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Rachael Ray, Donut Terrorist

Dunkin’ Donuts has pulled an ad spot featuring Rachael Ray wearing a scarf around her neck because some thought it was a subtle nod of support to Palestinians.

Rachel Ray, Donut Terrorist Photo

Does Dunkin’ Donuts really think its customers could mistake Rachael Ray for a terrorist sympathizer? The Canton-based company has abruptly canceled an ad in which the domestic diva wears a scarf that looks like a keffiyeh, a traditional headdress worn by Arab men.
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Some observers, including ultra-conservative Fox News commentator Michelle Malkin, were so incensed by the ad that there was even talk of a Dunkin’ Donuts boycott. ‘‘The keffiyeh, for the clueless, is the traditional scarf of Arab men that has come to symbolize murderous Palestinian jihad,’’ Malkin yowls in her syndicated column. ‘‘Popularized by Yasser Arafat and a regular adornment of Muslim terrorists appearing in beheading and hostage-taking videos, the apparel has been mainstreamed by both ignorant and not-so-ignorant fashion designers, celebrities, and left-wing icons.’’

The company at first pooh-poohed the complaints, claiming the black-and-white wrap was not a keffiyeh. But the right-wing drumbeat on the blogosphere continued and by yesterday, Dunkin’ Donuts decided it’d be easier just to yank the ad.

Said the suits in a statement: ‘‘In a recent online ad, Rachael Ray is wearing a black-and-white silk scarf with a paisley design. It was selected by her stylist for the advertising shoot. Absolutely no symbolism was intended. However, given the possibility of misperception, we are no longer using the commercial.’’

Yasser Arafat keffiyeh photo The terrorists have won. Or maybe we’ve just gone collectively insane.

I was blissfully unaware of both the commercial and the the controversy surrounding it until seeing a link on memeorandum this morning. But, seriously?

It’s true that wearing the keffiyah as a fashion symbol has been a recurring trend among Palestinian sympathizers and various hipsters over the years. But Ray’s scarf doesn’t look anything like Yasser Arafat’s.

Further, the terrorists wear headdresses because that’s how men throughout the Middle East and North Africa dress. It’s a protective covering for the head in brutally hot climates. In any case, none of them are paisley.

The iconic “spider-web” black-and-white keffiyeh is often displayed symbolically by members of Arafat’s Fatah party (which more generally uses yellow as its party colour), although it has never been able to expropriate it as their exclusive symbol. The zig zag style of stitching is sometimes described as symbolic of their historic struggle and their inability to progress towards their objectives without having to avoid obsticles. This is in contrast to how many members of the radical leftist PLO factions (such as PFLP, PFLP-GC DFLP) prefer the checkered red keffieyhs — red being both the traditional colour of the workers’ movement and the red scarf supposedly more indicative of a bedouin and rural (thus poorer, more popular) background. The Islamist factions, such as Hamas, use green — representative of the Islamic faith — as a party color, but for keffiyehs they stick to the traditional black-and-white or red variants, with no particular preference evident. While widely known, this color symbolism is by no means universally accepted by all Palestinians, and its importance should not be overstated — red or black-and-white scarves are used by Palestinians of all political stripes, as well as by those with no particular political sympathies.

But, just to be safe, we should assume that every white chick wearing a scarf is a terrorist or terrorist sympathizer. Ray’s lucky her ad’s just been canceled and she hasn’t been hauled off to Gitmo for questioning.

Barbara Bush Arafat Photo UPDATE: Via Steven Taylor, I see that Tom Grant has discovered a much more egregious example of terror chic:

These fiends are everywhere. (While Taylor is reminded of an old Monty Python sketch about communists, it seems more to me like Ray Stevens’ “Santa Claus is Watching You.”)

Meanwhile, Doug Mataconis thinks sympathy for Arafat is the least of Ray’s crimes.

(And while we’re on the subject, what’s with the extraneous “a” in Ray’s first name? Perhaps another homage to Arafat? Or . . . Al Qaeda?)

