Trick or treating with Osama Bin Laden: Al Qaeda Halloween costume deemed 'offensive'
Osama bin Laden - perfect halloween costume or just offensive? (Photo courtesy of Al Arabiya/Amazon/AFP)
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In the minds of many, Osama Bin Laden was a man that most people don’t need to be reminded of in their everyday lives.
Now, a Bin Laden-themed Halloween costume on sale in the U.S. has attracted a number of complaints for doing just that.
Walmart is being pressured to pull its turban-themed costume from its website, after the Halloween outfit was deemed “insulting” by U.S.-based Sikh community.
The Sikh Coalition said in a letter this week that the costume is offensive to victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks which bin Laden masterminded, the Daily Mail reported on Saturday.
Their letter came with an image of the original costume and the al-Qaeda leader, Osama Bin Laden.
The Coalition said the costume would cause “negative stereotypes about turbans and beards that have led to violence and discrimination against Sikhs and other minorities.”
At Walmart, the costume is described as “Turban Beard Adult Halloween Instant Costume,” according to the Daily Mail.
But on Amazon.com, where the costume is also being sold, it is described under the banner “Fun World Adult Men’s Osama Bin Laden Middle East Costume Turban + Beard.”
“The costume appears to be manufactured by Fun World Costumes, and is for sale on the sites of retailers such as Sears and Rite Aid, among others,” the newspaper reported.
In comments to The Huffington Post, Rajdeep Singh, Director of Law and Policy at The Sikh Coalition, sais he doubts the costume would make people who had lost loved ones in the 9/11 attacks comfortable.
A Walmart spokesperson said they “disabled this item for purchase and are in the process of immediately removing it from our site,” according to the Post.
“We sincerely apologize to any customers who may have been offended by this costume.”
The complaint from the Sikh community came amid recent attacks on Sikh Americans.
Singh was recently confronted by attackers who shouted “terrorist” and “Osama” and pulled at his beard and turban in an attack that required him to get jaw surgery, according to the Daily Mail.
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