In Kabul, store mannequins are hooded, masked, or beheaded

In the countless clothing shops of Kabul, Afghanistan, mannequins are hooded, masked, or entirely beheaded. Shortly after the Taliban swept into power in August 2021, one of the many mandates of the Ministry of Vice and Virtue was that mannequin heads must not be visible in accordance with "a strict interpretation of Islamic law that forbids statues and images of the human form since they could be worshipped as idols," according to the Associated Press. The law applies to male mannequins as well as female. From the AP:

In one shop, the mannequins' heads were cloaked in tailored sacks made out of the same material as the traditional dresses they modeled. One, in a purple dress beaded with cowrie shells, had a matching purple hood. Another, in a red gown elaborately embroidered in gold, was almost elegant in a mask of red velvet with a gold crown on her head.

"I can't cover the mannequins' heads with plastic or ugly things because it would make my window and shop look ugly," said Bashir, the owner. Like other owners, he spoke to The Associated Press on condition he be identified only by his first name for fear of reprisals[…]

In one shop, the mannequins in sleeveless gowns all had black plastic sacks over their heads. The owner said he couldn't afford more.

Another shop owner, Aziz, said agents of the Ministry of Vice and Virtue regularly patrol shops and malls to make sure the mannequins are beheaded or covered. He was dismissive of the Taliban's justification for the rules. "Everyone knows mannequins aren't idols, and no one's going to worship them. In all Muslim countries, mannequins are used to display clothes."