Thursday, June 05, 2008

The keffiyeh controversy returns

Rachel Ray for Dunkin' Donuts

I know that my last several articles have veered away from discussing beauty, which has been my stock in trade, but timely topics such as Yves St. Laurent's death and Barack Obama's clinching the Democratic nomination for President have pre-empted blogging about beauty.

Last Saturday, I came back from Copenhagen, where only one Starbuck's was spotted (in the airport) and Dunkin' Donuts is non-existent. I came back to learn about the controversy concerning an ad for Dunkin' Donuts, in which spokesperson Rachel Ray wore a fringed scarf suggesting the keffiyeh, which is closely associated with the late Palestinian terrorist Yasser Arafat.

The campaign was driven by conservative blogger Michelle Malkin and the strongly pro-Israel blog Little Green Footballs. Dunkin' Donuts has since pulled the ad, thanks to Ms. Malkin and LGF and their thousands of followers. However, other conservative writers think that Ms. Malkin and LGF are reading into the adthings that really weren't intended.

In Copenhagen, street fashion includes scarves, even keffiyehs, loosely worn around the neck. No wonder that dELiA*s called their version the "Euro scarf." I don't know if the kids have any knowledge about the keffiyeh and its associations and are merely buying into radical chic. It would help if there were a campaign to inform people about the terrorist attacks guided by Arafat and to prod them into questioning if they can justify wearing an item so closely associated with a terrorist.


Girl-Woman said...

Great information. Thanks for a few minutes of non-beauty posting! Love it.

The Style Page said...

Hi girl-woman,

Thanks for the kind words. Lately, I've gone through a dry patch on blogging. Your comments might be enough to start blogging again!

Hair Extensions said...

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Anonymous said...

It's a bit of a silly controversy. Anti-Iranian conservatives who object to people in the West wearing the keffiyeh should consider than in Iran the keffiyeh is considered a sign of Arab nationalism and secession. I believe it's forbidden.

If anything, Malkin and LGF and the like should adopt the keffiyeh as a sign of their support for their Arab allies, instead of demonizing it as a sign of the "other".