The world's biggest shopping portal, Amazon, sells many Halloween costumes. One of the novelties in 2016 has been the "Sexy Burka", the typical obscurantist cloak that the Taliban and the Islamic State impose on women. But the sexy burqa, which on Amazon UK was priced at £18.99, did not last long.
The commercial colossus of Jeff Bezos removed the item from the website, after Amazon had been swamped with accusations of "racism", "Islamophobia," of marketing an Islamic garment with the white face of a model and using "a religious garment for commercial purposes". "You are disgusting, my culture is not your costume", wrote many users of the Islamic faith. Others used a less adorable tone: "Whoever you are, you should fear Allah. This is not a joke."
A spokesman for Amazon promptly responded: "All Marketplace sellers must follow our selling guidelines and those who don't will be subject to action including potential removal of their account. The product in question is no longer available".
So that Halloween parody of the global symbol of female oppression has been censored. It is because Islamic veils contradict Western values of freedom, equality and human dignity so totally that this relativistic progressive mentality defends these Islamic veils, as it does the burkini, with loyalty.
But here also lies a double standard. What about the "Sexy Nun" Halloween costume that mocks the Catholic Church? Despite the protests of many Catholics customers, the "Sexy Nun" is still on sale at Amazon. Is it not a form of "Christianophobia"? Also, a nun is a religious figure, while a burqa is mere cloth.
Take The Guardian, the most famous British liberal-left newspaper. When the Pussy Riot performers put on their supposedly offensive 3-minute show in Moscow's Christ the Saviour Cathedral, for which two of the three performers served jail time rather than repudiate the text (the third apologized to avoid jail), the paper defended them as "pure protest poetry." When the political group PEGIDA called to protest against Islamization in Germany, the same media blasted it as "a vampire we must slay." The same double standard also emerged during the battle to build a mosque near Ground Zero, when the liberal media sided with the Muslim community.
In January 2006, Norway's most famous cartoonist, Finn Graff, announced that he was censoring himself over Mohammed. Graff never had a problem in making fun of Christians, whom he depicted as wearing brown shirts and swastikas. Graff had also penned a number of controversial drawings against Israel, one of which showed the Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin as the commander of a Nazi concentration camp.
The same happened with German-American filmmaker Roland Emmerich, director of many disaster movies. He abandoned a plan to obliterate Islam's holiest site on the big screen for fear of attracting a fatwa (religious opinion) calling for his death. For his movie, "2012", Emmerich wanted to demolish the Kaaba, the iconic cube-shaped structure in the Grand Mosque in Mecca. "You can actually let Christian symbols fall apart, but if you would do this with [an] Arab symbol, you would have ... a fatwa", Emmerich said. At least he was honest.
After the massacre of most of the staff at the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, all major Western liberal newspapers, television networks and photo agencies, starting with the "Big Three" (MSNBC, CNN and AP), competed in justifying their shameful decision to censor the cover of Charlie Hebdo, in which the Islamic Prophet Mohammed says "all is forgiven." CNN said it might offend "the sensitivities of a Muslim audience." One year later, when Charlie Hebdo published a new cover depicting a Judeo-Christian "killer God" rather than the Islamic Prophet, CNN showed it.
In 2015, the BBC described the Charlie Hebdo's cover but did not show it, a choice that the British network did not repeat a year later when Charlie Hebdo released the new anti-Christian cover. The same double standard came from the British conservative paper the Daily Telegraph, which cut the cover with the caricature of Mohammed but published one with an Abrahamic God.
The Associated Press in 2015 censored the Islamic cartoons of Charlie Hebdo as well. The reason? "Deliberately provocative." In 2016, the agency had no trouble in showing the new cover depicting not Mohammed but the Judeo-Christian God.
This double standard of the liberal elite had also emerged at the New York Times, which out of "respect" towards the Muslim faith censored the Mohammed caricatures of Charlie Hebdo -- only to decide, in total disrespect, that the Gray Lady could and should publish the work "Eggs Benedict" by Nikki Johnson, exhibited at the Milwaukee Art Museum, in which condoms of various colors form the face of Pope Benedict XVI.
The "Caliph" of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, ridiculed by Charlie Hebdo, triggered self-censorship because of "hate speech," while the work of Chris Ofili "The Holy Virgin Mary," in which the mother of Jesus is covered with feces and images of genitalia, was defended by the New York Times as "free speech." Does this now mean that some religions are more equal than others?
If an imam violently protests something, the liberal elite always supports the false charge of "Islamophobia." If a peaceful protest is led by a Catholic bishop, the same elite always rejects it under the name of "freedom of expression."
Forget the "Sexy Burqa." On Halloween night, only the "Sexy Nun" is available, while "Caliph" Baghdadi can rape his Yazidi and Christian sex slaves with impunity.
Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.