A discount store in Queensland selling a ‘terrorist man’ fancy dress costume says they never meant to ‘insult or disrespect any race or religion’ by stocking the controversial outfit.
Aaron Abbott manages a franchise of variety store Overflow in Brisbane and said he removed the items from the shelves immediately on Monday morning following backlash from the public.
“We didn’t order it with the intent of offending people,” he told Yahoo7 News.
“This is the first time anything has happened with it.
“We will send back to the supplier and let them know we won’t be ordering it again.”
The costume, priced at $35, includes white robes, a hat and a military style jacket and features a photograph of a man wearing a fake beard and holding a gun.
Mr Abbott said the product had been on the shelves for more than 12 months without any complaints.
Had he received any grievances from a shopper, “we would’ve removed it straight away”, he said.
“I definitely understand the nature of the costume. It’s gone now.”
The get-up has caused outrage, with members of the public labelling it ‘insensitive’ and ‘disturbing’.
“Of all the costumes you could make/have why would you have a terrorist costume with everything that is happening in the world?” one man wrote on Facebook.
“Unbelievably ridiculous. Why promote terrorism? It should be taken of the shelves immediately, bloody idiots,” a woman said.
Others, however, did not see an issue with the outfit, comparing it to similarly controversial costumes.
“So do all the Hitler costumes come off the shelves too? Or the police costumes (for all those flipping out over the guns)? The nun/stripper costumes? Sick of people finding reasons to be offended by everything!” a user commented.
“Really... did you not see the axe murderer costume right next to it? One is ok but other isn’t? If people have problems with terrorists but not axe murders... wtf is wrong with you!” a woman wrote.
The same costume made headlines when it was being sold in a Broadmeadows discount store last year.
The item was also removed from shelves of the Victorian store after shoppers notified the media.
News break – April 4