Afghanistan: Taliban Ministry Orders Mannequin Beheadings


  • Mannequins in Herat, Afghanistan, must have their heads removed, the Taliban has ruled.
  • The mannequins were being worshipped as idols, claimed the Taliban.
  • Those who ignore the beheading order face severe punishments, according to The Times.

The Taliban ordered a series of mannequin beheadings, describing the heads of dummies as “idols” that are forbidden by Islam, according to reports.

Shopkeepers in the western Afghan province of Herat were told to remove the heads of female mannequins by The Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice this week, The Times reported.

Those who ignore the order face severe punishments, warned the local department of the ministry, per the media outlet.

Ministers believed that people were worshipping the mannequins as idols, according to MailOnline, and the Quran considers idolatry to be an unforgivable sin.

According to the Aghan media outlet Raha Press, the director of the local ministry said that even looking at the face of a female mannequin is against Sharia law.

An initial order called for the removal of mannequins completely, but a compromise on just removing the heads was agreed, MailOnline said.

Raha Press reported that shopkeepers in Herat are dismayed by the beheading order, citing how expensive the mannequins are. One shopkeeper said mannequins cost up to $200 each, per the news outlet, and added that cutting their heads off is a “great loss” for him.

The Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice in Afghanistan was reinstated in September, after the fall of Kabul. The all-male ministry replaced the former Ministry of Women Affairs, stoking fears that the Taliban’s moral police would decimate women’s rights in the country.

This week, Sky News reported that the ministry told taxi drivers they should not take women on long journeys if they do not have a male chaperone. 

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