Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Dunkin' terrorism?

Dunkin' Donuts pulled out an ad from the internet last week. Such ad featured Rachael Ray wearing a black and white scarf and promoting an iced coffee beverage. Nothing extremely odd until this point, other than the reason for which the ad was pulled: the black and white scarf.

It looks that the scarf reminded people in the audience of the keffiyah that Arab mean wear in their heads. Moreover, although the keffiyah has been worn by Arab men for centuries, it was made popular in the western world by Yasser Arafat, the deceased Palestinian president, along with other terrorists who have been involved in attacks against civilian targets worldwide, especially against the interests of countries such as the United States, England, Denmark and Israel.

As a result of this odd link between terrorists, keffiyah and the western hemisphere, Dunkin' Donuts' ad received tons of negative criticism. Although the donut chain has denied any intentions to promote terrorism or anti-western messages with such online ad, I have reviewed some opinions posted by the audience in the internet where people seem to be really upset about the scarf in the ad, accusing Dunkin' Donuts of supporting terrorism and of fitting a subliminal message in their campaign.

I find the accusations quite interesting. Even though the design of the scarf does indeed remind of the keffiyah worn by Arab men (and linked to the image of terrorism), I seriously doubt that a donut company would be willing to support terrorism in such a bizarre way. It is more likely an odd coincidence of a marketing campaign that simply went wrong when Rachael Ray picked a scarf that would just not be welcome by the audience.

However, there is an important moral in this whole story, and that is that people demonstrating their awareness about the problem of extremism and terrorism, and they are rejecting it and raising their voice against it. Let's not allow any support to terrorism, or any of its organizations, by any means.


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