Nigeria’s Kano state strikes to ban model heads on Islamic grounds
The Islamic police pressure in Kano, a Muslim-majority state in Nigeria, has raised eyebrows after it ordered retailers to solely use headless mannequins to promote clothes.
“Islam frowns on idolatry,” Haruna Ibn-Sina, the commander of the Sharia police often known as the hisbah, advised the BBC.
“With the pinnacle on it seems like a human being,” he added.
Mr Ibn-Sina additionally needs the headless mannequins lined always as a result of to indicate “the form of the breast, the form of the underside, is opposite to the teachings of Sharia [Islamic law]”.
Kano is one among 12 states within the Muslim-majority north that practise Islamic legislation. The authorized system is meant to use solely to Muslims.
However in actuality, non-Muslims come beneath stress to stick to the hisbah’s rulings, together with the ban on full-bodied mannequins.
“We’ve obtained numerous calls and messages from those that say they disagree with the order,” stated Moses Ajebo, a radio talk-show host in Kano metropolis, the second-biggest in Nigeria.
Merchants at Sabon Gari, a Christian-dominated a part of Kano state, additionally expressed their displeasure with the hisbah’s order.
Store proprietor Chinedu Anya stated that displaying garments on a headless model would scale back their attractiveness to passers-by and have an effect on his enterprise.
Mohawk coiffure shaved
Mr Ibn-Sina and his officers – who quantity within the 1000’s, and are made up of each women and men – haven’t but gone shop-to-shop to implement the ban.
Nonetheless, there are considerations that it provides to the checklist of the hisbah’s pronouncements that conflict with secularism and modernity.
Final week Mr Ibn-Sina criticised images from the bridal bathe of Zahrah Bayero, the fiancée of President Muhammadu Buhari’s son, Yusuf.
He stated she didn’t set a superb instance to different Muslims because the images confirmed her uncovered shoulders.
He additionally criticised those that shared the photographs, saying that it was a sin to take action.
Final 12 months, Mr Ibn-Sina’s officers shaved off the Mohawk hairstyles of younger males on the pavements of Kano metropolis, and he additionally chastised others for sporting low-hung trousers.
Mr Ibn-Sina additionally barred the usage of the time period Black Friday to promote gross sales, saying that Friday was a holy day in Islam.
He was largely ignored by radio stations and purchasing malls they usually confronted no sanctions.
Residents additionally obtained a warning in opposition to performing a dance from South Africa – the place contributors theatrically fell to the bottom – that went viral on social media final 12 months.
Whereas many Muslims in Kano again the hisbah’s orders, a handful of youthful Muslims imagine that its interpretation of among the teachings of Islam, akin to on mannequins, is unsuitable.
“Islam forbids idolatry however the hadith [teachings of Prophet Muhammad] is evident on Allah judging your intentions. Until you’re bowing all the way down to a model, it might probably’t be seen as a sin,” stated a Muslim cleric who didn’t wish to be named.
However many senior Muslim clerics, akin to Halliru Maraya of the Islamic Council of Nigeria, say the place of the hisbah on the mannequins is appropriate as “Islam is in opposition to carving human statues, no matter identify you wish to name it”.
Whereas the announcement in Kano is the primary in Nigeria, there have been makes an attempt in different primarily Muslim nations to limit the usage of mannequins.
In 2009, Iranian police warned shopkeepers to not show feminine mannequins with bodily curves or with no hijab.
In 2010, Palestinian Islamist group Hamas ordered the removing of scantily-clad mannequins and footage of fashions in underwear from clothes retailers within the Gaza Strip.
On the time, Hamas stated the foundations had been to guard “public morality”.
For these in Kano, it’s not clear how the order will probably be enforced as Mr Ibn-Sina has dominated out seizing the mannequins he disapproves of, saying he prefers “different methods”.
Muslim cleric Mr Maraya needs non-Muslims, protected by Nigeria’s structure, to problem the hisbah’s ruling on mannequins in courtroom, saying a line must be drawn beneath its efforts to pressure them to abide by Islamic legislation.
However to oppose the hisbah might be a matter of life, dying and cash.
Liquor thrown away
Greater than 100 folks had been killed throughout riots to protest in opposition to the choice of the Kano state authorities to undertake Sharia legislation 11 years in the past.
Extra just lately, vans carrying alcoholic drinks belonging to non-Muslims had been destroyed and bars had been raided by the hisbah after it accused house owners of “corrupt acts”.
The consumption of liquor is forbidden in Islam.
Kano’s hisbah is not any totally different from these in different Muslim-majority states in Nigeria. But it surely has a better public profile due to the persona of Mr Ibn-Sina.
Those that know him say he’s a showman who craves the limelight. He tends to go round Kano metropolis with a media entourage to challenge orders.
However for him, he’s solely doing his job.
Final 12 months the commander prompted a stir when he employed Kung Fu specialists to coach the hisbah officers in shut fight as they don’t carry arms.
There was an elaborate present, to the general public’s amusement, to reveal the usefulness of the martial arts.
As for the mannequins with heads, their days could also be numbered in Kano. However it’s nonetheless not clear if Mr Ibn-Sina will flip his consideration elsewhere leaving them intact.