According to Raha Press, an official with the Directorate of Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in Afghanistan’s western Herat province said that from now on, the heads of female mannequins will not be shown in shops and will be cut off because posing is against Islamic Sharia law.
According to the report, he stated that looking at the faces of such mannequins is against Sharia law.
The directive comes a day after the Kabul-based group issued a directive advising taxi drivers not to offer rides to unveiled women who do not have close male relatives.
A number of shopkeepers in Herat expressed concern about such an order, claiming that the Taliban are making life more difficult for them by the day.
The shopkeepers claimed that they had paid $100-$200 for each mannequin and that they now had to cut their heads off.
Ali Ahmad, one Herati shopkeeper, said, “Actually, these mannequins are my only belongings now, and now with this new order I have to cut their heads off. It is a great loss for me,” as per the report.
In a further restriction of women’s freedom in Afghanistan, the Taliban has stated that women seeking to travel more than 72 kilometres should not be offered transportation unless accompanied by a close male relative, according to RFE/RL.
The Taliban’s Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice also advised all vehicle drivers not to play music in their vehicles and not to pick up female passengers who do not wear an Islamic hijab covering their hair.
On December 26, Ministry spokesman Mohammad Sadiq Akif confirmed the authenticity of the advisory.
A taxi driver in Kabul who did not want to be identified said that for some time now, armed Taliban men have been urging taxi drivers not to play music in their cars or transport women who are not wearing a hijab.