Sparking every year's criticism, Ebay auction site has come under fire for offending Muslims by offering burkas as Halloween fancy dress costumes, with anti-Islamophobia group calling for the listing to be removed.
“Many Muslim women do not wear the burka, though to associate it with Halloween further stigmatizes women who wear it," said Fiyaz Mughal OBE, a director of Tell MAMA, adding that the costume “dehumanizes” women who wear the veil, Daily Star reported on Sunday, October 25.
“We ask that eBay remove these so-called costumes and understand the impact that it has on women, perceptions within wider communities and to the safety of some Muslim women.”
The uproar started when an advert on Ebay offered for the sale of the burka costume. The advert describes the traditional outfit as being “perfect for stag parties.”
Sellers Dragons Den Fancy Dress have the outfit listed as a “Halloween Fancy Dress Idea Sharia Burka”.
Offered in various colors, including Forest Green, City Blue and Royal Blue, the costume comes in a range of sizes from small to extra-large at prices between £22.55 and £29.95.
Also available on the site is a mini-skirt and veil combo described as a “Middle Eastern Arab Girl Burka Halloween Fancy Dress Costume”.
Facing criticism, an eBay spokesman said they do not intend to spark anti-Muslim sentiments.
“We do not allow any items that promote intolerance toward religion," he said.
"We always welcome feedback from our members and take this into account when reviewing items on our marketplace.”
Controversial releases of this year's Halloween include, the “Clock Bomb Boy” costume, which depicts US Muslim student Ahmed Muhamed who was arrested for bringing a homemade clock to school, “Cecil the Lion killer” and Foxy Megyn Bloody Tampon Halloween costume.
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.