Screengrab from donut sleeper cell training video surfaces

So they were right. Oh, and pssst: I am wearing nothing but a glazed kaffiyeh at this very moment!

(Thanks, R. Stevens)

Update: Palestinian journalist Daoud Kuttab, who, btw, is not a terrorist, has a most informative editorial up today about the history and the cultural significance of the garment for which Ms. Ray's unfortunate paisley scarf was mistaken. Snip:

For the record, the keffiya is not a symbol of either Islam or terrorism and predates Yasser Arafat. The head dress (which comes in white, checkered black or checkered red) came into importance in the early 20th century as part of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottomans who ruled the Middle East for over four hundred years left a two class system of landlords and peasants. The landlords generally wore a red high hat regularly referred to as a tarbouch or fez. Peasants wore the keffiya as a practical head cover to protect from the hot sun in the daytime and the cold winds at nights.


  1. I just wish they hadn’t caved in to that blogger… but you know how “suits” think… any hint of controversy and they run a mile…

  2. I know it’s late and all (15 minutes after posting 11:45 p.m.), but is this it? No link? No video? No backstory?

  3. According to the stylist she “is wearing a black-and-white silk scarf with a paisley design.” source

    We must never surrender the WAR ON PAISLEY!!!

  4. Would you be upset about them caving in if she had been wearing a FARC symbol? Sinn Fein? Confederate Flag?

  5. Aha! Looks like Osama took advantage of the easy downloadable Rachel Ray endorsement contract on Brian Sack’s Banterist site. If you’d like Rachel Ray to shill for you, just check off the appropriate product you’d like her to endorse (hair gel, dried plums and salmon skin are still available), cut and paste her signature on your contract and you’re ready to go! She will start endorsing your product immediately, and according to Brian, “all endorsements include a book featuring your product being used in the preparation of a dish with an adorable nickname like Never Be Lonely Stew or Put The Kids To Sleep Salsa. Rachael will also include your product in her prayers.”

  6. For those unaware of the back story:

    Rachel Ray wore a fringed, paisley scark in a Dunkin Donuts commercial, as seen in the photo.

    A right wingnut, agressively anti-Islamic blog, (Little Green Footballs), accused her of promoting terrorism by wearing a kaffiyeh on national TV. Then the hysterically anti-immigrant Michelle Malkin went rabid with the accusation on her blog. Loud calls for boycott rang out in right wing bloggerland. Dunkin Donuts caved cowardly and pulled the ad.

    Here are couple of accounts of the kaffiyeh kerfuffle:

  7. Correct me if I’m mistaken, but don’t fundamentalist Muslims eschew all narcotics and stimulants, i.e. coffee? So wouldn’t this kerfluffle be at least as offensive to the supposed “islamofacists” as it is to Michelle Malkin, who is her own breed of facist?

    You know what’s funny? In their kneejerk reactions to everything that violates their sensibilities, neocons have become more mamby-pamby and shrill about being offended than even P.C. liberals ever were at the height of their influence. What was Schwarzenegger’s jab at Democrats being girly-men? Apparently, takes one to know one; it might even take two.

    pssst: I am wearing nothing but a glazed kaffiyeh at this very moment!

    Ma chere Mlle. Jardin, ne jouez pas avec mon coeur.

  8. @6 The kaffiyeh isn’t quite as specific a symbol of a terrorist group as the three examples you give – it would be more like someone wearing an orange shirt and being accused of supporting the Orange Order – or wearing tartan and being accused of supporting the Scottish National Liberation Army.

  9. Wow, I never heard about this.. it’s just crazy talk.

    It never occured to me that the good old ‘PLO scarf’ could be seen as something negative. For us it was always a symbol of freedom and solidarity.

    And I don’t know about you guys, but after it’s massive popularity in the 80’s, it’s back as a fashion accessory over here, as strong as it ever was. If the kids walking down the street here were accused of encouraging terrorism because the were wearing a particular scarf, I think we’d all laugh heartily.

    Of course this is a complete non-issue, just another way for some overy-loud voices to gain some temporary new ears to shout into.

  10. FOX News update:

    After a recent viewing of Kanye West’s video for the song Homecoming, Mr. West has been put on the FBI’s terrorist watchlist.

