The Taliban extremist group, which returned to power in Afghanistan in August 2021, is forcing traders in Kabul, the country’s capital, to cover the faces of female mannequins used to display women’s clothing and accessories.
In December last year, the orientation was that all mannequins should be decapitated, that is, their heads had to be ripped off. This time, shops are only allowed to cover with fabrics and even plastic bags as long as you can’t see the face.
According to the local press, the order is based on a passage from the Koran, Islam’s holy book, which bans statues and images in human form because they could be worshiped as idols.
The new requirement complements the group leaders’ policy of isolating women from Afghan society. Since the extremists regained power, Afghan women have lost many rights and are subject to strict codes of conduct.
The Taliban banned women from attending universities and closed secondary schools. They were also banned from traveling by plane without a male relative.
NGOs working in the region were also forbidden from hiring women, even if they were not of Afghan origin. This is because they would not respect the country’s dress code.
Despite promises of greater flexibility, the Taliban have returned to the strict interpretation of Islam that marked their first rise to power between 1996 and 2001.
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