Sunday, June 01, 2008

dunkin donuts + michell malkin = obscene absurdity

Mirhab, Iranian, fourteenth century.

Apparently anything that could be remotely construed as to have anything to do with Islamic culture supports terrorism. I'm too grumpy to even address this, so I'll just send you to the Notes on Religion blog by Rashed Chowdhury:
After pressure from the right-wing blogger Michelle Malkin, Dunkin' Donuts has cancelled an online ad featuring TV host Rachael Ray wearing a keffiyeh.

Malkin described the piece of Arab men's headdress as "a regular adornment of Muslim terrorists".

According to Dunkin' Donuts, "no symbolism was intended" by the silk keffiyeh. Malkin has praised the company for its decision, saying that the picture of the scarf could have led to "the mainstreaming of violence" (BBC).

So my question is: what was Timothy McVeigh wearing when he perpetrated his terrorist act? And if he was wearing a shirt and trousers, should everyone now stop wearing shirts and trousers? Come on now.

If you disagree with Dunkin' Donuts's decision, please contact them.


Garpu the Fork said...

Ironically, I was just reading about this from another blog. As a Syrian friend of mine explained, a keffiyeh is something you don't leave home without, since they're great for keeping sun off of you in an arid climate. It's no more political than saying everyone who wears polar fleece in Seattle is an ecoterrorist.

Fayrouz said...


It's true in most Middle Eastern countries, including Iraq. It's very popular in what we call Bilad Al-Sham, which include Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Lebanon and The Palestinian Land.

And no, it has nothing to do with terrorism. It's part of the ME culture, just as the cowboy hat is part of the Southern culture.

Jeff said...

I remember when wearing a keffiyeh around the neck was quite fashionable in Europe back in the 80's, but even back then it never caught on here, because of perceived political overtones. Even back then, everything that had to do with the Arab world in the US was seen through the lens of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

It's important to note that Ameican troops in Iraq often wear them for the same reason everyone else wears them - to keep sand out of their faces.

cowboyangel said...

An obscene absurdity that unfortunately occurs too often.

I left a comment at dunkin donuts. I go to our local DD from time to time for an iced coffee alternative to Starbucks. And we go to the DD in Rhode Island when we're there, because it's the only coffee house-ish spot in town. So, hey, I'll find another place. And I told them so.

Caving in to a nasty and divisive bigot like Malkin is so incredibly cowardly.

Good points everyone about wearing the keffiyeh.

crystal said...

It just weird that terrorism has been so uniquely linked to Islam. Has everyone forgotten all the terrorism that came before, like Baader-Meinhof, etc. ?

Rashed said...

Hi, Liam,

Thanks for spreading awareness of the issue!

Jack said...

I notice that a California bishop has banned a pro-life professor from connunion for supporting Obama. Is a bishop allowed to bar any Obama supporter from communion simply on the person's support for Obama? Jack

Liam said...

Thanks, everyone.

Rashed --
Yeah, this is one of those issues which is not only despicable, but mind-numbingly stupid. I'm glad you had the Dunkin' Donuts info.

Jack --
I think the story you heard was about a priest who refused to serve him communion, not a bishop who banned him from communion. According to canon law, a bishop can ban someone from communion in his diocese, but any bishop who banned someone just for supporting Obama would be going against the statements put out by the US Conference of Bishops.

Jack said...

You are correct. It was a priest. Still a bit depressing. Will the priest be repremanded? Jack

Liam said...

Probably not publicly, but a spokesperson from the archdiocese of LA told NPR that he didn't have the authority to do what he did.

Jack said...

Thanks for the information. Jack

Jack said...

Liam, I am completely confused on Catholic social justice teachings. I have checked the internet and have come to this tentative conclusion: Be there 7 or ten essential teachings ONLY one is obligatory--anti abortion belief. The other teachings should "be carefully considered" but are not obligatory. So if a Catholic rejects all the teachings except 'right to life'he is in compliance with Catholic Social Justice teaching. I am aware of the proportionality argument, but the only required teaching is opposition to abortion and euthanasia. So, to repeat, if I find all social justice teaching optional, accept right to life, I am following Church teaching. I know statements of the bishops say those teachings, other than right to life, are not optional, but then they say they must be CONSIDERED. Right to life is not to be considered but is final.