  11. There’s a Scottish National Liberation Army? What are their weapons of mass destruction? Cabers and bagpipes?

  12. It’s ridiculous. She’s a woman. Al Qaeda doesn’t approve of women. It was in the news a few days ago.

  13. Mchll Mgllng ,k Mlkn, ws th n wh rlly gt ths nn-ss gng.
    Sh s n f ths Rsh ,’RllY? typ f ntrtnrs wh mk mny by sprdng rmrs nd md p strs s fct. Sh xplts th lntc frng by wrkng n thr frs nd prjdcs.
    lv n th r sh grw p n nd hv sm nsd nf n hr. Mgllng s vry nscr bt hr Krn hrtg nd hts hrslf ,wshng hr prnts hd nt bn krn mmgrnts.
    Tht s th rsn sh chngd hr nm t snd mr “mrcn”. Sh shld b prd f hr rts.

    I expect such nonsense and insanity from the right wing fringe but Dunkin Donuts has really acted shamefully.
    I have a black and White checked scarf and wouldn’t have associated it with anything but keeping my neck warm.
    I can say for certain that I will no longer give any money to Dunkin Donuts.
    It is insane and more anti-Freedom and un-American to give in to a Freedom hating bully who makes no sense at all then to wear a scarf that is black and white.

  14. When I sent an email to DD concerning this issue, this was their response:

    “Thank you for sharing your comments. We always appreciate hearing from our customers. As of this past weekend, we are no longer using the online ad featuring Rachael Ray wearing a black-and-white silk scarf with a paisley design. Our decision was based solely on the fact that the possibility of misperception detracted from the intent of the ad, which was to promote iced coffee — nothing more, nothing less.

    At Dunkin’ Donuts, we value all our customers and are committed to making your experiences with us memorable and pleasant. Thank you, again, for making us aware of your concerns.”

  15. Please don’t boycott Dunkin’ Donuts; yes they caved but that doesn’t mean they’re right-wing it just means they’re capitalists, and probably it wasn’t the hard-working donut-and-coffee makers that wanted to cave but rather some weasel in the PR department.

    The proper thing for them to have done would have been to say “We don’t know what kind of Krispy Kreme fumes YOU’ve been smoking, but if you think we are going to spend ad money on promoting a political agenda instead of our doughnuts, you obviously have no understanding of business at all. Dunkin’ Donuts is interested in one thing and one thing only, and that is selling our product. In fact, we reserve the right to sell it to anyone, whether they are keffiyeh-wearing Palestinians or rabid right-wing commentators – as long as they have legal tender, we’ll sell them doughnuts. It’s what we do.”

  16. This Woman Is Insane
    Anti-American fashion designers abroad and at home have mainstreamed and adapted the scarves as generic pro-Palestinian jihad or anti-war statements. Yet many folks out there remain completely oblivious to the apparel’s violent symbolism and anti-Israel overtones.

    And also

    Oh No She Didn’t…
    Charles Johnson notes, and many readers have e-mailed about, Dunkin Donuts’ spokeswoman Rachel Ray’s clueless sporting of a jihadi chic keffiyeh in a recent DD ad campaign. I’m hoping her hate couture choice was spurred more by ignorance than ideology.

    Pam Atlas tries her best to make Malkin look sane.
    I am sure if you live in an urban area as I do, you are seeing these icons of genocide on your city streets with increasing frequency. I know I am. TIME TO MAKE THE JIHAD!

    They are serious about this and there is frequent talk on their forums about the need to start killing Liberals. Welcome to the GOP base.

  17. Dunkin Donuts: “Oh no! Some right wing blog-lo-dytes are saying we’re pro-terrist. Quick just pull that ad so they know we’re just weenies and wusses!”

  18. The logic seems to be that ALL Palestinians are terrorists (someone should have the balls to ask Malkin that sometime, because that is certainly what she implies by her indignation over a scarf). I guess I should stop eating falafel and listening to oud music too, because that supports terrorism.

    I guess when you consider that Palestinians in Israel are 2nd class citizens (something few on the right even acknowledge), then they ARE all considered terrorists.

