CAIRO – Sparking every year’s criticism, Amazon site has come under fire for offending Muslims worldwide by offering burkas as Halloween fancy dress costume, withdrawing it after facing massive backlash.
“Is this some sort of mockery to the religion?” one of the users asked, while another said “it’s not a joke,” The Telegraph reported on Friday, October 7.
Sold through Amazon Marketplace, the fancy was described as a “gorgeous sexy outfit made from a lovely soft stretch material.”
The mini-dress, priced at £18.99 ($23), is apparently a take on the Muslim women’s swimwear, except that it barely covers anything but the face, with a niqab leaving only the eyes visible.
Customers described the garment as “racist” before it was withdrawn from sale, with one commenting: “It’s not a joke. Whoever you are fear Allah.”
After removing the costume from sale, an Amazon spokesperson said: “All Marketplace sellers must follow our selling guidelines and those who don’t will be subject to action including potential removal of their account.”
“The product in question is no longer available.”
The fancy dress was not the only item on Amazon marketplace which triggered sharp criticism.
An ‘Arab costume’, offered at £12.09, is still for sale on the site, despite facing negative comments.
A customer review for the item says: “You’re all disgusting racists. My culture is not your costume.”
“A persons culture is NOT a fancy dress costume,” said another.
“This is ridiculous. Dressing up like other cultures for the alleged purpose of “having fun” is not okay. Especially when, in a lot of cases, people who buy and wear costumes like this do it solely as a way to make fun of the culture, not as a form of appreciation,” Khadijah wrote in his one-star review.
“Stop cultural appropriation,” she continued.
Halloween is an annual Western celebration based on Celtic pagan doctrines and traditionally applied to the evening of October 31st.
Celtics were a group occupying the area known now as Ireland, the United Kingdom, and Northern France about 2,000 years ago.
Halloween has clear connections with the Eve of Samhain, a celebration marking the beginning of winter as well as the first day of the New Year among ancient pagans of the British Isles (2nd century BC).
On this occasion, it was believed that supernatural forces gathered together and that the barriers between the supernatural and human worlds were broken.
They believed that spirits from other worlds, such as the souls of the dead were able to visit earth during this time and roam about.
When Christianity came to the British Isles, the church tried to take attention away from these pagan rituals by placing a Christian holiday on the same day.
The Christian festival, the Feast of All Saints, acknowledges the saints of the Christian faith in much the same way that Samhain had paid tribute to the pagan gods.
These traditions were brought to the United States by immigrants from Ireland and Scotland.