EAMON O’NEIL-DANIEL & REBECCA METCALF
A Muslim community leader has expressed offence at a range of terrorist-themed Halloween costumes available online.
Curtin University’s Islamic Chaplain Sheikh Yahya Ibrahim said he was “disappointed to hear” such costumes are sold.
“I find it offensive,” Mr Ibrahim said.
“The Arab garb is not a statement of oppression or terrorism.
“It is an attire applicable to many cultures around the world, not just Arabic.
“No one should be ridiculed on belief.”
Adelaide-based heavencostumes.com.au offers a ‘Terrorist Leader Men’s Costume’ that comes with a description for wearers to: “Jump on your camel and search the desert in this affordable men’s Arab fancy dress costume”.
The costume’s advertisement shows a man cloaked in a mock turban, with a long beard, a fake automatic weapon and camouflage jacket.
While the jacket, shirt, shorts and hat are included in the price, the toy gun does not come with the costume package.
heavencostumes.com.au was contacted for comment. The woman who answered the phone asked InkWire to confirm its contact details, which we did, then declined to provide hers.
She said the advertised costume was meant to be taken in jest.
“If you want to be ridiculously politically correct you can do that, but some of us have a sense of humour,” she said.
Co-owner of costumecollection.com.au, Ming Malaykham, said no-one had complained.
But he admitted he could see why a Muslim person would find the costume offensive.
“There is a fine line between what is politically correct but it is up to the public,” Mr Malaykham said.
“We don’t call the product ‘terrorist’, I don’t think we can.
“That’s mainly to do with the fact that it would get flagged [by Google] as it is a sensitive topic.”
Mr Malaykham said buying such costumes was a decision for the consumer.
However, Mr Ibrahim said it was inappropriate.
“It is inflammatory especially in the times we are in,” he said.
“It is dangerous to perpetuate a stereotype.”
Mr Ibrahim said if his young children were to walk around tonight they would find the costumes confusing.