    I heard another radio dingbat justify the indignation like: “the kaffiyeh represents terrorism just like cowboy hats represent America”– so if the Palestinian authorities banned the wearing of cowboy hats would that be reasonable, would the right-wing applaud that rule? Or would it just represent how iron-fisted and undemocratic they were being?

  19. Arkizzle, I’m assuming you live in Europe.

    I’m an American expat over here, and I can assure you my jaw hit the floor when I first saw lefty European kids wearing the kiffeyeh. It’s just not really something that’s OK in the States, as it’s percieved as an anti-Israel statement.

    But I mean, they sell them at H&M now, so I think it’s pretty much time to declare them devoid of any political significance whatsoever.

    That’s fashion for ya!


    (And yes, Malkin is completely insane)

  20. I just wish that Rachel Ray would be banned everywhere….except for being the Joker in the next Batman movie. She has the perfect mouth for it.

  21. don’t fundamentalist Muslims eschew all narcotics and stimulants, i.e. coffee?

    Turkish coffee? The Muslim world is the original coffee society. Khat? Opium? Did you miss the ‘Afghan soldiers smoking dope’ post?

  22. #25 “That is the reason she changed her name to sound more “American”. She should be proud of her roots.”

    Are you really suggesting that Malkin’s criteria for finding a husband (she took his name) included his surname sounding ‘American’? I mean, I accept that this woman is a couple of cans short of a six pack, but really?

  23. DrBlack,

    Before you go off on Michelle Malkin’s Korean heritage, maybe you should first wake up to the fact that she’s Filipina by parentage. You might have googled her. You might have noticed what half the world’s population would immediately know – that Maglalang is not even vaguely Korean. And since you can’t tell one Asian nationality from another, you might keep your racial-profiling pseudo-psychology to yourself next time. If that’s your “inside info”, do us a favor and keep it inside.

  24. I have worn a kaffeya in Israel (mid 80s)admittedly during a gap between infatadas,no one passed comment
    assumed I was an islamist or nowt.Pretty sound thing to wear in the desert though.

  25. Oh my fuck. I’m speechless. How are people this stupid? I would never have mistaken that for a, um, kerfuffle, or whatever it’s called. Not in a million years. How incredibly stupid.

  26. ‘Keffiyeh’ is so universal in the Arabian Peninsula, it’s as generic as ‘hat’.

    Fun fact: Turkey is the only country in the world to have twice outlawed its national headdress, first the turban, then the fez.

  27. How are people this stupid?
    While the Malkinites and her ilk can be quite ignorant this isn’t driven by stupidity per se. Conservative extremists see society as threatened from external forces. They then react (hence the term ‘reactionary’) to this perceived threat and seek to eliminate it. In the past African Americans were a very handy locus for eliminationist hysteria but today it is Islamic terrorism that gets the full treatment. I should hasten to add that terrorism is of course a serious problem but I really don’t think the solution is to turn the sands of the middle east to glass.

  28. self-hating humans like Malkin need targets.If none present themselves, they are manufactured.

  29. I try to keep up with the news, but this is the first I’ve heard of this. What the hell? It’s Rachel Raye in a scarf, sucking frozen coffee through a straw. Yeah. Cue the ululating suicide bombers.

    As for Michelle Malkin: the only time I ever see or hear her name is on the internet. Wan’ know why? I DON’T WATCH OR LISTEN TO HER SHOW. Ignore the partisan shills and you’ll be a calmer, happier person for it.

    “pssst: I am wearing nothing but a glazed kaffiyeh at this very moment!”

    Wuldf…sidlf… Idon…. welfjd… ha! Ha ha! Uh… fls… hm…

  30. and I’m wearing nothing but a yarlmukle with a mustard stain…but do I get the fan mail?

  31. Actually, I think things are much simpler. Michelle is just plain jealous. Nobody wants to see her wearing nothing but a glazed kaffiyeh

  32. If Ms. Malkin is jealous, she’s jealous of Ann Coulter, not Rachel Ray.

    “I would take the comparison to Ann Coulter as somewhat of a compliment. I have a lot of respect for Ann Coulter.”

