Walmart, Rite Aid pull ‘Turban and Beard’ costume off shelves

beard turban costume
Walmart and Rite Aid pulled this costume off their shelves after the Sikh Coalition asked them to stop selling it.
Credit: Amazon

Walmart and Rite Aid have pulled “Turban and Beard” costumes off their shelves after the Sikh Coalition asked several retailers to stop selling the offensive Halloween costumes. On Friday, the organization wrote letters to Walmart, Rite Aid, Sears and Amazon, along with the costume supplier Fun World, imploring them to remove the costumes from stores. Walmart and Rite Aid responded swiftly, and Rajdeep Singh, Director of Law and Policy for the Sikh Coalition, said that Sears has already told the organization that it will also stop selling the costume.

Singh told Metro that in the wake of recent attacks on Sikhs, such as the one on Columbia professor Prabhjot Singh, it is especially insensitive to sell a costume that villainizes beards and turbans. “Members of our community have been physically assaulted and in some cases murdered by bigots who associate us with Osama Bin Laden because we are required by our religion to wear turbans and have beards,” said Singh. “[This costume] reinforces and perpetuates the stereotype that if someone wears a turban and a beard, they are a terrorist.” The costume includes a turban, beard and army jacket reminiscent of Osama Bin Laden’s appearance in photos and videos. Sikhs are not affiliated in any way with Islam or Al-Qaeda.

Singh added that the costume is also deeply offensive to those who lost loved ones on 9/11 or in Iraq or Afghanistan. “It’s sort of like wearing a Hitler costume and trying to needle people who lost loved ones during the Holocaust,” he added.

Ravi Jariwala, director of media relations at Walmart, told Metro, “We sincerely apologize to any customers who may have been offended by this costume” and added that the costume was only available online and not in stores. Singh said he and the Sikh Coalition have been encouraged by the positive responses they have received from Rite Aid, Walmart and Sears.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Hurricane Odile batters Mexico's Baja resorts, sparks looting

Hurricane Odile injured dozens of people, forced the evacuation of thousands and smashed shops open to looters in the popular tourist area of Baja, Mexico.

National

Apple iPhone 6 pre-orders hit record 4 million…

By Lehar Maan(Reuters) - Apple Inc said many customers will need to wait until next month for their new iPhones after a record 4 million…

National

LAPD investigates complaint from detained 'Django' actress

The LAPD is investigating after "Django Unchained" actress Daniele Watts accused police of violating her rights when they detained her.

Local

Number of New York City smokers increase, topping…

For the first time since 2007, there are  more than one million smokers in New York City, according to the New York City Department of…

Movies

Newsflash: Corey Stoll is still not a man

In director Shaun Levy's "This Is Where I Leave You," Corey Stoll stars as the oldest of four adult children (the others are played by…

Movies

If you don't like Simon Pegg's new film,…

Simon Pegg goes all out in "Hector and the Search for Happiness" as the titular psychiatrist stymied by modern life who embarks on a globetrotting…

Arts

Art in Chelsea: Don't miss these 3 galleries

We selected three sure bets for seeing cool art in the galleries of Chelsea.

Music

Robin Thicke blurs lines further with new 'Blurred…

"The reality is," said Robin Thicke about "Blurred Lines" in a court deposition, "Pharrell had the beat and he wrote almost every single part of the song."

NFL

Tom Coughlin says Giants 'beat themselves' against Cardinals

Head coach Tom Coughlin, who had a day to cool off and reflect, still sounded like he had a gnawing feeling in his gut.

NFL

Marty Mornhinweg accepts blame for Jets timeout fiasco

Jets fans looking for a scapegoat for Sunday’s timeout fiasco found a willing party on Monday: Marty Mornhinweg.

NFL

3 things we learned in Jets loss to…

The wheels came off for the Jets, who gave up 21 unanswered points after a brilliant first 20 minutes in a 31-24 loss at the Packers.

NFL

Victor Cruz catches case of the drops in…

The Giants dropped a tough, 25-14, decision to the undermanned Cardinals Sunday in their home opener. And drop was the operative word of the day,…

Travel

World's most hipster cities: Top 5

Travel blogger Adam Groffman tells us his picks for the Top 5 most hipster cities in the world.

Education

The top 5 regrets recent high school grads…

College application season can seem like a blur for many students - as test prep, campus visits and filling out a seemingly endless stream of…

Parenting

Tech execs tend to limit their kids' screen…

You probably got your iPad before Bill Gates's kids did.

Wellbeing

Wellbeing: Daybreaker returns, Ray Rice jersey trade, Sweet…

  Now that Ray Rice is no longer with the Baltimore Ravens — or any other NFL team — after video footage surfaced showing him…