Sometimes A Scarf Is Just A Scarf

by Venomous Kate

Rachel Ray coffee ad

When is a scarf so much more than a scarf? Apparently when it’s worn by America’s culinary cutie, Rachel Ray, and said scarf slightly resembles the Palestinian keffiyeh.

After an uproar led by notable conservatives such as Michelle Malkin and LGF’s Charles Johnson — both of whom must have been terribly bored — Dunkin’ Donuts has pulled the ad at no small expense.

So what’s the story? Malkin et al. seem to believe that wearing such a scarf constitutes hate couture and somehow signals support of terrorism.

The keffiyeh, for the clueless, is the traditional scarf of Arab men that has come to symbolize murderous Palestinian jihad. 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.

What hole do Malkin and Johnson live in that they’re convinced the keffiyeh is, in and of itself, a symbol of terrorism? Or that a woman’s wearing of it means, well, anything?

The keffiyeh (also known as the shmagh, shemagh, ghutra, hatta or mashada), is a traditional Arabic men’s headdress. It’s a functional piece of clothing designed to protect the head and neck from the arid, blistering heat of the Middle East. As such, it’s been around for thousands of years — long before Yasser Arafat, the Taliban or any other Islamic extremists.

To argue that, because terrorists have been seen wearing such clothing, anyone who wears similar items must also be a terrorist is laughable.

Why, some of those terrorists in the beheading and hostage-taking videos wore black clothing from head-to-toe. Wouldn’t that make, oh, 75% of NYC’s residents “terrorists” under the same logic? Come to think of it, I seem to recall both President Bush and John McCain dressing in head-to-toe black recently. What say you to that, Malkin: does the similarity in clothing make them terrorists, too?

Shall we call every woman who’s ever worn a caftan, a style originating in the Middle East, a terrorist? Pity the grandmas in Florida who shrug one on at poolside, then. I imagine they’ll be surprised to learn they’re considered terrorist sympathizers for having opted for comfort.

And what about the fez, that funny little hat which symbolizes Islamic identity and signals support for the Caliphate? Would that make The Shriners terrorists for wearing it, too?

Fact is, we live in an increasingly small world. Our fashions reflect this, just as they have throughout history. Those earrings Malkin so attractively wears (while dressed head-to-toe in black)? They were first worn by men… in Persia. Oh, and guess what: blush and other forms of makeup trace their origins back to Iran.

Is Malkin signaling her support for terrorism by wearing them? Of course not. And neither was Rachel Ray when her stylist wrapped her neck in a scarf that’s been in fashion for a couple of years now.

That’s what’s most disgusting about Malkin’s stance on the Dunkin’ Donuts ad: it reveals her ignorance as much as her rabid prejudice that lumps all things Middle Eastern in with terrorists. As an American and a Republican and someone with Iranian ancestry, I call foul both on Malkin and on Dunkin’ Donuts for having given in to her hate-mongering.

Shame on you.

UPDATE: I like Timmer’s idea!

UPDATE TWO: Malkin to world: do what I say, not what I do!

27 Responses to “Sometimes A Scarf Is Just A Scarf”

  1. Wow. That’s the first I’d heard of this silly situation. Can you think of any two entities less likely to push propaganda than Dunkin Donuts and Rachael Ray? What nonsense!

    Jeff St Reals last blog post..Goodnight Now

  2. Sometimes the keffiyeh is just a keffiyeh, and while I think Rachael Ray’s fashion taste here was innocent, Malkin does have a point. The keffiyeh was adopted as a symbolic representation of Palestinian nationalism and solidarity, especially when it’s colored in black and white, to the extent that those invested in exposing the influence of terrorism tend to have a knee jerk reaction whenever they see something that appears to be a nod towards jihad.

    Blame the Palestinians and Arafat for hijacking a legitimate item of clothing and using it as a show of support for their bloody jihad.

    Lincolns last blog post..Maybe?

  3. On a lighter note, I wonder, is Indiana Jones supporting terrorism too?


    Lincolns last blog post..Maybe?