  33. #32 RaisedByWolves’s percieved as an anti-Israel statement.

    Yeah, I’m seeing that. For us it was always positively pro-Palestine, rather than negitively anti-Israel.

    I’m in the UK, I dunno if you were over here in the eighties, but the keffiyeh (specifically the black and white one, associated with the PLO) was massive as statement-fashion (punks, socialists, anarchists, students), it was much bigger than it is now.

    I think people were entirely aware of it’s meaning then, but I imagine the recent re-emergence of it is purely fashion based, with most of it’s meaning lost and wearers unaware of either the positive or negative connotations.

  34. As someone else here noted, the British armed forces have worn the keffiyeh for years– it is a logical item in the desert, which is why Arabs wear them (you know, like sandals– should I stop wearing sandals now too?). Yes, keffiyehs with that very particular black-and-white spider-webbed pattern are a de-facto symbol of the PLO (look at any photo of Yasser Arafat), but that pattern is NOT the same pattern on Rachel Ray’s scarf, which does appear to be paisley or very similar to paisley; it’s manufactured outrage.

    I’ve said for years that the loud-mouthed conservative commentators (Limbaugh, O’Reilly, Coulter, Malkin, etc.) NEED some kind of outrage to keep their momentum going, and will find it wherever they want. Maybe next Malkin will be outraged over somebody wearing a Mexican sombrero “in support of illegal immigrants” (despite the fact that Mexicans who DON’T immigrate also wear them, and in Spanish “sombrero” simply means “hat”. . . so, you know, stop wearing “hats” in support of illegal immigrants.)

  35. So can someone clarify if the girly, fringed, paisley scarf Ray is sporting even qualifies as a keffiyeh? It doesn’t look much like the garments you see in pictures of Palestinians to me, other than the two-toned color scheme…but many of the comments here seem to assume that it is a keffiyeh.

  36. Clarify? Walk up to the person wearing the piece of cloth. Ask the person if the piece of cloth is a “keffiyeh”. Or maybe it’s just a piece of cloth. Of course the person you ask has every right to tell you to piss off. As do you if others snoop into your sartorial choices. Unless of course you live in the People’s Republic of Malkin

  37. f Mchll Mlkn ppld hr wn mmgrtn stndrds t hrslf, sh’d b dprtd. Sh’s n ‘nchr-bby’. h, th rny!

  38. CVR — No, it’s not. An actual keffiyeh has to be thicker and wider than what Ray is wearing, to be able to protect the wearer from the sun.

  39. I’m just shocked this is even an issue. I don’t blame Dunkin Donuts, though. Business is business. But c’mon, man!! I can see this if the scarf had “Keffiyeh” printed on it, or in the commercial she said, “I love Dunkin Donuts coffee. You know what else I love? This Keffiyeh, and furthermore, Terrorism!”

  40. Michelle Malkin is a well known contributer to the white supremacist site (I know she’s Philippina)

    Who’s more likely to be associated with terrorists? White supremacist border militia gun nuts, or some celebrity chef in a freaking paisley scarf?

    Add to that Malkin’s well known book defending the internment of American citizens based on ethnicity, and you’ve got a surefire danger to the US.

    The woman’s an idiot. She’d defend putting people of Arabic descent into concentration camps, but is too much of a moron to realize that there’s a large Islamic terrorist movement in the Philippines as well, and that makes her just as much of a target.

  41. Greetings

    You know this is likely even more moronic than we suspect. This was not Rachel’s personal keffiyeh or scarf or whatever

    RR showed up for the shoot and somebody else dressed her, a fashion designer for DD contractor who threw on the scarf to add color to that plain dress or even to catch any drips from the iced cup before they stained the dress for take number 1027…

    Somewhere Michele Malkin just punched the ticket for a dresser who “used” to work for a video production compnay making DD commercials

    Enjoy the journey


  42. Dear Xeni:

    “So they were right. Oh, and pssst: I am wearing nothing but a glazed kaffiyeh at this very moment!”

    pics or it didn’t happen

  43. @ #34 Antinous: Turkish coffee? The Muslim world is the original coffee society. Khat? Opium? Did you miss the ‘Afghan soldiers smoking dope’ post?