I am Catholic and this will make some of my fellows unhappy, but let me ask: Did the Church deny communion to followers of Hitler, Franco (in his bad period)or to the leaders of any other cruel, brutal regime?

I support the right to choose on a limited basis and believe the Church's position on abortion is in the end simply an anti-sex doctrine. I have written on this point extensively on my blog. I say this so anyone who sees this will see my position. But my concern here is not this last paragraph but the previous ones dealing with 'the one essential' teachings. Any comments will be appreciated. I am sincerely and honestly confused. Thanks Jack

Liam said...

I don't really know what to say to you about this. There are a billion Catholics in the world and many of them have websites. And far too many of those think that they can blog ex-cathedra about what the Church believes. You can read official Church teaching on the Vatican website, the US bishops' website (, and the Catechism. Individual bishops interpret the teaching of their own conference differently. Different bishops, priests, and believers have their own idea about what it means to follow the magisterium. A lot of Catholics will dispute that, but it seems obvious to me. The official Church position is clearly against abortion. I don't see in their documents that abortion "trumps" other issues such as war, death penalty, poverty, etc. Others, of course, will disagree.

cowboyangel said...

My back and forth with Dunkin Donuts after leaving my initial comment on their web site:


Thank you for sharing your comments. We always appreciate hearing from our customers. The intent of the online ad featuring Rachael Ray wearing a paisley silk scarf was to promote iced coffee. Given the surprising and truly unfortunate interpretation of this ad from some of our consumers, we decided to pull the ad and replace it with another as it is no longer serving its intended purpose, which was to simply promote our iced coffee---nothing more, nothing less.

At Dunkin' Donuts, we value all of our customers and remain steadfastly committed to making your experiences with us both memorable and pleasant. Thank you, again, for making us aware of your concerns; it is appreciated

Dear Dunkin' Donuts,

Thank you for responding to my complaint.

I realize that your original intention was just to sell iced coffee. You did nothing wrong by airing the ad. But an extremist blogger made a ridiculous accusation about your simple ad. At that point, you should have said that the commercial "was to simply promote our iced coffee---nothing more, nothing less." Why didn't you make that statement - which is a fair assessment of the situation - to the silly person who saw terrorism in a simple ad for iced coffee?

Instead, you pulled the ad, which made another statement far beyond selling iced coffee: We don't have the courage or moral bearings to simply stand up to an extremist blogger. Or, better, to simply ignore her. It's your reaction to the situation that is so disappointing. Your fear of offending a few potential customers - though you had done nothing wrong - led to a genuinely poor decision on your part, which has now offended other customers.

People are looking for an alternative to Starbucks. You could play that role. But caving in to Michelle Malkin isn't a smart marketing move in that regard.

I'll still take a break for a while from Dunkin Donuts.


hugomar said...

You probably don't remember me. I was one of the three young guys who sought your advice. You helped me by saying that the church might have different opinions on s.. I am now a catholic. You might want to see why on my blog. Frank

Jack said...

Liam, indulge me one more comment/question. I have ask on other blogs and cannot get answer.

"A" runs a child sex ring; pays his employees 1 dollar an hour; provides no health insurance; dumps toxic waste in a nearby river; supports death penalty for all egregious felonies;supports bombing of civilian populations if necessary to subdue Iran, BUT is very active in the pro-life movement.
"B" runs an orphanage for homeless children; pays his unskilled employees double the minimum wage; provides free health insurance for his employees; is active in environmental causes; opposes bombing of civilian populations to win in Iraq,supports Obama, BUT favors the right to abortion in the first trimester.

Which is the better Christian?

I have ask this on other blogs, as I said, and cannot get an answer. Jack

Liam said...

Jack, I'm not in the habit of judging who's a better Christian, but it's obvious that B seems much more of a better person and hence better Christian.

Haven't we been over this? I would advise you to ignore the websites that are single-issue anti-abortion. Mine isn't.

Jack said...

Liam, I do not go to single issue web sites. I only go to more moderate sites, but commenters making the argument for "A" come to these sites at times. I then ask my question but get no answers. Thanks. Jack