Walmart, the largest retailer in the world, has discontinued the sale of two of their Halloween costumes. One is the “Israeli soldier” and the second is the “Sheik Fagin nose” after facing criticism from all the world.
The costume is the traditional dishdasha with the additional latex nose called “Sheik Fagin nose”, which was described as “perfect for an Arab Sheik”. The hook-nosed appearance and the name Fagin refers to the notorious villain in Charles Dicken’s novel ‘Oliver Twist’.
The “Israeli soldier costume” also resembles a uniform worn by soldiers in the Israeli Defense Force.
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) appreciated Walmart’s decision to discontinue the sale of costumes, by saying the costumes reinforced “racist, anti-Arab” sentiments.
“Selling merchandise which mocks Arabs, or any other race or ethnicity, must not be tolerated,” ADC President Samer Khalaf said in a statement.
Walmart is not the only one to face criticism over its Halloween costumes. Last week, Amazon also pulled a controversial Halloween costume called the “lady boy” from its UK site after receiving criticism that the outfit was insensitive to transgender people. Amazon was also approached by ADC to remove their ‘terrorist Halloween costumes’.
Other items being sold on Amazon included a ‘fake dynamite’ and a variety of beards under the description of “terrorist costumes”.
— ADC National (@adctweets) October 28, 2015
Should such controversial costumes be sold by retailers? Should an Israeli soldier, a Sheik nose (that kind of reminds us of the horribly racist events that took place during the Holocaust) and terrorist costumes be worn by our children or even adults?
We will leave that question for you to answer.