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Boo, I'm Osama bin Laden? Are Certain Costumes Off-Limits?

Boo, I'm Osama bin Laden? Are Certain Costumes Off-Limits?

While it may be a bit until Halloween, all those "Spirit Stores" are popping up selling costumes already, and they made this story jump out at me. This week a senior British police officer found himself in hot water over his choice of costume for the local carnival parade. He's been advising the Afghan government on counter-terrorism, so I suppose he thought his costume was true to the theme: he showed up dressed as Osama bin Laden.

Despite the fact that the officer works to fight terrorism and has attended 9/11 memorial services in New York, his superiors were not amused by the flowing robes and turban. A spokesman for the officer's unit released a statement condemning the costume: “While we believe that his actions were misguided rather than malicious, they were clearly inappropriate, and we would condemn any such actions by any police officer as unacceptable.”

Even though Halloween is more and more (it seems to me anyway) about dressing as sexy and shocking as possible, was this beyond the boundaries of taste? It's certainly a scary enough costume — and they sell Osama masks online — but are certain costumes automatically off-limits?

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