I’ve always enjoyed Dunkin Donuts coffee, but this morning the taste is a little bitter. The AP is running a story about Dunkin Donuts pulling an advertisement featuring Rachel Ray, the Food Network’s ‘gal next door,’ because her attire features a kaffiyeh, the Palestinian scarf that has become chic in American and European metrowear. More specifically, DD caved to a rant in Michelle Malkin’s column about the fashion statement being a code for terrorist sympathies.
Despite what folks at the more expensive Starbucks chain might think, Dunkin Donuts has never had a secret agenda, unless knocking off high priced lattes qualifies as subversive. But the ever-hysterical Malkin set her sights on instructing the coffee and breakfast fat kings in her own brand of conspiratorial paranoia, ranting that, ''The kaffiyeh, for the clueless, is the traditional scarf of Arab men that has come to symbolize murderous Palestinian jihad.''
Wearing the kaffiyeh, of course, has nothing to do with politics for millions of wearers, Middle Eastern or American. The AP quotes Amahl Bishara, a Middle East specialist from the University of Chicago, who points out what most sane people know, “that a right-wing blogger making an association between a kaffiyeh and terrorism is just an example of how so much of the complexity of Arab culture has been reduced to a very narrow vision of the Arab world on the part of some people in the U.S."
Bishara continued, "Kaffiyehs are worn every day on the street by Palestinians and other people in the Middle East - by people going to work, going to school, taking care of their families, and just trying to keep warm."
One has to hope that the management at Dunkin Donuts gets a grip on reality and realizes that caving to Malkin only leads to more of her brand of thought-terrorism. It also won’t make it any easier to sell an old-fashioned donut.