Wars and Military Conflicts

The Islamic State, which is taking over Iraq, is now forcing shopkeepers to veil their mannequins

Sarah Wolfe

In a possible sign of things to come, the Islamic State has ordered shopkeepers in Mosul to cover the faces of mannequins with veils.

The Sunni extremist group, formerly known as ISIS/ISIL, took control of northern Iraq's largest city two weeks ago.

In this Monday, July 21, 2014 photo, mannequins with their faces covered are displayed in a shop window in central Mosul, 225 miles (360 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad, Iraq. The Islamic State group ordered clothes shop owners to cover the faces of the mannequins in Mosul, the shop owners said, apparently in line with strict interpretations of Shariah law that forbid statues or artwork depicting the human form.

In the Islamic State's interpretation of Sharia law, statues or artwork in human form are banned.

The group actually banned mannequins entirely from shops in its northern Syria stronghold of Raqa earlier this year, and forbid men and women from shopping together unless they were related.

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The Islamic State is impacting Mosul's commercial sector in other ways too.

A shopkeeper who sells women's underwear told Reuters he's been asked to stop his trade and leave it to women, while a cigarette vendor there who asked to remain anonymous said four armed men recently approached him and told him to stop selling tobacco.

"I'm really feeling down because I don't know what I'll do for work after that," he said.

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— By Sarah Wolfe, GlobalPost