Shops in Herat province have begun cutting off the heads of the mannequins after the Taliban government's Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice recommended that vendors implement the measure, considering them figures in against Islamic law. "We told the merchants that if they want to display the clothes on the mannequins, they must cut off their heads, which will not create problems for displaying the clothes," Shaikh Abdul Aziz, director of the Ministry of Propagation of Virtue, told EFE on Tuesday. and Vice Prevention.
According to Aziz, only mutilating the figures will be acceptable for use, but "covering the head of the mannequins will not be enough."
We only "advise and suggest to traders to cut off the faces of the mannequins," added the Taliban regime official, clarifying that there was no call for the mannequins to be completely destroyed. "At this stage, our statement is just a recommendation, but as time goes by, if the merchants did not consider the rules, we will deal with it based on our rules and regulations," he explained.
For the moment, these new rules have been taught only to merchants in Herat although, since the fall of Afghanistan into the hands of the Islamists last August, female figures have been disappearing from the windows of stores across the country .
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The images of vendors mutilating the heads of female figures with saws have already begun to circulate on social networks, while several merchants confirmed the implementation of the measure for fear of punishment from the Taliban.
"We received the letter about cutting off the heads of all the mannequins, whether they are men, women or children, and some of the merchants have already begun to cut off the heads of the mannequins in their stores," a vendor told EFE under condition of anonymity. “The mannequin is a normal thing all over the world and Afghanistan, I have several clothing stores and about 50 mannequins that I use in my clothing stores cost me around 80 or 100 dollars each, but with this decision it will cause a loss huge,” said another trader.
The Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice was one of the most feared institutions in the first government of the Taliban in Afghanistan, between 1996 and 2001, remembered for the harsh measures that imprisoned women at home, they prohibited the reproduction of music and harshly punished anything that was considered to be outside Islamic law. The powerful institution died out after the fall of the regime with the US invasion, and for the next 20 years it was just a bad memory for Afghans.
The ministry, however, was reinstated by the Taliban after their victory in the war, and its new headquarters now occupies what for the past two decades was the now-defunct Ministry for Women.
Since their reappearance, the Taliban have advised taxi drivers not to transport unveiled women and have also banned the broadcast of "immoral" films and removed female faces from shop windows.