Meghan McCain Keffiyah Photo UPDATE: Michelle Malkin has even caught Meghan McCain — daughter of Juan McCain, hero of the Reconquista — wearing a purple plaid scarf keffiyah! Gawker has the photographic evidence. Nick Denton’s terrorist loving staff thinks it’s funny. They won’t think it’s funny, though, when the Straight Talk Express rams into Gawker HQ and explodes!

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He earned a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Dantheman says:

    “Or maybe we’ve just gone collectively insane.”

    I’m content to let this be a commentary on Michelle Malkin’s sanity alone, and not cast aspersions on the rest of the American people.

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  2. William d'Inger says:

    I was blissfully unaware of both the commercial and the the controversy surrounding it until seeing …

    Until seeing it here.

    That’s a Palestinian scarf pure and simple. I have no idea why she’s wearing it. It could be a poor fashion choice. Maybe somebody in the wardrobe department gave it to her. Maybe she really is political. It really doesn’t matter.

    Look, if she wore a Hindu good luck symbol (a backward swastika), nobody would cut her any slack. They shouldn’t cut her any slack this time either.

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  3. G.A.Phillips says:

    Emotional terrorist maybe, but that should only be paid for with an anger management or some other type of emotion control class,cause on the Internet she promised me a free set of some fat CUT CO knifes, but I came to learn I had to give her money for some stupid magazines first witch I don’t have, I now sit here broken hearted with no decent why to chop up my meat.

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  4. Of course, a Swastika, backwards or otherwise, is a bit more obvious to the casual observer.

    And how is it “pure and simple” that that is a Palestinian scarf? The pattern isn’t the same has fringes. By your defintion any scarf with a black and white pattern is a Palestinian scarf, pure and simple.

    And James is right: there are portions of our population who have clearly gone collectively insane.

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  5. DL says:

    Though I thought your Gitmo comment was just a bit heavy, it did cause me to have images of her being questioned in a new TV program -“interrogation in under 30 minutes”

    I’ve stopped listening to her ravings -she never shuts up for a second – this gal would make someone a nice professional nag.

    On the other hand, perhaps we could use her yakking incessantly at Gitmo to interrogate the real terrorists to collapse in despair – even Mccain might approve of that as a non-torturous, torture.

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  6. duckspeaker says:

    I, for one, am glad that San Francisco, latte-drinking, Style-network-watching liberals and uber-nationalist, xenophobic neocons can come together in a rare glimpse of bipartisan unity over the pressing need to put more fashion police out on the beat.

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  7. Pug says:

    I’m sure glad there are people out there sniffing out these terrorist sympathizers among us. I would have completely missed this one.

    I would never have known her scarf is just like a swastika. Right over my head.

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  8. Anon says:

    Can someone who actually thinks she is wearing a keffiyeh define ‘keffiyeh’ in such a way that makes it clear she is wearing one? As far as I can tell, keffiyehs can come in any color, so it’s not the color that makes it one. Also, keffiyehs are not usually made of silk, so it’s not the material. Also, the one’s that Arafat wore have a different pattern, so it’s not the pattern.

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  9. cian says:

    And James is right: there are portions of our population who have clearly gone collectively insane.

    And yet, that insane portion has enough pull to get a large corporation to drop a perfectly innocent ad, thus insuring the madness will continue.

    For the good of the country Malkin and her gang (the Coulters, Limbaughs, O’Reillys and Hannitys of the world) need to be marginalized. They add nothing and poison everything. Giving in to their crazy demands is, well, crazy.

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  10. […] James Joyner has an excellent point here: [J]ust to be safe, we should assume that every white chick wearing a scarf is a terrorist or […]

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  11. […] James Joyner noted this morning: The terrorists have won. Or maybe we’ve just gone collectively […]

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  12. Elly says:

    I grew up in the Middle East and never even thought that was a keffiyeh. I just assumed it was an ugly scarf.

    Malkin gets carried away – she’s shrill and often inaccurate.

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  13. Triumph says:

    Forget the scarf! Rachel should be imprisoned for publishing inane cookbooks where the featured ingredients are hotdogs and cream of mushroom soup.

