(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.