About Mohammed Salah, who spent five years in an Israeli prison for taking part in Hamas operations: “For many, he is a symbol of a larger Palestinian struggle.” (statement by Ahmed Rehab, The Qatar Peninsula, ‘Hamas terrorist financing trial set to open today,’ October 19, 2006)The Council on American-Islamic Relations Chicago Tribune wanted to get the other side of the Dunkin Donuts/Rachel Ray/ Keffiyeh Story. So who did they go to? One of the principals? Did they go to encyclopedias to explain what a Keffiyeh is? No, none of that ! What the Tribune did was go to an organization accused of being an unindicted co-conspirator in a trial about raising money for Hamas; The Council on American-Islamic Relations . Specifically Ahmed M. Rehab the executive director of Chicago’s Chapter of CAIR. Rehab not just a CAIR big-shot but someone who is very vocal about his support of terrorist organizations and hatred of Jews:

When asked, Rehab refused to condemn Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist organizations. (BBC, ‘Hard Talk with Stephen Sackur,’ November 9, 2006)

WVON Radio Islam, Topic: Chicago Muslim Community Celebrates Verdict in Mohammad Saleh Trial, February 1, 2007:

Rehab: “Y’know, I was in the courtroom, when the verdict was read out, and I swear, you could cut the atmosphere with a knife – so tense. Obviously, the reaction of the community was one of jubilation. They feel vindicated, because this individual had been subjected to so much… He’s a man that provided charitable contributions to the vulnerable factions of Palestinian societies, in his country of origin.”

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Salman Azam (host): “That was Ahmed Rehab, Executive Director of the Council of American-Islamic Relations, who has been an avid, avid supporter of Mohammed Salah.”

“He [Charlie Rose] even ended the show by launching two strict questions at the columnist in the manner of an authoritative judge holding a criminal on trial, asking whether or not he supported the views of Irving [Holocaust denier David Irving] (the book’s author) and whether or not Irving managed to change any of his views. The columnist answered a hesitant and weak ‘no.’ By that, Rose confirmed the Jewish control over the media.” (Ahmed Rehab, ‘Double Standardism: The Case of the Two Books’)

“The movies exploiting the Arabs and Muslims are ‘a bold and uncompromising look behind the closed doors of a hidden world’… On the other hand, a movie which glorifies the other Semites, the Jews, is a ‘great American classic,’ ‘an untimely epic,’ ‘a movie-making masterpiece,’ and ‘an all-time family favorite,’ well whoop-di-di-doo.” (Ahmed Rehab, ‘Double Standardism: The Case of the Two Films’)

“One sort of situation that comes to mind is I was watching CNN, and one of the anchors actually had a guest and asked him questions about Yasser Arafat. And this guest was staunchly pro-Zionist. I had no problems with that, assuming that either there would be another guest that would represent the Palestinian viewpoint or — Later on in the show, he had another guest — [sarcastically] He was less Zionist.” (as stated on Ahmed Rehab’s WVON Radio Islam show, November 20, 2004

As you might expect Rehabs take on the Rachel Ray controversy was exactly what one would expect:

The blogger, the chef and the terrorist By Ahmed M. Rehab

How could a chirpy TV host with such edible title credits as “30 Minute Meals” and “Tasty Travels” one day awaken to find herself in the middle of a terrorism-related media blitz — all because of a Dunkin’ Donuts ad, no less?

It’s a tough recipe to cook up, but here are the ingredients:

  • One paisley scarf that somewhat resembles the checkered pattern of a Palestinian national garment called the “keffiyeh,” –a scarf that could be bought at Macy’s
  • One right-wing blogger who lacks any sense of cultural nuance
  • A public opinion climate ripe with paranoia
  • A slow news day for the media

Directions: Briefly expose the scarf to the blogger, scatter over the climate, let simmer on a slow news day, and voila!

Can you hear the world’s laughter?

The blogger is Michelle Malkin, author of the universally ridiculed book, “In Defense of Internment.”

One of many to find fame and fortune in the post 9/11 hullabaloo, Malkin has a strange but simple job: to whip up controversy. If she succeeds, she gets attention. If she gets attention, she gets paid. She is her own brand, and like any brand, hers must deliver on expectations to remain competitive in an increasingly saturated market.