    Note I said Muslim fundamentalists; I expect most of the Muslim world has some amount of sense about them. And there’s no accounting for hypocrisy: fundamentalist Christian ministers here decry homosexuality and then go get “massages” from known gigolos.

  44. Takuan,

    My point was that it’s not a keffiyeh. I can’t walk up to Rachel Ray and ask her, but I don’t need to, because it’s obvious. I wrote my comment because comments like 16,17,31,32,49, and 51 seem to accept the ridiculous notion that Ray’s scarf is a keffiyeh. But as I look back over the comments, it’s clear that the overwhelming majority do not accept Malkin’s claim. I particularly enjoyed learning paisley’s link to Scotland from #8.

  45. Even if it is a Keffiyeh, and even if she meant to wear it symbolically (which seems unlikely), doing so is neither pro-terrorist nor anti-Semitic. To care about the plight of the Palestinian people is hardly a bad thing. I grew up with kids whose families were displaced from Palestine – and their fathers were decorated veterans of the US Military. But their stories paint some real ugliness on the governments of Israel, Britain and the US.
    If you’ve not really looked at what happened, a solid, balanced intro is found in Joe Sacco’s graphic novel, Palestine.

  46. I live in a big-time Christian fundamentalist city now and it could have been any one of my neighbors who started this stupidity. Two years ago they were already complaining about the “Arabs” running the local Dunkin Donuts (they were actually Indian). So I’m only mildly shocked by this. Some pretty crazy things come out of their mouths as they try to out-fundament any other fundamentals.

    I’ll be on the look-out for an armada of rusty old pick-up trucks heading toward the Dunkin Donuts with shotguns blastin and hound dogs baying.

  47. Phoulx 63: *forehead smack* I never realized before reading your post that they’re called fundamentalists because they think with their fundaments! Silly me.

  48. Did anyone else notice in that picture Bin-Ladin is wearing an Ameerican military issue M-65 field coat in Woodland pattern?

  49. Of course, the “scandal” got DD more publicity than the ad ever would have by itself.

  50. Little Green Footballs is a feeder site for the right-wing meme of the day, and is frequently the earliest traceable source of some demonstrably hoked-up story. I don’t know where they get their material. It may be tendentious crap, designed to be spoon-fed to halfwits, but it’s professional-grade tendentious crap.

    The only thing that shocks me about this story is that Rachel Ray’s stylist described the scarf as paisley, and everyone else went along with the gag. Unless that thing’s got a paisley-motif border on it such as I’ve never seen before on a kaffiyeh (also spelled keffiyah, keffiyeh, keffiya, kufiyah, kufiya, kaffiya, kafiya, kaffia, ceffia, hatta, and shemagh), no way is “paisley” the correct description.

    If Rachel Ray’s scarf is woven, the name of that pattern is houndstooth. For example, here’s a picture of John McCain’s daughter Meghan McCain wearing a houndstooth version.

    If her scarf is embroidered, it’s got a regular tiling pattern on it, just like every other embroidered kaffiyeh out there. (Except for Yasser Arafat. His had something more like a fishnet pattern on it, and the embroidery was less cheesy.) Note: Ray’s scarf doesn’t have the broad border of shallow chevrons you see on kaffiyehs that are labeled “authentic” for the tourist trade.

    (The single commonest version has the overall embroidered tiling pattern, border stripes in a 1/1 weave, and the border with rows of shallow chevrons. As far as I’m concerned, the most interesting thing about it is that there are cognate decorative knitting stitch patterns for all the standard kaffiyeh patterns. It would make an interesting design for a lace shawl.)

    General history and theory, plus the current kerfluffle

    HawgBlog has long engaged in what he calls KufiyaSpotting. Read down his string of posts to learn more about the current kerfluffle, and the overall status of yon scarf, than you can learn anywhere else. Basic thesis: wearing a kaffiyeh was originally a political gesture, then it turned into street fashion. (Also from his blog: if your idea of a good time is wearing a t-shirt that’s almost guaranteed to get you yelled at by someone, get your own copy of the viral Anne Frank in a kaffiyeh design.)