  4. That’s like saying that Muslims are correct to be outraged when someone wears a cross, Lincoln.

    Let’s look at your words in that light:

    “Crosses serve as a symbolic representation of Christian sentiment and solidarity, especially when worn around the neck… Blame the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Protestants in Salem and the KKK for hijacking a legitimate item of jewelry and using it as a show of support for their bloody fanaticism.”

  5. His dad wore one, too, in “The Last Crusade”.

  6. I think it would depend on how the cross is shaped. You know the swastika was once used as a Christian symbol I think (as well as Hindu and Buddhist symbols) before the Nazis hijacked it, and while a generic cross might not invoke outrage to a Muslim as a reminder of the Crusades, this one might:

    as well as other cross-like symbols that were used to represent those times regardless of any innocent usage it might have today.

    It’s all about perception I guess. I remember one time I gave someone the “I Love You” sign (in ASL – American Sign Language) but she thought I was giving her the horns and as a result slapped me across the face.

    I can’t ever win. 😛

    Lincolns last blog post..Maybe?

  7. Kate, I agree with some of this, but not all of it. I was going to put this in a comment, but it ended up being way too long…so I put it up in thoughts over at my place.

    wgs last blog post..About that scarf…

  8. Looks like a scarf to me … I’m wondering how any fringed scarf could NOT look like a kaffiyeh? I have one in my closet right now that look exactly like what Rachael is wearing (except mine is red) which I have owned for at least 10 years. It’s … a scarf. I’m still looking at Rachael’s pic and trying to figure how someone made the Middle East jump on that one?

  9. I think it would be accurate to echo Lincoln’s post above – Malkin and Johnson both are bloggers that devote an inordinate amount of time & energy rooting out violent Islamic fundamentalists. Their tone is often somewhat strident, and I don’t by any means agree with them all the time. I happen to think both of them were off base on this one.

    wgs last blog post..About that scarf…

  10. I think Racheal Ray is just hot,damn shes good looking

  11. The made the jump because they wanted to. Just like the Tinfoil Hat Brigade that sees a government conspiracy around every corner, Malkin & Johnson find terrorists wherever they look.

  12. Ooops. I wish I’d seen your comment before I’d responded to Carma above. Sorry if I sound like an echo.

  13. Yes, she’s a cutie.

  14. Excellent points, Kate.

    I believe that the scarf in question had a black and white paisley pattern. Ooooh, scary!

    They’ll start with paisley, and then they’ll try to take away polka dots. That’s when the terrorists will have won 😛

    Roses last blog post..Guardian of the grass

  15. Ya know, I heard about that story and thought WTF? It wasn’t until I read your post that I found out MM was one of the instigators. Then it sort of made sense.

    I stopped reading her a couple years ago. She’s one of the reasons I refuse to call myself a conservative. I will not be counted with her lot.

    And if I remember what I learned in Saudi about those kinds of scarves…the pattern has a lot to do with what it means…sort of like Scottish Tartans. I’m bettin’ the one in the picture matches nothing that terrorists wear.

    Timmers last blog post..SNIRK!

  16. echo….echo….echo…. 🙂

    Some of what they find is actually what they say it is. Some of it isn’t. Some of it is nonsense – as with anybody that focuses on one or a handful of topics, it’s a mixed bag of one flavor of candy.

    wgs last blog post..About that scarf…

  17. Red teases me ’cause I like Giada. What can I say, she has lovely…eyes. 😛

    wgs last blog post..About that scarf…

  18. michelle malkin is an ignorant bolinki. However, I would not label all ignorant people “bolinki’s”.

    RONWs last blog post..Friday’s Yummy

  19. Every time I see Giada I worry she’s going to topple over. Seriously, I don’t know how she carries that large head atop such a tiny little body.

  20. First they came for those who wore paisley…

  21. Yep, I’ve been calling myself a libertarian (small L) just to avoid the association, too.

  22. Steal The Symbol. Instead of giving a scarf even more power than it previously had, steal it.

    Timmers last blog post..Steal the Symbol

  23. Exactly! A symbol only retains power if we let it.

  24. I think it’s the counterweights a bit lower. 🙂

    wgs last blog post..About that scarf…

  25. Ah. So now the only mystery remaining is: how does Jennifer Love-Hewitt manage to remain upright? Especially with those huge false eyelashes she constantly wears on “Ghost Whisperer”?

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