    Also, a boycott might be counterproductive. In many areas of the country, Dunkin Donut’s main competition is Tim Hortons–a CANADIAN company. Hortons has links to the FLQ and radical islamists like Canadian terrorist Maher Arar and they would be the main beneficiaries of a Dunkin boycott.

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  14. anjin-san says:

    I notice she is not wearing a lapel pin either… This woman is somehow trying to undermine the good old American donut and our love of empty calories!

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  15. Michael says:

    By your defintion any scarf with a black and white pattern is a Palestinian scarf, pure and simple.

    The pattern doesn’t matter, all scarves are Islamist symbols, just look at how many New England liberals wear them outside during Islamic holy month of Dhu al-Hijjah! It’s a conspiracy I tell you!

    This invasion is as bad as those Islamist shoes (called “sandals” in Arabic), which all those New England liberals insist on wearing in front of all us patriotic southerners during the Islamic month of Rajab!

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  16. The problem is due to myopic Americans who only see a keffiyah when it’s worn by an Islamist terrorist. It becomes a symbol of terrorism only to those far away from the people who wear it on a daily basis.

    Plus, the only resemblance to Arafat’s is the color scheme.

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  17. sam says:

    And James is right: there are portions of our population who have clearly gone collectively insane.

    Sadly, they visit here quite frequently.

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  18. John Burgess says:

    Silk keffiyehs are to be found, along with rayon, nylon, cotton, cashmere… just about any fabric, actually. Its make-up can be a symbol of economic worth, if you want it to be that.

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  19. Pug says:

    You know, now that I think about it, that Rachael Ray is a lttle on the swarthy side, too, isn’t she?

    Kinda hot, but swarthy.

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  20. anjin-san says:

    The pattern doesn’t matter, all scarves are Islamist symbols

    Damn! Even my Armani?

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  21. Michael says:

    amn! Even my Armani?

    Armani? What is that, French? Someone arrest that man, he’s a Franco-Palestinian-Islamo-Nazi-Commie-Facist! (That means bad)

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  22. anjin-san says:

    Someone arrest that man, he’s a Franco-Palestinian-Islamo-Nazi-Commie-Facist! (That means bad)

    I have to come clean. I also favor Italian audio equipment and early-mid 20th century French artwork in my home. My loyalties are indeed suspect.

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  23. […] Joyner tries to reason with the opponents of “donut terrorism”: It’s true that wearing the keffiyah as a […]

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  24. G.A.Phillips says:

    For the good of the country Malkin and her gang (the Coulters, Limbaughs, O’Reillys and Hannitys of the world) need to be marginalized. They add nothing and poison everything. Giving in to their crazy demands is, well, crazy.

    Not one of these people is the same, why dude.

    Posted by Michael
    Posted by anjin-san
    Posted by Triumph
    Posted by cian

    Now these people would ruin a skit in a popular Children’s publicly paid for but liberally spell weaved program.

    Armani? What is that, French? Someone arrest that man, he’s a Franco-Palestinian-Islamo-Nazi-Commie-Facist! (That means bad)

    Haven’t I taught you how to do this yet?

    and dude stop pimping the Armani and start giving to the poor that your ideology creates.

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  25. […] to Outside the Beltway, The Virtuous Republic, Rosemary’s Thoughts, Alabama Improper, Right Truth, Shadowscope, […]

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  26. robertl says:

    Astonishing how gullible you people are. It is obvious that Rachael Ray is a terrorist sympathizer. Note: R is the 18th letter of the alphabet. If you add the 3 letters of her last name to 18 you get 21. If you add 9/11/01 you get 21! This can only mean that Rachael Ray was intended to be the 21st hijacker.

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  27. Anoel says:

    Michelle Malkin is most definitely a terrorist. She terrorizes me and is most terrifying in every aspect of her persona and clothing. I am sure even more terrifying without….

    Michelle Malkin is no kin of mind, and her spirit is malevolent, malodorous, malcontented and maladroit. Slandorous sleaze oozes from every pustule of her posterior, as she slugs through life, as a bottom feeder/seeder on Fox, network of the ill-advised and doomed.

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