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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

US retailers forced to pull Osama-themed costumes after Sikhs protest

ANI   Washington, October 04, 2013
First Published: 17:06 IST(4/10/2013) | Last Updated: 17:19 IST(4/10/2013)

US retailers have been forced to pull a turban-and beard-costume after the Sikh community in the country claimed the outfit looked like Osama bin Laden.

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The Sikh Coalition, a US-based Sikh organisation, said the costume was too offensive to the families of those who were killed and injured during the 9/11 attacks in New York.

Large retailers such as Amazon and American supermarket giant Walmart had been requested to pull the outfits.

According to the New York Daily News, the costume consists of a white turban, full beard and a camouflaged coat, almost identical to the coat worn by Obama in one interview with a Pakistani journalist.

Sikh Coalition advocacy manager Simran Kaur reportedly wrote to Amazon president and CEO Jeffrey Bezos, saying that the costume "insults those who lost loved ones during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, insults American soldiers injured or killed in pursuit of Al Qaeda," the report said.

He wrote that the costume "perpetuates negative stereotypes about turbans and beards that have led to violence and discrimination against Sikhs and other minorities," it added.

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