# Terrorist Costume

So let me get this straight: The Americans are offended. The Syrians are offended. And the rest of the middle east is offended.

Do you think the terrorists are offended?

Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
It would have been less of a problem if he dressed as a Smurf. :rofl:

Maybe. :uhh:

Gokul43201
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Smurf said:
So let me get this straight: The Americans are offended. The Syrians are offended. ...
Why are the Syrians offended? Are they offended because the Americans are offended?

This is really quite bizarre. If you really want to be offended by anything, type "Saad Saadi" into Google Video and watch any of the countless "Fight Club" videos on there. Looks to me like this kid has imbibed violence the old fashioned way - from the US high school system! Now that's repulsive, if you ask me!

Last edited:
Mentor
slugcountry said:
Yes, because no doubt the polls asked: "Do you support the TERRORISTS"

come on man..
Did you read the poll questions?
And for the record I don't think he was slurring his own people by dressing up as the negative stereotype that marks him, he's slurring the STEREOTYPE and those who hold it.

Ever see the movie Crash? The scene near the beginning where the black guys get pissed off because the white woman is afraid they are going to rob her... and then they really do rob her. Similar (or at least related) concept.
I did see the movie.... and don't you see that you just gave an example that proves the opposite of what you are intending? You're saying the guy in the costume isn't the sterotype he is wearing, but in the movie, they are the stereotype they are complaining about. That's exactly the problem! If you don't want to be stereotyped, don't be the stereotype!

Last edited:
Mentor
SpaceTiger said:
Even ethically, I think it matters. I'm not going to put Carlos Mencia on the same ethical level as a Klansman.
I agree, I'm just saying I think you guys are talking about two different things and don't necessarily disagree with each other. Not to step on his toes, but I don't think he's saying a comedian can't satire his own people, only that being one of something doesn't mean you can't be wrongly discriminating against them. Ie, a black can be racist against blacks and a guy can feel sexually harassed by another guy. Legally, ethically, it doesn't matter who is committing the offense.
There's a difference between offending people's sensibilities and actually threatening their safety. A southern redneck dressing up as a Klansman could very plausibly be one, intending to intimidate the blacks at the party or drum up support for his cause. I highly doubt that anyone actually believed this guy was a terrorist or was espousing those ideals, particularly at a place like UPenn.
Well, yes, plausability is the point (edit: part of it, anyway - you don't go dressed as Hitler because of respect). How plausible do you need it to be for it to be wrong? Instead of a college, maybe the Syrian is a student at a flight school...? To me, it is always a little too plausible to act like a terrorist, based on the prevalance of the problem.

Heck, statistically, this kid is several orders of magnitude more likely to be a terrorist than a random southerner is to be a Klansmen.
I think of all Halloween costumes as being a form of satire, whether in character or not. If I came to a Halloween party dressed as Charles Manson, would you be scared for your safety?
No. As Bob said, there is very little plausibility in such a costume.

Maybe you do or don't consider this a reasonable parallel, but how about joking about being a terrorist when you get on an airplane? Its an instant arrest, even though the level of plausibility is pretty low.

Last edited:
slugcountry
russ_watters said:
Did you read the poll questions?
I did see the movie.... and don't you see that you just gave an example that proves the opposite of what you are intending? You're saying the guy in the costume isn't the sterotype he is wearing, but in the movie, they are the stereotype they are complaining about. That's exactly the problem! If you don't want to be stereotyped, don't be the stereotype!
lol you missed the point of that part of the movie... it was a commentary on self fulfilling prophecy which is slightly related to the issue you brought up about the halloween costume (although very tangentially.. it just seemed like a good example to bring up)

Last edited by a moderator:
slugcountry
russ_watters said:
Did you read the poll questions?
No, because I don't READ ARABIC.

Do you?

My point is that the word used was probably not terrorist, nor was it phrased as something like "Do you support the terrorists killing innocent civilians."

probably more like

"Is collateral damage acceptable in the cause of resistance fighters defending your freedom?" ... sound familiar?

Its a pretty well known fact that the desired polling results can be achieved through careful manipulation of the wording.

In the same article for instance, some 78% of France supports the banning of muslim head scarves ... (I'm sure it sounds very different in french, and not in those words)

Last edited by a moderator:
Mentor
More on this:
russ_watters said:
edit: part of it, anyway - you don't go dressed as Hitler because of respect.
Philly isn't far from New York and the type of rich capitalist who worked in the WTC is the type of person who might have kids at Penn. Would it be disrespectful to dress up as a terrorist if you knew there was a decent likelihood that someone in the party knew someone who died on 9/11?

Would it be disrespectful to dress as Hitler at a Jewish Frat's Holloween party (if you were not Jewish).

Mentor
slugcountry said:
lol you missed the point of that part of the movie... it was a commentary on self fulfilling prophecy which is slightly related to the issue you brought up about the halloween costume (although very tangentially.. it just seemed like a good example to bring up)
Self fulfilling prophecy how? The stereotyped makes the stereotype or the stereotype makes the stereotyped? Are you saying that stereotyping Syrians as terrorists will turn them into terrorists? I didn't miss that the carjacker thinks the stereotype forced him into a life of crime - that's what he argued. I think you missed the more reasonable other side of the coin (but his friend didn't).

