Belfast Telegraph

Pictured: Child 'suicide bomber' Halloween costume sold in Northern Ireland shop

By Jonny Bell

A Northern Ireland shop has been found to be selling a 'child terrorist' Halloween costume.

The £15 outfit - which included a shirt, camouflage vest, trousers and headpiece - had pictured a child with a long beard on its packaging. Customers said the costume mimicked a Muslim suicide bomber in appearance.

A warning on the packaging said the item should be kept away from fire.

A Halloween pop-up shop, in The Diamond Centre in Coleraine was found to be selling the item and the Daily Mail reported that the item had been removed from sale after complaints.

One angry parent said: "It seems that just dressing up like a Muslim and having a beard means you look like a terrorist, which sends out the message that all Muslims are terrorists."

Staff at the shop said the costume - which was onsale among hundreds of others - had been selling really well although they admitted while some people liked it other customers had pointed out they didn't think it was appropriate.

One staff member added: "I know some people might find them a bit sectarian but I don't see what the problem is really.

"We'll just take them off the shelves. Some people love them but others have complained about them - each to their own I say."

Coleraine councillor William McCandless told the Belfast Telegraph the report of the sale "beggars belief".

"It is inconceivable that this would be considered acceptable in any way," he said.

"It is not acceptable to promote a terrorist in anyway or to stereotype Muslim people as terrorists.

"Are we trying to say that Islamic people are not welcome in our society?"

The UUP councillor added: "It is commendable they have bowed to pressure in taking it off the shelves and would ask them to think again before next year comes round.

"This is a fun time of year for children to enjoy a trick or treat, it is not a time to categorise Islamic people as terrorists or for children to dress up as terrorists."

The Belfast Telegraph has attempted to contact the shop. It has yet to respond.

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