Taliban reportedly orders beheading of shop mannequins — Analysis

Afghanistan’s new rulers apparently deem dummies to be ‘idols’ that are offensive to Islam

The Taliban has ordered clothes shops in Afghanistan’s Herat province to behead all mannequins because they are “idols,” according to media reports.

According to The Times newspaper, the ruling was issued last week by the local office of the Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, which is charged with enforcing the Taliban’s reading of Sharia Law in the western province.

Officials initially wanted shopkeepers to remove the dummies altogether, describing them as “Statues” that were being “Worshipped.” However, store owners hit out at the idea, arguing that it would have an adverse effect on their already floundering business. Instead of being beheaded, the Taliban settled on a simple execution of mannequins. Those who violate the rule would face severe consequences.

Speaking with the Italian la Repubblica newspaper, one store owner complained that the Taliban’s order would mean financial losses for businesses, as each mannequin cost between $70 and $100.

Unverified footage circulating online shows a man ripping apart a woman with a hacksaw. Some shop owners are already complying with this ruling.

How the Taliban’s tightening the noose on women’s rights

In the mid-1990s, Taliban was well-known for denying women many of their liberties. When the group took over the country last August, it vowed to respect women’s rights within the scope of Sharia Law.

The new rulers began to place more restrictions on Afghan women as the months progressed. This effectively made it impossible for them to pursue secondary education or work. In December, a new decree of this nature prohibited women to travel further than 72 km (45 miles) without the consent of a male chaperon.

UNICEF reported that parents were selling off newborn girls for the purpose of future marriages after the country was plunged into an economic crisis.

The ultra-religious rule of the Taliban is affecting men’s lives, too. The Taliban banned Helmand’s hairdressers from shaving their beards in September last year. Drivers were also banned from playing music in their vehicles, and they now have to stop for prayer times in a “proper place.

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