You would think that mocking the clothing of people based on their religious beliefs is offensive and stereotypical, particularly if it plays to tropes that develop a sense of fear of the other, or when it seeks to dehumanize the wearer.
However, who would have thought that E-Bay would decide to sell the following?
The pictures show women wearing the burqa and with niqabs, underneath the title, ‘Burqa costume Burqua (sic) Halloween Fancy Dress Idea Sharia Burka.’ The idea that the burqa or abaya and niqab (the face veil), are somehow linked to Halloween is dehumanizing and has impacts on those women who choose to wear the over-garments for religious reasons.
Commenting on the E-Bay sale, the Director of Tell MAMA, Fiyaz Mughal OBE stated: “The ‘costumes’ are an affront to women who choose to wear the burqa to meet what they believe, are religious requirements. May Muslim women do not wear the burqa though to associate the burqa with Halloween, further stigmatises women who wear it and dehumanises them. Time after time, Muslim women who wear the burqa and the niqab suffer anti-Muslim prejudice and people who would not dare to attack or harm a woman, think that they can do so with those who cover up, as if the victim is dehumanized. We ask that E-Bay 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.”