Terror scarf: Do you have one?

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(photo by wasapninworld)

I accidentally came across this article, posted a few days ago on bbc.co.uk, which stated that ‘The US chain Dunkin’ Donuts has pulled an advert following complaints that the scarf worn by a celebrity chef offered symbolic support for Islamic extremism.’

The story goes something like this:

The image of the well known US television star Rachael Ray was wearing a black-and-white checked scarf around her neck that resembled a traditional Arab Keffiyeh. This irritated a prominent conservative blogger called Ms Michelle Malkin who said the scarf was “a regular adornment of Muslim terrorists appearing in beheading and hostage-taking videos”. Due to pressure from other individuals Dunkin Donuts decided to drop the advert. However Dunkin’ Donuts has officially and on record, declared that “the silk scarf had been “selected by Rachael Ray’s stylist and that no symbolism was intended.”

Ms Malkin goes on to argue that “Fashion statements may seem insignificant, but when they lead to the mainstreaming of violence – unintentionally or not – they matter,”

My thoughts:

Firstly the scarf that Rachael Ray is wearing is in paisley. The one that is popular in the Arab world is known as the keffiyeh, which resembles an interlocking net or a chain-link fence made normally from cotton.

Secondly since when did wearing a ‘black-and-white checked scarf’ become an offence? or an automatic political statement? I can appreciate that some people wear the Arab keffiyeh to make a political statement as it has recently been linked with the Palestinian cause but to argue that a silk garment which vaguely resembles a keffiyeh is a criminal offence is absurd.

Thirdly have we not seen the American army or is it the collation of the willing, wear similar scarfs? Is Ms Malkin going to assume that they have switched sides?By Ms Malkins rational maybe we should ban the American army using similar firearms as those ‘black-and-white checked scarf’ wearing people because that would be supporting the other side.

Lets be honest here; A ‘black-and-white checked scarf’ is only a ‘black-and-white checked scarf.’ Those who wish to make a political statement by wearing it are making a legitimate political statement and that is to argue against the illegal occupation of Palestinian land by the Zionists.



5 thoughts on “Terror scarf: Do you have one?

    Hareega said:
    June 3, 2008 at 9:32 AM

    I have a Kofiyyeh -a red one- that I did not wear and will never wear because I can really get in trouble if I do. There’s nothing illegal in wearing it, but a lot of things that happened in the US post-0/11 era is scaring the hell out of me and I don’t want to take a risk

    wasapninjordan said:
    June 3, 2008 at 4:01 PM

    This sounds like a bigotry mentality where people are judged on their appearances rather than their intellect. What happened to freedom of choice and believe? if you do not feel comfortable in wearing a garment due to a backlash from the community you live in. This is exactly why we need to discuss matters such as these. What happened on 9/11 was not the work of 1.5 or so billion Muslims hence they should not have to pay the price for it.

    Nijma said:
    January 4, 2009 at 6:35 PM

    You’ve got some great pictures of Jordan–makes me homesick.

    The kefiyya: black and white is for Palestine, red is for Jordan. You will sometimes see Jordanian Palestinians (what is a “real” Jordanian?) wearing the red one “for Jordan”.

    In Jordan of course it’s a guy thing, and is worn on the head, but here I wear it around my neck with one end dangling in front. I have a green and black one with “coins”–the decorative gold ones on the fringe–that I got at a Chicago Arab festival here. I sometimes wear it on the southside of Chicago–no meaning to that color, I just feel good in it. When it’s too hot for a sport jacket, it makes me feel more dressed.

    I’m not sure, but I might feel differently about wearing it in a different neighborhood. I have never gotten any negative comment, but people who know me know I am a friend to Jordan.

      wasapninjordan said:
      January 9, 2009 at 11:59 PM

      i am very homesick too but not in the sense you may know it. I am not Jordanian but really consider Jordan as my home. Well at least as one of my homes. 🙂
      Thanks for your comment. Always great to get different views.

    Nijma said:
    January 25, 2009 at 5:46 AM

    There is a bedouin proverb that says if you live with a people and eat their bread (or is it salt?) for 40 days, you will become one of them. I sure do qualify for that.

    There is also a saying, maybe American, about being “at home in the world”.

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