against women, taken ever since it took over Afghanistan in August. The DPVPV has asked drivers to not transport women who are not wearing a hijab. Women are also not allowed to travel alone for more than 72 km from their homes.
A taxi driver in Kabul, who did not want to be named, said that for some time now armed Taliban men have been urging taxi drivers not to play music in their cars or take women without a hijab.
The Taliban authorities have also started their crackdown on the sale of alcohol. A team of Afghan intelligence agents poured around 3,000 litres of liquor into a canal in Kabul, the country’s spy agency said on Sunday, reported news agency AFP.
The General Directorate of Intelligence (GDI) showed the members pouring alcohol into the canal after seizing it during a raid in the capital.
“Muslims have to seriously abstain from making and delivering alcohol,” a religious leader said in the footage the agency posted on Twitter on Sunday, according to the AFP report.