    Second best summary: Kabobfest’s A modern chronology of the keffiyah craze. (Note: the author doesn’t like Israel. If that possibility offends you, don’t read it.)

    From Memoirs of an Immigrant, A checkered icon: the kaffiyeh. Clear and sensible. Like everyone else, he says that while some kaffiyeh-wearers have been politically motivated, especially at first, it has since been picked up by everyone else because it looks cool.

    A short Village Voice history of the kaffiyeh. It says the scarf started out as a political statement, but then everyone picked it up because it looks cool.

    Ugly Earring’s judicious kaffiyeh links list.

    Snapshots from the kaffiyeh’s ongoing metamorphosis into wallpaper:

    The Hipster Intifada, a photoset on Flickr. Also, a comment on the set: History of the Object in Question, by AnomalousNYC.
    Urban Outfitters Markets Kufiya as “Anti-War Woven Scarf”
    The Kaffiyeh Yisraelit, if you want to be really confusing.
    Mobius1ski’s talit kattan shel Shabbatai Tzvi, if you want to be even more confusing than that.
    Fall 2007: and W‘s Meggan Crum declare the Ghesquiere/Balenciaga version of the kaffiyeh one of the must-have Top Ten Accessories for the year.’s El keffiyeh de Balenciaga.
    The shemagh has become a staple of military surplus resellers. A British SAS model. A Canadian forces shemagh.
    Someone has to do it: HawgBlog notes the appearance of kaffiyehs on celebrities: Beckham, and Kate Moss; Sting; Colin Farrell, Kirstin Dunst, and Flavia de Oliveira for Balenciaga; Justin Timberlake at the MTV music awards; David Mamet; Lupe Fiasco (and possibly Kanye West); the amiably featherbrained Ricky Martin; an unnamed model, for Robert Geller; and Jay-Z.
    Flattened into a vague 2D signifier: t-shirt pre-printed with kaffiyeh.

  51. That was more than I ever wanted to know about the kaffiyeh, and yet I read it all.


  52. Mlkn nd tht lk r bnch f trlls.

    Y, bng bng, hv bn trlld.

    Th prps f mkng stpd, sly dsptbl, cntrvrsl cmmnts s lmst lwys n ntntnl cll fr ttntn– trll! Ths ttrcts trffc t th trll wb sts…nd thy mk mr d mny, gn blg/srch rnk, gt mr rdrs, mr cmmntrs, nd s n.

    Trlls s tht thr tctcs wrk, nd wth mr mny, thy hv mr rsrcs t trll nd mr ncntv t trll. Trllng grws nd grws wth ths pstv fdbck lp nd w ll ls.

    Nt nly ds ths ttntn bnft th trlls, t wsts ppl’s tm, nd dstrcts ppl frm mprtnt sss (r n th cs f Bng Bng, ds fr dd wtchs).

    Th nly wy y cn bt trll s t gnr t.

    P.S. Mcs r tys. v s fr lsrs. w dd nt cm frm ps. glbl wrmng s shm. krk wld ttlly kck pcrd’s btt.

  53. Teresa @68: Looking at the picture, there’s something in the triangle of cloth above the latte that isn’t a check. With the low resolution it looks vaguely paisley-ish, but it could be a gear-wheel or sunflower. Not a check, though.

  54. By all means, feel free to boycott the Dunkin’ Dognuts… After all, they’re owned by The Carlyle Group, and that alone is enough reason to boycott them.

  55. #61 CVR

    I wrote my comment because comments like 16,17,31,32,49, and 51 seem to accept the ridiculous notion that Ray’s scarf is a keffiyeh.

    Emm, no, ALL the comments you listed (including two of my own) were talking about the American reaction and interpretation of the keffiyah itself, not Rachel Ray or Dunkin’ Donuts choice of ad-fashion (honestly, you could have picked far better comments in this thread to illustrate your point).

    Besides the DD debacle illustrated above, there is clearly a certain view in some American citizens (and more nations possibly, if anyone else cares to chime in) that the keffiyah is specifically related to terrorism. That is a far more interesting conversation than the one being fanned by the LGF, and we were engaging in it.

    So, get over yourself, or perhaps just read the comments you are commenting on.

Comments are closed.