The Taliban have ordered store owners in western Afghanistan to cut off the heads of mannequins, insisting they violate Islamic law. Those who ignore the beheading order face severe punishment, according to The Times.

A video showing men chopping off mannequins’ heads went viral on Twitter. The 40-second video comes just days after Taliban terrorists issued the order to shopping malls in Afghanistan’s western province of Herat.

The instructions to ‘behead’ the figures on display were given by the “Ministry of Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.” The head of the ministry’s local department, Aziz Rahman, warned that there would be severe punishments if they violated the rule.

Ministers believe that people worshipped the mannequins as idols and that is considered a sin by the Koran, so it is against the law to look at the mannequins’ faces, an official told Afghan media outlet Raha Press.

The city’s mall owners and clothing vendors were initially angered by the directive and some tried to circumvent the beheading order by covering the mannequins’ heads with hoods or bags, but Rahman said that was not enough. 

Criticism from the traders was also over monetary losses. One said the mannequins cost up to $200 each and cutting off their heads was a “big loss” for him.

Since the Taliban terrorists seized power by force on August 15, after then President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, one of the first actions they took was to severely restrict the freedoms of women and girls, confining them to their homes.

Girls were banned from attending secondary schools in several provinces, women were largely prevented from working in the public sector and excluded from government positions.

In addition, as reported by Sky News in late December, Kabul authorities said that women seeking to travel long distances should not be offered cab service unless accompanied by a close male relative.

According to reports, the ministry has also banned Afghan women from driving. It has also ordered local channels to stop showing dramas and soap operas with actresses, and news anchors to wear hijabs while on air.

In addition to the constant threats to freedoms, Afghanistan’s economy has been increasingly devastated since the terrorist takeover. 

The U.N. Security Council last week adopted a U.S. resolution to get humanitarian aid to desperate Afghans while keeping funds out of the hands of the Taliban government, which has yet to be recognized by any country.

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