Malkin continuously scours the world’s hot button issues hoping to raise the heat. On Thursday, she hit the jackpot with the most unlikely of subjects.

Enter Rachael Ray, who also has a straightforward job: to whip up meals. She shows TV audiences how to find bliss through the art of food. Sound controversial yet? Patience.

Ray happens to do an iced coffee ad for Dunkin’ Donuts. She dons a paisley scarf selected by the stylist for the spot.

OK, that’s the end of the buildup.

No, really, that’s it.

Presented with that ad, most people may wonder if the iced coffee is any good. None is likely to wonder whether Dunkin’ Donuts and Rachael Ray were promoting terrorism.

Malkin is a notable exception. She has a hungry career to feed.

And so, Malkin’s pattern-recognition sensors kick in: Palestinians!

According to her, if Ray’s scarf looks like a keffiyeh, the traditional scarf worn by Palestinians, then it must be a keffiyeh.

So what if it were?

Well, she further argues that, unbeknownst to the world, keffiyehs are actually a symbol of terrorism, hence her insinuation that the ad promotes terrorism.

Malkin then proceeds to educate the world about Palestinian keffiyehs, when they are worn, by whom, and why.

Not surprisingly, she gets it all wrong: In reality, the average Palestinian is much more likely to wear a keffiyeh than a terrorist.

Think about it: would the keffiyeh really be your preferred disguise if you were a terrorist and wished to walk incognito into a Tel Aviv bus or pizza parlor?

Probably not.

It is, however, your likely choice if you are an average Palestinian going to the mall, farming your land, walking to school, or — yes — hurling stones at an Israeli tank in the streets of your occupied hometown: hardly acts of terrorism.

So how does Malkin manage to discombobulate the facts? How does she find no shame in writing off a people’s national dress as “a symbol of terrorism”?

There can only be one explanation: For Malkin, every Palestinian is a terrorist. To sell that point, she resorts to sensationalism, minimalism and obscene sweeping statements.

Sadly, this reductive approach is an old and tired trick when it comes to public discourse on the Middle-East, or Muslims.

But let’s not kid ourselves. Malkin’s anti-Palestinian message, by itself, is not newsworthy. It is only effective when coupled with a climate that is highly receptive to fear-mongering. Only then can it wreak havoc. After all, it is only because of the perception of a public backlash that Dunkin’ Donuts, with curiously weak knees, felt pressure to yank the ad off the Internet.

Luckily most Americans know better than to drink Malkin’s Kool-Aid. They will likely remember this tale only as one of 2008’s silliest. Nonetheless, I am certain Malkin is gloating over the few prized conformists her antics were able to mobilize.

Come to think of it, I think I will wear a keffiyeh on my way to work tomorrow — as I sip my iced Caribou coffee.

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So Is it a Keffiyeh or Not? Well Take a look at the pictures below (borrowed from Atlas Shrugs) and try and tell me how it can be ANYTHING else

Nic_beg_keffiyeh Nicholas Berg (moments before his beheading) Syria_islamic_jihad_55200

Hamas2 Hamas leader Khalad Maashal Maashalsmall Hassannasrallah_wideweb__470x3180 Sheik Hassan Nasrallah (Hezb’Allah) Hamas1 Arafat Islam_jesus_is_the_slave Rachel_ray_tool Yassar_arafatMujahideen_video mujahideen screen shot (off video)
Ahmadinejad UPDATE: Yidwithlid is lovin it: Atlas Shrugs Took on Dunkin Donuts and WON. BTW, I love Dunkin Donuts. Kefiyyah Debbie Schlussel says Dunkin Donuts “oughtt to be applauded for that”. Hear, hear! And Razor Sharp Claws agrees: And the swastika was just a swastika! UPDATE 1:39pm: Joe over at Neocon express says you gotta know the history: The kaffiyah – Not Just a Scarf Keffiyeh_2

To understand the Dunkin-Donut-Racheal Ray-Kaffiah controversy one must have a minimal understanding of the history, otherwise, the entire matter can easily be portrayed as “it’s just a scarf,” as many on the left have been doing…knowing full well that most American have no clue what the fuss is all about. Political advantage is always on the side of those who appeal to ignorance, so to counter that let’s do a tiny history lesson: (the rest here)