Dunkin’ Donuts and ‘the bloody Islamic jihad’

rachael_ray_dunkin_donutsIs Rachael Ray, the talk-show host, cookbook author and magazine editor, a terrorist sympathizer?

Dunkin’ Donuts, worried that its customers might think so, abruptly yanked an ad in which Ray wears a scarf that resembles a keffiyeh – a traditional headdress worn by Arab men – after conservative commentators became enraged by the ad and even threatened to boycott the company.

The controversial ad, which appeared earlier this month on the doughnut chain’s Web site to promote its iced coffee, came under fire nearly two weeks ago when blogger Pam Geller posted it under the headline “Rachel [sic] Ray: Dunkin Donuts Jihad Tool.”

“Have you seen Rachel Ray wearing the icon of Yasser Arafatbastard and the bloody Islamic jihad,” Geller wrote. “This is part of the cultural jihad.”

Fox News commentator Michelle Malkin took up the cause when she wrote: “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.”

After pulling the ad, Dunkin’ Donuts issued a statement from Margie Myers, senior vice president of communications for Dunkin’ Brands:

“In a recent online ad, Rachael Ray is wearing a black-and-white silk scarf with a paisley design. It was selected by the stylist for the advertising shoot. Absolutely no symbolism was intended. However, as of this past weekend, we are no longer using the online ad because the possibility of misperception detracted from its original intention to promote our iced coffee.”

ABC News, 29 May 2008

See also the Boston Globe, 28 May 2008