Mentor
slugcountry said:
No, because I don't READ ARABIC.

Do you?

P.S. my point is that the word used was probably not terrorist, nor was it phrased as something like "Do you support the terrorists killing innocent civilians."

probably more like

"Do you support the resistance fighters defending our freedom?"

Its a pretty well known fact that the desired polling results can be achieved through careful manipulation of the wording.

In the same article for instance, some 78% of France supports the banning of muslim head scarves ... (I'm sure it sounds very different in french, and not in those words)
The article contains direct translations of the questions (as direct as they can be). You seem to be saying that the people who did the study are flat-out lying about it. The Pew Research group is one of the most reputable in the world - you'll need to do better than just assuming they are lying because you don't like what they found.

If you don't want to accept facts at face value, there is going to be little to discuss.

And I'm guessing you didn't read about the controversy over Muslim head scarves in France when it was a big issue...

slugcountry
I'm not arguing that they are lying, I KNOW that they are lying, simply by claiming that those results are in any way meaningful.

Gallup-style polling is WORTHLESS as a measure of basically ANYTHING, besides being used as a political tool.

Good job.

Evo
Mentor
Did you guys miss the prominent attorney (The lawyer who divulged President Bush's drunken-driving arrest days before the 2000 election and Democratic candidate for governor in 1998) that was arrested on Halloween for dressing as Osama Bin Laden?

"SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine - The lawyer who divulged President Bush's drunken-driving arrest days before the 2000 election was arrested Tuesday after he was spotted on a highway overpass wearing an Osama bin Laden Halloween costume and holding a toy gun.

Police said the costume included plastic dynamite, grenades, and a replica of an AK-47 assault rifle."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061031/ap_on_fe_st/halloween_stunt [Broken]

Last edited by a moderator:
Bystander
Homework Helper
Gold Member
Strap Mentos and Diet Coke to your chest for Halloween --- that's a funny costume. Strap a bomb to your chest --- that's asking to get shot.

slugcountry
Last year I was actually in San Francisco for halloween in the castro, and there were 2 guys walkin around in huge costumes dressed as the world trade centers, with planes sticking out of them, with anti war messages scrawled on the sides in blood red. Keep in mind there was several hundred thousand people there.

That was a **** ton more provocative if you ask me... and it didn't cause a riot, they did get some angry yells, but it was a satire.. it was supposed to be provocative and satirical in the first place. And no one hurt them. You're blowing this out of proportion.

Last edited by a moderator:
BobG
Homework Helper
SpaceTiger said:
I think of all Halloween costumes as being a form of satire, whether in character or not. If I came to a Halloween party dressed as Charles Manson, would you be scared for your safety?
I wouldn't fear for my safety, but I'd think you must be a jackass. I'm not sure if I'd put costumes like Charles Manson or Hitler up there quite as high as dressing as a Klansman or terrorist, but they wouldn't be far behind.

Of course, I have to admit, I've never gone to a costume party as an adult. I've never really been in to that sort of thing.

Gokul43201
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Of all the gazillion articles posted on the internet about this incident, has there been any case where someone was actually afraid this person might have been a real terrorist? All I've read is about people being offended. Not a thing about fear....yet.

SpaceTiger
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
russ_watters said:
How plausible do you need it to be for it to be wrong?
This is the real question, and obviously the answer is going to involve some subjectivity. Honestly, I would be fine with a Hitler costume as well. I just don't think people should take these things so seriously.

Instead of a college, maybe the Syrian is a student at a flight school...?
That would just be funnier.

Naw, I don't know, it would depend on how the student was known at the flight school, what kind of flight school it was, the type of party...

All of this context is lost, of course, when the event is reduced to photographs on the internet. Since the student hadn't originally intended them for such widespread distribution, I think this controversy is a waste of everyone's time.

Heck, statistically, this kid is several orders of magnitude more likely to be a terrorist than a random southerner is to be a Klansmen.
How was that statistic computed exactly? I think it makes the most sense to approach the question this way:

If I see a person dressed as a Klansman at a party, what is the probability that they intend it as a form of intimidation? Likewise with the terrorist?

Does it make sense to you that a real terrorist would go to a costume party to intimidate the local Americans? Do you think anybody at that party believed he was a real terrorist?

Maybe you do or don't consider this a reasonable parallel, but how about joking about being a terrorist when you get on an airplane? Its an instant arrest, even though the level of plausibility is pretty low.
Lower than at a costume party? I think those laws are over-the-top anyhow, but I'd still say the plausibility levels are much higher on an airplane.

Last edited:
If I ever get pics from this past halloween I will post my sweet a Kim-Jong Il costume. It was freaking hilarious. I must have had my picture taken 200 times by random strangers who though my costume was awesome.